Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

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Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge—this is a book about how we rise to meet it. We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our gr...
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Providing abundance is humanity’s grandest challenge—this is a book about how we rise to meet it. 

 

We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions. An antidote to pessimism by tech entrepreneur turned philanthropist, Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler. 

Since the dawn of humanity, a privileged few have lived in stark contrast to the hardscrabble majority. Conventional wisdom says this gap cannot be closed. But it is closing—fast. The authors document how four forces—exponential technologies, the DIY innovator, the Technophilanthropist, and the Rising Billion—are conspiring to solve our biggest problems. Abundance establishes hard targets for change and lays out a strategic roadmap for governments, industry and entrepreneurs, giving us plenty of reason for optimism.

Examining human need by category—water, food, energy, healthcare, education, freedom—Diamandis and Kotler introduce dozens of innovators making great strides in each area: Larry Page, Steven Hawking, Dean Kamen, Daniel Kahneman, Elon Musk, Bill Joy, Stewart Brand, Jeff Skoll, Ray Kurzweil, Ratan Tata, Craig Venter, among many, many others. 
 

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“At a moment when our world faces multiple crises and is awash in pessimism, Abundance redirects the conversation, spotlighting scientific innovators working to improve people's lives around the world. The result is more than a portrait of brilliant minds - it's a reminder of the infinite possibilities for doing good when we tap into our own empathy and wisdom.”—Arianna Huffington, CEO, Huffington Post

“This brilliant must-read book provides the key to the coming era of abundance replacing eons of scarcity, a powerful antidote to today’s malaise and pessimism.”—Ray Kurzweil, inventor, author and futurist, author of The Singularity is Near

"Now that human beings communicate so easily, I suspect that nothing can stop the inevitable torrent of new technologies, new ideas and new arrangements that will transform the lives of our children. Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler give us a blinding glimpse of the innovations that are coming our way — and that they are helping to create. This is a vital book."—Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist

“Diamandis and Kotler challenge us all to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Innovative small teams are now empowered to accomplish what only governments and large corporations could once achieve. The result is nothing less than the most transformative and thrilling period in human history.”––Timothy Ferriss, #1 NY Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek

“Today, philanthropists, innovators and passionate entrepreneurs are more empowered than ever before to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Abundance chronicles many of these stories and the emerging tools driving us towards an age of abundance. This is an audacious and powerful read!”—Jeff Skoll

Abundance provides proof that the proper combination of technology, people and capital can meet any grand challenge.”—Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group

"Our future depends on optimists like Diamandis...even the most skeptical readers will come away from Abundance feeling less gloomy." --New York Times Book Review

"A manifesto for the future that is grounded in practical solutions addressing the world's most pressing concerns: overpopulation, food, water, energy, education, health care and freedom. " --The Wall Street Journal

"A breezy case for optimism... Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think...[is] a godsend for those who suffer from Armageddon fatigue." --The Economist

In Abundance: Why the Future is Better Than You Think, Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler offer a vision of the future that’s truly awesome in both the most traditional and modern understandings of the word; it’s as big as it as awe inspiring.” –The Futurist

"Abundance is not fantasy. It is a tale, say authors Diamandis and Kotler, of “good news;” a spritely and exciting collection of reasons why, despite the ever-constant refrain that Earth is on the verge of disaster, we must stay positive." --Christian Science Monitor

" Enough with the dystopian fiction and Mayan end-of-the-world predictions! According to tech entrepeneur and philanthropist Peter Diamandis and science writer Steven Kotler, things are getting better, not worse. " --USA Today

"[Abundance is] fascinating and inspirational -- every politician should read it (but sadly that may be too much to hope for!)" --Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, UK

"Welcome to the feel good future." -Smithsonian

"A nice reminder of how far we’ve come." --The New York Times Book Review
 

About the Author

Peter H. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, co-founder and Chairman of Singularity University and the founder of more than a dozen high tech companies. Diamandis has degrees in molecular genetics and aerospace engineering from MIT, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
Steven Kotler is an author and journalist. His books include A Small Furry PrayerWest of Jesus, and The Angle Quickest for Flight. His articles have appeared in more than sixty publications, including The New York Times MagazineWiredDiscoverGQ, and National Geographic. He also writes a regular blog for PsychologyToday.com.

 

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

234 of 252 people found the following review helpfulBy A. D. Thibeault on February 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
*A full summary of this book is available here: An Executive Summary of Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler's 'Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think'

In their new book `Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think', Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler argue that, despite the problems that our technology has recently created (including dwindling resources, global warming, and a population explosion that threatens to confound [and in some cases already does confound] our advances in agricultural production and medicine), we needn't discard our techno-optimism after all. Indeed, according to Diamandis, the world is on the precipice of another explosion in technology that will soon bring refuge from many of our current problems, and abundance to our doorstep. Not content to let the goal or the timeline remain vague, Diamandis is happy to hang a more precise definition on each. When it comes to abundance, Diamandis defines it as "a world of nine billion people with clean water, nutritious food, affordable housing, personalized education, top-tier medical care, and non-polluting, ubiquitous energy" (loc. 317), and, to top it all off, the freedom to pursue their goals and aspirations unhindered by political repression. With regards to the timeline, Diamandis claims that it "should be achievable within twenty-five years, with noticeable change possible within the next decade" (loc. 580).Read more ›
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90 of 100 people found the following review helpfulBy CS4242 on February 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Abundance" is a deeply optimistic book that suggests radical new technologies may soon transform society and lead to an era where the concept of scarcity no longer dominates economic and social thinking. The authors believe that advances now on the horizon could potentially solve many of the world's major problems by the year 2035.

The book includes a wealth of material on specific technologies that the authors feel may revolutionize energy (solar, algae-based biofuels and next generation nuclear), food production (genetic engineering, vertical farming and in-vitro meats), water scarcity (desalination using nanotechnology filters, rather than today's inefficient thermal or reverse osmosis plants) and health care (artificially intelligent "doctors", robotic nurses and cheap diagnostic chips) to mention just a few. The authors also suggest that much of this progress will be driven by independent inventors (who they call "DIY innovators") and wealthy technology philanthropists.

I'd urge everyone to also read The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future, a book that looks at many of the same technologies and trends as "Abundance" but really delves into the impact on the economy, incomes and the job market, and offers a different perspective. Both these books raise issues and discuss technologies that could be of transformative importance over the next 10-20 years. They are books that everyone should read.

I've rated Abundance highly because I think it introduces a very important perspective that should be a part of any discussion about the future.Read more ›
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpfulBy N. Felton on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, I loved this book. It made me consider for a change that mankind could not just be the causing problem, but also the solution to big issues like climate change, overpopulation and dwindling resources that plague us today. It was amazingly refreshing to read about all those new technologies that are in progress of being developed, from water purification to renewable energies, medical bots, diagnostic apps on your smartphone, vertical gardens for local food production and supply, just to name a few. This read sure brings the optimist out in you, and makes you feel good about being part of the human race again.

I would love to give it 5 stars, but I settle for only 3 (3 1/2 if I had the option), because there is great danger here that you are left with a false sense of security about the future. Even though there is much cause for optimism, there are a few things that I wish the authors would have brought to the readers awareness with more emphasis (they actually do point them out, but not clearly enough in my opinion). They missed the opportunity to clearly communicate that everyone of us has responsibilities we have to meet if we want to see this future happen.

1) Time for business as usual is running out.

After finishing the last pages of the book and still riding high on this most welcome endorphin flush it promotes, one could feel confident to simply put all the chips on one bet and bank on the vision that help in form of brilliant new technologies is on the way, the future is secure, and no further personal action is needed to make this future happen, other than not hindering private entrepreneurship and free markets in their activities in form of government intervention, bureaucracy, or rules and regulations.Read more ›

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