- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (March 29, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1610394356
- ISBN-13: 978-1610394352
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #526,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation Hardcover – March 29, 2016
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This book upends conventional wisdom about how the global economy works and which places are primed to thrive and prosper. Van Agtmael and Bakker capture the complex market dynamics that are revaluing the formidable assets of U.S. and European older industrial cities: advanced industries and networks of universities, companies and governments that collaborate to compete. These are refreshing insights that build on real world experience and evidence rather than antiquated group think.” Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution Centennial Scholar and co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution
"The authors offer a compelling and insightful look at how companies and communities are turning ashes into silicon valleys." Harold L. Sirkin, Senior Partner, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
The riveting story of how failing rustbelts in the Unites States and Northern Europe have transformed themselves into emerging brainbelts through the triumph of collaboration and ingenuity to become promising models of bottom-up innovation.” Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg, Founder and Chairman, Strategic Investment Group
The book contains an abundance of insightful information . A strong selection for those interested in high-tech industries or community economic revival.” Library Journal
The perspective here on the transformation of 'rustbelts' into 'brainbelts' has an outsider's freshness toward America and an international expansiveness Akron glitters like never before in these illuminating pages.” Kirkus Reviews
The authors make a strong case that a renaissance in the development and manufacturing of chips, new materials, and biosciences' is happening not in tech or major urban centers, but in reclaimed factories and settings like the revitalized American Tobacco Campus in the North Carolina Research Triangle. For anyone looking at trends in technology or manufacturing, or at the future of global business, this insightful work will provide food for thought.” Publishers Weekly
"In every chapter of economic history, unexpected places have cultivated the dynamism that transforms society at large. Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker describe how the next generation of emerging hotspots are located in unlikely places, as industry connects with the energy of universities and academic medical centers to transform rustbelts into 'brainbelts.' This scouting report will interest students of the future taking shape today." Dick Brodhead, President of Duke University
"This eye-opening account of innovation in unlikely places will raise the spirits of anyone discouraged by the gurus who keep telling us the future belongs not to the established democracies of the capitalist world, but to emerging powers mostly in Asia. No, Van Agtmael and Bakker tell us, the 'smartest places on earth' may be in little-heralded cities in the United States and northern Europe, where business people, scientists and creative managers are inventing smart new products and ingenious new ways to manufacture them. They tell us that many of the old economies of the developed world 'are entering a revolutionary new phase' because 'the global competitive advantage is shifting from cheap to smart.' I found their arguments, and the facts they have gathered to support them, both intriguing and convincing. And their book is fun to read." Robert G. Kaiser, former Managing Editor of the Washington Post
"An absolutely fascinating tour of cities in the United States and Europe that were once traditional centers of manufacturing which are now reinventing themselves as hubs of innovation. If you want to understand how economies at the local level can transform themselves, this is the book to read." Liaquat Ahamed, author of Lords of Finance
van Agtmael and Bakker paint an exciting picture of the future based on progress made possible by cooperative processes they call 'brainsharing.' Citing unheralded developments in specific places and specific industries, this extraordinarily well researched book challenges the conventional view of a developed world in relative decline. The authors make a compelling case for the role of connectors, who bring together a diverse collection of players required for collaborative success. This compellingly argued and lucidly written book is a must read for anyone who cares about the future of the planet.” David F. Swensen, Chief Investment Officer at Yale University
A lively, lucid story of innovation and transformation powered by brainpower and business, academe, and regional governments working together . The smartest book on one of the most important and promising trends in the American and global economy.” Strobe Talbott, President of The Brookings Institution
About the Author
Alfred Bakker, until his recent retirement, was a journalist specializing in monetary and financial affairs with Het Financieele Dagblad, the Financial Times of Holland,” serving as deputy editor, editor-in-chief and CEO. In addition to his writing and editing duties he helped develop the company from a newspaper publisher to a multimedia company, developing several websites, a business news radio channel, and a quarterly business magazine, FD Outlook, and, responsible for the establishment of FD Intelligence
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Top Customer Reviews
The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts are the Emerging HOTSPOTS of Global Innovation BY Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker, a book that everyone in business today should pick up and read.
This is by far the most optimistic book of the year because it talks about the future, the real future not the made up future that we are hearing about from our politicians these days. This is book is talking about the future of the world not just this country and not a future that is just another rosy-glassed pipe dream but rather a future that is going on right now in the present. The authors talk about how once downtrodden has been communities are raising themselves up from the ashes and debris of defeat to the success they are experiencing today.
The book tells stories of collaboration of how people of all cultures and backgrounds are coming together in certain parts of the world to make things happen. If you think building wall is the right thing to do then read this book and get out of your xenophobic funk, if you think that all countries should be operating in nationalistic creative limiting silos then you need to read this book. If you think that our world is based on every man or woman for himself or herself you need to read this book.
Right from the get go in the first chapter the authors talk about “Brain belts” replacing “Rustbelts” and it happening because smart people, remember smart people and how we use to like them instead of calling them “elites” are coming together in collaborative coalitions to do great and innovative things.
Here are some great and yes real live examples:
• Dayton, Ohio is now the center of world leadership for the innovation for the Aerospace industry developing new materials and sensors through the collaboration of The University of Dayton, and the National Air & Aviation Intelligence Center-Kettering.
• Rochester, New York is now one of the world’s centers for Photonics.
• Buffalo and Albany, New York working with SUNY is a center working on research for developing super batteries and clean energy.
• Detroit, Michigan is not becoming a world leader in robotics as well as automotive.
• Rochester, Minnesota is a center for all Life sciences not only electronics but organics as well.
• Albany, New York is a world center for Semi-conductors by working with SUNY as well with scientists from all over the world they are developing and creating the world’s largest semi-conductors.
That’s right Albany, New York not Milpitas, California.
And many more from Austin, Texas to Raleigh, North Carolina and from Akron, Ohio to Boston, Massachusetts and from Portland, Oregon to Ann Arbor, Michigan people and institutions are coming together, working together and doing great things together, things that none of them could do alone. And these are not just Americans, these are scientists from all over the world coming together and creating these “Brain belts” that are changing everything we do and changing it for the better. Companies, Universities, Banks and investors and inventors are coming together in a true spirit of collaboration and cooperation to develop products of the future, products that are going to take us into a future we once could only dream about.
Lest we forget this is a global effort with the same sort of “Brain belts” being developed in The Netherlands: Semiconductors, Finland: Medical instrumentation, Germany: Automotives and Robotics, and The United Kingdom: Bioscience.
And the best thing by far is that all of these people in these Brain Belts are working with each other, sharing information in the hopes of finding global solutions to global problems. To all of these groups there are no walls there are no knowledge inhibitors at all in fact in many cases there are not even any patents, these groups are openly sharing their ideas and innovations with the common goal of making the world a better place.
If I may add my two cents just the very fact that these people are on this journey and in this way is already making the world a better place.
Read this and see our new world order in a much better light than you will by watching the upcoming political conventions.
There is one aspect that needs more coverage in re-inventing cities, that is the importance of welcoming immigrants. Welcoming immigrants and quickly integrating them into the community can be a game changer. A key component to that is getting them into jobs that are commensurate with their education and experience in their countries of original, met with a non-profit yesterday called Upwardly Global that is doing a great job of doing just that.
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