100 books like Grassroots Innovation

By Anil K. Gupta,

Here are 100 books that Grassroots Innovation fans have personally recommended if you like Grassroots Innovation. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy

Dinesh C. Sharma Author Of The Outsourcer: The Story of India's IT Revolution

From my list on the history of modern India.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist who has strayed into book writing with a particular interest in the history of post-independent and contemporary India. My interest in this subject developed as an offshoot of reporting on landmark changes during the period of economic liberalization in the 1990s. One of the astounding stories of this period was the rise of the technology industry and the outsourcing business. A deeper study of this took me back to the period of independence in 1947 and decades before it.  

Dinesh's book list on the history of modern India

Dinesh C. Sharma Why did Dinesh love this book?

India is an enigma to many people – a developing country beset with a number of problems yet a resounding democracy; a nuclear and space power yet grappling with poverty, malnutrition, and illiteracy; a source of great talent for global corporations and a nation of innovators yet experiencing violence and acrimony based on caste and religion. India After Gandhi is a comprehensive guide to understand these apparent contradictions and make sense of modern India. It is history told in an accessible, evidence-based fashion, and free from biases.

By Ramachandra Guha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked India After Gandhi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of the subcontinent’s most important and controversial writers comes this definitive history of post-Partition India, published on the 60th anniversary of Independence

Told in lucid and beautiful prose, the story of India’s wild ride toward and since Independence is a riveting one. Taking full advantage of the dramatic details of the protests and conflicts that helped shape the nation, politically, socially, and economically, Guha writes of the factors and processes that have kept the country together, and kept it democratic, defying the numerous prophets of doom.

Moving between history and biography, this story provides fresh insights into the…


Book cover of Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation

Dinesh C. Sharma Author Of The Outsourcer: The Story of India's IT Revolution

From my list on the history of modern India.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist who has strayed into book writing with a particular interest in the history of post-independent and contemporary India. My interest in this subject developed as an offshoot of reporting on landmark changes during the period of economic liberalization in the 1990s. One of the astounding stories of this period was the rise of the technology industry and the outsourcing business. A deeper study of this took me back to the period of independence in 1947 and decades before it.  

Dinesh's book list on the history of modern India

Dinesh C. Sharma Why did Dinesh love this book?

It is a book on the history of modern India but told from the perspective of an entrepreneur and a business leader – and one of the architects of the IT revolution. It tells the story of ideas that dotted India’s transition from the era of socialism to that of liberalization and globalization, while highlighting successes and failures. It projects new ideas – technological as well as creative policy options - for meeting some of the pressing challenges of poverty, health, education, and economic growth. 

By Nandan Nilekani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Imagining India as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A visionary look at the evolution and future of India

In this momentous book, Nandan Nilekani traces the central ideas that shaped India's past and present and asks the key question of the future: How will India as a global power avoid the mistakes of earlier development models? As a co-founder of Infosys, a global leader in information technology, Nilekani has actively participated in the company's rise during the past twenty-seven years. In Imagining India, he uses his global experience and understanding to discuss the future of India and its role as a global citizen and emerging economic giant. Nilekani…


Book cover of The Technological Indian

Dinesh C. Sharma Author Of The Outsourcer: The Story of India's IT Revolution

From my list on the history of modern India.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a journalist who has strayed into book writing with a particular interest in the history of post-independent and contemporary India. My interest in this subject developed as an offshoot of reporting on landmark changes during the period of economic liberalization in the 1990s. One of the astounding stories of this period was the rise of the technology industry and the outsourcing business. A deeper study of this took me back to the period of independence in 1947 and decades before it.  

Dinesh's book list on the history of modern India

Dinesh C. Sharma Why did Dinesh love this book?

Indian engineers and technologists are among the most sought-after globally, particularly from the elite Indian Institutes of Technology that were originally modeled after MIT. The book traces India’s engagement with MIT from the 1880s to 2000 through the story of Indians who went to MIT to study and their contributions to engineering and industry back in India. It is a fascinating account of a few elite engineers but woven into it is a social, political, economic, and cultural history of modern India. 

By Ross Bassett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Technological Indian as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the late 1800s, Indians seemed to be a people left behind by the Industrial Revolution, dismissed as "not a mechanical race." Today Indians are among the world's leaders in engineering and technology. In this international history spanning nearly 150 years, Ross Bassett-drawing on a unique database of every Indian to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology between its founding and 2000-charts their ascent to the pinnacle of high-tech professions.

As a group of Indians sought a way forward for their country, they saw a future in technology. Bassett examines the tensions and surprising congruences between this technological vision…


Book cover of The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable

Akshat Rathi Author Of Climate Capitalism: Winning the Race to Zero Emissions and Solving the Crisis of Our Age

From my list on crash course in our climate choices.

Why am I passionate about this?

Typically, climate journalists share stories of disastrous extreme weather events made more extreme by climate change. But over the past decade, I’ve discovered that every sector of the economy and every country on the planet that I’ve had the privilege to explore has people working on climate solutions. Crucially, in many places, these are now working at scale. 

Akshat's book list on crash course in our climate choices

Akshat Rathi Why did Akshat love this book?

A series of lectures that shames the literary world for its lack of imagination in weaving the greatest threat humanity faces–climate change–into stories.

Ghosh is a first-rate novelist, but his greatest legacy will be his nonfiction work on climate, colonialism, and migration.

By Amitav Ghosh,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Great Derangement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability--at the level of literature, history, and politics--to grasp the scale and violence of climate change. The extreme nature of today's climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the…


Book cover of The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm

Mary Stewart Author Of Creative Inquiry: From Ideation to Implementation

From my list on for cultivating creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

Trained as an artist, through my work as a college professor I became committed to helping others cultivate and expand their creativity. It has always been heartbreaking to hear friends and acquaintances bemoan their lack of creativity simply because they hadn't developed drawing skills. Creativity is a human characteristic that can be developed in any discipline and with practice and encouragement, is available to anyone. In my reading and my writing, I seek a combination of accessibility and substance. If a book is engaging enough to read at the beach yet substantial enough to provide fuel for thought long afterward, it is a winner!

Mary's book list on for cultivating creativity

Mary Stewart Why did Mary love this book?

This book provides a backstage pass into IDEO, one of the top design firms in the world. Combining humor and storytelling with practical advice, it offers insights into their process of innovation, from observation and brainstorming to prototyping and breaking through barriers. Written before design thinking evolved into a major force in education and industry, this book welcomed me into IDEO's world of playful invention.

By Tom Kelley, Jonathan Littman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Innovation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There isn't a business that doesn't want to be more creative in its thinking, products and processes. In The Art of Innovation, Tom Kelley, partner at the Silicon Valley-based firm IDEO, developer of hundreds of innovative products from the first commercial mouse to virtual reality headsets and the Palm hand-held, takes readers behind the scenes of this wildly imaginative company to reveal the strategies and secrets it uses to turn out hit after hit.

Kelley shows how teams:
-Research and immerse themselves in every possible aspect of a new product or service
-Examine each product from the perspective of clients,…


Book cover of Big Little Breakthroughs: How Small, Everyday Innovations Drive Oversized Results

Alison Levine Author Of On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and Other Extreme Environments

From my list on how to tackle life’s mountains.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have firsthand experience in some of the harshest environments on the planet. I’ve survived sub-zero temperatures, hurricane force winds, sudden avalanches…and a career on Wall Street. I served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on every continent (the “7 Summits”), and skied to both the North and South Poles. I spent four years as an adjunct professor at the US Military Academy at West Point. Awarded the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. I have a beer named after me. I love dogs. Three heart surgeries could not slow me down. NY Times bestselling author of On the Edge. I’ve had some high profile failures and have been the butt of late night talk show opening monologue jokes. Come at me!

Alison's book list on how to tackle life’s mountains

Alison Levine Why did Alison love this book?

So often we get “stuck” because we think we have to come up with a really big idea in order to have an impact and to achieve substantial results. Nope! Linkner explains why it is a mistake to put pressure on ourselves to “Go Big.” It’s often the little ideas that lead to the best, most significant results. This book chronicles all kinds of amazingly accomplished people – Lin Manuel Miranda, Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg, etc. Linkner’s story-telling will convince you to focus on small things and will help you unlock your creativity.

By Josh Linkner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Big Little Breakthroughs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A surprisingly simple approach to help everyday people become everyday innovators.

The pressure to generate big ideas can feel overwhelming. We know that bold innovations are critical in these disruptive and competitive times, but when it comes to breakthrough thinking, we often freeze up.

Instead of shooting for a $10-billion payday or a Nobel Prize, the most prolific innovators focus on Big Little Breakthroughs-small creative acts that unlock massive rewards over time. By cultivating daily micro-innovations, individuals and organizations are better equipped to tackle tough challenges and seize transformational opportunities.

How did a convicted drug dealer launch and scale a…


Book cover of The Myths of Creativity: The Truth about How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas

Matthew E. May Author Of Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking

From my list on creative thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long I can remember, I’ve been an ideas guy. I even like the idea of ideas…I guess that makes me a meta-idea guy. But not just any ideas. Ideas that achieve the maximum impact with the minimum means. Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote, “I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity, but I’d give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity.” Creative ideas are the main event of the imagination, and the simpler the better. I've written and published several books, hundreds of articles and blogs, and even had dozens of songs published. But by far my favorite creative accomplishment is winning the New Yorker cartoon caption contest in 2008.

Matthew's book list on creative thinking

Matthew E. May Why did Matthew love this book?

I love contrarian thinking. It’s by definition creative…new, novel, useful. That’s what David Burkus does with this book. There are a lot of conventional thoughts about creativity and the generation of innovative ideas that are held out as universal truths, but just aren’t. True, that is. David takes them all to task, pokes holes in them with science and logic and good old thoughtful insight, and dispels an entire family of mythology...misconceptions all relating to creative thinking: brainstorming, collaborating, incentivizing, and about a dozen more. Prepare to have much of your current understanding of creativity shaken.

By David Burkus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Myths of Creativity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How to get past the most common myths about creativity to design truly innovative strategies We tend to think of creativity in terms reminiscent of the ancient muses: divinely-inspired, unpredictable, and bestowed upon a lucky few. But when our jobs challenge us to be creative on demand, we must develop novel, useful ideas that will keep our organizations competitive. The Myths of Creativity demystifies the processes that drive innovation. Based on the latest research into how creative individuals and firms succeed, David Burkus highlights the mistaken ideas that hold us back and shows us how anyone can embrace a practical…


Book cover of Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

Chris Goward Author Of You Should Test That: Conversion Optimization for More Leads, Sales and Profit or the Art and Science of Optimized Marketing

From my list on human behavior and conversion rate optimization.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the Founder & CEO of Widerfunnel, and the author of You Should Test That!. I launched Widerfunnel as the "anti-agency" with a purpose to prove that evidence-based decisions get the best results. Today, we run the experimentation, conversion rate optimization, qualitative research, and behavioral science programs for companies such as HP, Microsoft, Dollar Shave Club, The Motley Fool, TaylorMade Golf Company, and many more across all industries. I've spoken at over 300 events globally, sharing case studies, planning frameworks, and best practices of leading growth brands.

Chris' book list on human behavior and conversion rate optimization

Chris Goward Why did Chris love this book?

Every company wants to innovate, but it's not always clear how to do that in practice. Competing Against Luck highlights the importance of understanding what "jobs" your customer "hires" your product to do. The ‘Jobs to be Done Theory’ is one of the best frameworks I have seen to drive toward innovation and product-market fit. In the CRO world, we typically think about optimizing experience, but optimizing the product-market fit is equally as important.

By Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon , David S. Duncan

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Competing Against Luck as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The foremost authority on innovation and growth presents a path-breaking book every company needs to transform innovation from a game of chance to one in which they develop products and services customers not only want to buy, but are willing to pay premium prices for. How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he…


Book cover of The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation

William J. Poorvu Author Of The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide to Decisionmaking and Investment

From my list on real estate and wealth-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

Bill Poorvu is a successful real estate investor and developer who for 35 years headed the real estate program at Harvard Business School, where he taught several generations of students, many of whom went on to become industry leaders. He is also one of the founders of the Baupost Group, a Boston-based investment firm that is considered one of the savviest hedge funds in the world, with some $30 billion in assets under management.

William's book list on real estate and wealth-building

William J. Poorvu Why did William love this book?

So where are you going to invest and develop? Antoine Von Agtmael offers a very interesting analysis, in this regard. He points to the advantages of investing in certain kinds of smaller cities, including those with good community colleges, ample affordable housing, a welcoming political environment, and no shortage of abandoned factory buildings that can be easily converted for high-tech uses. This isn’t the only great contemporary context for investment, of course, but it’s a good one to study and understand.

By Antoine van Agtmael, Fred Bakker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Smartest Places on Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Antoine van Agtmael coined the term "emerging markets" and built a career and a multibillion-dollar investing firm centered on these surging economies that would, over time, supplant the West as engines of wealth and prosperity. The trend held for decades, but a few years ago van Agtmael and Alfred Bakker, a renowned European journalist, began seeing signs that the tide might be turning. For example, during a visit to an enormously successful chip company in Taiwan, the company's leaders told them that their American competitors were now eating their lunch. And Taiwan was not the only place giving them this…


Book cover of Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change

Robert Isaak Author Of Brave New World Economy: Global Finance Threatens Our Future

From my list on the world economy, finance trends, and options.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since completing my PhD in political economy (dissertation: ‘International Integration and Foreign Policy Decision-making’) I have gone deeper into economic origins of change (eg. Modern Inflation, coauthored with well-known economist Wilhelm Hankel in Bologna, Italy at Johns Hopkins SAIS) and find the interactions between economic, politics, and psychology fascinating—presenting an infinite number of ‘Sherlock Holmes-like puzzles’. We are all now confronted with political, economic, and psychological uncertainties, put on high speed due to the war in Ukraine and great power tensions. So it is time to learn about the origins of our problems and their trends in order to better cope and find a basis for individual, if not collective, peace.

Robert's book list on the world economy, finance trends, and options

Robert Isaak Why did Robert love this book?

I invited Edmund Phelps to speak at Pace University in New York the week before he received the Nobel Prize in Economics.

His thesis, captured in detail in this book, is that state welfare economies in Europe have become too disconnected from the prerequisites for the entrepreneurial economic growth and innovation necessary to create jobs and to pay for the social benefits. Given the huge debt overhang in most of these countries, not to mention developing countries, his controversial thesis then could not be more timely now!

All people need to be motivated to become entrepreneurial in order to provide human health, comfort, and self-actualization for themselves, their families, and fellow citizens. Have you been taught this at school?!!!

By Edmund S. Phelps,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mass Flourishing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this book, Nobel Prize-winning economist Edmund Phelps draws on a lifetime of thinking to make a sweeping new argument about what makes nations prosper--and why the sources of that prosperity are under threat today. Why did prosperity explode in some nations between the 1820s and 1960s, creating not just unprecedented material wealth but "flourishing"--meaningful work, self-expression, and personal growth for more people than ever before? Phelps makes the case that the wellspring of this flourishing was modern values such as the desire to create, explore, and meet challenges. These values fueled the grassroots dynamism that was necessary for widespread,…


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