What are ECI reading? Our autumn 2021 reading list

Read Time: 3 Min

It’s getting cold outside and even though you’d think after the year we’ve just had we’d want no excuse to stay inside… there is no better reason than a good book! The team share what they’ll be reading this autumn:  

Sarthak Sawlani

Why We Kneel How We Rise by Michael Holding

All starting during a rain delay during a England vs West Indies test match, when Holding spoke unscripted on live television about the racism he had suffered and seen all around him. Michael Holding is a West Indies cricket legend who explores how racism dehumanises people and how it has been ignored by history and historians – “history is written by the victors”. Sharing his own experiences of growing up in Jamaica, touring the world as one of the greatest pace bowlers in cricket history and through conversations with sporting legends such as Usain Bolt, Thierry Henry, Michael Johnson and Naomi Osaka – Michael Holding shares stories of what is like to be treated differently just because of the colour of your skin. It is a powerful book filled with raw emotion and passion, with a firm belief that education is the way forward. Never has a rain delay in cricket led to anything as compelling as this!

Jeremy Lytle

Tunnel 29 by Helena Merriman 

This book was originally a BBC Radio 4 podcast, and for anybody interested in East Berlin and the Berlin Wall it is a fascinating insight into how important freedom was for many who were stuck on the wrong side of the divide. It is the true story of an escape from 1962 but reads like a thriller and also gives a detailed overview of the oppressive regime of the GDR and the workings of the Stasi from their own meticulous files. It’s an area of history that has always fascinated me and this book really brings it to life. 

William Ip

AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee

AI Superpowers is a thought provoking read, highlighting the historical differences in innovation approaches in the West and East, and how these have changed over time. In predicting the changes that an AI-powered future will bring – and how it can work together with humans – Kai-Fu Lee reinforced to me the benefits of scale that AI has the potential to bring across all sectors and how having access to and generating data is the long-term driver for establishing this competitive advantage. 

Isa Maidan

Impact: Reshaping capitalism to drive real change, by Sir Ronald Cohen

Cohen looks at the world of impact investing and how it can be used to drive real change in society. Much like the tech revolution of the 20th century, Cohen believes that we are at the start of a revolution whereby social impact becomes fundamental to how companies operate. Key to this will be our ability to measure impact. In a similar way to how we have accounting standards to define financial performance, Cohen believes establishing a clear and universal means of measuring impact is fundamental to driving investment into ESG causes. He believes that in the future, rather than risk-return, risk-return-impact will be the means through which we value investments. For those who are looking to develop their understanding of impact investing, this is an excellent overview of where we are today and what the future might look like.

Sarah Zarywacz

Becoming by Michelle Obama  

Before ‘reading’ Becoming, I’d heard how Michelle Obama talks rather than writes to the reader and as such, I opted for the audiobook for a more immersive experience. It did not disappoint and hearing Michelle’s coming-of-age anecdotes, combined with her journey to becoming First Lady, revealed many truths I’d never prior considered. In particular, her honesty, grace and eloquent way of presenting this story was incredible and shone through throughout. The book certainly leaves you reflecting on what you could do to better the world for the future, and while she details many struggles along the way, it also feels really inspiring and motivating about the possibility of change. 

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