Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance

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Macmillan, May 24, 2016 - Business & Economics - 304 pages

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.


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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

The authors have done their best to draw a number of close parallels between the European Renaissance of 1399 – 1600 CE, and the present set of circumstance currently available to the world’s ... Read full review

Review: Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance

User Review  - Goodreads

Society is presently at a crossroads, despite economic and political problems around the world. Development potential is at a high, technology is changing our world at a breakneck pace and we are in a ... Read full review


PArt i
New Tangles
Vitruvian Man
Copernican Revolutions
Cathedrals Believers and Doubt
PArt iii
Bonfires and Belonging

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About the author (2016)

Ian Goldin is a professor and the director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He was Vice President of the World Bank from 2003-2006. Formerly, he was Chief Executive and Director of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and served as an adviser to President Nelson Mandela.

Chris Kutarna is a Sauvé Fellow and Commonwealth Scholar, and a Fellow of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. An expert on international politics and economics, he was a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, then entrepreneur, and is now involved in projects across Asia, North America and Europe.

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