Soundview Executive Book Summaries


The Climate of Change
November 13, 2009, 1:24 PM
Filed under: Books in General, Environment | Tags: , , , ,

When we look at the stacks and stacks of submissions to decide which books to summarize, I like to make a few notes if I see trends developing in subject matter. Looking back at the last two years, I see the words “India” and “China” appear numerous times in my hurried script. Developing nations are a point of interest in the business book world because so many executives are looking for the best advice on how to understand, interact and partner with these two rapidly growing economic forces. Take a moment to consider this statistic: one out of every three people in the world is from one of these two nations. Combine the sheer number of people with the rate of industrialization and it’s no wonder that books on the subject can barely hit shelves fast enough.

One of the major areas where India and China are addressed is in titles on climate change. Here’s an article from the L.A. Times that discusses recent United Nations’ efforts to get India to agree to emissions targets. I always find discussions about Asia’s rapid industrialization and its impact on climate to create some uncomfortable moments for those in international politics. For those who point out that Europe and North America industrialized without much regard for the environment, I’d counter by saying these same regions of the globe are now the leaders of the green movement. Perhaps much of that came from a deeper understanding of the true impact of growing one’s economy.

The upside of this careful attention to the planet’s wellbeing is that it has produced some great books. One of the best we’ve seen is The Necessary Revolution by Peter Senge, Sara Schley, Nina Kruschwitz, Bryan Smith and Joe Laur. In a truly collaborative effort, these authors help executives understand the true need for sustainability and how one’s business can contribute to finding solutions to the most pressing environmental problems. It continues to be one of our most popular summaries. In light of the UN’s efforts, perhaps Soundview should consider translating this into Mandarin and Hindi. In a global economy, ecological concerns are something we all share, and so is the work to make it better.

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