93 books like Net Positive

By Paul Polman, Andrew Winston,

Here are 93 books that Net Positive fans have personally recommended if you like Net Positive. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need

Alessio Terzi Author Of Growth for Good: Reshaping Capitalism to Save Humanity from Climate Catastrophe

From my list on the relationship between the economy and nature.

Who am I?

As an economist at the European Commission, Adjunct Professor in Paris, former fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and now a first-time author, I thrive at the intersection of academia, think-tanks, and policy-making. My academic soul leads me to seek answers to the big questions: what is economic growth and how does it relate to the success of civilization, to science and technology, to people’s wellbeing, and to nature. My practical focus leads me to draw the policy implications of all this for how we ought to fight climate change. My critics accuse me of being an optimist. I take it as a compliment: the future of humanity is in our hands.

Alessio's book list on the relationship between the economy and nature

Alessio Terzi Why did Alessio love this book?

Bill Gates has managed the impossible task of writing a detailed book on the technological fixes we need across the board to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, but doing so in plain language that is appropriate for the widest of audiences.

This is key because the green transition will affect everybody’s life and cannot be left in the hands of experts and technocrats. Perhaps my only grievance towards the book is that at times it feels like a long laundry list of green desiderata, without taking time to think about the social, economic, and political implications of the transformation.

Nonetheless, it remains a go-to reference for anybody working in the decarbonization space. 

By Bill Gates,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked How to Avoid a Climate Disaster as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical - and accessible - plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe.

Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet's slide toward certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions…


Book cover of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Luana Marques Author Of Bold Move: A 3-Step Plan to Transform Anxiety Into Power

From my list on moving through anxiety toward what matters most.

Who am I?

Growing up in Brazil facing poverty and adversity, I was helped by my grandmother, who instilled in me a profound lesson: be the water, not the rock. She taught me the significance of adaptability in confronting uncertainty, stress, and discomfort. Later in life, while pursuing my PhD in clinical psychology, I discovered her teachings aligned with leading mental health practices. Today, I'm an associate professor at Harvard, a renowned global speaker, and an author, ardently committed to empowering individuals globally with evidence-based techniques to transform anxiety into power. Every book in this list resonates with my grandmother's wisdom about boldly navigating life and underscores the transformative potential of embracing discomfort. 

Luana's book list on moving through anxiety toward what matters most

Luana Marques Why did Luana love this book?

My journey with Simon Sinek's Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action began during my tenure at Massachusetts General Hospital, where I was tasked with the integration of two research labs.

As I grappled with unifying two distinct cultures, I grabbed with motivating and integrating two distinct teams. On my quest for innovative methods to articulate ideas, I chanced upon Sinek's Golden Circle—a potent formula for inspiring action. This strategy begins with 'why', segues into 'how', and culminates with 'what'.

Since immersing in Start with Why, I've employed the Golden Circle in countless presentations, workshops, and meetings, tapping into the strength of collective values and a sharp sense of purpose. If you find yourself in a leadership role and feeling cornered, my recommendation is: Start with Why.

By Simon Sinek,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Start With Why as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE MILLION-COPY GLOBAL BESTSELLER - BASED ON THE LIFE-CHANGING TED TALK!

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT START WITH WHY:

'It's amazing how a book can change the course of your life, and this book did that' Reader Review

'Imagine the Ted Talk expanded to 2 hours long, with more depth, intrigue and examples' Reader Review

'What he does brilliantly is demonstrate his own why - to inspire others - throughout' Reader Review

'Wow. Wow. Wow. I cannot rate this book highly enough to take a different, positive approach to life and work' Reader Review

Discover your purpose with one simple…


Book cover of Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation

Kristin Ohlson Author Of Sweet in Tooth and Claw: Stories of Generosity and Cooperation in the Natural World

From my list on interconnection in nature.

Who am I?

I grew up in a small agricultural town in California’s Sacramento Valley, and my parents didn’t even consider worrying if I was bored or lonely when I wasn’t at school. Consequently, I spent hours in a nearby vacant lot riddled with anthills watching the ants hustle back and forth and, occasionally, inserting myself in their lives with handfuls of sugar or sticks to block their paths. Pretty sure this is where my interest in science and nature began—and maybe even my interest in cooperation.

Kristin's book list on interconnection in nature

Kristin Ohlson Why did Kristin love this book?

I worry that people don’t hear enough about solutions to the climate crisis, but, thankfully, Paul Hawken and his collaborators lay many of them out in this book.

They focus not on the flashy technologies that often grab headlines—and not just on the reduction of fossil fuels—but on the power of a healthy, living Earth to heal itself. Of course, we need to be partners in this healing, and Hawken illuminates the people, organizations, and approaches that are doing just that.

By Paul Hawken,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A radically new understanding of and practical approach to climate change by noted environmentalist Paul Hawken, creator of the New York Times bestseller Drawdown

Regeneration offers a visionary new approach to climate change, one that weaves justice, climate, biodiversity, equity, and human dignity into a seamless tapestry of action, policy, and transformation that can end the climate crisis in one generation. It is the first book to describe and define the burgeoning regeneration movement spreading rapidly throughout the world.

Regeneration describes how an inclusive movement can engage the majority of humanity to save the world from the threat of global…


Book cover of A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future

Wayne Visser Author Of Thriving: The Breakthrough Movement to Regenerate Nature, Society, and the Economy

From my list on creating a thriving future.

Who am I?

All my life, I have been fascinated by nature, curious about society, and concerned about the impact we are having on the life of our planet. This interest has given me the opportunity to spend more than 30 years looking for solutions to our negative impacts on nature and society. As I have travelled to 77 countries and written 41 books, I have tried to capture and share what I have learned on my journey of exploration. I am especially inspired by the positive difference business can make by turning breakdowns into breakthrough innovation. My purpose is to share the science and practice of how to create a thriving future. 

Wayne's book list on creating a thriving future

Wayne Visser Why did Wayne love this book?

It’s hard to ignore the personal testimony of Sir David Attenborough, based on 70 years of exploring and documenting the natural world. Like Attenborough’s films, this is a masterpiece in storytelling and making science and nature accessible. This has been his enduring legacy. But this book is different. Here, he combines a severe warning about the breakdown in the web of life with hopeful solutions aimed at rewilding the land and oceans. His message is clear: we can turn the precipitous decline of life on earth due to human impacts; but we need to act fast and at scale. I especially like how he distills the essence in a quote that says: “in this world, a species can only thrive when everything else around it thrives too.”

By David Attenborough,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Life on Our Planet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Science & Technology Book of the Year* 

In this scientifically informed account of the changes occurring in the world over the last century, award-winning broadcaster and natural historian shares a lifetime of wisdom and a hopeful vision for the future. See the world. Then make it better.
I am 93. I've had an extraordinary life. It's only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.

As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been…


Book cover of Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard

Carrie Firestone Author Of The First Rule of Climate Club

From my list on non-fiction to inspire community conversations.

Who am I?

I'm co-founder of a grassroots social justice, civic engagement, and service organization called ForwardCT, which I started with my friend and current state representative Eleni Kavros DeGraw with the intention of mobilizing community-centered action. Our work centers on these four pillars: Connect, Inform, Serve, and Lead. Those pillars guide my work as chair of my town’s Clean Energy Commission, as teacher and facilitator of workshops and events, and as an author of books for young people. I'm drawn to the powerful use of storytelling as a tool for starting conversations, stirring up “good trouble,” and inspiring activism. Read a book, approach your library or town to host a community conversation, leave with actionable takeaways, repeat!

Carrie's book list on non-fiction to inspire community conversations

Carrie Firestone Why did Carrie love this book?

This book has literally changed the way I see the world.

The premise is simple – our pollinators are in trouble and we can help them (and entire ecosystems) thrive by creating tiny “Homegrown National Parks” in our own yards and neighborhoods. After reading this, I began learning about invasive plants, the importance of planting native species, the dangers of “pristine” lawns, and the climate and public health impact of pesticides, herbicides, and lawn machinery.

I’m loving the process of planting native plants and watching all kinds of wildlife visit my yard. I’m currently organizing a Nature's Best Hope community book talk in my own town and my amazing local library has booked Doug Tallamy for our discussion event. I hope you’ll join the Homegrown National Park movement! 

By Douglas W. Tallamy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Nature's Best Hope as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Douglas W. Tallamy's first book, Bringing Nature Home, sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being. In his new book Nature's Best Hope, Tallamy takes the next step and outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation. Tallamy advocates for homeowners everywhere to turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats and mitigate the effects of development and corporate agriculture. This home-based approach doesn't rely on the federal government and protects the environment from the whims of politics. It is also easy to do, and readers will walk away with specific…


Book cover of Purpose and Profit: How Business Can Lift Up the World

Anne Bahr Thompson Author Of Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit

From my list on shifting the role business plays in society.

Who am I?

I pivoted into brand consulting after working in banking, because I saw a need to align organizational behaviors and actions with purpose and values. So naturally, as a strategist my work has always informally included an element of coaching brands and people to have the courage and confidence to be their best, true selves. To have a broader societal vision and positive social impact. Since the Me-to-We continuum of Brand Citizenship emerged unsolicited in research, I also have been on a larger mission to help business balance how it earns a profit with how it serves individual people, betters society, and regenerates the planet.

Anne's book list on shifting the role business plays in society

Anne Bahr Thompson Why did Anne love this book?

Although I was familiar with Harvard Business School professor George Serafeim’s research and work on impact weighted accounting before I read this book, I still found it informative and inspiring.

The first half of this book is a primer on ESG and sustainability highlighting societal shifts and why purpose and impact have moved to the forefront. And the second half details how impact and outcomes can be achieved. 

This book is an excellent introduction for people new to purpose – or questioning its real value financially – as well as for those of us who have long been in this space.

Drawing extensively on his research and that of colleagues, Serafeim emphasizes how doing good creates competitive advantage.

By George Serafeim,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Are purpose and profit in conflict, or can both be achieved simultaneously with the right mindset and tools?

What are the forces that are reshaping the relationship between the two? What can we all do to strengthen the relationship between purpose and profit as entrepreneurs, managers, employees, consumers, and investors? Backed by cutting-edge research, Purpose and Profit provides answers to these fundamental questions that are increasingly defining the business landscape all around the world. Distinguished Harvard Business School Professor George Serafeim takes readers on a research-driven journey to understand:

How and why environmental and social issues are becoming increasingly relevant…


Book cover of Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society

Anne Bahr Thompson Author Of Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit

From my list on shifting the role business plays in society.

Who am I?

I pivoted into brand consulting after working in banking, because I saw a need to align organizational behaviors and actions with purpose and values. So naturally, as a strategist my work has always informally included an element of coaching brands and people to have the courage and confidence to be their best, true selves. To have a broader societal vision and positive social impact. Since the Me-to-We continuum of Brand Citizenship emerged unsolicited in research, I also have been on a larger mission to help business balance how it earns a profit with how it serves individual people, betters society, and regenerates the planet.

Anne's book list on shifting the role business plays in society

Anne Bahr Thompson Why did Anne love this book?

I strongly believe business leaders and brands must engage with all stakeholders (including society and the planet) to thrive – and this is the essence of John Browne’s message in Connect.

Browne, a former CEO of BP, contrasts positive engagement with traditional corporate social responsibility, which he contends is often more about complying with laws and regulations and looking good rather than doing good. 

The first half of the book provides real world examples of how corporate success is dependent on greater engagement with society.

And the second examines Browne’s four tenets of connected leadership – map your world, define your contribution, apply world class management, engage radically – and how companies can exemplify them going forward and profitably place society at the heart of business.

By John Browne, Robin Nuttall, Tommy Stadlen

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why being radically connected with society is not just the right thing to do, it is an imperative for a company's bottom line Based on John Browne's decades of experience as one of the world's most successful and innovative CEOs, with research by McKinsey & Company, Connect is a practical manifesto that redefines the role of business in society. Through insightful analysis and vivid storytelling--ranging from ancient China, Andrew Carnegie and the Homestead Strike of the late nineteenth century, to oil spills and privacy issues emanating from the technology of the twenty--first--Connect explores the recurring rift between business and society…


Book cover of Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People

Anne Bahr Thompson Author Of Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit

From my list on shifting the role business plays in society.

Who am I?

I pivoted into brand consulting after working in banking, because I saw a need to align organizational behaviors and actions with purpose and values. So naturally, as a strategist my work has always informally included an element of coaching brands and people to have the courage and confidence to be their best, true selves. To have a broader societal vision and positive social impact. Since the Me-to-We continuum of Brand Citizenship emerged unsolicited in research, I also have been on a larger mission to help business balance how it earns a profit with how it serves individual people, betters society, and regenerates the planet.

Anne's book list on shifting the role business plays in society

Anne Bahr Thompson Why did Anne love this book?

First published in 2001, Emotional Branding emphasized a new perspective for marketers and business leaders: the importance of human connections between corporations and people.

I believe an understanding of these connections has always been central to excellent brand strategy and now is critical for business to have positive social impact.

As Marc Gobé aptly states, emotional branding “is a culture and a way of living: a fundamental belief that people are the real force in commerce….” 

Filled with examples of the range of brand expression – from logos to packaging to experiences – Gobé, who I had the pleasure of knowing, inspires readers while also illustrating how many decisions about branding are actually about integrated business strategy and cultivating meaningful connections.

By Marc Gobe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Emotional Branding is the best selling revolutionary business book that has created a movement in branding circles by shifting the focus from products to people. The “10 Commandments of Emotional Branding” have become a new benchmark for marketing and creative professionals, emotional branding has become a coined term by many top industry experts to express the new dynamic that exists now between brands and people. The emergence of social media, consumer empowerment and interaction were all clearly predicted in this book 10 years ago around the new concept of a consumer democracy. In this updated edition, Marc Gobé covers how…


Book cover of The Business

Patrick Edwards Author Of Echo Cycle

From my list on changing your mind about science fiction.

Who am I?

I’m still in love with good sci-fi and fantasy after 30 years, but folk can get most terribly sniffy about it: ‘Lack of character’, ‘leaden exposition’, the list of accusations rolls on (sadly, a chunk of today’s SFF earns it). But. Every so often a work pops up that looks to the unwary book clubber like a ‘proper novel’; beneath its sexy but abstract cover and pared-back blurb lies a world of adventure that’s like LSD in an innocent mug of tea. Some writers just refuse to accept that speculation (about time and/ or space) needs to sacrifice truth. I’ve picked a few books that stand out to me for this reason – debate their merits with gusto, preferably over a good Martini at 2am.

Patrick's book list on changing your mind about science fiction

Patrick Edwards Why did Patrick love this book?

Banks is a freak of nature: he wrote sci-fi of the pinkest blood as well as prize-winning literary fare; all it took to indulge this duality was the use of a spare initial. The Business is one of the subtler interlopers: a minimalist, monochrome cover and a tale of corporate greed. Banks dials what could have been a staid techno-thriller up to 11 with killer prose, a razor-sharp protagonist, and outrageous flirting with the edges of possibility: magnates who get their jollies beaching cruise liners, hollowed-out mountain lairs, revving supercars to the destruction around the Swiss mountains. This is a novel that pops with the wit and flair of a writer at the height of his powers and determined to have a blast.

By Iain M. Banks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kate Telman is a senior executive officer in The Business, a powerful and massively discreet transglobal organisation. Financially transparent, internally democratic and disavowing conventional familial inheritance, the character of The Business seems, even to Kate, to be vague to the point of invisibility. It possesses, allegedly, a book of Leonardo cartoons, several sets of Crown Jewels and wants to buy its own State in order to acquire a seat at the United Nations.

Kate's job is to keep abreast of current technological developments and her global reach encompasses Silicon Valley, a ranch in Nebraska, the firm's secretive Swiss headquarters, and…


Book cover of The Constant Gardener

Robert Craven Author Of A Kind of Drowning

From my list on spies, spying and cold war thrillers.

Who am I?

I am the author of six espionage books, 5 featuring allied spy, Eva Molenaar operating at the highest levels of Hitler’s Reich. The 6th The Road of a Thousand Tigers, is my homage to le Carre and Ian Fleming. I have loved the spy genre since I first read The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers and grew up seeing every Bond movie since The Man with the Golden Gun at the cinema.

Robert's book list on spies, spying and cold war thrillers

Robert Craven Why did Robert love this book?

Published in 2001, The Constant Gardener is my favorite le Carre Novel. A British diplomat in Nairobi, Justin Quayle, is informed his activist wife, Tess has been killed in a remote part of Kenya along with a doctor friend. As Quayle investigates her life (in a similar way to Eric Ambler unfolds Dimitrios’s life), he uncovers her work exposing large pharmaceutical companies’ unethical experiments in the poorest regions of Africa. This leads to her brutal death and cover-up at a diplomatic and political level. It is an exceptional book that makes you rethink how medicine and the industry behind it operates. After the collapse of the USSR, le Carre seemed to struggle with his work, The Constant Gardener though, kick-started another two decades of great writing from him.

By John Le Carré, John le Carré,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Constant Gardener as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The book breathes life, anger and excitement' Observer

Tessa Quayle, a brilliant and beautiful young social activist, has been found brutally murdered by Lake Turkana in Nairobi. The rumours are that she was faithless, careless, but her husband Justin, a reserved, garden-loving British diplomat, refuses to believe them. As he sets out to discover what really happened to Tessa, he unearths a conspiracy more disturbing, and more deadly, than he could ever have imagined.

A blistering expose of global corruption, The Constant Gardener is also the moving portrayal of a man searching for justice for the woman he has barely…


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