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My top picks of books that informed my thinking and perspectives on impact investing:

  1. Capital, Thomas Piketty – an essential read to understand the role of capital, the difference between income from capital and income from labour, and the inequality that results.
  2. Prosperity Without Growth, Tim Jackson – can growth be sustained? What does prosperity look like with the assumption of economic growth?
  3. Spirit Level, Wilkinson and Pickett – excellent research on global inequality and what correlates with it.
  4. Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy O’Neil – fantastic read on the impact of big data, mathematical models that go unchecked, and the inequality that results.
  5. Payback, Margaret Atwood – interesting perspectives on the role of debt.

If you’re interested in impact investing in startups

  1. The Lean Startup, Eric Ries – good primer on the lean startup approach.
  2. Business Model Generation, Osterwalder and Pigneur – helpful for familiarizing with different business models and evaluating them.
  3. The New Business Road Test, Mullins and Getting to Plan B, Mullins and Komisar – picks up where Business Model Generation leaves off. Helpful for investors to evaluate the team and environment (market and industry) around the venture.

For general investing knowledge

  1. The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham – the authority on value investing.

Understanding the world around us

  1. Drive, Daniel Pink – for understanding what motivates people.
  2. Black Swan, Nicholas Nassim Taleb – for understanding the impact of improbable events.
  3. Banker to the Poor and The Social Business, Mohammed Yunus – written by the pioneer in microfinance.
  4. Gender Lens Investing, VanderBrug and Quinlan – Jackie VanderBrug is one of the leading voices of gender lens investing.
  5. Mind Set!, John Naisbitt – suggests ways to open your mind to understand today’s world and reveal the opportunities of the future.

On decision-making

  1. Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman – describes the two systems drive the way we think and make choices – fast, emotional, intuitive and slow, more deliberative, more logical.
  2. Blink, Malcolm Gladwell – an easy introduction to concepts of rapid cognition, intuition, and quick decision making.
  3. Between the Hour of Dog and Wolf, John Coates – provides insight on how our bodies and our physiology affects risk taking and decision making, with examples from the financial industry.
  4. Eyes Wide Open, Noreena Hertz – helps us be more discerning and empowered in our decision making.
  5. Basic Instinct, Pete Lunn – points out that altruism and fairness, not only profit-maximizing self-interest, have strong influences on economic decisions.
  6. The Intuitive Investor, Jason Voss – one of the rare sources that talks about mindfulness and spirituality in the context of money management.

Last, but not least, I invite you to read Integrated Investing, the framework for making investment decisions that take care of the village. I wrote this book as a guide for people who want to get started in impact investing and also people already investing with an impact lens who are looking for a robust process to follow.


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For more impact investing resources and tools, check out Integrated Investing: Impact Investing with Head, Heart, Body, and Soul, available at all major online book retailers.

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