17 Sport Team

Purpose-Driven Book Picks

The reads that have inspired us, shaped our world view or simply brought us joy in 2020

17 Sport


In a turbulent year, books have provided refuge, inspiration, education and hope for many of us. These are our team picks for 2020. We hope they energize you on your journey to lead the world in a more just and sustainable direction, in the sports industry and beyond.

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men By Caroline Criado Perez

Picked by: Halina Myers, Designer and Sustainability Strategist

Why it made the list: It was enlightening, frustrating and inspiring all at the same time to learn about the deep rooted gender data gaps across all aspects of society, business and family life. It really centered in on systemic gender bias, and opened my eyes to countless instances in my own everyday life that are a result of the gender data bias. If there is one book that rallies you to support gender equality, this is it.

Recommended for: Everyone should read this book — it’s pivotal in understanding the position of women in the world, and a springboard for motivating and activating change.

The Infinite Game By Simon Sinek

Picked by: Mike Geddes, Chief Purpose Officer

Why it made the list: Inspiration for the 17 Sport Purpose plan!

Favorite quote: “There are no winners or losers in an infinite game; there is only ahead and behind.”

Recommended for: Everyone at 17 and those that are part of the Purpose revolution!

Talking to Strangers By Malcolm Gladwell

Picked by: Jo Ramsay, Strategy Director

Why it made the list: In a year where we’ve seen so much misunderstanding and intolerance towards difference, it was particularly pertinent.

Favorite quote: “The conviction that we know others better than they know us - and that we may have insights about them they lack (but not vice versa)- leads us to talk when we would do well to listen and to be less patient than we ought to be when others express the conviction that they are the ones who are being misunderstood or judged unfairly.”

Recommended for: Anyone who is interested in understanding more about why we act the way we do

The Second Mountain By David Brooks

Picked by: Neill Duffy, Chief Executive & Co-Founder

Why it made the list: The Second Mountain offers a thought-provoking perspective that touches on the deeper aspects of our humanity.

Favorite quote: “Happiness fades; we get used to the things that used to make us happy. Joy doesn’t fade. To live with joy is to live with wonder, gratitude and hope. People who are on the second mountain have been transformed. They are deeply committed. The outpouring of love has become a steady force.”

Recommended for: Anyone who is looking to redirect their path.

The Gift By Dr. Edith Eger

Picked by: Emma Kennedy, Content & Community Manager

Why it made the list: When talking about effecting positive change, I believe it is imperative to start with ourselves. This book gives many thought-provoking tools to bolster self-awareness and strengthen emotional resilience.

A strong example that we can seek to remain present and aware of all the strife within the world and ourselves - and yet remaining relentlessly hopeful that good can come from bad, and curious as to what may happen next.

Favorite quote: “It takes courage not to be discouraged…But never give up. There’s progress and change all around us.”

Recommended for: Anyone who is looking to increase the space between stimulus and response.

Labyrinths By Jorge Luis Borges

Picked by: Francois Singer, Purpose Sales Executive

Why it made the list: It made me feel like it’s more than okay to be lost; there’s beauty in wandering as long as there’s curiosity in the journey. This little book captures both the existential dread and the wonder of being human. It’s a masterpiece.

Recommended for: Everyone

The Little Paris Bookshop By Nina George

Picked by: Georgie Young, Senior Project Manager

Why it made the list: A love letter to books and bookshops — and a reminder that it is never too late to right a wrong and one is never too old to be adventurous, impulsive and to follow one’s heart.

Recommended for: Anyone who is looking for a reminder that all is not lost no matter how much time has passed, and certainly those who like a sprinkle of romance and a bucket full of heart.

Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World By Jeff Gordinier

Picked by: Andrew Wisniewski, Account Manager and Communications Strategist

Why it made the list: The book takes you on a journey across the globe describing places and food that has eluded most of us this year. But beyond that, the book describes a journey of starting over. Of not holding too tightly to a certain way of doing things or subscribing to fixed way of thinking. It inspired me to interrogate why I do things the way I do and how I can challenge my own thinking.

Favorite quote: “What is creativity? I’ve been asking myself while writing this journal. I’m not sure, but tonight I will answer it like this: creativity is the ability to store the special moments, big or small, that occur throughout your life, then being able to see how they connect to the moment you’re in. When past and present merge, something new happens.”

“After the final no there comes a yes / And on that yes the future world depends.”*

*Written in this book but from the Wallace Stevens poem The Well Dressed Man with a Beard

Recommended for: Anyone who needs a little push to start.

Finite & Infinite Games By James P. Carse

Picked by: Raphael Ostré, Amplification Senior Manager

Why it made the list: During lockdown, this book was a great help to strengthen my mental game, to keep faith and to let go of what is not important or not in my hands. Got me into a new vision of life!

Favorite quote: “A finite game is played for the purpose of winning and infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.”

Recommended for: People ready to challenge their own principles, views and status.

Untamed By Glennon Doyle

Picked by: Patty Hubbard, Brand Strategist & Advisor

The why: I liked the gritty honesty. It influenced me to trust myself and my instincts, and that being uncomfortable is ok.

Favorite quote: “You are a goddamn cheetah.”

Recommended for: Primarily women, but also men who are struggling to find ways to be and live as their true selves.

The Purpose Revolution By John B. Izzo and Jeff Vanderwielen

Picked by: Fabien Paget, Co-Founder and CEO

Why it made the list: The Purpose Revolution perfectly reflects how the world is changing and how best to embrace this transformation. It calls on you to question your inner self on many topics, including on your personal purpose and how you want to contribute to make a positive difference in the world.

Favorite quote: “Be honest and identify what’s the voice that matters to you first.”

Recommended for: Everyone!

40 Rules of Love By Elif Shafak

Picked by: Alisar Awwad, Communications Coordinator

Why it made the list: Without reading this, and operating my life through a framework of love, I don’t think I would be standing tall and grounded today.

Favorite quote: “Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language as we know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.”

Recommended for: Anyone and everyone who identifies as a human.

Legacy $port: How to win at the business of sport in the age of social good By Neill Duffy, Fabien Paget and Jo Ramsay

Picked by: 17 Sport Team

The why: We may be a little biased, but for us, a 2020 book recommendation list would not be complete without a nod to Legacy $port. Written by 17 Sport’s Neill Duffy, Fabien Paget and Jo Ramsay, Legacy $port is a guide for anyone who wants their business to thrive whilst making a positive difference in the world.

Recommended for: Anyone who believes the business of sport can be a powerful catalyst in the creation of a more just world.

Buy Now: Legacy $port on Sunbury Press| Amazon

Other recommendations included New Power, by Jeremy Heitmans and Henry Timms; Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake and the Making of a Family, by Mitch Albom; Un Dernier Tour de Piste, by Martin Fourcade; Eat Sweat Play: How sport can change our lives, by Anna Kessel; Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard; and The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig.

What would you add to the list?

17 Sport is the world’s first truly integrated sports impact company on a mission to build a positive future for the world through sport. We provide purpose-led advisory, commercial and management solutions for brands, sports properties, athletes and non-profits wanting to manage their investments in sport in a more purposeful way.

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17 Sport

We are an impact company working with leaders in sport & business to accelerate the transformation of sport into a force for good. Posting in English & French.