2016 Summer Reading Ideas from Staff and Board Members

July 13, 2016

'Reading and relaxing' by Will Ockenden If you’re like Canadian CED Network Executive Director, Michael Toye, you have a pile of books on the side of your desk (see image below right) to remind you of how much you would like to read, if ever you get enough time. Many of us see the few weeks of summer vacation we may have as the prime opportunity to set high expectations for the reading we’d like to accomplish.

Building on last year’s blog post, we again asked staff and board members what they were planning on reading this summer, both vocationally and ‘vacationally’.

Below is what we have compiled and it provides a great window into the personalities and interests of those involved in the daily operations of CCEDNet and those involved in providing the oversight and vision building of CCEDNet’s work.

But more than that, we hope you might be intrigued by some of the titles below, and we hope you’ll share what you’re reading.  

Share your summer reading suggestions with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Click on the names below or scroll down to read the suggestions.

Sarah Lesson-Klym

Truth and Reconciliation Commission
by The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

This body of work is essential reading for all Canadians, but particularly those of us who work in fields where we are often working alongside or on behalf of Indigenous peoples. It will be a hard look at our collective history, but will provide context, evidence, and motivation for how we can build a new and better relationship with Indigenous communities that supports equity and an economy that is for all of us, forever.

Deepening Community
by Paul Born

This is a newer piece from the leader of Tamarack, and I’m looking forward to learning more about his understanding of community in a modern, global age and how we can deepen our sense of this key component of our work. I’m especially interested in his first pillar of deep community, focusing on how sharing our stories. I’m hoping to see ways to share diverse stories and build a more rich, nuanced, and truthful understanding of my own community.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
by Annie Dillard

This is technically called fiction, but more of a rumination on the way we are rooted in our place and landscape. I’ve read it many times before and want to revisit it because she pulls us towards a slower, calmer observation of the world around us. This slowed down way of life is appealing while the world seems to spin ever faster around me.

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Laurie Cook

Why David Sometimes Wins

Why David Sometimes Wins
by Marshall Ganz

It’s about leadership, organization and strategy in the California Farm Worker’s Movement in the 60’s.  Marshall Ganz is currently a professor of sociology at Harvard, but he used to be right in there as an organizer in the 60’s. One of the best books I’ve ever read about organizing.  Excellent balance of theory, practice and story.

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Yvon Poirier 

The life and times of Raúl Prebisch
by Edgar J. Dosman

This biography of this Argentinian economist, prepared by a Canadian is quite interesting about the history of development and in the world. He was the founder of UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), some 40 years ago.  In explained well that the traditional economics theory of comparative advantage (countries specialise on what they do best and then export these goods to import from others) is a flawed theory and that for countries in the periphery, they lose out. Like Argentina which was specialised on producing beef to sell to the UK. And there was little manufacturing.

Raúl Prebisch was a leader in economic development theory and international economic policy, an institution builder, and an international diplomat. The Life and Times of Raúl Prebisch provides the first book-length account of his life and work, a story cast against the backdrop of Latin America, the Cold War, the rise of the United Nations, and the struggle for equity between first and third worlds.

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Frank Atnikov

The End of Fundraising: Raise More Money by Selling Your Impact 
by Jason Saul 

Why does it cost nonprofits on average $20 to raise $100, while it costs companies only $4? Simply put: Nonprofits have no leverage. No one has to make a donation. And since most donors have no direct stake in the organizations they support, they make donations out of the goodness of their hearts. If donors feel like writing a check, they will. If they don’t, they won’t. The End of Fundraising turns fundraising on its head, teaching nonprofits how to stop begging for charity and start selling impact. For the first time, nonprofits have economic power. We live in a new era where consumers, businesses, investors, employees, and service providers attach real economic value to social outcomes. An era where yesterday’s “feel good” issues—education, the environment, health care, the arts, and animal rights—now have direct economic consequences and opportunities. Nonprofits now have leverage. To use this leverage, nonprofits must learn how to “sell” their impact to a new set of stakeholders.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk
by by Al Ries (Author), Jack Trout 

Ries and Trout, authors of some of the most popular titles in marketing published during the last decade ( Marketing Warfare , LJ 10/15/85; Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind , Warner, 1987; and Bottom-Up Marketing , McGraw, 1989), continue the same breezy style, with lots of anecdotes and insider views of contemporary marketing strategy. The premise behind this book is that in order for marketing strategies to work, they must be in tune with some quintessential force in the marketplace. Just as the laws of physics define the workings of the universe, so do successful marketing programs conform to the “22 Laws.” Each law is presented with illustrations of how it works based on actual companies and their marketing strategies. For example, the “Law of Focus” states that the most powerful concept in marketing is “owning” a word in the prospect’s mind, such as Crest’s owning cavities and Nordstrom’s owning service. The book is fun to read, contains solid information, and should be acquired by all public and business school libraries. It will be requested by readers of the authors’ earlier titles.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson, Rod Bradbury (Translator)

It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun and feel-good book for all ages. 

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Wendy Keats

Renewable Energy:  Power for a Sustainable Future
by Godfrey Boyle

The provision of sustainable energy supplies for an expanding and increasingly productive world is one of the major issues facing civilisation today. Renewable Energy examines both the practical and economic potential of the renewable energy sources to meet this challenge. The underlying physical and technological principles behind deriving power from direct solar (solar thermal and photovoltaics), indirect solar (biomass, hydro, wind and wave) and non-solar (tidal and geothermal) energy sources are explained, within the context of their environmental impacts, their economics and their future prospects. Together with its companion volume, Energy Systems and Sustainability, this book provides both perspective and detail on the relative merits and state of progress of technologies for utilizing the various ‘renewables’.

The Illegal
by Lawrence Hill

All Keita has ever wanted to do is to run. Running means respect and wealth at home. His native Zantoroland, a fictionalized country whose tyrants are eerily familiar, turns out the fastest marathoners on earth. But after his journalist father is killed for his outspoken political views, Keita must flee to the wealthy nation of Freedom State—a country engaged in a crackdown on all undocumented people.

There, Keita becomes a part of the new underground. He learns what it means to live as an illegal: surfacing to earn cash prizes by running local races and assessing whether the people he meets will be kind or turn him in. As the authorities seek to arrest Keita, he strives to elude capture and ransom his sister, who has been kidnapped.

Off Grid East Coast

This new magazine showcases real people in Atlantic Canada doing real things to reduce their carbon footprint.  It tells stories about innovation community-led initiatives and has articles about everything from solar to biomass, micro hydro,  tiny houses, permaculture, edible wild food and much more!

There, Keita becomes a part of the new underground. He learns what it means to live as an illegal: surfacing to earn cash prizes by running local races and assessing whether the people he meets will be kind or turn him in. As the authorities seek to arrest Keita, he strives to elude capture and ransom his sister, who has been kidnapped.

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Marianne Jurzyniec

Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard of the Fight against GMOs and Corporate AgricultureSeed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard of the Fight against GMOs and Corporate Agriculture
by Vandana Shiva

It isn’t easy to navigate and participate in the complex world that is our food systems in an ethical and sustainable way. Each year I try to read at least one book that sheds some light on this area. This year I’ve chosen Seed Sovereignty, Food Security a collection of work from women around the world writing about the movement to change the current, industrial paradigm of how we grow our food. As seed keepers and food producers, as scientists, activists, and scholars, they are dedicated to renewing a food system that is better aligned with ecological processes as well as human health and global social justice.

The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution
by Micah White

Having felt the same frustrations watching social movements mobilize large sectors of our society but with minimal change made me add this book to my summer reading list. Micah White, co-creator of Occupy Wall Street, believes our current approach to activism is itself in need of a revolution and offers new scenarios for how to approach social change.

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Tom Jakop

Promoting Global Justice and Citizens' Engagement in a Time of Uncertainty - Youth ReportPromoting Global Justice and Citizens’ Engagement in a Time of Uncertainty – Youth Report
by Challenging the Crises 

The EU member states have been badly affected by the 2008 economic crisis, with some countries finding it particularly challenging to respond and recover. In times of austerity it is easy to focus on the crisis at home and not consider wider global issues. To investigate whether this is the case among young people in the most indebted EU countries, the Challenging the Crisis partners conducted research to assess their level of engagement with issues of global citizenship and global justice.

This report outlines the views of young people, aged 15 – 34 from Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain and Slovenia, on international development, and their understanding of related concepts and issues. The aim of the research is to assess whether global solidarity and development aid are priorities for European youth in a time of economic and political crisis and high unemployment.

Social Inclusion and Young People Social Inclusion and Young People  (EXCLUDING youth : a threat to our future)
by YouthForum.org

This report will examine the social situation of youth and assess the quality of social policies and social protection and services available to young people. It will demonstrate gaps in the current functioning of welfare systems in Europe that need to be addressed. It will show that the European social model has to adapt to a changed social and economic context, to guarantee investment in the young generation through education, creation of quality jobs, social protection, healthcare and housing support. This has to happen not only to ensure the respect of social rights of young people today, but also to safeguard the well-being of European society, both for today and for tomorrow.

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Michael Toye

Truth and Reconciliation Commission
by The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

We are all treaty people.  Reconciliation is essential if we hope to move towards right relationships.  This will no doubt be a tough read, but we have to take responsibility for what the Canadian government did in the name of Canadians, before we can really move forward. 

Profound Changes in Economics Have Made Left vs. Right Debates Irrelevant
by Eric Beinhocker

The headline of this article is a bit misleading; I doubt that left vs right debates will become irrelevant.  But its key argument — that orthodox economics is finally moving towards methods that are a better reflection of reality — offers huge opportunities for community economic development.  An interdisciplinary approach that draws on complex systems studies and network theory, and jettisons many damaging and unrealistic assumptions is much more aligned with the community level innovation that CCEDNet members have been leading for decades.  Hurry up, new economics.  

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
by Sebastian Junger

I heard an interview with Sebastian Junger on the radio, and it struck me that the stories in this book are moving testimony on the power of community.  If we can better understand the evolutionary psychology behind our social and communal instincts, we’ll have a much better foundation and design premise for community economic development

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Matthew Thompson

Year of the Flood
by Margaret Atwood

I loved reading Oryx and Crake and have been meaning to read this second book in the MaddAddam trilogy. I have all the more reason to do so now that I understand that HBO is producing a TV series based on the books directed by Darren Aronofsky. In this speculative fiction series Atwood explores a dystopic future reeling from the consequences (climate change, disease epidemics, addictions, mass marginalization, etc.) of short-sighted science as employed by globalized economics.  

After Occupy: Economic Democracy for the 21st CenturyAfter Occupy: Economic Democracy for the 21st Century
by Tom Malleson

Anyone who claims that the Occupy movement has failed to make a significant impact hasn’t been paying attenetion to the political language of today. Without Occupy I don’t think we would be seeing the rogue popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in the current United States presidential election, both of whom have been very deliberate in their appeal to the working class (in a country whose politicans have long denied class as a major issue). I have had Malleson’s book on my ‘to read list’ ever since I attended a workshop of his at the Peoples Social Forum in Ottawa last year. In this book he argues that we need to not just focus on extending democratic principles in our political arenas but in our economic lives as well, principally through collective ownership and shared decision making. 

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