Glimpses of Utopia

Real ideas for a fairer world

Jess Scully

Glimpses of Utopia Cover Image

Published: 04/08/2020
ISBN: 9781925700879
Genre: Politics
Pages: 320
RRP: $32.99

Glimpses of Utopia

Real ideas for a fairer world

Jess Scully

Shortlisted, ABIA Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year, 2021


‘Jess Scully has scoured the world for the best ideas to fix this mess we’re in.’  — Jess Hill, See What You Made Me Do

Glimpses of Utopia provided me the rarest thing in these grim times: hope.’  — Benjamin Law


It’s hard to be excited about the future right now. Climate change is accelerating; inequality is growing; politics is polarised; institutions designed to protect us are strained; technology is disrupting the world of work. We need to upgrade the operating systems of our society. Jess Scully asks, What can we do? The answer is: plenty! All over the world, people are refusing the business-as-usual mindset and putting humans back into the civic equation, reimagining work and care, finance and government, urban planning and communication, to make them better and fairer for all.

Meet the care workers reclaiming control in India and Lebanon, the people turning slums into safe havens in Kenya and Bangladesh, and champions of people-powered digital democracy in Iceland and Taiwan. There are radical bankers funding renewable energy in the USA and architects redesigning real estate in Australia, new payment systems in Italy and the Philippines that keep money in local communities, and innovators redesigning taxation to cut pollution and incentivise creative solutions.

Glimpses of Utopia is a call for optimism. Humans everywhere are rising up to confront our challenges with creativity, resilience and compassion. Harnessing technology and imagination, we can reshape our world to be fair and sustainable. This book shows us how.

 ‘Whoever you are, wherever you’re at, this book will make you feel better about the world and everyone in it.’ — Jan Fran

‘The kind of compelling vision we need.’ — Christiana Figueres, The Future We Choose

‘We need utopian options that offer the optimism needed to create fairer futures.Jess offers proposals to discuss, explore and design our way out of the current mess!’  — Eva Cox AO

‘What a wonderful and inspiring book of concrete ideas when we need inspiration the most.’  — Blair Palese, founder of Australia

‘Remarkably invigorating – a collection of eminently practical ideas, from a writer who has done the nitty gritty work of making change herself.’ — Bill McKibben, author, educator and environmentalist

Jess Scully

Jess Scully

Jess Scully

Jess Scully is a curator who uses creativity to engage people in the knowledge economy and with urban life in the 21st century, working to shape a sustainable and inclusive future. In 2019 she was elected as Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney.

Jess has charted a unique career over 20 years: founding ground-breaking festival Vivid Ideas, Australia’s largest creative-industries event; supporting emerging talent through projects such as the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards; sparking new thinking through TEDxSydney; and transforming public spaces as a public art curator. She has also been a policy advisor, radio host and magazine editor.

As a councillor, Jess advocates for new models to address the housing crisis and support workforces of the future, is championing the revival of nightlife and expanding access to culture, and protecting digital rights in the public realm. A strong believer in citizen participation, Jess is committed to opening up politics, especially to younger and more diverse people.

Jess Scully’s first book, Glimpses of Utopia, will be published by Pantera Press in August 2020.


Photo credit: Walter Maurice

More about the author

“Arresting from the very first sentence…[Glimpses of Utopia is] an optimistic, evidence-based vision for the future that reads more like a real-world drama where we all write the ending.” 5* Stars

“Shows hope is not dead by a long shot.”