Turnaround Challenge: Business and the City of the Future, by Michael Blowfield and Leo Johnson, is Blue & Green Tomorrow’s 2013 sustainability book of the year.
Released in September, the book takes the reader on a journey through the social and environmental challenges business and individuals face, to some of the potential solutions. It finishes by depicting three possible cities of the future: Petropolis, Cyburbia and a third, smart city that puts people first.
The authors bring with them years of sustainability experience – Blowfield as an academic at the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, and Johnson as co-founder of consultancy firm Sustainable Finance, which is now part of the PwC group.
The pair map out how business has changed, and how the likes of Henry Ford’s mass production model led to mass consumption, which given the social and environmental threats we face now, is unsustainable and uneconomic in the long-term. They conclude that a transition, or a turnaround, is needed, but that society has the right to be optimistic at how this will play out.
In an interview with Blue & Green Tomorrow in June, Johnson described the book as “a tome that started in a really dark place, with all the carbon and population challenges, and ended up, weirdly, as a tidal wave of optimism.”
Meanwhile, David Rowan, editor of WIRED magazine, said it was a “fast-paced, hope-filled, yet deeply grounded tour of the innovations and technologies with the potential to resolve our era’s greatest environmental, social and economic challenges, where unrestrained business alone has clearly failed.”
A full review of Turnaround Challenge, as well as the two titles that have been highly commended, will be appearing on Blue & Green Tomorrow in the new year.
Highly commended: The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance by Jeremy Leggett; and The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money by Brett Scott
The person/organisation was chosen by the Blue & Green Tomorrow editorial team.
Book Review: Ubernomics
Step inside the next generation of economics, business strategy and investing.
In this radical business book, Barbara Gray makes it clear that all is not as it seems. Just when we think we know the rules of the road, we find we have hit the age of economic abundance—and surprises await.
Gray navigates us through this journey with great insight and acuity, sharing stories and case studies about a new breed of “rebel with a cause” companies such as Starbucks, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Uber, whose founders relish disruption of the status quo. Taking us through the highlights of her research, Gray reveals her discovery of the next generation of business strategy for companies looking to create economic abundance and rise above the competition.
Barbara Gray is a former top-ranked sell-side equity analyst and the founder of Brady Capital Research Inc., a leading-edge research and strategy consulting firm. She has more than fifteen years of sell-side equity research experience in Canada and the United States covering a wide range of sectors. Barbara has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of British Columbia (1993) and earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1997. She lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two sons.
“Ubernomics is über-needed by any organization that wants to be around in the next five years. Read it and you’ll be here for fifty–and more! Barbara Gray is half brilliant analyst and half seer. The result is a book that is both crystal clear and a crystal ball.”
–Joey Reiman, Chairman, BrightHouse and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group
“Barbara is one of the most astute and forward-looking analysts who covered lululemon. Ubernomics gave me a framework to think about the sharing economy capital structure and the value that can be gained from that.”
–Christine Day, CEO, Luvo (former CEO, lululemon)
“Barbara’s overall analysis centering on the three new values of advocacy, connection and collaboration is very powerful. And the examples, both of firms born in the new economy and others trying to adapt to it, are fascinating.”
–Jean-Claude Larreche, Professor of Marketing, INSEAD, and author of The Momentum Effect
Book Review: Business as an Instrument for Societal Change
Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is the result of two decades of research and dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other leaders in business, government, science and education. Author Sander Tideman, a lawyer and banker who has maintained a friendship with the Dalai Lama over all these years, presents a practical framework and methodology to develop a new kind of leadership – one fit to repurpose the business world and tackle escalating social, economic and environmental needs.
The Dalai Lama rarely speaks directly on the topics of business, leadership and economics. Yet in the dialogues recounted here, his wisdom – combined with key insights from business and public leaders – creates a unified shift towards a consciousness of interconnectedness, offering profound insights for practitioners and general readers alike.
Tideman unites the scientific worldviews of physics, neuroscience and economics with the positive psychology of human relationships, and ancient spiritual wisdom, to formulate practical business leadership solutions. At the heart of this book lies the journey to discover our shared purpose. This ignites new sources of value creation for the organisation, customers and society, which Tideman terms ‘triple value’. We can achieve triple value by aligning societal and business needs, based on the fundamental reality of interconnection.
Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is a readable and intelligent exploration of how leaders can actually help to shape a sustainable global economy by embracing innate human and humane behaviour. It is also Tideman’s fascinating personal journey, which brought him to question the underlying motivations and goals of business leadership and to seek a new paradigm for a more sustainable approach. Reflecting Tideman’s sharp perceptions and infused with the Dalai Lama’s unmistakable joy, this book has the power to change your way of thinking.
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