What Would Google Do

This book is not about Google per se but rather about the new business rules of engagement in this age of Twitter, Facebook and of course Google, where your main service may be free and you get income through a side-door, where you collaborate with your customers openly rather than trying to sweep problems under the rug, where transparency is assumed and sometimes forced upon a company.

Macroeconomics in Context

If you’re looking for a textbook on economics that integrates sustainability issues, this is a good choice. It exposes some of the weaknesses in classical economics while covering all the basics. It’s interesting to learn some of the oddities of some of the metrics.

Building Powerful Community Organizations: A Personal Guide to Creating Groups That Can Solve Problems and Change the World

A good workbook for anyone wanting to solve a problem that nags at them. It provides interesting stories, sound advice, and worksheets for you to think through your strategy. The table of contents is excellent, providing a separate table of exercises. Some key tips:

* Don’t do for them what they can do for themselves (even little things like bringing muffins)

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.

Life in the Hothouse: How a Living Planet Survives Climate Change

This is not about how humans will adapt; this is how the planet may adapt to hotter temperatures. Lenart walks you through what is known from science about how the planet corrects itself. This is not to say we have nothing to worry about. She walks through the likely effects of climate change, some widely known and some not. But it is with wonder that we can observe the self-correcting, stabilizing mechanisms the earth does have.

Earth Fever: Living Consciously with Climate Change

This book takes a steely-eyed look at the likelihood that we’ll stop GHG’s at 450 ppm. Perhaps realistic but pretty depressing. After reviewing the state of affairs, the second half of the book attempts to provide tools for living with this reality.

Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy

This is a who’s who of people making progress in the sustainability field. While the chapters are organized around areas and the stories were often encouraging, it was hard to read cover to cover. Maybe it’s the irony of working in such a doomsday world field that good news is hard to take.

Sustainability: Building Eco-Friendly Communities

The title doesn’t reflect what the book is about. This is more of a textbook covering various practices like biotechnology, sustainable agriculture, aquaculture, alternative materials, and finally the last chapter on sustainable communities.

Toolbox for Sustainable Living

coverThis is a do-it-yourself guide for eco-lifestyles. It covers everything from mushroom cultivation to rainwater collection, home-made composting toilets, and bioremediation. It’s a useful guide for people who want to go beyond recycling. This is not useful for organizations.


Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

The best part about this book is the message. “When it comes to motivation, there’s a gap between what science knows and what business does. Our current business operating system—which is built around external, carrot-and-stick motivators—doesn’t work and often does harm. We need an upgrade and science shows the way." (p203-4)