6 Must Read Books for a Career in CSR

Mark Horoszowski

Mark Horoszowski is the co-founder and CEO of MovingWorlds.org.


Nothing prepares people for a career in CSR better than the combination of experience in business AND with social impact organizations. In the MovingWorlds Institute, we’ve supported hundreds of professionals in actively building their knowledge, skills, and experience to successfully pivot into a CSR career. In addition to recommending that people engage in skills-based volunteering, these are the 6 books we recommend most highly:

Art-of-war-cover1. The Art of War

The title couldn’t be more misleading, but the content is right on the mark (pun intended). The future of CSR is based on the ability of CSR leaders to align social-good projects with business strategy. Since The Art of War is used to teach strategy. If CSR leaders can speak the language of business and explain how their CSR initiatives can the benefit, then CSR programs will flourish and grow.

> Here is compelling rational for businesses adopting CSR

> Read The Art of War

The-Purpose-Economy-Book-Cover2. The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World

“Globally recognized entrepreneur and founder of Taproot Foundation, Aaron Hurst, who helped create the $15 billion pro bono service market, argues in his latest book, The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community is Changing the World (April 2, 2014, Elevate), that while these developments seem unrelated at first, taken together they reveal a powerful pattern that points to purpose as the new driver of the American economy.”

> See his website

> Read The Purpose Economy

Changing-Business-from-the-inside-out3. Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Tree-Hugger’s Guide to Working in Corporations

According to amazon.com “With more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 now publishing “sustainability reports,” a new career path has been forged in corporate responsibility. From strategy to data mining to supply chains and communication, this book is the “operator’s manual” for this new career path.”

> Learn how employees are using skills-based volunteering to create change

> Read Changing Business from the Insight Out

4. The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist: When Girls Meets Oil

According to Amazon.com “Bader’s story of working deep inside the belly of the beast is unique in its details, but not in its themes: of feeling like an outsider both inside the company (accused of being a closet activist) and out (assumed to be a corporate shill); of getting mixed messages from senior management; of being frustrated with corporate life but committed to pushing for change from within.”

> Here are reasons why your company should improve CSR

> Read The Evolution of a Corporate Idealist

Let-my-people-go-surfing-cover5. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

According to Amazon.com “In his long-awaited memoir, Yvon Chouinard-legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc.-shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth. From his youth as the son of a French Canadian blacksmith to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport’s equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life-a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.”

> Learn more about the power of experience vs. education

> Read Let My People Go Surfing


6. A Better World, Inc.: How Companies Profit by Solving Global Problems… Where Governments Cannot

Last, but certainly not least, is the new book from Alice Korngold, “Better World, Inc.”. According to Amazon.com “In A Better World, Inc., Korngold shows companies and their executives how to profit by developing solutions to the world’s most daunting challenges – those that governments cannot and have not addressed. Using case studies of various global companies from Nike to Pfizer to Vodafone and GlaxoSmithKline, A Better World, Inc. delineates best practices for corporations to maximize profits, decrease costs, and build the longer-term value of their companies by ensuring a more sustainable and humane world. ”

> Read Alice’s guest blog on the MovingWorlds blog

> Read A Better World, Inc.

Did we miss any books? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for more support finding purpose in your work and making an impact with your career, apply to join our MovingWorlds Institute Global Fellowship.