Social Impact Books for Your Summer Reading List

Social Impact Books

Summer reading lists abound this time of year. At Give2Get, we've combed existing lists of top social impact books, trimmed them, added our own favorites, and created a condensed list to get you started — wherever you're doing your reading this summer.

The Solution Revolution: How Business, Government, and Social Enterprises Are Teaming Up to Solve Society’s Toughest Problems by William D. Eggers and Paul Macmillan
It’s clear that in today’s era of fiscal constraints and political gridlock, we can no longer turn to government alone to tackle social problems. What’s required is a new, more collaborative and productive economic system. The Solution Revolution reveals where players from across the spectrum of business, government, philanthropy, and social enterprise converge to solve big problems and create public value.

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst
Millennials are trading in conventional career paths to launch tech start-ups, start small businesses that are rooted in local communities, or freelance. They are sharing everything, from bikes and cars, to extra rooms in their homes. They now create, buy and sell handcrafted products in our local communities with ease. In this book, Aaron Hurst, the founder of Taproot Foundation, argues that while these developments seem unrelated, taken together they reveal a powerful pattern that points to purpose — and people's connection to their purpose — as the new driver of the American economy. 

The Disruptors: Social Entrepreneurs Reinventing Business and Society by Kerryn Krige & Gus Silber
These tales of daring, struggle, triumph and innovation, show readers the world through the eyes of a diverse range of social entrepreneurs. Learn their secrets for changing the world by changing business. From healthcare to mobile gaming, from education to recycling, from dancing to gardening, these are the game-changers, the difference-makers, the doers of good. 

Do The KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately by Daniel Lubetzky When Daniel Lubetzky started KIND Healthy Snacks in 2004, he aimed to create snack bars that were tasty AND healthy, convenient AND wholesome. In this book, Lubetzky shares the principles that have shaped KIND’s business model and led to its success. At its core, the “AND” idea is about challenging assumptions and false compromises. It's about not settling for less and being willing to take greater risks. It’s about learning to think boundlessly and critically, and choosing what at first may be the tougher pather for later rewards. 

Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskle
This is the story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the business model that marries fun, profit, and social good. Learn how the TOMS organization and those like it — including FEED Projects and charity: water — got their start and how you, as an aspiring social entrepreneur, can model your organization in the same way. 

51 Questions on Social Entrepreneurship by Neetal Parek
This actionable Q&A introduces you to game-changing concepts around social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Regardless of where you are in your journey to understand social entrepreneurship.  

The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne Psychologist Keith Payne examines how inequality divides us not just economically; but also in how we think, respond to stress, and view moral concepts such as justice and fairness. By studying inequality in this way, we can see how it shapes our world in deeper ways than most have previously considered.

We Do Things Differently: The Outsiders Rebooting Our World by Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson travels the world discussing ways to create new models for education, healthcare, government, food production, energy, and other models that are bound to fail as the world's population heads toward 10 billion. Diverse interview subjects include individuals living in rural India to those in high-tech Boston. 

Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy by John Wood
This memoir highlights a former Microsoft executive’s quest to build libraries around the world and share the love of books, especially in areas where children’s schools and villages were swept away by war or natural disaster. 

Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus, who pioneered microcredit and won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, shows how social business has gone from being a theory to an inspiring practice, adopted by leading corporations, entrepreneurs, and social activists. He demonstrates how social business transforms lives, offers practical guidance, and explains how public and corporate policies must adapt to make room for the social business model.