Understanding the complex world of today for a better tomorrow

In the mid-1970s CBS Television began running 30-second promo spots at the end of television shows deemed worthy of educating viewers. CBS provided subject-related books available for reading from a local library. Today’s college students were not born when this aired. And most of their parents as well.

Throughout my life, I held a special privilege working with college students at The University of Chicago, Marquette University, The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and the University of Wisconsin.

Many discussions revolved around textbooks in their current semester. Yet some of my most rewarding discussions revolved around life outside of college. Consider yourself fortunate to be apart of a campus community for over 20 years engaging students and faculty.

To go back in time…I wish a mentor would have presented me with those important books during my time in college. To fully digest, and understand the coming lessons facing me upon graduation.

Below is my humble list for students today. Readers will find lessons timeless. Others are painfully repeated. I believe these will boldly serve as a guide for anyone.






Big Data:

The Watergate Crisis:

2008 Global Financial Crisis:

9/11 and the War on Terror:

The Vietnam War:

Great authors cross our lives many times. Consider how they share lessons and ideas on society, economics, globalization and ideas. Others succeed regarding design, organizations and law:

Author Tom Friedman:

Author Jim Collins:

Author Chris Anderson:

Author Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner:

Author Malcolm Gladwell:

Author Edward Tufte:

Author Guy Kawasaki:

Author Seth Godin:

Author Tom Kelley:

Author Paul Krugman:

Author Albert-Laszlo Barabasi:

Author Larry Lessig:

Author Jon Krakauer:

Author Tom Rath: