At Citi Ventures, our mission is to help people, businesses, and communities thrive in a world of continuous change. Through our newsletter, we highlight accelerating trends and dissect how they will affect our employees, our business, and our clients. We have always held that the most important trends are not just driven by technological change, but also by behavioral and societal changes.
2020 is the perfect storm at the intersection of those three elements, and, as a result, may be the most consequential year of our lifetimes. The global pandemic has ripped through our lives, reminding us of our own fragility and spotlighting interconnected issues such as healthcare, economic inequality, and systemic racism. It is incumbent on all of us to help create new solutions for the challenges that lie ahead.
If you find some time to read over the next few months, I hope you will consider one of our recommended books below. I think you will find the selections as diverse and unique as our team. And I hope you will glean some ideas that help you create new solutions for the challenges we face. I would also love to hear what you are reading and add a few more items to my (never-ending) personal reading list.
When we look back on 2020, I hope that we will remember it as the year when we collectively began to address the structural inequities that have created unequal and unjust societies for so many people around the world. In this book, Kendi focuses on the harmful policies that have helped foster racism and invites readers to think about what an antiracist society might look like. Using data, history, and morality, he provides us with a guide for how we can all do better.
In short, it is not enough for us to be passive allies. We must act now.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s often easier for me to listen and learn while on the go. Fintech Insider is one of my weekly go-tos, as it features news analysis and in-depth interviews with the people I want to hear from in this constantly evolving space. The podcast stays ahead of the trends that I am watching and delivers insightful commentary on some of the toughest challenges that banks face today.
This story revolves around Jim Simons, a mathematician and former code-breaker for the U.S. government who founded Renaissance Technologies and helped to pioneer quantitative investing. He proved that relying on computer programs instead of human judgment can be just as effective in making trading decisions, as demonstrated by his average 39% gains over three decades. In this portrait, you get a behind-the-scenes look at a normally very private person and a deeper understanding of the forces that shaped his life and way of thinking.
In this poignant book, author Isabel Wilkerson takes a deep look at one of America’s lesser-known stories: the half-century-long migration of Black Americans from the South to northern cities looking for greater economic opportunity. While it is now a few years old, the book feels timely as it highlights many of the lingering effects of the systemic racism and classism that have plagued the U.S. for far too long. Often, the first step towards progress is understanding and acknowledging the past.
2020 has been an unprecedented year. While many of us are focused on the future and how our world is changing, there is much we can learn from past leaders as well. In this book, Doris Kearns Goodwin explores the leadership qualities of four U.S. presidents—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson—and how they masterfully navigated the financial, social, and political issues of their generations. She shares how each leader persevered despite numerous setbacks, highlighting their morality and resiliency. This is a fantastic read for anyone grappling with how to forge ahead through a crisis.
In Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital Carlota Perez introduces a repeatable pattern for understanding how innovation unfolds and spreads across an economy and society. Investors and inventors use the “Perez Framework” to identify the turning point when an innovation moves from the early “installation” phase of technology adoption to widespread deployment across the economy and society. The framework is particularly compelling today, as we stand at the potential turning point for technologies that can enable a more sustainable economy and society. Everything by Carlota is worth reading and practicing, and it all starts here.