Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel

Although the book I’ll be reviewing today was first published in the year 2007, I only came upon it this year in a used bookstore. Raj Patel’s Stuffed and Starved lays bare the innards of the world’s food distribution systems and the market dominance of the megacorps in the business. The Guardian’s original review captures […]

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Book Review: Operation Elop, the final years of Nokia by Merina Salminen and Pekka Nykänen

Operation Elop, uploaded by Harri Kiljander has just been made available in English and I’m already on Chapter 8. I saw the editor’s tweet 23 minutes after he said “It’s done and available on Medium under a Creative Commons license” and I haven’t stopped diving in and out since. It starts with a memorable day […]

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Book Review: And The Weak Suffer What They Must? by Yanis Varoufakis

Ten years ago, I read and reviewed Making Globalization Work by Joseph Stiglitz – my first Big Econ tome iirc – and my attention was immediately engaged by the eminently readable style of writing. Reading Stiglitz not only raised the bar for my expectations from nonfiction writing but lowered the barriers to my resistance to […]

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Book Review- Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles by Richard Dowden

After a gap of 6 years and many more journeys looking at Africa through the lens of design ethnography, I sat down to re-read Richard Dowden‘s Africa this past weekend. It moved me to want to write so many times during the read, it’s a wonder I made it through the book before starting this […]

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Africa’s world trade: Informal economies and globalization from below by Margaret C. Lee

The entire text of Professor Margeret C. Lee’s work is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence. Clicking on the cover will take you directly to the PDF. Chapter 3 takes the reader through a journey to different countries of Africa, including Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, […]

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Book Review: Adventures in Stationery by James Ward

I read this book in one sitting yesterday. Now I’m here writing on it. Any adult who’s furtively indulged in scented erasers, colourful gel pens or handmade paper, to be shoved secretly down the lowermost drawer in the desk will love this book. Pens and pencils, paperclips and pushpins. James Ward lovingly describes them all, […]

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Book Review: An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions by Jean Dreze & Amartya Sen

Photo Credit: India Habitat Centre, New Delhi Just over a month ago, in Kinokuniya bookstore located in Singapore’s Orchard Road, I picked up the hardcover release of Amartya Sen’s latest book – An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions – coauthored with Jean Dreze. Today, I’ve reached the point in my daily few pages of […]

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Reflecting on the good old fashioned explorer’s travelogue

Reading through Jan Chipchase’s stereotypically English approach to announcing the impending arrival of his apparently well received book is making me quirk my mouth in a remiscent smile of the days when we hung on every post – Chipchase at his height, splashed as the design researcher’s Indiana Jones, across the New York Times in […]

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Published! Pathways Out of Poverty by iBoPAsia Project

Innovating with the BoP in Southeast Asia. The iBoP Asia Project has published the complete set of small grants funding innovation projects for those at the Bottom of the Pyramid in the ASEAN region. One of the first projects to win the Small Grants competition in 2008 was The Prepaid Economy Project: Understanding BoP household […]

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The ingenuity economy: grassroots social enterprises abound

Since I’d recently completed my review of Robert Neuwirth’s book, Stealth of Nations – The rise of the global informal economy, it struck me that what best characterizes this economic activity is captured by him here: The French have a word that they often use to describe particularly effective and motivated people. They call them […]

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