7 August 2004

The Ingenuity Gap

Every once in awhile I come across a book that is so poignant and relevant to the conversations going on amongst us. The Ingenuity Gap is one of these books.

"Can we solve the problems of the future? Thomas Homer-Dixon tackles this question in a groundbreaking study of a world becoming too complex and too fast-paced to manage.

The challenges we face converge, intertwine, and often remain largely beyond our understanding. Most of us suspect that the "experts" don't really know what's going on and that as a species we've released forces that are neither managed nor manageable. This is the ingenuity gap, the critical gap between our need for ideas to solve complex problems and our actual supply of those ideas.

Poor countries are particularly vulnerable to ingenuity gaps, but our own rich countries are no longer immune, and we're all caught dangerously between a soaring requirement for ingenuity and an increasingly uncertain supply. As the gap widens, the result can be political disintegration and violent upheaval.

With riveting anecdotes and lucid argument, Thomas Homer-Dixon uses his ingenuity theory to suggest how we might approach these problems -- in our own lives, our thinking, our businesses, and our societies.

To receive regular updates and articles by Thomas Homer-Dixon about issues raised in The Ingenuity Gap, send your email address to info@ingenuitygap.com

Book Contents:


One: How Are We Changing Our Relationship to the World?
* Careening Into the Future
* Our New World
* The Big I

Two: Do We Need More Ingenuity to Solve the Problems of the Future?
* Complexities
* An Angry Beast
* Glimpsing the Abyss
* Unknown Unknowns

Three: Can We Supply the Ingenuity We Need?
* Brains and Ingenuity
* Ingenuity and Wealth
* Techno-Hubris
* White-Hot Landscapes

Four: What Does the Ingenuity Gap Mean for Our Future?
* Vegas
* Patna

Thomas Homer-Dixon, or "Tad" as he is known to his friends and colleagues, is Director of the Center for the Study of Peace and Conflict at the University of Toronto, and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto."

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