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Climate book recommendations from Capgemini leaders

James Robey
3 Mar 2022

As we mobilise to find solutions to the climate challenge, we believe that change starts with opening minds and bolstering knowledge. How better to do that than to pick up a good book this World Book Day?

I asked some of our Capgemini leaders to give me a book recommendation that inspired them to act on climate change. That was back in summer and the list prompted new conversations within our teams. This World Book Day, I wanted to reshare our list in case it inspires you:

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 centred 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