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Summer reading and listening list

We wrote a post last summer sharing our reading list, and there was loads of interest. So we thought we would share what we have stacked next to our bedside tables and loaded on our mobile devices, and ready for trips to the park and the pool.the-art-of-communicating


The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh

We are craving some kind of constructive yet spiritual critique, and we found it in this Buddhist monk’s newest work. The beginning and end appeal to us as lay readers, people living in an over-stimulated, smartphone world. And the material in the middle links all of this to Buddhist thought and practice. This is as much about our one-to-one relationships as it is about how we act in public and in community. Profound, moving and practical.

Why Information Grows by César Hidalgo

At first we thought “this sounds like another clever book MIT Media Lab that we’ll never get around to”. But then we heard a podcast with Hidalgo – who uses physics theory to discuss how “information is physical” – he encourages us to ponder how stuff is embodied information. Will our perceptions of supply chains, trade, products, and computing change when we see things through this lens?

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

The New York Times called this book “almost unreviewable”. This obviously got our attention. We know Klein from her seminal critique “No Logo” and we’re curious to read her argument for massive, economic system change in responsive to human-caused global warming. We’re just hoping Klein does not leave us entirely without any hope in institutions, as we feel we can only achieve so much from the bottom up.

Jugaad Innovation by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, Simone Ahuja

(Republished by The Economist as “Frugal Innovation”). We’ve wanted to read this for ages. Indian “jugaad” has loads in common with the culture of hacking, bricolage and Brazilian “gambiarra” that have inspired us. Why wait for perfection, or riches, when you can get something working for yourself with your own persistence and ingenuity? Implicit in this approach is a critique of the waste and passivity embedded in the economies of rich countries – we just hope it does not become a fig-leaf for the absence of the state in a neoliberal age.


We’re intrigued by the lack of indie podcasts on green issues, technology, and the economy – potential allies and friends of ours. Or is it that we simply have not tracked them down yet? Here are the podcasts we’re listening to that do not have broadcast media distribution

Collusion, a podcast on power and technology

NEF Weekly Economics Podcast, breaking down the big issues in macroe​conomi​cs in the UK and beyond

Sustainababble, a green podcast for the confused

Tech for Good, the human side of technology for social change

Please add your suggestions in the comments below!

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