Summer Reading for Economic Developers

The launch of the new NCEDA Book Club got us to thinking about our reading list. We love to talk books here at Creative and with all of our colleagues. We have gathered a list of great reads for economic developers.  Let us know what you think about our list.  Enjoy!

If you love thinking, then you probably love reading about thinking – we have two books on our list for this; the first books is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink. Pink looks at how three basic desires work on humans in the 21st century – autonomy, mastery, and purpose. He contrasts this with carrot/stick and other past business and social paradigms.

Our second book for thinking, is a book that takes a look at how our minds shape our actions, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis tells the story of two scientists – friends – and how their research and publications founded the field of behavioral economics. In short, they studied the way the mind errs, the systematic and therefore predictable ways that our mind plays tricks on us or returns faulty data back to us.

Related, but more for personal growth is Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. For all of you that didn’t do well academically in school, Duckworth says that grit and resiliency are greater indicators of success than SAT scores. Perseverance has always been a hallmark trait of successful economic developers. This research shows us why.

Don’t put Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman on your list just because everyone is talking about it. It answers the question about our anxiety over the acceleration of technology and how to live with and capitalize on it. It made me feel better to know that humans simply can’t keep up with the pace of technological change – it’s not just me.

Also on our list is This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick. Warnick dives into the research around our attachments to place and travels across the country to find out what draws Americans to where they live, and what makes them want to stay.  One of our clients recommended this great read.

And, a good friend recommended The Signals Are Talking: Why Today’s Fringe Is Tomorrow’s Mainstream by Amy Webb. Webb show us how to think like a futurist and answer vitally important questions: How will a technology-like artificial intelligence, machine learning, self-driving cars, biohacking, bots, and the Internet of Things-affect us personally? We’ve started this one and we are interested to see if anyone can really learn to read the signals of emerging trends.

We can’t leave out the NCEDA book club read, The Absent Superpower: The Shale Revolution and a World Without America by Peter Ziehan. It examines what will happen when America withdraws as protector of the oceans, when our energy independence causes us to no longer be the stabilizing force in the world. Eye-opening is the best word for this book.

A few more worth mentioning:

Let us know what you are reading. We keep a long list of books to read at the office, at home, in the car, on the fridge, on scraps of paper, in our phone, on the bookshelf that can’t possibly hold another book, on the nightstand beside two stacks of books….You get the picture!

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