TECHtonic Shifts

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I originally intended this book to be a diary about my days at the OECD. However, as the entries mounted up I soon realised that we are experiencing a great transition. When does a new era start? Once our old notions do not work anymore, or if using them becomes so forced that we begin losing touch with reality. We continue to employ the concepts of the epoch of globalisation such as international trade, labour productivity or the SME sector, although they apply less and less to the world of robots, giant digital corporations, new global value chains, user networks hundreds of millions strong and dynamic start-ups. Perhaps we can better understand the transformation around us if we adopt a different perspective and start out from what we see, i.e. the features of a new age.

The author has been the ambassador of Hungary to the OECD and the UNESCO in Paris, France, since 2014. Previously, he served as Minister of State for Economic Strategy in Hungary. He has worked as research fellow in Budapest, Vienna, Munich, Heidelberg, and Cardiff. He was professor of economic geography at Andrássy University Budapest, and has been lecturer at Kodolányi College in Hungary for two decades.

“Technology has transformed the tempo of change from nations to individual lives. Zoltán Cséfalvay does us a great service by connecting technology to both society and politics, and as such makes technology a central part of history, both in the past and going forward. His ability to align technology with a range of other human activities makes this an exceptionally important book.” -- George Friedman, Chairman of Geopolitical Futures and author of the New York Times Bestseller: The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century

“An exuberant romp on the theme of technology, but with many excursions into history, politics, business, and culture. Don’t plan to read this book from start to finish--just dive in.” -- Catherine L. Mann, Chief Economist of the OECD

“This is a truly comprehensive and sophisticated primer on the coming hybrid age of technological evolution and its worldwide impact, especially on the Millennial generation.” -- Parag Khanna, best-selling author of Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization

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Publisher
PublishDrive
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Published on
Jan 28, 2018
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Pages
443
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / International / Economics
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This content is DRM protected.
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The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.

In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option.

In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism.

Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now.

Can we pull off these changes in time? Nothing is certain. Nothing except that climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to us.
Route 312 is the Chinese Route 66. It flows three thousand miles from east to west, passing through the factory towns of the coastal areas, through the rural heart of China, then up into the Gobi Desert, where it merges with the Old Silk Road. The highway witnesses every part of the social and economic revolution that is turning China upside down.

In this utterly surprising and deeply personal book, acclaimed National Public Radio reporter Rob Gifford, a fluent Mandarin speaker, takes the dramatic journey along Route 312 from its start in the boomtown of Shanghai to its end on the border with Kazakhstan. Gifford reveals the rich mosaic of modern Chinese life in all its contradictions, as he poses the crucial questions that all of us are asking about China: Will it really be the next global superpower? Is it as solid and as powerful as it looks from the outside? And who are the ordinary Chinese people, to whom the twenty-first century is supposed to belong?

Gifford is not alone on his journey. The largest migration in human history is taking place along highways such as Route 312, as tens of millions of people leave their homes in search of work. He sees signs of the booming urban economy everywhere, but he also uncovers many of the country’s frailties, and some of the deep-seated problems that could derail China’s rise.

The whole compelling adventure is told through the cast of colorful characters Gifford meets: garrulous talk-show hosts and ambitious yuppies, impoverished peasants and tragic prostitutes, cell-phone salesmen, AIDS patients, and Tibetan monks. He rides with members of a Shanghai jeep club, hitchhikes across the Gobi desert, and sings karaoke with migrant workers at truck stops along the way.

As he recounts his travels along Route 312, Rob Gifford gives a face to what has historically, for Westerners, been a faceless country and breathes life into a nation that is so often reduced to economic statistics. Finally, he sounds a warning that all is not well in the Chinese heartlands, that serious problems lie ahead, and that the future of the West has become inextricably linked with the fate of 1.3 billion Chinese people.

“Informative, delightful, and powerfully moving . . . Rob Gifford’s acute powers of observation, his sense of humor and adventure, and his determination to explore the wrenching dilemmas of China’s explosive development open readers’ eyes and reward their minds.”
–Robert A. Kapp, president, U.S.-China Business Council, 1994-2004
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