The Global Innovator: How Nations Have Held and Lost the Innovative Edge

The Global Innovator:  How Nations Have Held and Lost the Innovative Edge

A sweeping history of innovation ranging more than five thousand years, it presents a model to explain why some places have been highly innovative, while others have not been.  Although many business writers, economists, and journalists are deeply interested in innovation and are trying to predict or explain what causes innovation, none have adequately used history to identify the ingredients of success. 

This book does this in the manner of other highly successful historical works such as Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of Great Powers or Yuval Harari’s Sapiens:  A Brief History of Human Kind.  In a similar manner, The Global Innovator shows how nations have harnessed the powers of human interactions, trade, and exchange to become fertile and influential centres of learning, creativity, science, knowledge and innovation. 

The story begins in the ancient world of Greece and Rome, follows innovation leadership to Islamic civilization in the Middle Ages, to Song and Ming China, to Europe in the Renaissance, England in the Industrial Revolution, the United States in the ninetieth and twentieth centuries, finally to China today.  In each case, the authors argue, these cultures mastered the demands of innovation and added to human knowledge and potential by creating new forms of innovation that others would then imitate and move forward.

The book ends by considering the global nature of innovation today and the question of whether China is becoming the next world leader of innovation, or if the United States will continue to dominate.

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