Main content

The Next Industrial Revolution

While some environmental observers predict doomsday scenarios in which a rapidly increasing human population is forced to compete for ever scarcer natural resources, Bill McDonough sees a more exciting and hopeful future.

In his vision humanity takes nature itself as our guide reinventing technical enterprises to be as safe and ever-renewing as natural processes.

Can't happen? It's already Nike, at Ford Motor Company, at Oberlin College, at Herman Miller Furniture, and at DesignTex...and it's part of what architect McDonough and his partner, chemist Michael Braungart, call 'The Next Industrial Revolution.'

Shot in Europe and the United States, the film explores how businesses are transforming themselves to work with nature and enhance profitability.

'This film is an inspirational look at a hopeful vision of the future. It does an excellent job of presenting both theory and real world examples of a design revolution that has the potential to re-make our world.' James Gustave Speth, Dean, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

'One of the most informative, brilliant and hopeful films about the transformation of industrial and economic activities that will lead to a healthy, just, socially stable and environmentally sustaining society for all current and future generations. By showcasing the visionary philosophy and unprecedented work of Bill McDonough with outstanding colleagues and a variety of society's most influential institutions, the film is a critical educational vehicle for changing our collective mindset to achieve these goals. It's a 'must see!'' Anthony Cortese, Sc.D., President, Second Nature, Inc.

'This video should have a profound effect on the way future architects are educated and how they practice. Every student and faculty in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, or urban planning should see it. We are all students of the environment.' Marvin E. Rosenman, ACSA Distinguished Professor of Architecture, Ball State University

'Inspirational! This video is a must for all - consumers, educators, health professionals, business and government leaders. Our current systems of production and habits of consumption are harming our health and the health of the planet. McDonough offers a practical vision and gives us hope for a future that is safe for our grandchildren.' Polly Walker, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Director, Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

'Provides a vision that is simultaneously radical, yet pragmatic. It offers concepts and proven examples to show how that vision can be put into practice. This video can spark the type of thoughtful dialog and quantum leap planning that will enable any organization to accelerate its progress toward creating a sustainable organization.' Thomas C. Tuttle, Ph.D., Director, University of Maryland Center for Quality and Productivity

'It's rare to find a film about environmental issues that makes you feel better about the world after you watch it than you did before...And while the filmmakers acknowledge the dire situation our planet is in, they also understand a little hope and a lot of determination can go a long way.' Christopher Riley, Director, Cornell University Environmental Film Festival

'Superbly produced video...High school, college and university students will find here a pragmatic and ecologically sound vision of sustainability, and examples of the proactive work that sometimes succeeds while disaster hits the headlines. McDonough has a knack for putting the message in a pithy and hard-hitting form without being confrontational.' Green Teacher

About Bill McDonough
'There are very few visionaries who are practical -- Bill McDonough is one of the most profound environmental thinkers in the world.' William Clay Ford, Jr., Chair, Ford Motor Company

'His utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that -- in demonstrable and practical ways -- is changing the design of the world.' Heroes for the Planet, Time Magazine


Main credits

Bedford, Chris (Director)
Morhaim, Shelley (Producer)
Morhaim, Shelley (Director)
Morhaim, Shelley (Screenwriter)
Sarandon, Susan (Narrator)

Other credits

Camera & editor: Chris Bedford; music: Liza Figueroa.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

Business Practices
Climate Change/Global Warming
Critical Thinking
Green Building
Science, Technology, Society
Urban Studies
Urban and Regional Planning


Bill McDonough, Michael Braungart, ecological design, Nike, Herman Miller Furniture, Oberlin College, DesignTex, Inc., Rohner Textil AG, Ford Motor, architecture,"The Next Industrial Revolution",Bullfrog Films

Related Films

Build Green

David Suzuki reports on a wide range of green buildings, from large community…

The Ecological Footprint

Dr. Mathis Wackernagel introduces the Ecological Footprint, a resource…

The Greening of Southie

The story of Boston's first LEED-certified residential green building,…