On Our Radar:

Winter Reading List

Curated by Nicola Ledsham

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind By Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens takes the reader on a journey through our entire human history, from its evolutionary roots to the age of capitalism and genetic engineering, to uncover why we are the way we are.

“Whether or not you believe that the biotechnological revolution signals the end of sapiens - Harari's view - you will learn a lot about humankind's history, be challenged on assumptions related to it, and be forced to think about our shared future.” – Denise Delaney

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How Change Happens By Duncan Green

How Change Happens explores the major themes that make change happen in the world. Whether you are an activist, campaigner, development practitioner, lobbyist, entrepreneur, individual or an organisation, it seeks to understand how power and systems shape change, and how you can influence them.

“Written for campaigners, this book is relevant to anyone who wants to better understand how to make change happen. It provides some useful lessons for working with systems and thinking about power.” – Frances Buckingham

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Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner By Katrine Marçal

Today, our economics focuses on self-interest and excludes all other motivations. It disregards the unpaid work of mothering, caring, cleaning and cooking. It insists that if women are paid less, it is because their labour is worth less. Katrine Marçal tackles the biggest myth of our time and invites us to kick out ‘economic man’ once and for all.

“There is lot of talk about gender inequality in the work we do and in the world at large, and Katrine Marçal examines how deep the roots of present day inequality actually run - I think it's a must read... for everyone!” – Amy Hawke

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8 Borders, 8 Days Documentary

A documentary following a single mother, showing us the consequences of closing America’s doors to families fleeing war. With no answer to her application for resettlement in the US, and every other path to safety closed off, a smuggler’s raft to Europe was the only way out. 8 Borders, 8 Days is her story; the intimate details of why a fiercely-determined mother is willing to risk her children’s lives for a better future and an immersive experience of their eight-day journey to safety.

“The film gives a human face to the refugee crisis, which in this day of desensitisation matters so much.” – Amy Hawke

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We Do Things Differently: The Outsiders Rebooting Our World By Mark Stevenson

Across four continents, Stevenson locates example after example of how small teams and sometimes even lone individuals are beginning to outgun the capabilities of traditional corporations in nimbly developing and finding funding for projects capable of introducing new paradigms.

“The individuals and communities profiled in this book are finding better, cheaper and more sustainable solutions to some of the most significant problems in healthcare, refrigeration, agriculture, energy systems, education, urban renewal and even politics. An inspiring reminder that courageous and ingenious outsiders hold the keys to many of society's most important ideas, innovation, and vision ” – Julien Butter

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis By J.D. Vance

Hilbilly Elegy provides a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis – that of poor, white Americans.

“From the perspective of a white working class hillbilly turned marine and Yale grad, this story helps explain how we’ve arrived in an era of Trump and nationalism. By exploring the history, needs, priorities and values of the Appalachian working class this book helps us at least understand each other a little better.” – Margo Mosher

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3% Netflix Series

Brazilian dystopian sci fi, set in a divided world where the majority of the population is forced to live in devastation and poverty, but at age 20 are given the chance to compete to join the select '3%', living in progress and affluence.

“This Netflix series depicts a world of stark inequalities driven by resource scarcity and is a reminder of the ways in which environmental pressures can worsen social divides and marginalise populations ” – Kate Newbury-Helps

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Hidden Brain Podcast

This NPR podcast explores the biases, behaviours and beliefs that unbeknownst to us, steer us in our daily decisions and actions — from why we like to recycle, to why we hold on to regrets.

“NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam uses sociology, economics and psychology to help explain why we do what we do, all in an approachable and applicable way.” – Margo Mosher

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Curated by...

Nicola Ledsham Headshot

Nicola Ledhsam


SustainAbility Analyst based in London, interested in how business' can harness their power to drive transformational change. Enthusiastic about sustainable diets and coastal walks.