Written by Lauren

The Financial Times and Schroeders Group (investment managers) just announced the shortlist for their 2023 Business Book of the Year.

The six finalists, awarded to the author(s) of the book providing the “most compelling and enjoyable” insight into the most pressing business issues of the day, include works about the dangers posed by the mining of natural resources, how to handle failure and the challenges of navigating today’s increasingly rapid technological advances.

Judges say they look for books “whose insights and influence will stand the test of time,” and call the six books they chose “exciting, engaging and important titles that together provide a highly readable guide to the future of business.”

The winner of the global award—which will be announced in London in December—will receive £30,000 (about €34,442), although each finalist below gets £10,000 (€11,480).

Read on to see who and what they are and why, in the judges words, they were chosen.

Material World: A Substantial Story of Our Past and Future, by Ed Conway, “explores the origins and uses of six key minerals that make up “the bedrock of our lives today,” underlining the environmental risks even as the world tries to pursue a more sustainable path.”

Right Kind of Wrong: Why Learning to Fail Can Teach Us to Thrive, by Amy Edmondson, “describes how to “fail better” and take smarter risks, drawing on the Harvard professor’s groundbreaking research into “psychological safety” and speak-up cultures.”

How Big Things Get Done: The Surprising Factors Behind Every Successful Project, from Home Renovations to Space Exploration, by Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner, “examines the way megaprojects almost invariably run over time and over budget and shows how the lessons of such failures, and the rare successes, could be more widely applied.”

Elon Musk, by Walter Isaacson, “describes in closely reported detail how the entrepreneur rose to become one of the most influential forces in electric vehicle manufacture, social media and space exploration.”

Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives, by Siddharth Kara, “investigates the human rights abuses that taint the mining of the essential raw material cobalt, a quest that took him deep into the mining communities of the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

The Coming Wave: AI, Power and the Twenty-First Century’s Greatest Dilemma, by DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman (with Michael Bhaskar) “warns about the dangers of coming technologies such as generative AI, synthetic biology and quantum computing, and explains how to contain the dangers they could pose.”