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

24 May 2016

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Ian Goldin and co-author Chris Kutarna define the present day as a New Renaissance - a rare moment of flourishing genius and risk that promises to reshape all our lives.

Da Vinci, Columbus, Copernicus, Luther, Gutenberg. These names recall an era in which an unprecedented rush of discovery and disruption broke through long-standing barriers and broke down equally long-standing powers. This rush entangled the whole world politically, economically and intellectually, and reshaped society. Now, the same forces that converged 500 years ago to spark genius and upend social order -great leaps in science, trade, migration, technology, education and health - are once again present, only stronger and more widespread.

In Age of Discovery, Ian Goldin and Chris Kutarna show how we can draw courage and wisdom from the last Renaissance in order to fashion our own golden age out of this New Renaissance. Whether we’re seized by Gutenberg or Zuckerberg; the discovery of the Americas or the rise of China; copperplate or silicon etching; the Bonfire of the Vanities or the rise of ISIS; the spread of syphilis or the Ebola pandemic - a Renaissance moment, then and now, forces humanity to give its best just when the stakes are highest.

Age of Discovery navigates the crises of our time and helps us all define a legacy that the world will still celebrate half a millennium from now.