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Reviews

Outside the Box: A Wind of Change
by Pietro Barbara
Xlibris AU

“The first step is a universal change in thinking and a real universal ownership of the problem.”

In this time of social transition and conflicting idealism, the author of this book presents sometimes radical, sometimes traditionally founded, and always common-sense ideas for how to move Australia into a position where it is socially and economically responsible to itself and its citizens. With two dozen diverse topics covered—from health insurance to religion to the Australian flag to cryptocurrency—the design of this book is to look at these complex issues in a new light, approaching them in a way that politicians are often too intimidated to do in fear of stripping their own power or polling numbers.

Anyone who believes that there are solutions to the complex problems facing Australia or the world at large will have much to consider as they thumb through these proposals and observations for the modern world. Each of these essays is short, written in plain English, and easy to digest. The author spends only a brief amount of time on each topic, just long enough to identify the issue, present his perspective, and propose one or two potential solutions that he has thought of, admitting that these may not be the ultimate solutions but at least serve as a springboard for brainstorming.

Readers outside of Australia may be unfamiliar with some of the specifics, but many of these concerns are universal. Likewise, the solutions would apply in virtually any country where these struggles or deficiencies occur. As such, anybody looking to propose progressive ideas on a local, state, or federal level can make use of these suggestions, if not to address the concerns of the populace, then to at least identify them. Simple and easy to read, it is refreshing to have such serious concerns laid out directly and addressed without overcomplication or a close-minded perspective.

Title: Outside the Box: A Wind of Change
Author: Pietro Barbara
Publisher: XlibrisAU
ISBN: 978-1543408157
Pages: 98
Genre: Non-fiction/Philosophy
Reviewed by: Anthony Avina

It is said that one of the most difficult things any person can do is accept change. Living in a time when those in power cling to the past, author Pietro Barbara has written a book that explores the concept of thinking outside of the box, or thinking past societal norms, and looking towards making real changes to improve the lives of all Australians and the nation as a whole. This book it titled Outside the Box: A Wind of Change, and it explores key aspects of society in the nation and how they can be improved.

Kevin Rudd once said, “Australia is a nation of compassion. Courage and compassion. And the third of these great values: resilience.” Author Pietro Barbara delves into that mindset, looking to forgo the judgments and narrow mindedness of the past to create a future for all Australians, both the indigenous people of the nation and those who live there as a result of the British and their arrival in the country many years ago. The author does a great job of highlighting the various areas for improvement and providing cutting edge, free thinking solutions that could solve many of the problems of the nation. From the nation’s economic and environmental problems from which the author draws on personal experience in the field of nuclear power, to the formation of one multicultural nation of all Australians everywhere, this book gives readers a chance to explore new ways of thinking and improving the world around them.

The writing in this book is very detailed and thought out, exploring the nuances of Australia as both a society and a nation. This quote shows the much-needed bluntness to which society as a whole fails to grasp often when thinking of these solutions. “The outside-the-box concept here is to make education a lot more inclusive. With knowledge and preparation, future generations will be better-equipped to cope with and solve a lot of the issues we are struggling with today.” This quote shows a clear cut solution that can improve the way we teach future generations and help them prepare for the problems our actions today will leave them with.

This is definitely a book for the people of Australia, but also for anyone looking to change the world around them as a whole. For me as an American citizen, I was able to draw a lot of parallels with the author and his journey in his own home country. Living in such a divisive time, there are several clear cut, outside the box solutions I see every day that should improve the lives of my country, and yet we are surrounded by people who would rather divide us as a people than bring us closer together. True leadership demands a government free of corruption and open to new solutions and new ways of thinking, and that’s what the author brings out in his writing.

This is a fantastic read for any person. While the people of Australia will feel a special connection to the story personally, this basic concept introduced by the author is something we can all use in these difficult times. The writing was clear and precise, and the underlying theme that I found was a message of hope. Hope for future generations that may read this and see the possibility for a peaceful and united future. If you haven’t yet picked up your copy of Outside the Box: A Wind of Change by Pietro Barbara, do so today! This is an entertaining and culturally eye-opening book.


The sole aim of this work as stated, is to encourage and stimulate open unrestricted discussion and debate based on Outside-the-Box Thinking. It is rightly pointed out that I only touch on each topic. Rather than pretending to be an expert I want to hear from others including the experts, who under the licence of Outside-the-Box Thinking might be encouraged to ‘ignite’ change and reform in new directions, because of this exercise.

Think of the chapters as a mere hand full of labelled seeds that can be planted and nurtured in the right hands.

Yes, the 1999 referendum on a republic failed but that was 20 years ago, and a lot has changed. Presented as a massive opportunity for reform, inclusion, radical change, and a ‘new start’, not business as usual … it is time to re-visit.

My ‘seed’ on the nuclear energy debate is again a call to re-open the conversation. There are reems of articles and information on the topic …here are some examples:

–Most people would be surprised to know that in 2012, seven million people globally died from health complications due to air pollution and that an estimated 13,000 US deaths were directly attributable to fossil-fired plants.

–Nuclear power has prevented an estimated 1.84 million air-pollution related deaths worldwide.

–The risk inherent in nuclear plant operation will always be present, but it is one of the world’s most rigorously monitored activities, and its proven performance in delivering zero-carbon electricity is one that shouldn’t be dismissed out of fear.

–The facts are that, in the main, nuclear power plants have been safely and quietly producing enormous amounts of zero emissions energy around the world for decades.

–For the NCA, Australia’s recent entry into the Generation IV International Forum (GIF), a co-operative international project looking at R&D on next-generation nuclear energy, is proof of the country’s potential as a nuclear innovator − and proof that the ban should be consigned to the history books.

–“Australia is just the 14th member admitted, reflecting the country’s strong history as a responsible uranium producer, its nuclear non-proliferation credentials, and of course its development and management of the world’s best research reactor at Lucas Heights,” says Zavattiero.

–“The current legislation leaves us in the absurd position of being welcomed to contribute to the development of new nuclear technology we cannot use ourselves.”

On the “lack of explication”, again, it was not my intention provide expert complete solutions the aim of my book is promote Outside-the-Box discussion instead of fear, apathy and blind acceptance of the status quo.

The intention of the ‘taking of life’ chapter, was to open the conversation, encourage adopting a definition of ‘when there is life’ and to introduce thoughts on the current apparent issues around our justification for ‘ending life’, in an endeavour to conduct unemotive analysis of this sensitive issue.

This all in the hope of encouraging  uninhibited thoughtfulness.

Outside the Box

Outside the Box