Recent Readings

Books I've read recently, many not directly relating to the sustainability challenge. Divergent fields always tend to inform new thinking in seemingly unrelated areas.

[An extension of the list from the Inspirations section].

 
 
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Kate Raworth - Doughnut Economics

Brilliant new form of thinking about how the economy could work.

 

 

 
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Chuck Klosterman - But What If We're Wrong?

How consistently difficult it is to predict the future and some really interesting analysis of where we got it wrong, and thus what criteria we might use to look ahead at the future. Quite vital when projecting into the future to make change now.

 

 

 
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Wayne Visser - Integrating Shared Value

Wayne Visser's model of Integrated value builds on previous models and provides a comprehensive idea of how enterprises can react to shifts in the world and create an advanced form of shared value through innovation.

"Integrated Value simultaneously build multiple capitals (notably financial, infrastructural, technological, human, social and ecological) through synergistic innovation across the resilience, exponential, access, circular and wellbeing economies that result in a world that is more secure, smart, shared, sustainable and satisfying"

 However, very theoretical, applying this in real life may be different (and Nassim Nicholas Taleb would not approve of that, at all).

 
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Skin In The Game

Fascinating look at the importance of managing tail risks with a potentially ruinous impact, through 'skin in the game'.  We still fail to do this as a collective.

Prioritise doing, rather than talking.

Take the concepts, apply them to the sustainability context.

Particularly pertinent section on having skin in the game when it comes to virtue.

 
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Salim Ismail el al - Exponential Organisations

Fascinating assessment of what the companies of the future (and now) look like and why they are winning. Apply these concepts to enterprise driven solutions to the sustainability challenge.

 

 
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Paul Hawken - Drawdown

"The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming." Incredibly in depth assessment of the top 100 solutions to climate change, and some real surprises in there.

 
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Yuval Noah Harari - Sapiens

Incredible take on the history of humankind, that tests the assumptions you don't even know you've made around how life works and how we operate as a species.

 
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Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle Is The Way

Great reminder for reframing challenges as opportunities

 
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Ernest Hemingway - The Old Man & The Sea

Parallel with the wrestling match with the sustainability challenge?

 

Mariana Mazzucato - Mission-Oriented Research & Innovation in the European Union

Create and execute missions related to grand challenges that everyone can and does buy into, with skin in the game

 

Hans Rosling - Factfulness

Thought you knew the state of the world? Oh no you don’t.

Brilliantly written, incredibly colourful.

This feels like a worthy bedfellow of Yuval Noah Harari’s "Sapiens", in the way they both map the progress of humans and test assumptions. While “Sapiens” was a history of mankind, Factfulness acts as a modern day update of the post-war world.