Ah, welcome welcome. I see you enjoyed last week’s edition and are back for more. Well we won’t disappoint. For the uninitiated (go back and start at post one, please) the team at TNW has made a New Year’s Resolution to read a bit more. So every week, a select number of our team will be sharing with you what’s currently living on their nightstand, or saved in Pocket, or is sitting in that browser tab begging to be read.
This week we have stories of migrants trying to navigate through drug-lord controlled central America, Malcolm Gladwell’s investigation into trends and behavior and a novel that explores how a mysterious corporation wants to gobble up all your private data.
The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail – Oscar Martinez
Oscar Martinez’s background as a reporter is what sets The Beast apart from other glimpses into the journeys of Central Americans through Mexico and towards the US.
A frank and insightful book that returns again and again to well-crafted but unsettling stories of migrants making their way through the perilous narco-controlled routes. Many without a happy ending.
The reason Martinez can tell the stories with such detail and accuracy is because he literally walked in their shoes – riding the rails, dodging the killers and trying not to get thrown off the roof of a rackety train.
From the comfort of my lounge, it’s all too easy to say the result was worth it, but it really was.
– Ben Woods, European Editor
Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
This book was my bible at my Network Communication course back in Hungary and I was always thankful for my professor to recommend this amazing book for us to read. Since then I read everything from Malcolm Gladwell who is not just a well-known author and journalist but also a really inspirational speaker.
Tipping Point shows you how a trend or a behavior can cross the line and spread all around the world. It also gives a great introduction of what circumstances (the three rules) you need to have to make this happen. Moreover, he also explains the difference between the type of people in your network who can have different roles namely: connectors, mavens and salesmen. I absolutely recommend it!
– Blanka Szamos, Event Organiser
Economic Development and Religious Freedom – Religious Freedom & Business Foundation
Yesterday I received a text message from a friend asking for prayers for a group of 22 Christian missionaries who were about to be executed by Afghani Islamists. While the shootings in Paris are now being slowly cast into the annals of history, atrocities are still happening around the world. Besides empathy and showing support, I asked myself whether there’s anything we can actually do to prevent these things from happening.
To better understand what this is all about, I turned to this article online. The piece sheds light on past conflicts and explains the differences in beliefs and cultures. But for me it was the correlation between economic growth and people’s views on religion that really caught my attention. Economic growth will only come and be stable where religious freedom is granted and supported. Bringing plurality together and supporting dialogue are the next steps to innovation and economic development.
Diversity is the solution, not the problem.
– Agnese Bearesi, Startups Liaison
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – David Shafer
I love me a good action-packed read, and David Shafer’s whirlwind adventure is right up my alley. It follows three characters on very different paths of life who come together to take on an international cabal focused on controlling the transmission of all the information in the world.
The novel takes on topics like Big Data and our right to privacy and whips them together in a cauldron bubbling with conspiracy theories and Dark Web-like networks. It’s exciting, funny and insightful all at the same time. I’m only a few chapters in at this point, but I can’t wait for the end of the week to devour the rest.
– Abhimanyu Ghoshal, Reporter
This is a #TNWLife article, a look into the lives of those that work at The Next Web.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.
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