Paul Unger PlaceTech

EDITOR’S NOTE | Summer reading list

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Paul Unger

The World Cup is over, the exams have finished, and Tour de France is on the box. Time to sort your summer reading list.

Here’s my pick of blogs, books, newsletters and more to check out. Whether you’re a general tech enthusiast or on your second doctorate, hopefully there’s something for all levels and tastes…

The Innovator’s Dilemma | A modern classic by Clayton M Christensen illustrating how companies can fail even if they seem to do everything right. The power of disruption demonstrated through a series of examples.

MassiveSmall.org | Initially a book by academic Kelvin Campbell which has morphed into a school of thought with its own active programme of initiatives and events. ‘We believe that incremental bottom-up initiative supported by an enabling top-down policy and intervention provides our best chance at creating thriving cities.’

The Exponential View | Sunday newsletter from Accenture advisor Azeem Azhar on ‘exponential technologies, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, dominant platforms, business, the future.’

The Big Revolution | Daily look at how technology is changing society, articles curated by PlaceTech contributing editor Martin Bryant, alongside his own comment on found stories.

The Everything Store | Brad Stone’s adrenaline-shot telling of the Jeff Bezos story attempts to explain the secret behind the rise of Amazon. A thrilling read and serious piece of journalism in the Pulitzer tradition of hundreds of interviews and deep research.

Masters of Scale | Entertaining and insightful podcast from Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and investor at Greylock, interviewing some of the fastest growing tech company leaders of the past decade about how they did it.

The Urban Technologist | Blog by Arup’s digital cities supremo Rick Robinson who has been writing about smart cities since look before most of today’s buzzwords were coined. A thoughtful and essential voice amid the hype.

Weapons of Math Destruction | Former hedge fund manager Cathy O’Neil blends a range of disciplines from psychology to economics to explain how algorithms dictate our lives –  ‘How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy’ as her strapline goes.

Small is Beautiful | EF Schumacher’s 1973 seminal collection of essays championing the power of smaller more-appropriately sized inventions over ‘bigger is better’ ways of seeing the world. Hugely influential.

The Second Machine Age | Bestselling book about how the Internet updated the old warning that the robots will take over. From Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Why not share this reading list with colleagues and hold a book club or ‘summer school’ whilst its quiet in August (yeah right) and encourage discussion of fresh ideas across the ranks in your organisation?

Further suggestions and reviews welcome in the Comments below.

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