For the 50th anniversary the UN is focusing on Reading the Past, Writing the Future. Despite the steady rise in literacy rates over the past 50 years, there are still 750 million illiterate adults around the world, most of whom are women. These numbers produced by the UIS are a stark reminder of the work ahead to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Target 4.6: To ensure that all youth and most adults achieve literacy and numeracy by 2030.
At Swell, we are voracious readers and always have our ear to the ground when it comes to impact and the environment. Here’s a little bit of what we’re reading now:
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
With his signature clarity and thought-provoking thoroughness, Yuval Noah Harari explores “humanism” and what that means for our future. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century — from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution.
The beloved Dr. Suess classic resonates today, maybe more than ever. Published long before saving the planet became a focus for so many of us, The Lorax touches on the most basic instinct: To protect.
For the first time in human history, Bill McKibben observes, "more" is no longer synonymous with "better" ― indeed, for many of us, they have become almost opposites. He puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all. Our purchases, he says, need not be at odds with the things we truly value.
An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming
It’s important to educate yourself on both sides of an issue. Nigel Lawson, the former secretary of state for energy under Margaret Thatcher, argues that though climate science does contain a measure of truth, it is mostly overstated — in his view, any decrease in quality of life over the next 100 years would be modest, at most. And even if the most pessimistic environmental forecast were to prove true, Lawson believes, society would do what it has done for centuries: adapt.
A Man Called Ove
This feel good story will change your outlook a bit. Ove is a curmudgeon — the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” A charming story that will stick with you.
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America
Originally published in 1997, so much of the insight here hold true today – when have good advice and honest discussion even gone out of style? As the book Warren Buffett autographs most, its popularity and longevity attest to the widespread appetite for this unique compilation of Buffett's thoughts that is at once comprehensive, non-repetitive, and digestible. New and experienced readers alike will gain an invaluable informal education by perusing this classic arrangement of his best writings.