Top 11 books of 2023!

Heidi Spurrell | 19th December 2023 | 4min read

Here are one-line summaries for each of my top 11 books that have influenced me in the last 12 months, whether that be on rich content or processes for engaging businesses, we aimed to deliver value and relevance to support partners in shifting to sustainable practices in the food and drink industry as well as help us thrive as a small organisation, none are new but all are extremely valuable. Enjoy!

Have you read any of these? What will you be reading in 2024?

Food Systems Transformation:

1. “Sustainable Diets” by Tim Lang and Pamela Mason: Provides a deep dive into the intersection of nutrition and sustainability, essential for food systems transformation experts.

2. “Food” by Jennifer Clapp: Examines global food systems, insights into how the concentration of power impacts negatively on businesses and society, and emerging movements to support a better food system.

3. “Food and Society” by Amy E. Guptill, Denise A. Copelton and Betsy Lucal: Highly accessible reading. Analyses the cultural and societal aspects of food production and consumption.

4. “The Climate Book” by Greta Thunberg: A compelling series of essays, and call to action on climate change, emphasising the critical role of everyone.

5. “Global Food Systems” by Jessica Fanzo and Claire Davis: This book delves into the complexities of global food systems and policies, exploring their impact on diets, nutrition, and food security across different income countries, while equipping readers with critical insights into domestic and international food policy processes.

Entrepreneurship and Workshopping:

6. “1-Page Marketing Plan” by Allan Dib: Streamlines marketing strategies into a single page, fostering clarity and efficiency.

7. “Value Proposition Design” by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda and Alan Smith: A fantastic comprehensive framework in a visual format for developing value propositions that align business goals – we’ve adapted this to support food and drink businesses to find sustainable solutions.

8. “Design Sprint” by Jake Knapp: Introduces a fast-paced, innovative process for rapidly prototyping and testing ideas, ideal for sustainable food business models like increasing plant based choices in the eating out sector – we’ve used mini Sprints with clients who love this format, to save time and money and align teams on an agreed outcome.

9. “The Power of Moments” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath: Explores the impact of creating memorable experiences, crucial for creating highly engaging training and workshops – we draw from these principles when delivering memorable sustainability strategy workshops.

10. “Good Strategy Bad Strategy” by Richard Rumelt: Distinguishes between effective and ineffective strategies, the ‘guiding policies’ concept is fantastic for formulating food business strategy sprints – they’ve influenced how we help businesses to design their Food Vision, in summary bad strategy lacks actions; goals, ambition, vision, values, and effort for strategy are important, but on their own are not strategy!

11. “The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures” by Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless: Reveals innovative frameworks for workshop ‘recipes’ that transform the way we collaborate, learn, and discover solutions together. We’ve applied these to our workshop design with much success!

See you in 2024 and keep reading! Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂