Marshall McLuhan Decodes Our Present

I’ve been reading a lot of Marshall McLuhan lately. McLuhan was the Canadian public intellectual of the 20th century who coined the phrase “global village” and “the medium is the message”. His 1962 book The Gutenberg Galaxy was one of the first to draw connections...

The radical remaking of economics

“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” (Marcel Proust) I’ve been reflecting on these words, which Marcel Proust wrote in his 1923 work, Remembrance of Things Past. They summarize, better than I could, the...

Let Social Media Run Amok

Last week, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter appeared together before the U.S. Congress. Senators grilled them about Russia’s ongoing use of their social media platforms to influence U.S. public opinion—and, last year, to nudge the outcome of the 2016...

Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map

For this week’s letter, I want to share with you an article that I just co-published with my good friend and intellectual maestro, Massimo Portincaso. Massimo is a partner at my old stomping grounds, The Boston Consulting Group, and these days, he runs BCG’s...

Does Democracy Still Work?

As you know, I like to talk about our collective need to “make new maps” to better navigate this age we live. Another way to think about this same need is to question the fitness of our “social technologies”. An economist and historian at Columbia University, Richard...

Questing for Economic Utopia (Part 2)

Society does not serve the economy. The economy serves society. That seems obvious, and yet core to redrawing the maps that guide us toward “prosperity”. The first Renaissance proved powerfully that society’s progress is a bigger concept than economic progress....

Questing for Economic Utopia (Part 1)

This year is the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia, a book that, in the midst of the political, social and technological upheavals of the first Renaissance, imagined a radically different society. “Utopia” literally means “no-place”, and over time the word has...

Mundus Novus

I hope everyone had a great summer (or winter, depending on your hemisphere). It was a busy few months of writing, researching, travel, reflecting and speaking for me. A common narrative nowadays is that we are flooded—overwhelmed—with data and information. But this...