For Books Clubs

Book clubs enjoy Hugo’s stories because they provoke thought and are excellent material for dynamic discussions. From time to time when his schedule permits, Hugo meets with book clubs either in person or, for those clubs with a wide angle webcam and a quality speaker, over Skype.


To request a book club visit, write an e-mail to and mark clearly in the subject line: “book club visit,” and add the date and location to it.

Below are some questions to spark your book discussion.

  1. What’s the meaning of the title?

  2. Is terminator seed technology ethical? Why or why not?

  3. Is it our birthright to have access to healthy food? Why or why not?

  4. What have we learned as a society from our experience with DDT and the dioxin that’s currently fed to babies via mothers’ milk? What could or should we learn from this?

  5. How high are healthy food, water and air on our society’s priority list? How high is it on your list? Can we live without it?

  6. What comforts are we prepared to give up to secure healthy food, water and air?

  7. What dreams did you have when you were sixteen, seventeen, or eighteen years old? Which of those dreams did you allow to germinate, and which did you terminate? Do any of the dreams that didn’t germinate still linger in your heart? What can you do to allow them to germinate?

  8. Watch “The Story of Stuff” ( and discuss the ethics of our consumption society. How will this knowledge affect your day-to-day life?

  9. What are the political, cultural, economical, environmental and spiritual advantages and disadvantages of a decentralized society?

  10. Why do we have intellectual property rights? How do these laws benefit humanity and the planet? Why do we have these laws? Are there other ways to secure a fair living wage for people who currently depend on those laws for their income?

  11. Do we have the right to destroy nature—our soil, air and water—to obtain the resources that provide us with the comforts in our consumption society? Why do we give corporations those rights? Are those resources limited or unlimited? What are we doing with the income from those resources to secure the future of our society?

  12. What’s the meaning of democracy—for the people, by the people? How do you feel about the French people who shut their country down when they feel their government doesn’t make the right decisions? Why are people in North America less vigilant and more complacent about their rights?

  13. Do we have the right to break the law, if the law isn’t just? What is just? Who has the authority to decide what’s just? Why? Where would we be without people like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi and many others who broke the law driven by a vision of a better world?

  14. What’s the meaning of equality (on a global scale)? How do land ownership and inheritance rights affect equality? Is it possible to protect a commons and have free entrepreneurship?

  15. How does technology allow us to reduce our footprint on the planet? Which technologies are promising and should get attention and funding? Are they getting such attention and funding? Why or why not?

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