The present is a contest between the bright and dark sides of discovery. To avoid being torn apart by its stresses, we need to recognise the fact―and gain courage and wisdom from the past. Through the lens of his new book, Age of Discovery, Chris Kutarna shows how to make sense of the many shocks that define the age we live in: from Brexit (which he publicly predicted in the British media) to the 2016 US presidential race to climate change and international terrorism.
Now is the best moment in history to be alive, but humanity has never felt more anxious or divided. Human health, wealth and education are flourishing. Scientific discovery is racing forward. But the same global flows of trade, capital, people and ideas that make gains possible for some people deliver big losses to others―and make us all more vulnerable to one another.
To make sense of present shocks, we need to step back and recognise: we’ve been here before. The first Renaissance, the time of Columbus, Copernicus, Gutenberg and others, likewise redrew all maps of the world, multiplied knowledge and sparked a flourishing of creative achievement. But their world also grappled with the same dark side of rapid change: social division, political extremism, insecurity, pandemics and other unintended consequences of discovery.
Now is the second Renaissance. We can flourish again―if we learn from the first.
Register here to find out more about the new Age of Discovery directly from Chris himself!
Date: 9 September, 2016, Friday.
Venue: Central Library Theatrette 2
About Chris Kutarna
Chris Kutarna is a two-time Governor General’s Medalist, a Sauvé Fellow and Commonwealth Scholar, and a Fellow of the Oxford Martin School with a doctorate in politics from the University of Oxford. A former consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, then entrepreneur, Chris lived in China for several years and remains a regular op-ed contributor to one of China’s top-ranked news magazines. (He lived in Australia and New Zealand for several years, and still cannot surf.)
Chris is the author of Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance, published globally in 2016. His prior works include the best-selling Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything (2008), for which Chris was the lead China researcher.
Born on the Canadian Prairies, Chris is, rather incongruously, an avid and accomplished rower and rowing coach. He divides his time between Oxford, Beijing and Regina.