The Leap

How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy

The revolutionary follow-up to Chris Turner’s Governor General’s Literary Award and National Business Book Award nominee, The Geography of Hope.

The most vital project of the twenty-first century is a shift from our unsustainable way of life to a sustainable one–a great lateral leap from a track headed for economic and ecological disaster to one bound for renewed prosperity. In The Leap, Chris Turner presents a field guide to making that jump, drawing on recent breakthroughs in state-of-the-art renewable energy, cleantech and urban design. From the solar towers of sunny Spain to the bike paths and pedestrianized avenues of the world’s most livable city–Copenhagen, Denmark–to the nascent “green-collar” economies rejuvenating the former East Germany and the American Rust Belt, he paints a vivid portrait of a new, sustainable world order already up and running.

In his 2007 book, The Geography of Hope, Chris Turner wrote about an emerging world of cleantech possibility. This led to a two-year stint as sustainability columnist for the Globe and Mail, during which many of the fringe developments covered in his book became vital. By the time those two years were up his reporting tracks were being retraced by mainstream outlets like the New York Times. In The Leap, he once again charts the world’s near-future course.


The Leap is a terrific book, and it filled me with excitement and hope for the future. Writing with a lucid, Gladwellian verve, Turner unpacks one of the most pressing issues of the day—the crucial transition to renewable energy—and demonstrates that this ‘leap’ is not only possible and affordable, it is happening right now—in a country, a company, a neighbourhood near you. Read it—and leap!”
—John Vaillant, award-winning author of The Golden Spruce and The Tiger
“This is a paradoxical book. It inspires, not only by showing where the future lies and how to get there, but also by taking the reader to favoured places in the world where that future is already well established. At the same time it can frustrate and even anger if you lift your eyes from the pages—as I did—and realize with discomfort that you are not yet in one of those places. Both are good reasons to read it.”
—Jay Ingram, science broadcaster and author