Rare Books: Summer 2022
Creative Acts for Curious People
Sarah Stein Greenberg
At Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (aka, the d.school), students and faculty partner with experts in a range of fields to apply design thinking to global challenges. In this book, d.School Executive Director Sarah Stein Greenberg shares some of her favorite assignments taught at the school, as well as a series of short essays she authored to help open readers tap their creativity and navigate ambiguity on the way to solving “messy problems that matter.”
Rare note: In July 2020, Greenberg was the guest for our inaugural episode of “Rare Conversations” to discuss innovating for sustainability in an uncertain time. Watch it here.
One Green Thing
What is your climate superpower? In Heather White’s new book, “One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet,” the environmentalist, lawyer, and nonprofit executive provides a pathway for readers to contribute to tackling climate change by identifying and then deploying their own interests and strengths. Once readers take her Superpower Assessment, Heather provides readers with concrete actions that best suit their profile and inspires them to do “one green thing” each day to help the planet.
Rare note: In her book, Heather references an article from The Atlantic which includes quotes from Rare’s Brett Jenks. Read the article.
The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People and Planet
Leah Thomas is black. She is a feminist. And she is an environmentalist. In her new book, she dives into what happens when these three identities converge. Her book also features contributions from a diverse set of writers who detail their own experiences with overlapping systems of oppression, referred to as intersectionality. Thomas’ book offers readers a toolkit to help build a more just environmental movement and embrace a broader definition of environmentalist.
Rare note: Thomas came up with “Intersectional Environmentalism” in 2020, when the Black Lives Matter movement inspired the conservation and environmental movement to reflect on its own contributions to racial injustice. That summer, our Rare Books list featured books to broaden our perspective on issues of race. As those themes remain relevant today, be sure to check those books out, too!
The Elements of Choice
Choice architecture refers to the context in which decisions are made. Subtly redesigning these environments – where, how, or when choices are presented – can dramatically influence outcomes. And if choice architecture was basketball, Eric Johnson would be LeBron James. In The Elements of Choice, Johnson, a researcher at Columbia University, writes the guidebook on how environments can be redesigned to improve outcomes for policy, health care, education and more.
Rare note: Choice architecture is one of three key behavioral levers Rare’s BE.Center is using to expand the environmental change-maker’s toolbox. Learn more here.
Behavioral Science in the Wild
Nina Mažar & Dilip Soman
We’re in a golden age of behavioral science. But are the lessons from researchers reaching practitioners on the frontlines of health care, education, business, and the environment? In Behavioral Science in the Wild, the authors break down key behavioral insights and share ideas for how managers can translate them to real-world scenarios.
Rare note: Dilip Soman was a judge in our most recent Solution Search contest tackling water pollution. Read about the contest winners here.
Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science
By Jessica Hernandez
In Jessica Hernandez’s eyes, traditional western conservation practices too often remove people from the land, despite their long connection, understanding and stewardship of it. In Fresh Banana Leaves, Hernandez – a Maya Ch’orti’ and Zapotec environmental scientist – writes about the value of Indigenous environmental knowledge in restoring our planet such as the experiences of Latin American women who have protected their land for generations.
Rare Note: In 2019, Rare worked with Desarrollo Alternativo e Investigación A.C., a nonprofit organization in Mexico’s Chiapas state, to help a group of indigenous women write a cookbook to promote nutrition and preserve native seeds.
The Ministry of the Future
Kim Stanley Robinson
Rather than setting his novel in a dystopian nightmare, author Kim Stanley Robinson sets his sci-fi novel in the not-too-distant future and imagines the growing near-term impacts of climate change. There, society tries desperately to adjust to the ecological, economic, and social impacts of a fast-changing climate…and offers some degree of hope.
Rare note: One of our president and CEO Brett Jenks’ favorite recent reads.
The Binky Bandit
Brent Suter is a pitcher for Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers. He’s known for his slow fastball, his sense of humor, and his passion for the environment. Now he has a new identity: children’s author. Suter wrote the book about a dog who steals plastic pacifiers for his young son. But the book also has an environmental message about the overuse of plastics and how our individual actions can make a difference.
Rare note: Suter was a participant in Rare’s most recent BE.Hive event and spoke about the connection between a sports mentality and sustainability. Watch the segment here.