Classics, creativity and sci-fi: What the industry is reading this summer

Classics, creativity and sci-fi: What the industry is reading this summer

Summer holidays are the perfect time to finally get some reading done, but sometimes its hard to keep up with what to read. We’ve asked leaders across our industry to write a short review on books they would personally recommend.

The City and the Stars
Arthur C. Clarke

“Though it was written in 1956, and the story is set 2 billion years into the future, it’s still manages to make painfully relevant comments about humankind’s relationship with technology in the present. The story follows the inhabitant of what seems like a perfect tech-utopia, but is actually a prison. Despite no death, disease or hardship, a clone called Alvin is plagued by a nagging sense of doubt about his place in the world, and resolves to break out of the city to explore the wasteland beyond – only to discover that humanity’s self-imposed isolation has destroyed its capacity for learning and curiosity. The reason why The City And The Stars still resonates is that it examines the idea that innate human qualities — love, friendship, curiosity, exploration, art – are predicated on taking pains. When technology can indulge every whim and material urge with the wave of hand, we miss out on the opportunity to earn our pleasure.

“Striving makes us better humans — and a world where we are too content is a world where we don’t progress. I’m a futurist, so I’m not saying for one moment we should go back to the Stone Age, and nor is Arthur C Clarke.

“Rather, the lesson is: let’s make sure humans don’t lose their humanity through technology.”

Phil Rowley, head of futures, Omnicom Media Group.

The Creative Nudge
Kevin Chesters and Mick Mahoney

“I tend to do most of my reading on holiday, and being on holiday, I want to be inspired and entertained. I’ve started The Creative Nudge already and it’s great if you’re looking for tips on how to be more creative. I’ve also seen Kev present it, imagining it in his highly entertaining style makes for even better reading!”

Hamid Habib, deputy MD, Havas Entertainment & chief experience officer, Havas Media Group.

The End of the World is Just the Beginning
Peter Zeihan

“The core lesson of this book is that the learned experience of living memory isn’t necessarily a great guide for the future. The book argues that we have just lived through an extended golden era of prosperity defined by peace, demographic and fiscal dividends. All of which are now coming to an end.

“Whilst it provides a (sometimes overly) negative view of our near future it does force us to think about the challenges to come in an historical context. Providing valuable clues for those looking for growth in changing times.”

Jean-Paul Edwards, managing director, product, OMD Worldwide

Mind the Inclusion Gap
Suzy Levy

“As culture wars start to intrude into workplaces, brand strategy and endorsements, every marketer needs to educate themselves even more deeply on the topic of Diversity and Inclusion.

“For those who want to get beyond the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, and start to understand why it seems so messy, this is the book for you. It’s easy to read because it’s full of stories that bring every dimension to life, and reliable because it is rooted in relevant UK statistics and context.”

Jan Gooding, brand marketer and executive coach, chair of PAMCo and Given.

The Machine that Changed the World
James P Womack, Daniel Jones, & Daniel Roos

“A 1990 book about automobile production, written on the basis of a global MIT research report on the automotive industry. The book describes how “procurement” helped to save the Western automotive producers by adopting Japanese methods of thinking, sourcing and manufacturing automobiles.

“For those in the advertising industry who despise procurement for their fee-cutting ways, this book shows what procurement should be doing (in lieu of fee-bashing) — focusing on making processes more efficient, embracing suppliers as partners rather than vendors, and enhancing the quality of outputs.

“Procurement could have a large role to play in the advertising industry to restore health and effectiveness for agency-client relationships, but even procurement executives are ignorant of the larger role they could play — they seemed wedded to fee-bashing. The Machine that Changed the World could give them insights about the larger role they could play to enhance marketing’s effectiveness in this complex marketing world.”

Michael Farmer, strategy consultant and author of Madison Avenue Manslaughter.

What are you reading this summer? Let us know and we’ll considering adding to this list. Email ahmed.elkady@uk.adwanted.com.

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