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The Edit: The Best of 2021
The Edit

The Edit: The Best of 2021

Our selection of the best articles, podcasts and videos from 2021.

7 minute read

By Hannah Finch
23rd Dec 2021

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to relax with a glass of something bubbly. It’s not that 2021 was bad, quite the opposite, but it has been full. Here at The Beautiful Truth we launched our magazine online, premiered our first feature-length documentary, The Purpose of Capitalism and are currently putting the final touches on our print magazine, debuting in March 2022.

We will be taking the next couple of weeks to recharge, and hope you can do the same. In the meantime, we’d like to leave you with a selection of our favourite content from across the whole year – a mixture of the best articles, podcasts and videos from creatives and writers around the world.  

From all of us here at The Beautiful Truth, we hope you have a joyful and restful Christmas. 


Help your employees find purpose – or watch them leave

Naina Dhingra, Andrew Samo, Bill Schaninger & Matt Schrimper     |     5th April     |     2763 words     |     McKinsey & Company

Employees are increasingly expecting their job to bring a sense of purpose to their lives. McKinsey explores why and how businesses need to help their employees discover their purpose, or risk losing their talent to more purposeful organisations.

How to discover your “why” in difficult times

Simon Sinek     |     April     |     15 min video     |     TED Talks

Leadership expert Simon Sinek discusses his experiences with mental health issues in the pandemic, why we need to nurture friendships and why it’s essential to uncover our ‘why’ – even in times of crisis. 

The Business Case for Purpose

Alex Edmans     |     9th Dec     |     3 min video     |     The Beautiful Truth

How do we pursue profit and purpose at the same time? Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance at London Business School and Academic Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance, argues that there is a business case for purpose – not just a moral one.


Why is it so hard to speak up at work? 

Ruchika Tulshyan     |     15th March     |     1325 words     |     The New York Times

Psychological safety is essential to innovative workplaces. Ruchika Tulshyan examines why this is, and why women of colour are the most likely to feel uncomfortable sharing ideas. 

Out of the Shadows: Sustainably Improving Workplace Mental Health 

Alistair Carmichael, Fiona Lander &Richard Steele     |     9th April     |     2515 words     |     McKinsey & Co 

The pandemic has made mental health challenges in the workplace worse. McKinsey looks into why leaders need to take a holistic and methodical approach to supporting their employees’ wellbeing.

The Future of Work Should Mean Working Less 

Jonathan Malesic     |     Oct     |     2301 words     |     The New York Times

The pandemic has shown us that we exist to do more than just work. Jonathan Malesic makes the case that we should all reflect on how our jobs fit into the rest of our lives.


Robin Dunbar makes the case for human connection

Robin Dunbar     |     30th March     |     55 min podcast     |     Eat Sleep Work Repeat

Oxford professor Robin Dunbar and author of Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships discusses why human connection is fundamental to how we live our lives.

Great Minds Don’t Think Alike

Arielle Domb     |     19th July     |     2562 words     |     The Beautiful Truth

If we aren’t working with people who think differently to us, we’ll all lose out.

Abstract image of face and shapes

100 Good Things

Dacher Keltner     |     16th Sep     |     18 min podcast     |     The Science of Happiness Podcast

Psychology professor and host of The Science of Happiness Podcast Dacher Keltner puts himself in the hot seat and tries one of the most popular happiness practices out there.

Caring for the vulnerable opens up our richest, deepest brain states 

Alison Gopnik     |     20th Sep     |     6 min video     |     Aeon Video Shorts

Alison Gopnik, writer, Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley explains why caring for those who are vulnerable might be responsible for humanity’s best qualities.


How Hope Can Change The World 

Alice Treasure     |     18th Nov     |     2311 words     |     The Beautiful Truth

With the pressure on for leaders following Glasgow’s conference and negative rhetoric massing, why is hope more critical than ever to the fight against climate change?

Talking net positive with Paul Polman and Andrew Winston

Paul Polman & Andrew Winston     |     14th Oct     |     51 min podcast     |     Outrage & Optimism Podcast 

Can every business be net positive? Former Unilever CEO Paul Polman and acclaimed sustainability writer Andrew Winston discuss their new book, Net Positive: How Courageous Companies Thrive by Giving More Than They Take, and how organisations can contribute to ending inequality and climate change. 

Earth to COP

1st Nov     |     4 min video     |     COP26 YouTube

A short film documenting the impact of climate change from the perspective of people across the globe and shown to international leaders at the climate summit in Glasgow.


Johan Norberg: Open

Johan Norberg     |     5th July     |     3 min video     |     The Beautiful Truth

Are human beings fundamentally open or closed-minded? According to historian Johan Norberg, we’re both.

To Infinity, and Beyond

Tim Jackson     |     28th July     |     4116 words     |     The Beautiful Truth

Ecological Economist Tim Jackson argues that the billionaire space race epitomizes everything that is wrong with capitalism today.

Jeff Bezos next to Blue Origin spacecraft

When Black history is unearthed, who gets to speak for the dead?

Jill Lepore     |     27th Sep     |     9033 words     |     The New Yorker 

Jill Lepore explores how efforts to restore and rescue Black burial sites is unearthing deep conflicts over inheritance and representation in America.

Pandemic Life

Travel will never be the same again 

Rosie Spinks     |     8th March     |     2244 words     |     Hothouse Solutions

Rosie Spinks reflects on how the pandemic may revert travel back to being a luxury, and why that might not be a bad thing in this travel focused edition of Hothouse’s monthly climate solutions. 

The CEO of Pfizer on Developing a Vaccine in Record Time

Alberta Bourla     |     May Issue     |     3763 words     |     Harvard Business Review

Pfizer’s chief reflects on the journey to developing the world’s first Covid vaccine, and what the record-breaking achievement means for humanity.

The Age of Reopening Anxiety 

Anna Russell     |     3rd June     |     2681 words     |     The New Yorker

London-based writer Anna Russell charts the anxiety many of us experienced upon society reopening earlier in the year, and reflects on the things that really matter during the pandemic.

For all our other #Edits of the year, click here.

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