Top 23 books every changemaker must read
October 23, 2019

Ontario Public Library Week is Oct. 20 to 26. In celebration, we asked Georgian’s Change Team what books they recommend aspiring or budding changemakers add to their reading list.

Here are a few of the non-fiction books the team shared, with a brief synopsis:

  1. An Army of Problem Solvers by Shaun Loney: One of Canada’s leading social enterprise developers offers good news at a time when we need it most (we also recommend checking out The Beautiful Bailout)
  2. A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions by Muhammad Yunus: Calls for a new economic system that unleashes altruism as a creative force just as powerful as self-interest
  3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown: Learn to embrace vulnerability, live wholeheartedly and engage courageously in your life (The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring to Lead are also must-reads)
  4. Deep Diversity: Overcoming Us vs. Them by Shakil Choudhury: Identify your bias and discover practical ways to break the prejudice habits we’ve all learned in order to tackle systemic discrimination
  5. Do the Kind Thing by Daniel Lubetzky: Advice for success in business, life and building a more compassionate world
  6. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink: Learn about the three elements of true motivation – autonomy, mastery and purpose
  7. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth: Why talent doesn’t guarantee success – and what other factors are more crucial
  8. Lean Startups for Social Change: The Revolutionary Path to Big Impact by Michael Gelobter: How the lean startup concept can be applied to the social sector
  9. Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work by Indi Young: Focusing on people can help you make better decisions, improve your strategy and collaborate successfully
  10. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy: Simple techniques to liberate yourself from fear in high-pressure moments and empower others to do the same
  11. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain: How introverts can champion innovation
  12. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie: How to make a difference in the world
  13. Start With Why by Simon Sinek: Great leaders inspire everyone to take action
  14. Systems Thinking for Social Change: A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results by David Peter Stroh: What systems thinking is and why it’s important in your work
  15. Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff: A manifesto about how when we work together we realize greater happiness, productivity, and peace
  16. The B Corp Handbook, Second Edition: How You Can Use Business as a Force for Good by Ryan Honeyman, Tiffany Jana and Rose Marcario: Using business as a force for good can be better for consumers, employees, local communities, the environment, and your company’s long-term bottom line
  17. The Business of Good: Social Entrepreneurship and the New Bottom Line by Jason Haber: Social entrepreneurship is creating jobs, growing the economy and making a positive difference
  18. The Making of a Democratic Economy: How to Build Prosperity for the Many, Not the Few by Marjorie Kelly, Ted Howard and Naomi Klein: A compelling vision of an equitable, ecologically sustainable alternative that meets the essential needs of all people
  19. The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst: How the quest for self-expression is reshaping corporate behaviour and creating new economic opportunities
  20. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell: Little things can make a big difference
  21. The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki: Uncover why large groups of people (not elite individuals) are better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, and even predicting the future
  22. Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Donella Meadows and Diana Wright: Insights on problem solving – from the personal to the global
  23. WEconomy: You Can Find Meaning, Make A Living, and Change the World by Craig Kielburger, Holly Branson and Marc Keilburger: A blueprint for living by your personal values, achieving career success and changing the world

What might you add to this list? Tag us on social @georgiancollege

Front cover of the book An Army of Problem Solvers; group of people with shovels digging into the earth

Did you know?

Georgian is Canada’s first – and only – changemaker college, recognized by Ashoka U for our leadership in social innovation and changemaking in higher education.

Our students believe they can change the world – and we do too!

Share your changemaking stories on social media using the hashtags #ExperienceGeorgian, #changemakerGC and #MillionsofChangemakers

WEconomy book jacket; money in the shape of a heart, white background

This article was originally published in October 2018. It was updated and reshared in October 2019.