Our new Renaissance: Will we survive?

an attendee tries on the new Oculus Go goggles during F8, Facebook’s developer conference, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Jason Middleton

Renaissance Pt. Two

It’s not just you. We’re all feeling it. The angst, turmoil, upheaval and possibility that comes with a new age of renaissance.

Global health, wealth and education are booming; scientific discovery is flourishing. But, the same forces that make big gains possible for some, deliver big losses to others.

The authors of “The Age of Discovery” show, through a historical lens, that human civilization is experiencing a technological, scientific and economic shift — along with the cultural spasms and stress that comes with it.

(And if you pile on climate change, it sure doesn’t feel great being the sausage in the grinder.)

Chris Kutarna, a  historian and one of the co-authors, kindly joins us in segment one to draw parallels between growing pains in the first Renaissance, and what is happening now.

The first Renaissance, the time of Columbus, Copernicus, Gutenberg and others, redrew the maps of the world, liberated information and shifted Western civilization from the medieval to the early modern era.

Such change came at a steep price: social division, political extremism, economic shocks and pandemics were just a few of the costs.

How society responds is clearly critical to making it out in one piece. We ask Mr Kutarna: Can we survive this one?

New Capitalism

The seismic societal shifts are permeating all sectors of life, including the economy. We focus on the latter in segment two.

Bill Janeway’s new book: “Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy,” puts his 40 years of experience (and success) into written form, and we are lucky enough to hear his insights!

Mr Janewayhas lived a double life of “theorist-practitioner,” according to the legendary economist Hyman Minsky, who first applied that term to him twenty-five years ago.

In his role as “practitioner,” Janeway has been an active growth equity investor for more than 40 years. His theory is that asset bubbles play a central role in financing technological innovation and state investment in national goals enable the innovation process.

Now, the digital revolution, sponsored by the state and funded by speculation, has matured to attack the authority, and even the legitimacy, of governments.

Janeway also holds the title of senior advisor and managing director of Warburg Pincus, where he has been responsible for building the information technology investment practice.

As a “theorist,” he is an affiliated member of the Faculty of Economics of Cambridge University, a member of the board of directors of the Social Science Research Council, the Fields Institute for Research in the Mathematical Sciences, and of the Advisory Board of the Princeton Bendheim Center for Finance.

In summation: we have two heavy-hitting authors on the show this week to help us tee up how to survive and thrive during this shift that is a second renaissance!

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Have great weeks everybody!

 

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