Books Driving Change in 2021

Books can be dangerous, which is why throughout history they have sometimes been burnt by people who don’t approve of what they have to say. Books that make a compelling case for change are particularly dangerous for those who don’t want that change. It is those books that we have highlighted in 2021 in our inaugural series of Books Driving Change podcasts, in which we discuss each book with its author, to understand why they wrote it and explore their vision for change.

Each of them would make a great holiday gift, that could change the life of whoever receives it, and the people touched by their lives.



Jacqueline Novogratz,  the founder of innovative investment fund Acumen, was our first guest this year, talking about her book, Manifesto For A Moral Revolution: Practices To Build A Better World.



Venture philanthropist Paul Shoemaker’s book, Taking Charge Of Change: How Rebuilders Solve Hard Problems, was full of inspiring examples of the sort of leaders needed.



Meighan Stone’s book, Awakening: #MeToo And The Global Fight For Women’s Rights, written with Rachel Vogelstein, looks at those who have made the #MeToo movement a springboard for a new phase of female empowerment.



Noreena Hertz explained why leaders should prioritise the growing problems of personal isolation, which she described entertainingly and insightfully in The Lonely Century: Coming Together In A World That’s Pulling Apart.



Best-selling psychologist Adam Grant took on the issue of closed-mindedness directly in Think Again.




Peter Coleman, founder of Columbia University’s Difficult Conversations Lab, gave a great set of ideas for finding common ground with those who we disagree with most, in The Way Out: How To Overcome Toxic Polarization.





Gillian Tett of the Financial Times tells leaders to develop cultural self-awareness, as she explained in her autobiographical agenda-setter, Anthro-Vision: A New Way To See In Business And Life.




Paul Polman, the former CEO of Unilever, sets out a challenging agenda for corporate leaders in his book (with Andrew Winston), Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive By Giving More Than They Take.




Enric Sala, a National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, who has led efforts around the world to create protected areas of the oceans, set out his vision for saving the planet in The Nature Of Nature: Why We Need The Wild.




Francois Bonnici, head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, with Cynthia Rayner, has written a compelling practical guide to The Systems Work Of Social Change: How To Harness Connection, Context, And Power To Cultivate Deep And Enduring Change. 



In Renewal: From Crisis To Transformation In Our Lives, Work, And Politics, Anne-Marie Slaughter of the New America Foundation, takes a hard look at her past, America’s failures to fulfill its foundational promise, and finds grounds for hope.



We hope you find these podcasts to be warm, engaging, and inspiring, giving you a real insight into the authors and the work they do, which we hope will prompt you to read their books, not burn them!


Matthew Bishop

Matthew is an editorial consultant to Driving Change. An award-winning journalist, Matthew is an internationally recognized expert on the trends and innovations shaping global business, finance and politics, particularly the role of public policy and philanthropy. A graduate of the University of Oxford, Matthew is a former member of the faculty of London Business School. He is best known for his work on "philanthrocapitalism", a word he coined in The Economist to describe how businesses and philanthropists can make a big positive difference in the world. Matthew was a writer and editor at The Economist for over 25 years, including a decade as the magazine's New York Bureau Chief. He then led the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. Matthew has authored several books, including Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World, and The Road from Ruin: A New Capitalism for a Big Society. He co-founded the Social Progress Index, an increasingly influential new measure of how well a society serves its citizens, and the #GivingTuesday movement, which harnesses social media to celebrate giving and drive more effective charity. He launched the 17 Rooms partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Brookings Institution and is a co-funder of the Catalyst 2030 network of proven social entrepreneurs. Matthew was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and was the official report author of the G8 Taskforce on Impact Investing.

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