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Commentary Article January 6th, 2022
Legitimacy • Justice • Innovation • Education

CPI’s listening and reading recommendations for 2022

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Happy 2022! 🥳 @AuroraHorwood kicks off the year with a list of great podcasts & books, as recommended by members of the @CPI_foundation team

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Looking for some new books 📖 & podcasts 🎧 to dive into? The @CPI_foundation team has your back! Explore recommendations from @yourewrongabout to 'The Spirit Level' from @ProfKEPickett & @ProfRGWilkinson

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There's nothing like starting off the year with a great book or insightful podcast to get you in a good frame of mind 🧘 Check out @CPI_foundation's recommendations for 2022

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The new year is often a time to take stock and reflect on the year that has passed, as well as make resolutions and plans for the year ahead. But, no matter what your resolutions may be, there’s nothing like starting off the year with a great book or insightful podcast to get you in a good frame of mind for the next 12 months.

So, as we embark on the beginning of 2022, we’ve gathered a selection of some of our favourite books and podcasts to help you start the new year off right. We hope this inspires you to pick up and read, or listen to one of these over the coming months - and if you have any of your own recommendations for us, please get in touch, we’re always looking for suggestions!

What to listen to

How to Citizen with Baratunde

This podcast by Baratunde Thurston reimagines the word “citizen” as a verb and encourages us to dream of different ways of working collectively to solve the wicked problems we all face. Baratunde has interviewed social justice leaders such as José Andrés, Valarie Kaur, and Heather McGhee. Excited to finish his recently released third season soon! - Brian Zuluaga, Associate, North America

The Long Time Academy

With a cast of wonderful speakers and rich topics, this podcast explores how we engage with time, and how this shapes our ability to become good ancestors. There are also lots of bonus activities, and options for joining the Long Time Community, which makes it feel less like a podcast, and more like a movement. I found this podcast thought provoking and inspiring. - Thea Snow, Director, ANZ

In Our Time

This is a longstanding radio programme and podcast from the BBC’s Radio 4. Each episode focuses on a different topic - usually historical, scientific or philosophical - and features Melvyn Bragg interviewing three experts whose job it is to unpack that subject. With over 900 episodes and counting, there’s a vast back catalogue at your fingertips, with many fascinating topics to explore. Subjects that the show has covered include everything from the Manhattan Project, the Rosetta Stone, and China’s Cultural Revolution, through to authenticity, Plato’s Republic, the neutron, and the history of the idea of sovereignty. Listening to this podcast always reminds me how much I don’t know and still have left to learn! - Aurora Horwood, Global Head of Communications

Old Man and the Three

This podcast from JJ Reddick and Tommy Alter provides an inside look into the world of sports and more. JJ and Tommy bring in a wide range of interesting guests to have authentic conversations about their experiences. - John Burgoyne, Program Manager, North America 

You’re Wrong About

I’ve been binging this podcast for the past few months. Journalists Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes examine the social structures and buried voices behind some of the most popular stories and ideas of our cultural fabric (e.g., Tonya Harding, ‘Ebonics’). Listening to this podcast, I’ve learned how to be critical of media storytelling and how to better understand self-reinforcing power structures. - Megan Humes, Manager, North America 

What to read

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

A beautiful, haunting novel by the author of The Overstory. I actually didn’t love this book while I was reading it, but I can't get it out of my head, which says something! - Thea Snow, Director, ANZ

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker 

This book helped me to rethink how we come together and why, in large moments and small. It pushed me to question how I can structure personal and professional events to create a unique, meaningful, and personal experience. - Kate Stenclik, Program Manager, North America

Suggestions from Aurora Horwood, Global Head of Communications

Brexit may feel like a distant memory for many, but this is a really excellent political history for anyone looking to dive back into the Brexit maelstrom to understand how and why Britain voted to leave the EU. With unique access to all the key individuals involved, this book tells the inside story of the EU referendum in 2016, providing a fascinating behind the scenes account of one the most tumultuous periods in British politics.

This book highlights some of the damaging effects that inequality can have on society, for example, by eroding trust or increasing illness among populations. In the book, Pickett and Wilkinson compare indices of health and social development in 23 of the world’s richest nations. They make the case that for eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child wellbeing, outcomes are significantly worse in more unequal rich countries. This book taught me just how far ranging the implications of inequality can be, and that promoting equality is not just a social and moral imperative, but an economic one too.  

Suggestions from Shaheen Warren, Programme Manager, Europe

Diepeveen, a StateUp Expert Affiliate, delves into the roles of social media and trust-building in democracy in her newest book.

The pandemic has made clearer than ever how data can and should be used for the public good. In this book, StateUp Advisor, Sam Gilbert, explores how individuals, governments, companies, and societies can move forward.

In this book, Wallis exposes a multimillion pound IT disaster which put innocent people in jail.

Azhar explores the “exponential gap” between technology acceleration and our companies, workplaces, and democracies, which risk getting “left behind”. 

Prabhu, an academic at Cambridge Judge Business School, reveals how governments can be more entrepreneurial through a series of deeply researched case studies. Hear Jaideep and StateUp Founder Dr. Tanya Filer discuss the new levers of state power at the University of Cambridge Alumni Festival here.

As a physicist, West explores the patterns in complex systems in everything from biology to cities. As complex systems thinking becomes increasingly important to understanding the relationship between our critical infrastructure, from the built environment to healthcare systems, this book, first published in 2017, feels more timely than ever. 

In this book, Coyle, a professor in economics at the University of Cambridge, explores how economics needs to change to keep pace with the twenty-first century and the digital economy.

Golumbia’s short book explores the political thought underlying bitcoin, the digital currency promoted as holding the promise to revolutionise everything from online commerce to the nation-state.  

In Mission Economy, Mazzucato offers a fresh perspective on the power of the state to supercharge innovation in the tech sector and beyond. It is an inspiring read for those who believe in the role of governments to build a more inclusive and sustainable future.

Written by:

Aurora Horwood Global Head of Communications
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