Make, Think, Imagine Engineering the Future of Civilisation Synopsis
LONGLISTED FOR THE FINANCIAL TIMES AND MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2019 'An ode to the ways in which engineering has improved human civilisation' John Hennessy, Chairman, Alphabet 'A blueprint for future global progress underpinned by the spirit of innovation' Lord Foster, architect Today's unprecedented pace of change leaves many people wondering what new technologies are doing to our lives. Has social media robbed us of our privacy and fed us with false information? Are the decisions about our health, security and finances made by computer programs inexplicable and biased? Will these algorithms become so complex that we can no longer control them? Are robots going to take our jobs? Will better healthcare lead to an ageing population which cannot be cared for? Can we provide housing for our ever-growing urban populations? Will we all be terrorised by autonomous drones that can identify and kill us, one by one? And has our demand for energy driven the Earth's climate to the edge of catastrophe? John Browne argues that we need not and must not put the brakes on technological advance. Civilisation is founded on engineering innovation; all progress stems from the human urge to make things and to shape the world around us, resulting in greater freedom, health and wealth for all. Drawing on history, his own experiences and conversations with many of today's great innovators, he uncovers the basis for all progress and its consequences, both good and bad. He argues compellingly that the same spark that triggers each innovation can be used to counter its negative consequences. Make, Think, Imagine provides an eloquent blueprint for how we can keep moving towards a brighter future.
Make, Think, Imagine Engineering the Future of Civilisation Press Reviews
[A] significant and satisfactory volume. Here Browne is as public intellectual and national guidance counselor, bent on directing the country out of its current post-imperial innovative quagmire and towards the sunlit uplands of a high-technology utopia, and presenting the very best of what he believes tomorrow's world has to offer us all. He has decided here to delve into the minds of others who are themselves busily solving technical problems 'not even conceived of', and who thereby are maybe bettering the world. This book, an engaging and stimulating trek through their thinking, is the result. Worthy and intelligent * Spectator * The public debate about technology has turned distinctly gloomy but here is the ex-boss of BP John Browne to cheer us up again about the promise of progress ... A much-needed antidote to pervasive pessimism -- Summer Reads * Financial Times * John Browne makes a compelling argument about the power of technological progress and its ability to bring prosperity to the global community. He expertly backs this central argument with in-depth historical research, interviews and his own personal experience to provide a blueprint for future global progress underpinned by the spirit of innovation. It is also a long overdue tribute to the importance of the engineer in our society -- Lord Foster, architect Lord Browne has written an ode to the ways in which engineering has improved human civilisation, from how we communicate, build, use energy and move to how we explore the universe. Make, Think, Imagine is a joy to read, with interesting historical insights and a vision of a better future -- John Hennessy, Chairman, Alphabet This inspiring, ambitious book celebrates the contributions engineering has made to progress in the past, and explores thoughtfully the role it can play in shaping the future -- Professor Diane Coyle, University of Cambridge Browne has written a timely book that connects his deep knowledge of business, culture, history and science. Make, Think, Imagine is a much-needed antidote to the drift and pessimism gripping advanced industrialised democracies -- Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times Like the engineer he was trained to be, John Browne gathers wisdom from over a hundred innovators, weaves into it his own diverse experience and reveals a realistic and optimistic fabric of the future. We can get there and John tells us how -- Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer A call to intelligent and sensitive action. John Browne's directory of a sustainable future gives us hope and the outlines of a roadmap to get there -- Antony Gormley, sculptor Lord Browne has brought together the insights of some of the finest engineering minds on the planet in this elegant love poem to engineering across the ages ... A rattling good read -- Vivienne Parry OBE, writer and broadcaster Make, Think, Imagine is a very thoughtful, deep journey through our fast-moving and fast-changing evolution, describing how engineering has and will continue to change the landscape of our civilisation -- Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wander the globe, looking behind the curtains of the world's greatest collections and achievements and discussing them with the people that created them? Browne takes us on a personal and technological tour de force of breathtaking expanse -- David Halpern, author of 'Inside the Nudge Unit' and CEO of the Behavioural Insights Team John Browne always makes me think. He is ahead of the curve -- David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former UK Government Foreign Secretary Brave and fascinating -- Praise for 'The Glass Closet', Sir Richard Branson Essential reading -- Praise for 'The Glass Closet', The Times