Author(s): Ian Goldin
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.
Age of Discovery looks at the world on the brink of a new Renaissance and asks the question, how do we avoid chaos and disruption, and share more widely the benefits of progress?
A landmark new book. -- The Guardian A bold mega-analysis of global education, health, prosperity and technology...incisive and rich in context and granularity. -- Nature An essential guide-and a superb ride-through our current stormy moment. -- Arianna Huffington * Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post * A powerful journey...This book will help the world. -- Richard Branson * Founder, Virgin Group * Everyone should read it. -- Michael Spence * Nobel Laureate in Economics * Ian and Chris ask-and answer-the big, essential questions...We should thank them for their audacity. -- Christine Lagarde * Managing Director, International Monetary Fund * This fascinating book...should interest all who care about the future of humanity. -- Lord Martin Rees * Astronomer Royal & past President of the Royal Society * A much-needed dose of perspective in our increasingly short-term-focused world. -- Dominic Barton * Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Co * Essential reading to navigate the waves of innovation we face today. -- Garry Kasparov * 13th World Chess Champion * A call to action we all need to hear. -- Kumi Naidoo * International Executive Director, Greenpeace * An education and a great read in one. -- AC Grayling * Philosopher * Outstanding insights for all those interested in the stresses of the modern world and how other ages have confronted them. -- Andrew Hamilton * President, NYU & past Vice-Chancellor, Oxford University * A very important reminder to grasp the opportunities in the many challenges we are facing today. -- Hans-Paul Burkner * Chairman, Boston Consulting Group * A refreshing change from the shallow analyses and sterile nostrums of the right and the left...an impressive and important book. -- Edmund Phelps * Nobel Laureate in Economics * A hugely stimulating book...Everyone should heed the authors' call. -- Niall Ferguson * Professor of History, Harvard University * A must-read for present and future leaders everywhere. -- Asha Kanwar * President, Commonwealth of Learning * A remarkable feat of both history and prophecy. Ian and Chris have given us a gift of self-reflection that is indeed rare. I can't believe the book is so light and small for accomplishing such a heavy lift. -- Larry Brilliant * President, Skoll Global Threats Fund & past Executive Director, Google.org * A masterpiece. -- Vijay Govindarajan * New York Times best-selling author * A rich portrait...powerful parallels...essential insights for all of us-including for every emerging Michelangelo and da Vinci. -- Reid Hoffman * Founder & Chairman, LinkedIn *
Ian Goldin is Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford. He was Vice President of the World Bank and prior to that the Bank's Director of Development Policy. From 1996 to 2001 he was Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and also served as an advisor to President Nelson Mandela. He has been knighted by the French government and is an acclaimed author of 20 books.
Chris Kutarna is a two-time Governor General's Medallist, a Sauve Fellow and Commonwealth Scholar, and a Fellow of the Oxford Martin School with a doctorate in politics from the University of Oxford. A former consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, then entrepreneur, Chris lived in China for several years, speaks Mandarin, and remains a regular op-ed contributor to one of China's top-ranked news magazines. He resides in Oxford, Beijing and Regina.
1. What's Past is Prologue
Part I: The Facts of a Renaissance Age
2. The New World
3. New Tangles
4. Vitruvian Man
Part II: Flourishing Genius
5. Copernican Revolutions
6. Cathedrals, Believers and Doubt
Part III: Flourishing Risk
7. The Pox is Spreading, Venice is Sinking
8. Bonfires and Belonging
Part IV: The Contest for our Future