“The Uninhabitable Earth – A Story About the Future”
By: David Wallace-Wells
It is hard to believe how fast change can come – and how quickly we adapt to change. Today we find ourselves greeting one another through a cell phone or computer screen. We are invited to dinners and parties using various digital channels. Our daily interactions have profoundly been challenged and changed as a result of COVID-19. Many of us feel a new tenderness, but also a new anxiety, and I guess almost all of us agree that we suddenly find ourselves in a new world.
As a result, it is easy to feel fear, not only of COVID-19, but also of the economic hardship that is happening before our eyes, across the globe where countries are directly and indirectly impacted by the pandemic. Still, over the last weeks I have seen so much warmth and innovativeness that warms my heart. From people and business reaching out, connecting, and offering support in various ways – so perhaps this is our chance to find our best selves and to renew connections both locally and across the globe.
I believe we have miles to go to understand how we can address the new realities we are facing – and knowing what the future will look like.
I do find inspiring to see leaders tackle challenges they were unaware of just weeks ago using new skills to, in creative ways, find ways forward that is sustainable for individuals, organizations, and society at large. It is like seeing entrepreneurship, and an entrepreneurial and responsible mindset, unfolding in real time across the globe. Hopefully this will help us all to work towards and create a better future.
However, I am worried.
Worried that we will fall back into old habits and repeat mistakes rather than learning from what is currently happening and move towards a prosperous future.
Worried that we quickly forget about what is truly going on in the world at the moment: the planetary threat from climate change.
To quote Greta Thunberg in her speak at the World Economic Forum, January 25, 2019: “Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire. According to the IPCC, we are less than twelve years away from not being able to undo our mistakes.”. These are not bold words. These are true words.
The elements of chaos following climate change is like a horror movie with wildfires; freshwater drain; dying oceans; and unbreathable air.
This is not what I want the future to be like, and I believe most people would agree.
Therefore, I wish you broaden your perspectives beyond the hardships of COVID-19 that is all around us day after day, to learn about what climate change is really about.
As a start, I urge you to read David Wallace-Wells book “The Uninhabitable Earth – A Story About the Future”. It is a brutal portrait of climate change and our future lives on Earth. This book will waken and update you. As Farhad Manjoo writes: “It is the most terrifying book I have ever read.” I couldn’t agree more. Please read it. It will scare you, but it will also prompt you to take action. The actions taken during COVID-19 has told us that we are able to make drastic changes on short notice, which is what is needed now. Enjoy learning, and then take action.
Den obeboeliga planeten – livet efter uppvärmningen av David Wallace-Wells, ISBN 9789100180959.
Uninhabitable Earth – Life After Warming av David Wallace-Wells, ISBN 9780593236680.
View our previous book recommendations…
AIQ : How artificial intelligence works and how we can harness its power for a better world
By: Nick Polson and James Scott
Recommended by: Frida Pemer, Assistant Researcher at the Stockholm School of Economics. Frida lectures on many of SSE Executive Education’s programs, including Accelerating Digital Transformation. She leads the international research project ‘Digitalization of Expertise’ and last spring held the webinar ‘Managing disruption in professional services’ as part of our 50th anniversary celebration.
Reframing Business: When the Map Changes the Landscape
By: Richard Normann
Recommended by: Mattias Axelson, Affiliated Researcher at the Stockholm School of Economics. Mattias conducts research in innovation and business development and is involved in many of SSE Executive Education’s programs. He ran the seminar ‘Business innovation outside core’ as part of our 50th anniversary celebration.
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