According to all the Marvel movies, when the world is in danger, there are certain specific people who can help. There’s the super solider with a shield, the big green behemoth, the spider-like teenager, and maybe a few others—and that’s about it.
But the truth is, you don’t need superpowers to save the world. And that’s good news, because our planet is facing some very real existential threats. So to become a hero in the great story of humanity, start by cracking open the five empowering reads below.
Download the Next Big Idea App for “Book Bite” summaries of hundreds of new nonfiction books like these—all prepared and read by the authors themselves.
Longpath: Becoming the Great Ancestors Our Future Needs—An Antidote for Short-Termism
By Ari Wallach
A paradigm-shifting manifesto for transforming our thinking from reactionary short-termism to the long-term, widening our scope beyond today, tomorrow, and to even five hundred years from now to reclaim meaning in our lives. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Ari Wallach, in the Next Big Idea App
Life on the Rocks: Building a Future for Coral Reefs
By Juli Berwald
A renowned ocean scientist offers an inspiring, lucid, meditative ode to coral reefs and the undaunted scientists working to save them against almost impossible odds. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Juli Berwald, in the Next Big Idea App
Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now
By John Doerr
By turns pragmatic and inspiring, Speed & Scale intersperses the venture capitalist’s wide-ranging analysis with firsthand accounts from Jeff Bezos, Christiana Figueres, Al Gore, Mary Barra, Bill Gates, and other intrepid policy leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and activists. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author John Doerr, in the Next Big Idea App
Care-Centered Politics: From the Home to the Planet
By Robert Gottlieb
An Occidental College professor emeritus explains why a care economy and care-centered politics can influence and reorient such issues as health, the environment, climate, race, inequality, gender, and immigration. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Robert Gottlieb, in the Next Big Idea App
What We Owe the Future
By William MacAskill
A renowned philosopher argues for “longtermism,” the idea that positively influencing the distant future is a key moral priority of our time. We must ensure that civilization would rebound if it collapsed, and prepare for a planet where the smartest beings are digital, not human. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author William MacAskill, in the Next Big Idea App
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