The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs Are Transforming the Global Economy

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Ours is the most dynamic era in human history. The benefits of four centuries of technological and organizational change are at last reaching a previously excluded global majority. This transformation will create large-scale opportunities in richer countries like the United States just as it has in poorer countries now in the ascent.

In The Coming Prosperity, Philip E. Auerswald argues that it is time to overcome the outdated narratives of fear that dominate public discourse ...

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Ours is the most dynamic era in human history. The benefits of four centuries of technological and organizational change are at last reaching a previously excluded global majority. This transformation will create large-scale opportunities in richer countries like the United States just as it has in poorer countries now in the ascent.

In The Coming Prosperity, Philip E. Auerswald argues that it is time to overcome the outdated narratives of fear that dominate public discourse and to grasp the powerful momentum of progress. Acknowledging the gravity of today's greatest global challenges--like climate change, water scarcity, and rapid urbanization--Auerswald emphasizes that the choices we make today will determine the extent and reach of the coming prosperity. To make the most of this epochal transition, he writes, the key is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs introduce new products and services, expand the range of global knowledge networks, and, most importantly, challenge established business interests, maintaining the vitality of mature capitalist economies and enhancing the viability of emerging ones. Auerswald frames narratives of inspiring entrepreneurs within the sweep of human history. The book's deft analysis of economic trends is enlivened by stories of entrepreneurs making an outsize difference in their communities and the world--people like Karim Khoja, who led the creation of the first mobile phone company in Afghanistan; Leila Janah, who is bringing digital-age opportunity to talented people trapped in refugee camps; and Victoria Hale, whose non-profit pharmaceutical company turned an orphan drug into a cure for black fever.

Engagingly written and bracingly realistic about the prospects of our historical moment, The Coming Prosperity disarms the current narratives of fear and brings to light the vast new opportunities in the expanding global economy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
George Mason University public policy professor Auerswald brings with him a message of hope and prosperity about global economic growth, with a wealth of historical data, facts, and anecdotes to support it. Referencing John Maynard Keynes, Auerswald argues against "focusing excessively on transient phenomena, at the expense of understanding longer-term trends." To address the question of how prosperity can come about, Auerswald turns to the work of Joseph Schumpeter and contrasts the work of the two thinkers: "To Keynes... technological unemployment was an affliction to be avoided if at all possible. To Schumpeter, the same phenomenon-the disruption of existing modes of business through linked process of technological and organizational innovation-was the definitive dynamic of prosperity in a democratic society." Here, the author aims to find within our current condition the impetus for change, and he suggests that the answer depends upon realizing "the patterns that connect human beings." He argues that levels of well-being matter more than unemployment rates, growth rates, and trends in global trade flows. With compelling writing, Auerswald offers an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. Agent: Jessica Papin, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher

"Philip Auerswald shows the role that innovators must play if we are to create 'The Coming Prosperity.' In this important book, he reminds us that challenging the status quo is the inescapable first step toward building the future of our dreams." --President Bill Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the United States

"Auerswald...digs down to show the many ways in which progress depends on creativity, not to mention persistence and luck...a lively writing style, and the analysis is lightened with personal anecdotes and pop-culture references." --The Wall Street Journal

"If you want to understand where and how the economy will recover, read this book. The Coming Prosperity illuminates our current historical moment and shines a light on the future we can have. Philip Auerswald weaves together a rich tapestry of insights that underpin a desperately needed 'reset' in our policies, institutions, economy and society." --Richard Florida, Director, Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Senior Editor at The Atlantic, and author of The Rise of the Creative Class

"The brilliant book you're holding isn't just a chronicle of necessary economic transformation -- it's a field guide to being a builder, an architect, a prime mover of the next global economy. One that's not just optimized for the industrial age pursuit of more, bigger, faster, cheaper, but for fundamentally better in terms that matter to humans. So if your goal might be summarized thus -- 'Ignore the haters. Listen to what matters. Topple the status quo' -- then fasten your seatbelt, take a deep breath, and get ready to create the future." --Umair Haque, author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business

"The Coming Prosperity is a refreshingly optimistic look at the role of entrepreneurship in building a more just and interconnected world. Auerswald is not only an economist, but also a real storyteller-this book is a relevant and engaging read for all of us interested in creating a more prosperous planet." --Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen Fund

"Philip Auerswald has given us a tonic for troubled times, one carefully calibrated to meet every skeptic's objection. His message is one of entrepreneurship, collaboration, and connection, unlocking the creative talent of billions all over the world. The Coming Prosperity is a compelling read." --Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University

"With compelling writing, Auerswald offers an enjoyable and thought-provoking read." --Publishers Weekly

"The main reason for his optimism is the promise of people---both in numbers and in individuals. As a mass, the several billion people newly and ever-more connected to the rest of the world through advances in communication represent a lot of productive potential. He notes that "the creativity of individual people powers human productivity" and cites a number of cases in which a single person, with the right idea, in the right place, and in concert with others, has been able to bring about positive and significant change. Auerswald, in short, believes in the power of entrepreneurship." --Contemporary Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199795178
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/2/2012
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Auerswald is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation. He is also the Co-founder and Co-editor of Innovations, a quarterly journal about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Time of Our Lives

Part I: Strength in Numbers
Chapter 1 - Car Trouble
Chapter 2 - Demographic Dividends
Chapter 3 - I'm So Bored With the PRC
Chapter 4 - Positive Insurgencies

Part II: The Animating Element
Chapter 5 - Mobilizing the Masses
Chapter 6 - You Are What You Venture
Chapter 7 - The Way of the Empty Hand
Chapter 8 - Before Adam Smith
Chapter 9 - What's Good for GMEL

Part III: Participatory Prosperity
Chapter 10 - Time to be What Matters
Chapter 11 - Collaborative Advantage
Chapter 12 - From Passion to Purpose

Part IV: The Next America
Chapter 13 - Fear Itself
Chapter 14 - Left, RightELForward
Chapter 15 - You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted March 26, 2012

    As someone who has been following the development and entreprene

    As someone who has been following the development and entrepreneurship spaces, I found this book tremendously insightful. It coherently articulates the importance of supporting entrepreneurs and innovators around the world, in order to end poverty and lift up all of our collective societies. The Coming Prosperity shows us why China's rise can benefit America too and why we need to be engaged in it rather than threatened. This is an important read. It is an engaging one as well. Auserwald dons his storyteller cap while giving us his sharp economist perspective.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This iconoclastic, deeply informed book by economist Philip E. A

    This iconoclastic, deeply informed book by economist Philip E. Auerswald contests conventional pessimistic thinking on some big issues – from recession to global warming – facing humanity in general and business and government in particular. He says the solutions lie in the millions of people who are rising up from economic exclusion to become entrepreneurs. Writing – sometimes with a dash of humor – from the unrepentant point of view of an economist, Auerswald uses a rigorous theoretical economic framework and compelling case histories to set his book apart from other arguments for confidence about the future. He combines scholarship about everyone from Adam Smith to Joseph Schumpeter with personal anecdotes about his development and the evolution of his thinking about the future. Occasionally, the personal jars a little with the grand theory. Auerswald is the first to note his book’s obvious flaw: the lack of a detailed plan to achieve the rosy outcomes he predicts. A more disciplined focus and fewer argumentative swerves might have paid dividends. He offers an approach to solving intractable problems, rather than the solution itself, but getAbstract finds his realistic reticence and his optimism worthy of respect.

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    The global economy is at a crossroads. In Europe, financial mele

    The global economy is at a crossroads. In Europe, financial melees have enthralled governments and threatened long-term economic vitality. Washington is also struggling. Bipartisan gridlock, a Congress that can’t seem to agree on anything, and policies that many argue have fallen short in resuscitating the economy have shaken an already anxious populace.

    Despite the tremendous crisis the world has faced, the global conversation has failed to focus on the one thing that can accelerate the changes necessary to solve our problems: entrepreneurship. This is the main theme of Phil Auerswald’s convincing piece of literature on the topic. In “The Coming Prosperity”, Auerswald illustrates that the interconnectedness of the global economy, the availability of cheap and user-friendly technologies, and growth of knowledge capital are driving the new wave of global entrepreneurs. Around the world, people are working hard to turn their ideas into innovations, and create products as well as services that benefit communities as a whole.

    Recently, the 112th Congress did actually do something, passing the Jumpstart Our Business Startup (JOBS) Act making it easier for start-ups to raise funds, hire employees, and go public. President Obama is expected to sign the measure soon. This is certainly a welcome sign, but it’s far from representative of all that needs to happen in addressing our greatest challenges. There absolutely needs to be a fuller, more robust, and dedicated effort to bring entrepreneurship to the mainstream and keep it there.

    Policies can only go so far in creating an environment that enables entrepreneurs to thrive. Entrepreneurs create new ways of directing nature and change how we live our lives. They find new ways of assembling and coordinating the interactions between people. So many amazing accomplishments go completely unnoticed. There must be a sea change and a cultural adjustment as to how we promote the contributions of entrepreneurs to our overall well-being. Phil Auerswald’s book is a great starting point in building the discussion. We just need to get the show on the road.

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    Posted March 17, 2012

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