I asked some of our Capgemini leaders to give me one book or film recommendation that inspired them to act on climate change so that we could create a summer reading list for a book and movie club for our teams to provoke new conversations and ways of thinking. We are mobilising to find solutions to the climate challenge and we believe that it starts with bolstering knowledge, opening minds, connecting ideas and changing the conversation.
Here are some books and movie recommendations from Capgemini, including mine, for the (quieter) summer weeks that we hope will do just that, wherever you are in your knowledge on climate change:
Climate Change: A very short introduction by Mark Maslin
“I was able to finish this in under four hours, yet it provided me with the widest scope for my learning journey on this important topic. I highly recommend this as the FIRST BOOK to read for any CC enthusiast and future evangelist.” Zhiwei Jiang CEO, Insights & Data
Counter Culture by Kirsty McNeill & Roger Harding
“This new pamphlet offers a stern warning about the reality of using culture wars to win a fight. While identity is a critical lens change-makers can use to engage people and push for change, fragmenting society has the very real potential of endangering progress on pressing issues just when we need to come together.” Jeremy Heimans CEO & Co-Founder – Purpose
Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth
“This book has helped me to better understand the principles and benefits of a more circular economy and relate this to the topic of growth. The doughnut is a visual framework for sustainable development combining the concept of planetary boundaries with the complementary concept of social boundaries.” Herbert Celen, EVP, Chief Sales Officer, The Netherlands
Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben
“A long time (30 years ago, he wrote The End of Nature) environmentalist and notorious pessimist, Bill changes tact. In this new book, Falter, he brings a more positive spin and dare I say a hopeful perspective but with balance. You will gain real insight from a world leader, it’s an enjoyable must read.” Courtney Holm, VP Sustainability Solutions, Capgemini Invent, UK
Hope in Hell: A decade to confront the climate emergency by Jonathan Porritt
“A clear explanation of the climate change crisis we face, how we got here, and how we can address the crisis – providing we act quickly.” James Robey, VP, Global Head of Environmental Sustainability
How to avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates
“Great macro and financial overview of the challenges of climate change that is very accessible.” James Forrest, EVP, Global Energy & Utilities Industry Leader
“If you are still not comfortable with MegaWatt and tonnes of CO2, if you want to refresh your physics basics or if you simply ask yourself what are Microsoft founder’s thoughts on climate change, this book is for you. You will have a figure-based introduction to the scope and size of the challenge ahead (this is not only about energy & cars, this is not only about reducing carbon emissions – this is about getting to zero), as well as an interesting techno-friendly framework to assess innovations and deploy accessible solutions. If you only have 60min, you can also listen to TED’s podcast starring Bill himself!” Benjamin Alleau, EVP, Group Sustainability Offering Lead, Invent Future of Technology Global Lead
“It is a good book written by a technologist for fellow technologists. I especially like the term of Green Premium, one number captures informative, probably the best metrics to make big decisions for the enterprise or day to day decisions for consumers. This concept has the potential to be as useful as Black-Scholes model for options pricing.” Zhiwei Jiang CEO, Insights & Data
Hugging the Trees: The Story of the Chipko Movement by Thomas Weber
“The book is about the Chipko (to stick in local language) movement of the local population in the Garhwal Himalayas region. The movement was against the deforestation in the region by the local contractors. The unique part of the movement is that the movement was driven and led by the women of the region. The book very vividly captures the entire movement which started in early seventies and continued over several years. The movement has inspired numerous people to work on practical programmes of water management, energy conservation, afforestation, and recycling, and also methods of conservation in the Himalayas and throughout India.” Ashwin Yardi, CEO, Capgemini India
Let my people go surfing by Yvon Chouinard
This book tells about the education of a ‘reluctant businessman’ willing to create with Patagonia more sustainable business model within successful companies, suggesting eight inspiring philosophies centered around our sustainable Invent for Society philosophy: planet, people, and prosperity. At Patagonia, “you only go surfing when there are waves, and the tide and wind are right.” Jean-Baptiste Perrin, VP, Invent for Society, Global Leader, Capgemini Invent
Sustainable Development Philosophy by Frank Burbage
“Sustainable development is not only a technical issue calling for innovative solutions to guarantee the survival of future generations and better distribute the planetary wealth. But also, a philosophical topic for societies which no longer manage to project themselves into the dream of unlimited progress. The book explores the justifications and philosophical implications of sustainable development and what is at stake from an economic, political, moral, but also existential standpoint. My own must-read – in French!” Jean-Baptiste Perrin, VP, Invent for Society, Global Leader, Capgemini Invent
Breaking Boundaries: The Science Of Our Planet by David Attenborough and Johan Rockström.
“Science-based climate change call to action film from David Attenborough and Johan Rockström that is both pessimistic but also offers some hope.” James Forrest, Global Energy& Utility Industry Leader
“A thought-provoking film examining the broader environmental sustainability crisis going beyond climate change that humanity faces.” James Robey VP, Global Head of Environmental Sustainability
“This is also available as a book, which I believe presents an important vision on the climate emergency. There is hope that we may be late but not too late to turn things around.” Herbert Celen, EVP, Chief Sales Officer, The Netherlands
Kiss the Ground, a 2020 documentary.
“The movie struck a chord because it brought optimism and a solution-orientation backed by science and expert insights to a topic that needs addressing with urgency. This is an informative movie that allows each of us to understand and appreciate the impact of our choices and to take action.” Shobha Meera, Chief CSR Officer, Member of the Group Executive Board
What books or films inspired you?
*The books included in this list are available to purchase online from amazon and other local sellers.
Counter Culture by Kirsty McNeill & Roger Harding can be downloaded from the website.