Hired: Undercover In Low-Wage Britain by James Bloodworth

The Blurb On The Back:

Zero-hours contracts and the gig economy have redefined the relationship between companies and their workers: for many, careers are low-paid and high-risk, a series of short-term jobs with no security and little future.  In this essential exposé, James Bloodworth goes undercover to investigate how working life has become a waking nightmare.  From the Orwellian reach of an Amazon warehouse and the high-turnover rate of a telesales factory in Wales to the time trials of a council care worker and the grim reality behind the glossy Uber App, Hired is a clear-eyed analysis of a divided nation and a riveting dispatch from the very frontline of low-wage Britain. 

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Artificial Intelligence In Practice by Bernard Marr and Matt Ward

The Blurb On The Back:

Adopt AI-solutions to meet real-world business problems.

Artificial Intelligence In Practice is a practical resource that demystifies how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning can be used to solve common business challenges and open the door to opportunities that often exceed expectations.  The book is filled with insights from some of the most important AI giants including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, ALibaba, and other forward thinking industry leaders.  It also presents compelling case studies from traditional businesses and startups, that detail how AI is being applied in the real world of business. 

Bestselling author and AI expert Bernard Marr offers detailed examinations of 50 companies that have successfully integrated AI into their business practices.  He provides an overview of each company, describes the specific problem AI addressed and explains how AI offered a workable solution.  Each case study contains a comprehensive overview, some technical details as well as key learning summaries.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the most important modern business trends that are driving today’s (and tomorrow’s) successes.  As the book’s myriad cases demonstrate, AI can be used in industries ranging from banking and finance to media and marketing.  By adopting AI technology, any business, no matter what size, sector or industry, can advance innovative solutions to their most demanding challenges.  

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The Economics Of Arrival: Ideas For A Grown Up Economy by Katherine Trebeck and Jeremy Williams

The Blurb On The Back:

What do we want from economic growth?  What sort of a society are we aiming for?  In everyday economics, there is no such thing as enough, or too much, growth.  Yet in the world’s most developed countries, growth has already brought unrivalled prosperity: we have ‘Arrived’.

More than that, through debt, inequality, climate change and fractured politics, the fruits of growth may rot before everyone has a chance to enjoy them.  It’s high time to ask where progress is taking us, and are we nearly there yet?

In fact, Trebeck and Williams claim in this ground-breaking book, the challenge is now to make ourselves at home with this wealth, and to ensure, in the interests of equality, that everyone is included. They explore the possibility of ‘Arrival’, urging us to move from enlarging the economy to improving it, and the benefits this would bring for all. 

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The Art Of Communication by Judy Apps

The Blurb On The Back:

Become an amazing conversationalist.

Are your conversations so controlled they lack the ability to connect with other people?  Do you find yourself holding back for fear of revealing too much or saying the wrong thing?  What can you do to make your conversations more real?

Tap into your intuition and speak from the heart.

Drawing on the expertise of bestselling author and communication expert, Judy Apps, The Art of Communication shows how to develop the ability to become a nuanced conversationalist – one who connects with others and is more fearless, more genuine, more engaging and more creative.  The author reveals how to communication in a meaningful way and:

– Build closer relationships and create intimacy

– Overcome the artificiality and awkwardness of your interactions

– Converse successfully with people of different backgrounds

– Get more rewarding results from your conversations

– Operate from your intuition rather than with self-consciousness and control

The Art of Communication builds your confidence so you can converse from a place where being counts more than conventional skills, and an open heart brings connection and rewards you could only dream of before. 

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There Is No Planet B by Mike Berners-Lee

The Blurb On The Back:

We have the chance to live better than ever.  But, as humans become ever more powerful, can we avoid blundering into disaster?

Feeding the world, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics – the list of concerns seems endless.  But what I most pressing, what are the knock-on effects of our actions, and what should we do first?  Do we all need to become vegetarian?  How can we fly in a low carbon world?  Should we frack?  How can we take control of technology?  Does it all come down to population?  And, given the global nature of the challenges we now face, what on Earth can any of us do?

Fortunately, Mike Berners-Lee has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is practical and even enjoyable.

There Is No Planet B maps it out in an accessible and entertaining way, filled with astonishing facts and analysis.  For the first time you’ll find big-picture perspective on the environmental and economic challenges of the day laid out in one place, and traced through to the underlying roots – questions of how we live and think.  This book will shock you, surprise you – and then make you laugh.

And you’ll find practical and even inspiring ideas for what you can actually do to help humanity thrive on this – our only – planet. 

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Unlocking Creativity by Michael A. Roberto

The Blurb On The Back:

Creativity is an elusive but essential component of innovation and success in competitive, changing markets.  The old way of thinking had it that creativity was a kind of mystical property possessed only by certain innately talented people.  If an organisation wasn’t innovative enough, its leaders simply needed to find and hire those rare creative people.  The past few decades of constant disruption by newcomers has roundly proven this theory false, even if organisational leaders don’t recognise it yet.  Years of trying to recruit and retain creative workforce’s just hasn’t helped the established players keep up.

If hiring creativity isn’t helping, it means that organisations have all the creativity they need but aren’t harnessing it properly.  What’s going wrong?  Some people point to the pressure to keep shareholders happy and to other external pressures, claiming that market forces prevent them from giving creativity the space to develop.  But the supersonic rise of companies like Netflix and Amazon show that market forces aren’t stopping the people who really know how to innovate.  In Unlocking Creativity Michael A. Roberto draws on years of investigation to reveal the true nature of the problem: enterprise-wide mindsets that stifle creativity on a daily basis.

Every organisation is full of creative minds just waiting for an opportunity to shine.  Unfortunately, deeply entrenched organisational cultures and ways of thinking frustrate people when they try to present original ideas.  Without knowing it, we may be falling victim to one of the six mindsets that prevent talented people from experimenting, discovering, innovating and helping the organisation flourish.

Unlocking Creativity presents the six mindsets that block creativity, bringing them to life through colourful examples and abundant research evidence, to help leaders recognise the habits that might be preventing creativity from taking flight.  With illustrations taken from far and wide – academic research, corporate case studies, hit TV shows, and rock and roll legends all make eye-opening appearances in the pages of this book – Michael Roberto clears the fog around creativity and equips leaders with the insight they need to shift to supportive mindsets and cultures where creativity can thrive. 

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The Scientific Method by Massimiliano Di Ventra

The Blurb On The Back:

This book looks at how science investigates the natural world around us.  It is an examination of the scientific method, the foundation of science and basis on which our scientific knowledge is built.  Written in a clear, concise, and colloquial style, the book addresses all concepts pertaining to the scientific method.  It includes discussions on objective reality, hypotheses and theory, and the fundamental and inalienable role of experimental evidence in scientific knowledge.

This collection of personal reflections on the scientific methodology shows the observations and daily uses of an experienced practitioner.  Massimiliano Di Ventra also examines the limits of science and the errors we make when abusing its method in non scientific contexts.  By reflecting on the general method, the reader can critically sort through other types of scientific claims, and judge their ability to apply it in study and in practice. 

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Bulletproof Problem Solving: The One Skill That Changes Everything by Charles Conn and Robert McLean

The Blurb On The Back:

7 straightforward steps to solving any problem with creativity and rigor

Complex problem solving is the core skill for twenty-first century teams.  It’s the only way to keep up with rapid change.  Winning organisations now rely on nimble, iterative problem solving, rather than traditional planning processes.  In this book you’ll learn the seven-step systematic approach to creative problem solving that will work in any field or industry.  It employs a highly visual, logic-tree method that can be applied to any problem, from strategic business decisions to global social challenges.  Charles and Rob, with decades of experience at McKinsey & Company and other institutions, provide a toolkit with 30 detailed real-world examples, so you can see exactly how the technique works in action.

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Afropean: Notes From Black Europe by Johny Pitts

The Blurb On The Back:

“Afropean.  Here was a space where blackness was taking part in shaping European identity … A continent of Cape Verdean favelas, Algerian flea markets, Surinamese shamanism, German reggae and Moorish castles.  Yes, all this was part of Europe too.”

Afropean is an on-the-ground documentary of the places where Europeans of African descent live their lives.  Setting off from his hometown of Sheffield, Johny Pitts makes his way through Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Rome, Marseille and Lisbon, through council estates, political spaces, train stations, tour groups, and underground arts scenes.

Here is an alternative map of the continent, revealing plural identities and liminal landscapes, from a Cape Verdean shantytown on the outskirts of Lisbon to RInkeby, the eighty per cent Muslim area of Stockholm, from West African students at university in Moscow to the notorious Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.  A Europe populated by Egyptian nomads, Sudanese restaurateurs, Belgo-Congolese painters.  Their voices speak to Afropean experiences that demand to be heard.

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