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Browse Billy's Book Bag - May Edition

The three books Genii Earth CEO Billy Afghan recommends you consider reading and why.


  1. Doughnut Economics

By Kate Raworth

Released February 2017 

What would we have to let go of and what would we need to embrace to move the global human community in the direction of a sustainable regenerative ecosystem? Kate masterfully makes the case for how generations of myopic “homo-economicus” humans have finally reached our logical end.  Her personal storytelling style about her own experience becoming an “educated” economist in the 20th century sets the stage for a well-researched and detailed historical and behavioral view of how we got in this dire predicament and offers an equally compelling new context for how to move forward.  

I love this book because it helps me understand the past in the way that has me owning our shared future. She’ll have us all wanting to be the eco-economists we need to be to transform our collective mindset at the systemic level. Her theory of regenerative circular economics will be viewed for many years to come as seminal work for our times. I bought the book for easy access to the many useful illustrations and tables and listened to the audio version because Kate narrates her book which really brings it alive for the listener. 

2. How to Tell a Story

By Meg Bowles, Catherine Burns, Jenifer Hixson, Sarah Austin Jenness, and Kate Tellers  

Released April 2022 

How does telling a story help you better understand yourself and your loved ones, enroll and influence others, and create instant connection and belonging? These authors and expert storytellers provide years of storytelling insights that will have you convinced everyone can and should be telling stories. The catharsis that can come from learning to unpack a painful event or the awe that comes from an unexpected, beautiful experience can uplift and transform each of us into more conscious beings. This book isn’t just for those who want to get up on the Moth stage, the book provides super useful tips on how to transform everyday common experiences such as: giving a toast, performing a eulogy, interviewing for a job, delivering an important presentation, or even going on a first date! Our ability to tell stories is what makes us uniquely human.  What makes this such a rich and wonderful read is the way stories pull us together in a common lived experience.   

I found the best way to read this book is to listen to it! The authors do all their own narrating and use beautiful audio clips of on-stage Moth storytellers to illustrate storytelling tips, tricks, dos and don’ts point-by-point. I listened to ten hours of audio in just two settings while gardening on a weekend.  I laughed, cried, and learned my way through all the weeds in my yard! As a two-time Moth storytelling Slam winner, I can personally tell you that anyone can tell a great story.  The authors invite you to consider what are the greatest hits of your own life and get up on a stage near you and share it with others.  It will change you forever. 

A read worth revisiting: 

3. Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies  

By Otto Sharmer and Katrin Kaeufer 

First released in 2013 

What practices do you need to bring the future you want into existence? In Doughnut Economics above, Kate takes us on an historical view of economics from an evolving human behaviors perspective and meets us today in a systems view. Here, Otto and Katrin take us on a synergistic view of humans from the perspective of our evolving human consciousness. They help us understand what is needed to cause an evolution of consciousness through applying Theory U principles and, like Kate, lands us also in the realm of critical systemic change. By using the iceberg metaphor, we get a peek underneath the surface of human economic motivation and consciousness evolution. We are walked down the left side of the U, releasing our past certainties and relearning our way forward through the emerging future. The authors offer perspectives on the leadership capacities necessary for evolving our collective consciousness.   

What I greatly appreciate about this approach is that applying Theory U asks us to take an authentic look at our current reality and exam our paradigms that have us stuck, and that swimming in uncertainty is the first step toward wayfinding in the emerging future. Another favorite part is that each chapter concludes with a reflection exercise from both an “I” and a “we” space and actions to put it all into practice. This is an excellent book for a community book club, project team, or company leadership team to unpack together and begin applying its principles.   

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