Products of Change


Thu 16 Dec 2021 | by Rob Hutchins

What are you reading? | Products of Change presents its Recommended Reads for 2022

If you’ve found yourself looking for a bit of light reading to fill these long winter evenings, or perhaps even a new page turner to fill those Christmas stockings this year, then scour the planet no further: Products of Change has put together the essential reading list just for you. Curated to fit anyone at any stage along their sustainable journey, the Products of Change recommended reading selection features the works and compilations of some of the most celebrating leaders and foreseers in the world of sustainability today. No, these are not titles ringing the chimes of doom and while they may include slightly less sex and savagery than your average Mills & Boon, Jilly Cooper, or latest Fifty Shades of Grey spin-off, they’ll each leave you with something to feel a little more optimistic about, and certainly a whole lot more inspired. Check out the Products of Change recommended reads below and stand by for the first edition of the Products of Change Book Club in 2022… (we’re only half joking, any takers?) 1. Doughnut Economics - Kate Raworth

Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth
Relentless financial crises. Extreme inequalities in wealth. Remorseless pressure on the environment. Anyone can see that our economic system is broken. But can it be fixed? In Doughnut Economics, Oxford academic Kate Raworth identifies the seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray – from selling us the myth of ‘rational economic man’ to obsessing over growth at all costs – and offers instead an alternative roadmap for bringing humanity into a sweet spot that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet. Ambitious, radical, and thoughtful, she offers a new, cutting edge economic model fit for the challenged of the 21st Century. Doughnut Economics was longlisted for the FT/Mckinsey Business Book of the Year Award in 2017 ‘Brilliant, thrilling and revolutionary… I believe that Doughnut Economics will change the world.” – George Monbiot 2. The Green Grocer - Richard Walker
The Green Grocer by Richard Walker
Running a sustainable business doesn't mean that you can't make a profit. In this book, readers that own businesses of any size will learn the value of pursuing ethical policies through the journey of the author's quest to "do it right". Richard Walker, owner of the £3bn supermarket chain, Iceland, is disrupting this critical sector with his own brand of corporate activism. From restricting single-use plastic to eradicating palm oil from products in his supermarkets, he explains how you too can make genuine progress on sustainable initiatives while being realistic about profit margins, and obligations to customers and employees. This intimate, challenging, and encouraging book, offers clear-sighted experience and inspiration for any business, whether a large corporation, a start-up, a kitchen-table entrepreneur, or a sole trader, to make a difference. In the face of global warming, companies are moving towards more eco-friendly business practices and embracing their corporate social responsibility. The Green Grocer explores how one business owner did just that. 3. Net Positive - Paul Polman and Andrew Winston
Net Positive by Paul Polman and Andrew Winston
In this seminal book, former Unilever CEO Paul Polman and the sustainable business guru Andrew Winston explode 50 years of corporate dogma. They reveal, for the first time, key lessons from Unilever and other pioneering companies around the world about how you can profit by fixing the world's problems instead of creating them. To thrive today and tomorrow, they argue, companies must become "net positive" - giving more to the world than they take. A net positive company: I. Improves the lives of everyone it touches, from customers and suppliers to employees and communities, greatly increasing long-term shareholder returns in the process. II. Takes ownership of all the social and environmental impacts its business model creates. This in turn provides opportunities for innovation, savings, and building a more humane, connected, and purpose-driven culture. III. Partners with competitors, civil society, and governments to drive transformative change that no single group or enterprise could deliver alone. This is no utopian fantasy. Courageous leaders are already making it real - and the stakes couldn't be higher. With bold vision and compelling stories, Net Positive sets out the principles and practices that will deliver the scale of change and transformation the world so desperately needs. 4. A Finer Future: Creating an Economy in Service to Life - Stewart Wallis
A Finer Future by Stewart Wallis, Anders Wijkman and John Fullerton
Humanity is in a race with catastrophe. Is the future one of global warming, 65 million migrants fleeing failed states, soaring inequality, and grid-locked politics? Or one of empowered entrepreneurs and innovators working towards social change, levelling the playing field, and building a world that works for everyone? A Finer Future demonstrates that humanity has a chance to thread the needle of sustainability and build a regenerative economy through a powerful combination of enlightened entrepreneurialism, regenerative economy, technology, and innovative policy. The authors - world leaders in business, economics, and sustainability - gather the environmental economics evidence, outline the principles of a regenerative economy, and detail a policy roadmap to achieving it, including: I. Transforming finance and corporations II. Reimagining energy, agriculture, ecosystems, and the nature of how we work III. Enhancing human well-being IIII. Delivering a world that respects ecosystems and human community. Charting the course to a regenerative economy is the most important work facing humanity and A Finer Future provides the essential blueprint for business leaders, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, politicians, policymakers, and others working to create a world that works for people and the planet. 5. Green Swans - John Elkington
Green Swans by John Elkington
Even leading capitalists admit that capitalism is broken. Green Swans is a manifesto for system change designed to serve people, planet, and prosperity. In his 20th book, John Elkington--dubbed the "Godfather of Sustainability"- explores new forms of capitalism fit for the twenty-first century. Green Swans draws on Elkington's first-hand experience in some of the world's best-known boardrooms and C-suites. Using case studies, real-world examples, and profiles on emergent technologies, Elkington shows how the weirdest "Ugly Ducklings" of today's world may turn into tomorrow's world-saving Green Swans. This book is a must-read for business leaders in corporations great and small who want to help their businesses survive the coming shift in global priorities over the next decade and expand their horizons from responsibility, through resilience, and onto regeneration. 6. The Future We Choose - Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
The future is ours to create: it will be shaped by who we choose to be in the coming years. The coming decade is a turning point - it is time to turn from indifference or despair and towards a stubborn, determined optimism. The Future We Choose is a passionate call to arms from former UN Executive Secretary for Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, and Tom Rivett-Carnac, senior political strategist for the Paris Agreement. Practical, optimistic and empowering, The Future We Choose shows us steps we can all take to renew our planet and create a better world beyond the climate crisis: today, tomorrow, this year and in the coming decade. The time to act is now. This book will change the way you see the world, and your place in it. 7. Upstream - Dan Heath
Upstream by Dan Heath
We all have a tendency to work around problems. We are resourceful. We improvise. We’re so accustomed to dealing with emergencies that we don’t stop to think about how we could prevent them in the first place. The police solve crimes, chronic diseases are treated, shelter is provided for the homeless. But we’d all rather live in a world where crimes aren’t committed, diseases don’t develop, and people don’t lose their homes. So why do out efforts skew so heavily towards reaction rather than prevention? The need to prevent problems is perennial in our professional and daily lives, and we have the capacity to solve some of our thorniest issues – if only we start to think about the system rather than the symptoms. If only we start to think upstream. Drawing on insights from Dan Heath’s extensive research, as well as hundreds of interviews with unconventional problem-solvers, Upstream delivers practical solutions for preventing problems rather than simply reacting to them. 8. Thinking in Systems - Donella Meadows
Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows
In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth, Donella Meadows remained at the forefront of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001. Long anticipated, Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for the 21st-century life. A woman whose pioneering work in the 1970s still makes front-page news, Donella Meadows was a scientist, author, teacher, and farmer widely considered ahead of her time. She was one of the world’s foremost systems analysts, winner of a MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ award, and Pulitzer Prize-nominee for her long-running newspaper column. She died unexpectedly in 2001 as she neared the completion of Thinking in Systems. 9. All We Can Save - Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
All We Can Save by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
All We Can Save is an anthology of writings by 60 women at the forefront of the climate movement who are harnessing truth, courage, and solutions to lead humanity forward. There is a renaissance blooming in the climate movement: leadership that is more characteristically feminine and more faithfully feminist; rooted in compassion, connection, creativity, and collaboration. While it’s clear that women and girls are vital voices and agents for change for this planet, they are too often missing from the proverbial ‘table’. More than a problem of bias, it’s a dynamic that sets us up for failure. To change everything, we need everyone. Intermixing essays with poetry and art, this book is both a balm and a guide for knowing and holding what has been done to the world, while bolstering our resolve never to give up on each other or our collective future. We must summon truth, courage, and solutions, to turn away from the brink and toward life-giving possibility. Curated by two climate leaders, this book is a collection and celebration of visionaries who are leading us on a path toward all we can save.