The ingenuity gap

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Knopf, Sep 23, 2000 - Business & Economics - 480 pages
8 Reviews
"The most persuasive forecast of the 21st century I have seen." --E.O. Wilson, author ofConsilience: The Unity of Knowledgeand twice winner of a Pulitzer prize.InThe Ingenuity Gap, Thomas Homer-Dixon, "global guru" (theToronto Star), "genuine academic celebrity" (Saturday Night) and "one of Canada's most talked about and controversial scholars" (Maclean's) asks: is our world becoming too complex, too fast-paced to manage? The challenges facing us - ranging from international financial crises and global climate change to pandemics of tuberculosis and AIDS- converge, intertwine, and remain largely beyond our ken. Most of suspect the "experts don't really know what's going on; that as a species we've released forces that are neither managed nor manageable. We are fast approaching a time when we may no longer be able to control a world that increasingly exceeds our grasp. This is "the ingenuity gap" - the term coined by Thomas Homer-Dixon, political scientist and advisor to the White House - the critical gap between our need for practical, innovative ideas to solve complex problems and our actual supply of those ideas. Through gripping narrative stories and incidents that exemplify his arguments, he takes us on a world tour that begins with a heartstopping description of the tragic crash of United Airlines Flight 232 from Denver to Chicago and includes Las Vegas inits desert, a wilderness beach in British Columbia, and his solitary search for a little girl in Patna, India. He shows how, in our complex world, while poor countries are particularly vulnerable to ingenuity gaps, our own rich countries are not immune, and we are caught dangerously between a soaring requirement for ingenuity and an increasingly uncertain supply. When the gap widens, political disintegration and violent upheaval can result, reaching into our own economies and daily lives in subtle ways. In compelling, lucid, prose, he makes real the problems we face and suggests how we might overcome them - in our own lives, our thing, our business and our societies.

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Review: The Ingenuity Gap: Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?

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Very interesting book that attempts to deal with a very complex set of issues. Homer-Dixon treats it as a voyage of discovery, which I am sure it was for him and which it can be for us, as we read his ... Read full review

Review: The Ingenuity Gap: Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?

User Review  - Goodreads

I enjoyed reading Homer-Dixon's other manuscripts, not much this one. The title itself is insulting and Homer-Dixon has not convinced me of humanity's lack of ingenuity in getting out of his "current ... Read full review


one How Are We Changing Our Relationship
two Do We Need More Ingenuity to Solve

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About the author (2000)

Thomas Homer-Dixon is Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto.  He is the author of Environment, Scarcity, and Violence.  He lives in Toronto.