Here is our summer 2021 reading list


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As the readers prepare to return in their Christmas pigs – especially those lucky Australians who live in fringe or Coalition-held seats – we bring you great news and great joy. And also a booty of book recommendations for your reading pleasure during the summer.

It’s my last act of the year. When I hit “publish” on this story, my job is done for the year. (Unless of course there’s an epic shock to the ‘take out the trash’ style Christmas Eve announcement, in which case my staff Denham Sadler, Joe Brookes and I will be back on the tools. , writing another newsletter).

To all of our readers and to all members of this fabulous Australian innovation ecosystem, have a good break. I hope everyone will have the opportunity to reflect on their successes and recharge their batteries for a very busy year 2022.

There is much to celebrate in the past year, and much more to come. I love that a lot of this industry is self-sufficient these days. As much as possible, no one waits for the government. They are just getting started, moving forward.

Summer 2021 Reading List

This is not to say that there is not a massive and positive role that the government can and should rightly play. This is where InnovationAus tries to contribute through its reporting.

With elections at the start of the year, it will be very fast.

InnovationAus editor Corrie McLeod and I will be moving to Canberra in mid-January with our kids (because yes, we’re married) to start a household.

I will be working from the Parliamentary Press Gallery, with our National Affairs Editor Denham Sadler working in Canberra during sitting weeks to increase the volume of the national conversation on innovation.

Corrie will establish an InnovationAus commercial presence in Canberra, as well as for the larger Hello Espresso businesses. The Sydney office will of course remain, and Corrie will be visiting regularly.

It’s a great privilege to write about Australians doing amazing things.

And so on to our summer reading list. Relax and take a look at the books some of your industry peers have loved this year.

Federal Minister for Pensions, Financial Services and Digital Economy Jane Hume admits to being the “most notoriously unreliable member of the most fabulous group of books” and that a backlog of books is towering over his bedside table.

Senator Hume’s fictional summer priorities for the summer are Still life by Sarah Winman and Once upon a time there were wolves by Charlotte McConaghy. For industry reading, Senator Hume will look at Invisible Women – Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez, a book at the crossroads of its Digital Economy and Women’s Economic Security portfolios.

Shadow Industry Minister Ed Husic said the best industry book he had read this year was by Scott Galloway The four: the hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google “On how multinational technology has come to dominate in so many countries. While there has been a lot said and written this year on ‘Big Tech’, I thought this – with Rana Foroohar Don’t Be Evil: The Big Tech Case – were among the most comprehensive pieces to explain how they came to wield so much influence.

Ed Husic’s favorite non-industrial book of the year was Truganini by Cassandra Pybus, which traces the life of a woman who was one of the last of the Nuenonne clan. “Pybus writes with the personal aspect of being a descendant of settlers who obtained one of the largest free land grants in the country from this clan,” he said.

And during the summer? In addition to finishing Alec Ross The 2020s unleashed, and Genius creators by Cade Metz, I’m looking forward to Eric Willmot’s 1987 novel Pemulwuy: the rainbow warrior and that of David Goodhart Head Hand Heart.

Verizon Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific Rob Le Busque said his favorite book of the year was Negotiating the non-negotiable: how to resolve your most emotionally charged conflicts by Daniel Shapiro. This guy is the oracle of negotiation strategy, having advised everyone from hostage negotiators, Fortune 500 CEOs and even warring heads of state. “This book is essential for anyone who needs to resolve any type of conflict; who are all of us!

Rob’s best non-industrial book is Premonition: a pandemic story by Michael Lewis, one of the great non-fiction writers (Moneyball, The Big Short, etc.) “This book tells about a small group of people who anticipated, plotted and chased the Coronavirus. Told in its quick and engaging style , it’s absolutely a book for the world right now.

Over the summer, Rob will read Love stories by Trent Dalton. “I like the genesis of this book; Trent Dalton, (a sturdy Queenslander), sat outside a train station for two months with a typewriter and asked passers-by to tell him a love story. It seems to me that after the trials, stress and worry of the past two years, we could all do with a little more love in our lives.

Cicada Innovations CEO Sally Ann Williams said her industry favorite book of 2021 was Decoding the world: a roadmap for the questioner by Po Bronson and Arvind Gupta. “It’s an adventure of Deep Tech’s potential to solve some of the most pressing problems we face in the world. It is a book of hope and science, not a work of science fiction.

Sally’s favorite non-industrial book is Upstream: How to Resolve Problems Before They Occur by Dan Heath. “It’s a book that shifts your thinking from one continuous response to crises and challenges to one that shifts your thinking upstream to challenge and fix the systems that are causing the problems. “

Squiz Founder and Executive Chairman John-Paul Syriatowicz said the best book he can recommend this year is Ground by Matthew Evans: “I got into regenerative agriculture, the ability to significantly mitigate the impact of climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil by making relatively minor changes to farming practices. I implement these practices on my Hunter farm.

JP says Sam Elsom, the CEO of Sea Forest – one of the 2021 Australian Hero Award recipients – is part of that picture.

Rachael Falk is the CEO of Cyber ​​Security CRC says Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Law by Australian academics, Professor Lyria Bennett Moses and Michael Guihot “definitely appealed to the lawyer in me. The book exposes the critical ethical and legal issues associated with AI and robots, and helps explain the application of law to new and emerging circumstances in areas such as tort law, criminal law and law enforcement. Contract law.

Rachael easily says that the best non-industrial book she read this year was Gotta Get Theroux This: My Life & Weird Times On TV by Louis Théroux. Over the summer, Barack Obama A promised land. But she says the thing she’ll keep coming back to is the Reform of Australia’s electronic surveillance framework Discussion paper recently released by Home Affairs.

“A little sad, I know, but this review, which stems from the recommendations of the Richardson review, will help inform the most important reforms of Australian surveillance laws in decades,” she said.

Technology Council of Australia CEO Kate Pounder recommends Buy Now, Pay Later: The Extraordinary Story of Afterpay by James Eyers and Jonathan Shapiro as a well-researched and impactful account of the creation and growth of Afterpay ”, as well as how regulatory frameworks can adapt. with new business models and technologies.

On the non-industrial side, she recommends Lead from the outside by Stacy Abrams, a leadership book for people from non-traditional leadership backgrounds. “It is based on the incredible personal story of Abrams who rose from a poor family to becoming the leader of the opposition in the Georgian legislature, a lawyer, entrepreneur and successful writer, as well as a famous and successful struggle against voter suppression in the United States, ”she said.

Newcastle Port President and UTS Emeritus Professor Roy Green recommends Mission Economics: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism by Mariana Mazzucato.

“Mazzucato argues that only public institutions in partnership with the private sector, but not under its sway, can set ambitious long-term goals and missions like the first moonlighting to transform our economy and our society, and in effect to build an efficient and equitable health system. system capable of meeting the very challenges we now face, ”said Roy.

Roy says his favorite non-professional book was Stalin’s wine cellar by John Baker and Nick Place – a heartbreaking tale of “a pair of adventurous Double Bay wine merchants in search of the opulent wine cellar of Tsar Nicholas II, which was allegedly transferred during the war by Stalin before the advance German troops for “security- guarding.” An extremely enjoyable real-life detective story, he says.

During the summer he reads Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in a Forgiving World by Dan Breznitz, a book written from the premise “that ‘cities and regions have wasted billions of dollars blindly copying Silicon Valley’s model of creating growth.’

And finally, here are my recommendations.

Bean Counters: The Triumph of Accountants and How They Shattered Capitalism by Richard Brooks tells the story of the rise of the Big Four accounting firms and their evolution into management consulting and professional services. We spent much of 2021 writing about the government’s over-reliance on outside consultants and the depleting public sector capacity. This book is mind blowing. Power Play: Elon Musk, Tesla and the bet of the century by Tim Higgins is also great.

For a non-industrial book, Car accident: a brief by Lech Blaine is a beautifully written portrayal of life and death, and grief, and the growth of youth and coming of age. He is insightful about the classroom in Australia and our social constructs. It’s a great reading companion for Blaine’s Quarterly Essay, Top Blokes: The Myth, Class, and Power of the Larrikin. Lech Blaine is an amazing young writer. Literally breathtaking.

A few other books that I loved this year were Empire of Pain – The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe (it’s breathtaking) and An Ugly Truth – In the Battle for Facebook Dominance by Sheera Frenkel and Cecelia Kang (also amazing).

Over the summer, I’ll be reading The Game: A Portrait of Scott Morrison by Sean Kelly.

That’s all for 2021. Merry Christmas everyone, have an inspired and safe holiday season.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley by email.

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