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Summer Book List

The School of Professional Studies’ Academic Directors are scholars and practitioners who lead teams of faculty in cutting-edge curricula across sixteen disciplines. They teach students how to make an impact in their fields, advance actionable insights in an organization, and challenge and encourage one another to grow as engaged leaders.

We asked seven of our Academic Directors to recommended choice summer reads:

Dr. Satyajit Bose, Sustainability Management

Recommendation: Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing The World by Anand Giridharadas demonstrates that efforts to ‘change the world’ initiated and directed by an entrenched global elite merely serve to preserve the status quo and obscure the elite's role in causing the problems they purport to solve.”

Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam, Sustainability Science

Recommendation:“I recommend The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis, about the psychologists Kahneman and Tversky and the birth of behavioral economics, for which Kahneman won the Nobel Prize. Tversky and his students influenced the creation of the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia in the early '00s. I also recommend The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles Mann, about the conflict between technocratic solutions, exemplified by Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution, and planetary limits to human society, argued by William Vogt.”

V. Mary Abraham, Information & Knowledge Strategy

Recommendation: Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society by Nicholas A. Christakis gives hope to people who believe in the power of collaboration because it demonstrates the evolutionary basis for societies shaped by a social suite that includes connection, mutual affection, cooperation, and social learning.”

Dr. Robert Klitzman, Bioethics

Recommendation: “My book Designing Babies: How Technology is Changing the Ways We Create Children explores the ethical, social, cultural, business and other aspects of rapid advances in assisted reproductive technologies and gene editing, drawing on the narratives of doctors and patients to explore how they make difficult decisions in this controversial area, and negotiate and communicate about conflicts, how the ‘business’ works, and how we are changing our species."

Francisco Pineda, Construction Administration

Recommendation: “I recommend On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis, who is a Yale professor. It’s a nice read that traces the idea of strategy through history.”

Sim Segal, Enterprise Risk Management

Recommendation: The Minto Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto provides a logical structure for effective communication and thinking through an issue.”

Nikisha Alcindor, Wealth Management

Recommendation:Capitalism in America: A History by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Woolridge is a great look at the evolution of the American economy and the establishment of wealth in the United States.”

Read the full story on LinkedIn and learn more about the programs at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.