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Turnaround Challenge: Business and the City of the Future

Turnaround Challenge: Business and the City of the Future [Kindle Edition]

Michael Blowfield , Leo Johnson
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £20.00
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Product Description


"Turnaround Challenge marries innovation to Jane Jacobs. It provides a compelling analysis of the next wave of urban-propelled economic growth that promises to reshape business as well as the cities we live in."--Richard Florida, author of Rise of the Creative Class, University of Toronto and NYU"A fast-paced, hope-filled yet deeply grounded tour of the innovations and technologies with the potential to resolve our era's greatest environmental, social and economic challenges, where unrestrained business alone has clearly failed."--David Rowan, Editor, WIRED magazine"A fascinating journey that begins with the birth of capitalism and mass consumption and engagingly describes why this current model is no longer fit for purpose, given current and complex challenges. The authors draw on science, philosophy, history, and political economics, as well as business and social trends, to weave three realistic future scenarios and their respective implications for business, government, and communities. This book is a highly rewarding read for those of us who want to believe in the capacity of human beings to transform systems and practices."--Pamela Hartigan, Director, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, University of Oxford"This book is full of information, full of important ideas, very readable, and highly relevant to the challenges we are all faced with at this time. Two things are certain: society is struggling to get to grips with its sustainability challenges, and business will have a huge influence in meeting those challenges moving forwards. The book sets out clearly the challenges for business in both rich and poor countries. More than that, it shows the shortcomings of conventional thinking, and offers engaging new arguments for practical new directions for business to explore and suggestions for how it can be encouraged to act." --Professor Sir David King, Chairman, Future Cities Catapult"Vital and timely, fresh and provocative, t

Product Description

Do we have the rights to optimism? Can capitalism deliver a next great wave of growth? The future, wrote William Gibson, is already here. It just isn't evenly distributed yet. Lucid and polemical, Turnaround Challenge is a dig into that future and its meaning for business. It dissects the nexus of social, economic, environmental and governance crises confronting us, and a series of colliding megatrends with the potential to reshape opportunities for growth.

Three cities of the future are emerging. The first is Petropolis, the alluringly familiar but decreasingly resilient city, locked into the century old technologies of fossil fuel-driven mass production. This is the city of rising inequality, credit-fuelled consumption, offshored jobs, climate volatility, and unsustainable household and national debt. The second city is Cyburbia . This is mass production on the steroids of IT: the latest manifestation of science fictions city
without pain, but one inhabited by voice-activated popcorn dispensers, of athletics' shoes with in-built Twitter feeds, of sensor-packed and censoring glass towers that risk reducing their citizens to digital factors of production in the supply chain of big data. The third is the Distributed City, where technology is
deployed with the intent to connect us not virtually but physically--from Nairobi's network of innovation spaces to Hamburg's Participatory Budgeting experiments, from Barcelona's network for micro-manufacturing, to Austin's distributed smart grid.

These are the cities of society's future, and they have very different implications for business success, and for how we tackle global megatrends. Blowfield and Johnson present the DNA of the winners of the future, high growth and disruptive businesses, emerging from the bottom up, and with the capacity to tackle societys biggest challenges head on.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4420 KB
  • Print Length: 262 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0199672210
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (26 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FSAE238
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #367,326 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In a useful contribution to the sustainable communities debate, Michael Blowfield & Leo Johnson take a Goldilocks and the Three Bears approach to the sustainable city of the future, discussing Petropolis (too hot), Cyburbia (too cold) and the Distributed City (just right). Unlike many sustainable communities discussions, though, Turnaround Challenge takes a solidly business- rather than social-science-led approach, which helps us away from the somewhat utopian visions which occasionally predominate. The underlying thesis is drawn straight from Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered -- that business can be more productive in human-sized environments than when it is given free rein to conform the world to its own model.

This is a hugely detailed book offering a wealth of paradigms to explore. It is largely theoretical, discussing models with the benefit of existing data and case studies, rather than evidence-based, by which I mean that the book is not extrapolating evidence (the city of the future will follow the trends of today) but rather synthesising the best parts from a number of working models. For this reason, the thought experiment of Petropolis versus Cyburbia versus the Distributed City is a helpful one, even if the naming makes it all too obvious which one we are supposed to prefer.

This is an insightful book which presents strong reasons for not pursuing the existing Petropolis and Cyburbia models. It makes a good case for its preferred alternative, without understating the problems, particularly in the light of real world examples like Nairobi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoomp! there it is..... 21 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a no holds barred description of the civilisation challenge ahead. Economics is brought to life as the authors draw out three scenarios of how business and governance could interact with a view to creating a resilient future, but not before the pitfalls of business as usual and techno havens are explored in detail.

Not since reading three Gladwell books over a week have I relished a book so much, and the concepts they reveal will be equally as useful. From the power of 'liquid democracy' to the awesomeness of 3D printers, this is an agent for change. Right I'm off to find me one of those 'Fab Labs'......Inspirational.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book 3 Nov 2013
This is a meticulously researched and fascinating text - very definitely recommended to anyone interested in the subject of sustainability. Blowfield and Johnson have co-authored an inspiring and highly readable book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leo what a fascinating person 29 April 2014
By Jonas
Format:Kindle Edition
Leo, a fantastik person an presentator. Leo has a strong insight what drives business, and what enables change in a disruptive world. With Turn around challenges, he trys to explain the fundaments for change.

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