UTOPIA FOR REALISTS and How we Can Get There
AUTHOR: Rutger Bregman
SUMMARY: (via Sunday Times) "We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, with questions about the future, society, work, happiness, family and money, and yet no political party of the right or left is providing us with answers.
Rutger Bregman shows that we can construct a society with visionary ideas that are, in fact, wholly implementable. Every milestone of civilization - from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy - was once considered a utopian fantasy. New utopian ideas such as universal basic income and a 15-hour work week can become reality in our lifetime.
This guide to a revolutionary yet achievable utopia is supported by multiple studies, lively anecdotes and numerous success stories. Bregman takes us on a journey through history, beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he introduces ideas whose time has come."
EXTRA THOUGHTS: You don't have to agree with every aspect of one man's view of utopia but it's challenging to read Dutch Historian, Rutger Bregman's, "Utopia for Realists" without it making you think of the possibilities for reshaping modern society or learning specific elements or details on history and capitalism to challenge what you think you know.
Bregman has no axe to grind, rather presents his perspective and possible solutions for some of the questions we currently have.
While much of the criticism of the book stems from views on capitalism and its state of disrepair or necessity, from which end of the political spectrum they support, agreement on the possible causes of the issues we now face, and the degree to which the critics understand forthcoming challenges, the reality is Bregman is guilty of nothing more than a view of utopia different to that of the next man.
Whether you agree with his views on capitalism or the concepts of Universal Basic Income and a shorter work week as antidotes to the failings of capitalism and future challenges, "Utopia for Realists" is worthy in its efforts to at least make us review aspects of society from another perspective and more importantly to encourage us to think more boldly and beyond ourselves; - to dream big, encourage fresh ideas, imagine a better future, and invite us to represent moral purpose in commercial pursuits for the betterment of all.
Hope it makes you think too.
REVIEWS: Via Bloomsbury or Amazon
BUY: Available at any leading bookseller including Dymocks
THE INEVITABLE; Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
AUTHOR: Kevin Kelly
SUMMARY: [from the Viking catalog] "From one of our leading technology thinkers and writers, a guide through the twelve technological imperatives that will shape the next thirty years and transform our lives.
Much of what will happen in the next thirty years is inevitable, driven by technological trends that are already in motion. These larger forces will completely revolutionize the way we buy, work, learn, and communicate with each other. By understanding and embracing them, it will be easier for us to remain on top of the coming wave of changes and to arrange our day-to-day relationships with technology in ways that bring forth maximum benefits. Kevin Kelly provides an optimistic road map for the future, showing how the coming changes in our lives can be understood as the result of a few long-term, accelerating forces."
EXTRA THOUGHTS: "The Inevitable" provides a broad context for understanding where we are headed and what the possibilities for the future or work, education, communication and media, and commerce are. Regardless of industry, and whether you're a business leader, strategist, product developer, researcher, data scientist, educator or marketer, we should should all be 'eyes open' and conscious of the impact of digital and technological disruption and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
One I'm sure you'll learn a few things from - you may even find yourself needing to Google concepts and explore more in some areas. Guarantee you won't regret reading this one.
REVIEWS via Kelly's site
BUY: Available from leading booksellers or where I got mine; Amazon
MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN; Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
AUTHOR: Scott Belsky
SUMMARY: (via Penguin Random House) "According to productivity expert Scott Belsky, no one is born with the ability to drive creative projects to completion. Execution is a skill that must be developed by building your organizational habits and harnessing the support of your colleagues.
As the founder and CEO of Behance, a company on a mission to empower and organize the creative world, Belsky has studied the habits of especially productive individuals and teams across industries. Now he has compiled the principles and techniques they share, and presents a systematic approach to creative organization and productivity."
Belsky presents the practical techniques of 'serial creatives' - those few who make their visions a reality.
EXTRA THOUGHTS: I'm often guilty of being able to generate or find great ideas, but this book reasons why it's better to develop the capacity to make ideas happen and gives the tips and tools to develop this enduring capacity.
I'm also not one for reading instruction manuals or self-help books but much of Belsky's advise is counter-intuitive making the rebel in me continue reading and find it both useful and motivating.
REVIEWS: Via Penguin Random House
BUY: Available at any leading bookseller including World of Books