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Book synthesis

8 books from 2021 you can’t miss

Here are 8 of our favorite books from 2021. Each has an idea, a subject, a dream, a solution, an explanation, an enlightenment, a path to propose.

Happy reading!

The Book of Hope

By Jane Goodall et Douglas Abrams
(Celadon Books, 2021)

Today’s current topics – the climate crisis, the global pandemic, the loss of biodiversity, etc. – do little to inspire optimism. But we have never needed hope so much. How can we open up to a future that may seem nightmarish? How can we escape helplessness? Jane Goodall offers four reasons for hope. A must-read.


By Azeem Azhar
(Random House Business ,2021)

The latest technological revolution – the one we’re experiencing – is multidimensional, and exponentially rewrites the rules of society, economy and politics. Without falling into dystopian thinking, Azhar highlights several major trends that require attention, intervention and regulation, trends that will happen faster than you might imagine.

Human Frontiers

By Michael Bhaskar
(MIT Press, 2021).

Big ideas, those that could really change our lives, are increasingly rare, slower to emerge and less revolutionary. Why has the flow of great ideas that change the world slowed down? How can we fight against the short-termism, risk aversion and hesitant decision-making that shape a cautious and unimaginative world?

Net Positive

By Andrew Winston and Paul Polman 
(Havard Business Review Press, 2021)

Warning: With the pandemic, natural disasters and attacks on democracy, social expectations towards businesses have changed more in two years than in the last 20. And traditional CSR is no longer enough to answer them. The authors (finalists for the Top 50 Thinkers of 2022) put forward a strong case for stakeholder capitalism.


By Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony et Cass Sunstein
(Odile Jacob ,2021)

Kahneman, awarded a Nobel prize for his famous Thinking, Fast and Slow, and Olivier Sibony, who caused a rumpus over decision-making and wrote You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake: the perfect combination for exploring why you make bad calls. This book is bursting with original ideas, stringent tests, and concrete examples. An opus on decision-making (and how it can be skewed). 

Think Again

By Adam Grant
(Viking, 2021)

Faced with the unknown or, at least, the uncertain which has become a part of daily life, Adam Grant pushes a culture of curiosity, learning, and exploring. We don’t have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. Instead we should try to drop opinions that aren’t working for us any more and prize mental flexibility over foolish constancy.  


By Pete Davis
(Simon & Schuster, 2021)

Let’s be clear about this: the times we’re living in are characterized in no small way by restlessness and indecision. We want to keep all our options open when it’s impossible to think about the future, staying in endless browsing mode. How can we find a way out of this quagmire? Because we all aspire to get involved in places, causes and jobs and leave behind this false freedom which is so frustrating. A must read! 


By Ian Leslie
(Harper Business, 2021)

You can’t have failed to notice the relentless rise of increasingly vehement disagreements in recent months, destined to tear us apart with no other way out. While the natural tendency in the face of conflict is fight or flight, there is a third way: enlightened dialogue – which could actually bring us closer together in this progressively polarized world rather than divide us. An edifying read! 

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Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.