William Murtha is a writer, philanthropist, and global activist. He is the founder of The Imagination Project, a nonprofit organization that provides support for emerging writers, filmmakers, and other young luminaries who are focusing their life's work on the most critical issues of our time. He will use some proceeds from this paperback to kick-start and fund this project.

After a near-death experience, Murtha gave up his business career and decided to devote himself to being a meaning maker. He sent out a query to 200 visionaries to ascertain their thoughts on what it takes to make a positive impact on the world: "Please share empowering stories and thoughts that best encapsulate your insight, wisdom, and feelings on how we can move towards a more just, fulfilling, and peaceful world."

Murtha calls these creative souls passionate activists, way-showers, and doers who are paving the way for the rest of us into the future. Their examples and visions provide a valuable alternative to the doom and gloom of TV news and the negativity and stridency so evident in the conversation of our adversarial culture. Some of those who appear on the pages of this paperback are Angeles Arrien, Christina Baldwin, Thomas Moore, Jean Houston, Anna Halpern, Christiane Northrup, Susan Jeffers, Jane Goodall, Alice Walker and others. Each vision statement is accompanied by a brief biography and a list of five recommended influential books. Here are two examples:

"The future well-being of humanity and the Earth is dependent on a new world view in which the care of the planet, the nourishment of the soul, and the nurturing of the human community are integrated and seen as a continuum.

"As the trinity of egalité, liberté, and fraternité, now we need a new trinity for the age of ecology which has wholeness, integrity, and cohesion. I propose the trinity of soil, soul, and society.

"Our reverence for the Earth, our care of the soul, and a just order in society represent a vision of sustainability, spirituality, and justice."
— Satish Kumar

"You are a part of me, and I am a part of you.
When one reaches out to another, then one transforms to two.
But two is never separate from the one it was before.
If anything two is the possibility of one becoming more.
And if there were no counting, no numbers to create a wall,
when we looked in the face of one, we would see the face of all.
Can you imagine what our world would be like if we chose to see
every thought, word, and action through this lens — including the other-than-human
relatives that we share this Sacred Planet with?
The future is being created now."
— Julia Butterfly Hill