Your NEXT holiday reads

The Christmas holidays are the perfect time to take a step back, relax and expand your mind with some insightful new reading. Here are the recommendations from the NEXT team.

Books. Despite being digital minds, we love books here at NEXT. Oh, the weather outside is frightful, and Omicron is spreading, so what better time to curl up in front in a comfy armchair, and expand your mind with a fine new book. In our own version of the Icelandic Jólabókaflóð or book flood, we asked around the virtual NEXT office to see what reads the extended team recommended this holiday season. 

If you want to really set your mind up for a great start to the new year, grab a few of the titles on this list, and expect to see your mind grow three sizes…


Accelerate, building and scaling high performing technology organizations

Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble and Gene Kim

In what can feel like an area that has been done to death over the last decade, this book holds genuinely new ideas, inspiration and catalysts for thought… 

Buy the book

Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present 

Yanis Varoufakis

In what’s almost a work of fictional non-fiction, Varoufakis shows us worlds that could have been, had we chosen differently. And that brings us insights into worlds that could yet be, because he has both a very interesting and a unique view of the world.

Buy the book

Cradle to Cradle 

William McDonough & Michael Braungart 

The Climate Crisis lurks in the wings, once the pandemic finally ends. And this book shows us how a different and sustainable way of business and production is possible. Inspiring stuff. 

Buy the book

The Culture Map

Erin Meyer

This is a fantastic book about how different cultures affect people’s work behaviour and how we all can work best in a cross-functional team. It’s a must-read if you work with people from different backgrounds. 

Buy the book

The Inclusion Nudges Guidebook

Lisa Kepinski & Tinna C Nielsen

This is a useful guide to driving diversity and inclusion based on Behavioural Decision Making Theory. 

Buy the book

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Caroline Criado-Perez

This book, recommended by several of the team, is eye-opening and everyone should be aware of these data biases and do everything so we could avoid them in the future. Too many product owners don’t realise how much untapped potential their product might have IF adjusted to women. This book makes you angry, then curious, then furious but in the end, you start questioning and find answers that were not apparent before.

Just looking at the data makes the need for this book clear. 

Buy the book

Project Hail Mary

Andy Weir 

A sneaky wee bit of fiction in a list dominated by non-fiction. Barack Obama recommended it back in the summer, so we can probably be inspired by this fiction author, too!

Buy the book

Rebuild: How to thrive in the new Kindness Economy 

Mary Portas

The former UK TV retail guru expands her remit to look at a whole new form of economic system. She shows a new way to do business in this changing world. 

Buy the book

Restoring The Wild

Roy Dennis

Here at NEXT, we’re always looking five to 10 years out. But for a truly long-range vision, this book by one of Europe’s leading conservationists is an inspiration. He’s led species reintroduction projects that have lasted decades and helped bring birds like ospreys and sea eagles to parts of Europe where they went extinct centuries ago. It’s inspiring, yes, but also sobering — restoring nature takes a long, long time. 

Buy the book


It’s not just about the books, folk. Newsletters have been the breakout form of 2021, so here’s a few recommendations:

Futurbulences by Pascal Wicht

Wicht takes a macro view of things happening all over the world and makes interesting connections and explanations and predictions based on them. Very knowledgeable guy with really cool insights.

Subscribe here

New World, Same Humans by David Mattin

We’ve republished some issues of this, but the regular NEXT host and speaker’s newsletter is an essential read. 

Subscribe here

In German

While the NEXT site is decidedly anglophone, as is the conference, we’re proud of our German heritage, and love and appreciate our local community members. So, here’s a few recommendations for excellent texts in our native tongue… 

Book: Die Kunst, ein kreatives Leben zu führen: oder Anregung zu Achtsamkeit

Frank Berzbach

This is an especially helpful read for creative people in agencies to help them slow down their own life and to shape it more mindfully.

Buy the book

Book: Die kleinste gemeinsame Wirklichkeit

Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim

Self-explanatory in my humble opinion, says our recommender. Who are we to argue? The author ruthlessly attacks the myths and disinformation of our age with the facts, as determined by science. 

Buy the book

Book: Exit Racism 

Tupoka Ogette

Times are changing and awareness of racism and marginalised groups is not optional anymore. This book provides the basic info every white person should have when living in this society.

Buy the book

Book: Mythos Motivation

Reinhard K. Sprenger

People’s motivation is still not understood in business and management context — or, at least, too often not well understood. This book sets out to explain and debunk some myths — and succeeds. 

Buy the book

Magazine: Neue Narrative – a magazine for new work 

Interesting reads, perspectives and tools on how organizations of the future can become more human-centred, transparent, democratic and sustainable. 

Learn more

Newsletter: Johannes Klingebiel’s newsletters

Many newsletters compile the latest trends and findings from technology, internet, and add some curious things to the mix. But Klingebiel does it very well.

Subscribe here

Photo by Giammarco on Unsplash