This post was written by Editorial Assistant, Bethan James.
In the wake of the UN’s report on the state of the environment and climate change, the world is even more anxious about the future than perhaps it was already. It is currently looking pretty bleak… However, this report was not given without advice; we have not been presented a problem without a solution. There are vital steps we all need to take towards ensuring we can continue sustainable life on our beautiful planet. Where there is a will there’s a way.
The fact we are anxious means that we care, which shows we are already on the path towards making a difference. Similar to how you may be cutting down on your red meat intake or walking rather than driving to save the environment, there are steps you can take towards giving yourself a brighter future in business and society in general. It’s time to get curious. In a time of uncertainty, knowledge is key. There is no way to know for sure what the future holds, but below is a little list of business books that focus on different aspects of the future and how to tackle them. I believe and hope they will alleviate at least some of your anxiety.
The future of humanity
Time and time again we find ourselves returning to the incredibly knowledgeable Yuval Noah Harari. We featured Homo Deus in a post at the beginning of the year about what smartphones are doing to us. This book is Harari’s prediction of what tomorrow looks like. He shows how the uncertainty of the future is largely down to the fact that famine, plague and war are now manageable challenges for humankind. What killed so many of us in the last century will be taken over by a currently unknown threat. This is a captivating and beautifully written account of what happens next for us.
The future of finance
This book was our Editor’s Choice in March this year. Words like ‘bitcoin’ and ‘blockchain’ have been thrown about for a while now, but many people still don’t really understand what they are… Michael J Casey and Paul Vigna are here to unpick and simplify it all for you. At a time where bank account hacks are the norm and to be expected, Casey and Vigna suggest that the blockchain is the new safe system we need. They are here to prove that this new (initially mistrusted) system will move the world of finance forward in the future. (And don’t worry, it is easily accessible even for the technophobes among you.)
The future of questioning
Yes, it’s another book by Harari and it was Editor’s Choice last month. This is Harari’s latest that came out just a few weeks ago. In it, he poses the 21 most important questions to be asking today with regard to the future. Although he admits himself that he doesn’t have the answer to all of them, even beginning to question will get us onto the right path for surviving a turbulent future. If you want to be one step ahead, this book is essential.
The future of technology
Tim O’Reilly sheds light on how to face questions about the complete dominance of technology in our lives, and how to start welcoming the progress, perhaps with open arms. There is no doubt that these changes will affect all aspects of our society and economy – business, education, the government – so priming yourself is vital. If you are anxious about the effects that AI and big data will have on you or your company, rest assured that O’Reilly will give you some hard truths, but also a well-needed dose of optimism.
The future of mental well-being
This one isn’t really specific to the future but it should help iron out any creases you have regarding general anxiety and worry. We all know that worrying is like praying for something to happen – yet we all do it. Dale Carnegie’s masterpiece was first published 60 years ago and is still relevant today. If anything, the timelessness of this book should be a reminder to you that even when it seems like everything around you is changing and is out of your control, our values and morals will remain the same. We are only human after all.