The books that made us

Kirsty Marrins
Digital communications specialist
06 Nov 2018

There are some books that just leave such a lasting impression on you, either personally or professionally. A good book will change the way you think, feel or act. Here, we share just a few of the books that made us.

Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo
Chosen by Vinay Nair, CEO & Co-founder

Understanding facts and listening to experts has fallen out of favour with some politicians and I’d strongly encourage them to rethink, and reading this wonderful and accessible book by MIT Economics professors, Banerjee and Duflo, may show them why.

Using rigorous evaluation methodologies, typically found only in medicine and science – the Randomised Control Trial (RCT) – this book showcases how it can be applied to understand more effective ways of tackling poverty. This was, and is, such an inspirational book to me, especially when I was working more directly in international development. Citing dozens of experiments and showcasing what has – and hasn’t – worked from these RCTs, the authors demonstrate ideas and interventions to materially move the needle in more rapidly reducing poverty. Evidence-based policy-making by thoughtful and considered experts? Yes, please!

Storytelling Can Change The World by Ken Burnett
Chosen by Kirsty Marrins, Copywriter

Everyone in the sector knows that Ken Burnett is an exceptional storyteller. So who best to learn from if you want to hone your storytelling skills?

As Ken says, ‘we have the best stories in the world and the best of reasons for telling them.’ This is exactly what we believe at Lightful and why we’ve built a platform to help charities tell their stories. Storytelling is essential if you want people to support your charity. You have to make them FEEL something in order to DO something.

StrengthsFinder 2:0 by Tom Rath
Chosen by Faith Chastain, Director of Partnerships

Knowing my top five strengths has been life-saving in helping me make the right choices when it comes to my job roles, as well as thrive in them. My colleagues all know I’m a WOO and laugh about my love to ‘win others over’. As an activator, I like to make stuff happen and might get impatient in meetings that don’t accomplish anything.

Being a manager of large teams, I’ve also relied on StrengthsFinder to understand the people I manage better and ensure that they use their strengths in their own roles. We all have our own strengths and whatever they are, that’s what makes each of us our own person.

New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms
Chosen by Tereza Litsa, Social Media Manager

This is a great read on the rise of a new power, which changes the way movements are shaped. We’re seeing more and more campaigns like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter making an impact in a connected society and social media can play a key role in this growing power.

Several people have read this book at Lightful this year and we all felt more inspired right after our #ReclaimSocial campaign. It presents the way movements can be created nowadays, in a decentralised way, with great opportunities but also potential dangers. Whether you’re about to create your next campaign, or you’re just trying to understand how the world is changing, I highly recommend you read this book!

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Chosen by Emma Moore, Relationship Manager

This book is a perfect depiction of the loneliness faced by many in modern day society. It made me think about the number of people who live in an isolated bubble, without people taking the time to simply ask if they are okay. Many mask the fact that they are coping with their issues, struggles or addictions alone and people on the outside are unaware of what they’re going through.

This book changed my outlook, as towards the end I realised that the more you let people in, the more you share the burden and the less alone you feel. It also showed me that you can be that person who reaches out to those who need help.

We would love to hear what your favourite books are and what books you think everyone should know about. Share them with us by tweeting us at @Lightful.

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