"Our future depends on integrating sustainability into all that we do. David Gottfried’s pioneering work is proof that we can do it, and Explosion Green tells us how to do it, and why it’s the best way out of our economic doldrums and back into the future business."
—President Bill Clinton
“David Gottfried is the father of the green movement. This book is a must read for any serious student of how to design new systems and green building.”
— Art Gensler
“David Gottfried set a world of improvement in motion. The global built environment is now incorporating sustainability as standard practice and as a result is making better buildings that are profitable for the bottom line, the planet and its people.”
— Gerald D. Hines, Founder and Chairman, Hines
“No organization has had a bigger impact on the environment than [the USGBC]. In sharing himself and the fabric of a life well directed, we can find ourselves and know that little or nothing exceeds our grasp if we love the world as well as David has.”
— Paul Hawken, Author, Ecology of Commerce
“This is a story about an idea. An idea that became an organization. An organization that anchored a movement. A movement that is changing the world. David and his relentless pursuit of the possible helped invent the spark and carry the torch for this revolutionary idea that led us to start the USGBC and later the WorldGBC.”
— Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council
“This book is inspiring and also a great story of how one man can change the world. David Gottfried and I worked closely to build the China Green Building Council.”
— Qiu Baoxing, Executive Vice Minister, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, People’s Republic of China
“David Gottfried not only accelerates the cause with a contagious passion, he also provides a clear path towards delivering the transformational change the world needs.”
— Douglas Frye, Global President and CEO, Colliers International
“A remarkable story of a remarkable transformation. David Gottfried’s efforts transformed the building industry and himself. This beautiful memoir illuminates the challenges of change.”
— Amory Lovins, Cofounder and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute, Author, Reinventing Fire
“David’s inability to accept the imperfect nature of systems and institutionalized practices have required him to move forward without a map. He has shown us that we each have the potential to reshape our personal behaviors and recalibrate the value systems for entire global markets.”
— Che Wall, Cofounder, Green Building Council of Australia
“I’ve known David for over a decade and been hugely inspired by his work in founding and growing the global Green Building Council movement. This book can change your life and help inspire you to not only dream big, but put it into action.”
—Jim Allen, President & CEO, Sloan
“David Gottfried’s work has been instrumental in connecting the marketplace to game-changing products. Read about it and get in the game.”
— Rao Mulpuri, PhD, CEO, View, Inc.
“Transformation of the most important sector in the nation’s energy economy resulted from David Gottfried’s pioneering work. Students and professionals will be inspired by this book as it describes the pathway that led to such monumental results.”
— Gil Masters, Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
“ Explosion Green shows us how our passions can accelerate sustainable business and change the world. I’ve been privileged to participate in David Gottfried’s story describing the world’s most incredible transformation of its largest industry.”
— Kevin Hydes, CEO and Founder, Integral Group, Former Chair, U.S. and World Green Building Councils, Founder, Canada Green Building Council
“David inspires us to believe we have the ability to envision a future that we might create. He has lived it firsthand and generously shares his learning with us.”
— Maria Atkinson Am, Cofounder, Green Building Council of Australia
“A refreshing, delightful and candid memoir of how a young, bright ‘Type A’ developer created a revolution in how buildings are designed and built, and finds his higher self in the process.”
— Sim Van Der Ryn, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, UC Berkeley, Author, Design for an Empathic World , Ecological Design and Sustainable Communities
“ Explosion Green will not only inspire you, but change your life. This beautifully written book portrays the creation of the global green building movement, while catalyzing each of us to proactively foment the change we hope for the world.”
— L. Hunter Lovins, President and founder, Natural Capitalism Solutions Coauthor, Natural Capitalism
“There are serial entrepreneurs, who have founded multiple, successful companies, and serial change agents, who have guided change in multiple institutions, but David Gottfried is the exceptionally rare individual who is a serial founder of change movements. Embedded in the stories he tells in Explosion Green is David’s secret formula for success.”
— Dan Slone, Partner, McGuireWoods, USGBC & WorldGBC General Counsel
"Explosion Green" describes how the author got into the green-building business at its inception and helped to carry the movement into full swing. A good backroom look into corporate activism, this interesting memoir presents an alternative to engineering change in environmental policies. Instead of focusing on noisy extremes and protests, it demonstrates that one person’s years of quiet hard work and unrelenting determination can make a difference in even the most immobile systems.
It’s fairly easy to vote green, install energy-efficient lighting, and turn down the heat at home, but relatively few people take further steps against climate change. Gottfried, however, basically devoted his career to his cause, taking true professional risks to bring green-building certifications into reality. More than a memoir, this book functions well as an inspirational tale for anyone working in the green sector or simply striving to manage a cleaner business or lifestyle.
Part of the charm of this book is Gottfried’s marriage of traditional business tactics and earnest idealism. His personal and business connections and experiences in the boardroom represent a world that many modern professionals may find familiar. The book shows how the author incorporated his personal feelings about climate change into decisions he made in his career. As he navigates the difficult border between idealism and pragmatism, Gottfried explores a conundrum experienced by too many Americans and addressed by too few. Vivid detail and a strong descriptive voice help to round out the author and make him a likable, sympathetic personality.
Though the many boardroom discussions the book recounts can get a little repetitive, the author’s voice is engaging and personal enough to keep it interesting. The book’s strong linear structure fits nicely with the more well-known time line of the environmental movement, from the relative ignorance of the seventies to the increasing awareness today. It is easy to imagine a new generation of environmental pioneers taking over the business world in the pattern that
Gottfried lays down in this book.
Gottfried’s point of view will fascinate any entrepreneur. Innovators struggling with ways to reconcile the demands of their work with the needs of the environment will find this accounting valuable, and it could be considered required reading for activists. By Foreword Reviews