Our Common Wealth: The Hidden Economy that Makes Everything Work.

Our Common Wealth book image

Our Common Wealth is an absolute joy to read. Jonathan Rowe insightfully articulates feelings held deep within many of us that an essential part of our human experience is being co-opted and stolen. Rowe discusses why such feelings exist as well as actions that can regain these pieces of our humanity.

Soul of Money

This is a book about the excessive impact money has on our lives and how we can realign how we use it in-tune with our values. She tells some interesting stories. I was especially moved by the stories from the Women’s Conference, including that of an Indian woman who came to tell her story of being burned by her family (an all too common practice associated with the dowry) before she died so that her life could have meaning.


This book is a good summary of what is wrong with our economy and what we need to do instead. If you’ve already read a lot about this, as I have, a lot may be redundant. But I did come across a number of different innovations I hadn’t heard about including slow travel, Adobe Alliance, Slipform construction, Bergman’s New Work concepts, Aerogarden, Fablab, Factor-e Farm, Green for All, Green Worker Coop.

The Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line

"What would happen if companies unleashed the untapped creative energies of all their people and encouraged them to help fulfill the vision of sustainable development?" Bob Willard sets out to challenge the reader with what could be, a vision of running a profitable organization because of a focus on sustainability vs. a more traditional and singular focus on the economic indicators.

Local Money: How to Make It Happen in your Community

While this book frequently references the Transitions movement (which may not be your framing) and the UK (which can be problematic when he’s talking about tax policy), it’s a good primer on alternative currencies. It starts with a history and concepts. Then it provides case examples from around the world, including what worked and didn’t.

The social animal: the hidden sources of love, character, and achievement

CoverYou may know David Brooks, the New York Times columnist, from the PBS NewsHour TV program. He’s always seemed insightful (although more conservative than I) but who knew he was witty, with a wicked sense of humor and deep empathy for people who lived different lives than he.

The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity

This book provides a nice history of Western-style capitalism up to the current crash: bubbles, suburban development, technology. He compares this economic crisis to other societal resets like the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression. Then he provides some insights about where we go from here. Florida is mostly focused on socio-economic issues and is particularly blind to environmental issues.

Green Recovery Get Lean, Get Smart, and Emerge from the Downturn on Top

The perfect book to give to the oblivious CEO. Winston provides clear business reasons for pursuing a green agenda and includes many vivid stories and data, all in a petite book. You need to forgive Winston for equating sustainability with green, but aside from that, he paints a clear business case for pushing even harder on environmental performance in this downturn.