Six Business Books by This Year’s TEDGlobal Speakers

Six Business Books by This Year’s TEDGlobal Speakers
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Here is an excerpt from six design, philanthropy, and business books by this year’s TEDGlobal speakers followed by a little something on books such as Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth, Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World, The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works and more.

This year’s TEDGlobal conference takes place in Rio de Janeiro from October 6-10. The theme is “South!” which marks the first official TED conference held in South America. The conference will “Focus on themes emerging around the world, this conference will take a bold look at the ideas flowing from the Global South, discussing innovation as well as social and political issues, art as well as education, resources as well as technology.”

The TED blog recently posted a list of books by authors who will be speaking in Rio. The authors come from a number of disciplines. I picked selections from Business, Philanthropy, and Design, but I encourage readers to see the full list here.

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Design, Philanthropy, and Business Books: Jugaad Innovation

Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth by Navi Radjou, Jaideep Prabhu, & Simone Ahuja

Innovation is a key directive at companies worldwide. But in these tough times, we can’t rely on the old formula that has sustained innovation efforts for decades—expensive R&D projects and highly-structured innovation processes. Jugaad Innovation argues the West must look to places like India, Brazil, and China for a new approach to frugal and flexible innovation. The authors show how in these emerging markets, jugaad (a Hindi word meaning an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness) is leading to dramatic growth and how Western companies can adopt jugaad innovation to succeed in our hypercompetitive world.

Design, Philanthropy, and Business Books: Philanthrocapitalism

Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World by Matthew Bishop & Michael Green

For philanthropists of the past, charity was often a matter of simply giving money away. For the philanthrocapitalists—the new generation of billionaires who are reshaping the way they give—it’s like business. Largely trained in the corporate world, these “social investors” are using big-business-style strategies and expecting results and accountability to match. Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, is leading the way: he has promised his entire fortune to finding a cure for the diseases that kill millions of children in the poorest countries in the world.

In Philanthrocapitalism, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green examine this new movement and its implications. Proceeding from interviews with some of the most powerful people on the planet—including Gates, Bill Clinton, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, and Bono, among others—they show how a web of wealthy, motivated donors has set out to change the world.

Design, Philanthropy, and Business Books: The Seven-Day Weekend

The Seven-Day Weekend: Changing the Way Work Works by Richard Semler

Imagine a company where employees set their own hours; where there are no offices, no job titles, no business plans; where employees get to endorse or veto any new venture; where kids are encouraged to run the halls; and where the CEO lets other people make nearly all the decisions. This company—Semco—actually exists, and despite a seeming recipe for chaos, its revenues have grown from $35 million to $160 million in the last six years. It has virtually no staff turnover, and there are no signs that its growth will stop any time soon.

How did Semco become wildly successful despite breaking many of the commonly accepted laws of business? In The Seven-Day Weekend, Ricardo Semler shows that for those willing to take a chance, there is a better way to run a workplace. He explains how the technology that was supposed to make life easier—laptops, cell phones, e-mail, pagers—has in fact stolen free time and destroyed the traditional nine-to-five workday. But this can be a good thing—if you have the freedom to get your job done on your own terms and to blend your work life and personal life with enthusiasm and creative energy. Smart bosses will eventually realize that you might be most productive if you work on Sunday afternoon, play golf on Monday morning, go to a movie on Tuesday afternoon, and watch your child play soccer on Thursday.

Design, Philanthropy, and Business Books: Before They Pass Away

Before They Pass Away by Jimmy Nelson

This historic volume showcases tribal cultures around the world. With globalization, these societies are to be prized for their distinctive lifestyles, art and traditions. They live in close harmony with nature, now a rarity in our modern era. Jimmy Nelson not only presents us with stunning images of customs and artifacts, but also offers insightful portraits of people who are the guardians of a culture that they–and we–hope will be passed on to future generations in all its glory. Nelson’s large-plate field camera captures every intricate detail and fine nuance for posterity. What’s more, this splendid pageantry is set against a vivid backdrop of some of the world’s most pristine landscapes. English/German/French edition.

Design, Philanthropy, and Business Books: Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz: Le Musée Imaginaire by Vik Muniz & Eric Mezil

The Collection Lambert in Avignon is housed within the Hôtel de Caumont, an elegant eighteenth-century building whose exterior and interiors are regularly transformed by visiting contemporary artists. In December 2011, the Collection Lambert invited the Brazilian-born, New York-based photographer Vik Muniz (born 1961) to respond to the collection and construct from it his own “imaginary museum,” after the example of André Malraux. Muniz duly took up residence at the Collection and his responses to its holdings were exhibited there from December 2011 to May 2012. In this volume accompanying the show, 110 masterpieces by Piranesi, Goya, Monet, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso, Warhol and other canonical figures are recreated by the artist through incongruous materials such as wool, ketchup, chocolate sauce, pigments, magazines, confetti, dried plants and garbage.

Design, Philanthropy, and Business Books: Alejandro Aravena

Alejandro Aravena: The Forces In Architecture by Alejandro Aravena

After studying at the Catholic University of Chile, Alejandro Aravena (b 1967) established his own firm in 1994. Since 2006, Aravena has served as Executive Director of ELEMENTAL S.A., a non profit company with social interest working in projects of infrastructure, transportation, public space and housing, partnering with the Catholic University of Chile and COPEC (Chilean Oil Company). His architectural projects include the Easter Island High School, a Montessori School, the Garib House, a Medical School, the Siamese Towers, the Pirehueico House, the School of Architecture, the Verbo Divino School all in Chile.

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