Ep 221. Alec Ross: The Fight For Our Future

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Alec Ross is one of the world’s leading experts on innovation. A former senior advisor in the Obama Administration, his book is called The Raging 2020s: Companies, Countries, People — and the Fight for Our Future. Alec is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at The University of Bologna Business School and a Board Partner at Amplo, a global venture capital firm. During the Obama Administration, Alec served as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, to help modernize the practice of diplomacy and advance America’s foreign policy interests. He also served as the Convener for the Technology & Media Policy Committee on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team. He’s also the author of the bestselling book The Industries of the Future.


In this episode, Stew talks with one of the world’s leading experts on innovation, Alec Ross. A former senior advisor in the Obama Administration, his new book is The Raging 2020s: Companies, Countries, People — and the Fight for Our Future. It’s a brilliant, highly-readable, comprehensive analysis of how our social contract became broken that provides practical ideas for action to reset our course toward a better tomorrow. Stew and Alec talk about what he learned starting out as a school teacher in an economically ravaged part of Baltimore that informs his current thinking (“talent is everywhere but opportunity is not”); the central problems of government, the private sector, and labor politics; and what we can and must to to create a sustainable world as a nation, as employees, and citizens.

Here then is an invitation for you, a challenge, after you’ve had a chance to listen to this episode: What consumer choice can you make, that you’ve not made before, that will direct your resources toward companies you want to support because of their values, even if it might be relatively less convenient or more costly to acquire their goods or services? Share your reactions to this episode and suggestions for future shows with Stew by writing to him at friedman@wharton.upenn.edu or via LinkedIn.



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