Age of Discovery by Ian Goldin
Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance

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The genie of globalisation cannot be put back into the bottle. The question now is how quickly societies adapt or face being torn apart by protest. Maybe someone should send Mr Trump a copy of this book; it might yield some thought-provoking tweets.
-Financial Times

Synopsis

The present is a contest between the bright and dark sides of discovery. To avoid being torn apart by its stresses, we need to recognize the fact—and gain courage and wisdom from the past. Age of Discovery shows how.

Now is the best moment in history to be alive, but we have never felt more anxious or divided. Human health, aggregate wealth and education are flourishing. Scientific discovery is racing forward. But the same global flows of trade, capital, people and ideas that make gains possible for some people deliver big losses to others—and make us all more vulnerable to one another.

Business and science are working giant revolutions upon our societies, but our politics and institutions evolve at a much slower pace. That’s why, in a moment when everyone ought to be celebrating giant global gains, many of us are righteously angry at being left out and stressed about where we’re headed.

To make sense of present shocks, we need to step back and recognize: we’ve been here before. The first Renaissance, the time of Columbus, Copernicus, Gutenberg and others, likewise redrew all maps of the world, democratized communication and sparked a flourishing of creative achievement. But their world also grappled with the same dark side of rapid change: social division, political extremism, insecurity, pandemics and other unintended consequences of discovery.

Now is the second Renaissance. We can still flourish—if we learn from the first.

 

About Ian Goldin

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Ian Goldin is director of the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, and professorial fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. He has served as vice president of the World Bank and advisor to President Nelson Mandela, and chief executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa. His many books include "Globalization for Development". Geoffrey Cameron is a research associate at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. He is currently principal researcher with the Bahá'í Community of Canada. Meera Balarajan holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and works for a research organization in the United Kingdom. She has also worked for the United Nations, a UK government department, and a grassroots NGO in India.
 
Published May 24, 2016 by St. Martin's Press. 322 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Computers & Technology, Science & Math, History. Non-fiction
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Financial Times

Above average
Reviewed by Gillian Tett on Jul 10 2016

The genie of globalisation cannot be put back into the bottle. The question now is how quickly societies adapt or face being torn apart by protest. Maybe someone should send Mr Trump a copy of this book; it might yield some thought-provoking tweets.

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