Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, is another great book about the positive transformations happening around us. I was turned onto it by my friend Piers Bocock, whose wife Katie used to work with Diamandis. As it happens, living in the Washington, DC, area has meant that I’ve come to know many people in international development over the years. I think it was from them that I sensed the positive tipping point that we’re at…essentially what I blog about in Getting Better Blog.
Diamandis and Kotler focus on means and areas of transformation, including water, food, energy, education, healthcare and human rights and freedoms. These breakthroughs will come because of accessibility of technologies and the DIY solutions that are coming from all over the planet. He also gives special attention to the “Rising Billion,” the very poorest who will have access to technology and education–and be able to leverage solutions–in a way that the poor have never been able to do in the past. Innovations and breakthroughs have mostly come from the top and middle, but more and more they’re coming from everywhere.
Other forces, like the technophilanthropists, typified by Bill Gates, are having an impact that the Carnegies and Rockefellers of the past could never have imagined. Carnegie built libraries, but did he deliver lifesaving medicines to millions, and in just a few years? The size and impact of “smart” (and well funded) philanthropy is yet another force that is propelling the world to a better place.