The Exponential Age: How Accelerating Technology is Transforming Business, Politics and Society Spiral-Bound | September 7, 2021

Azeem Azhar

★★★★☆+ from 1,001 to 10,000 ratings

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*2021 Financial Times Best Book of the Year*

A bold exploration and call-to-arms over the widening gap between AI, automation, and big data—and our ability to deal with its effects

We are living in the first exponential age.

High-tech innovations are created at dazzling speeds; technological forces we barely understand remake our homes and workplaces; centuries-old tenets of politics and economics are upturned by new technologies. It all points to a world that is getting faster at a dizzying pace.

Azeem Azhar, renowned technology analyst and host of the Exponential View podcast, offers a revelatory new model for understanding how technology is evolving so fast, and why it fundamentally alters the world. He roots his analysis in the idea of an “exponential gap” in which technological developments rapidly outpace our society’s ability to catch up. Azhar shows that this divide explains many problems of our time—from political polarization to ballooning inequality to unchecked corporate power. With stunning clarity of vision, he delves into how the exponential gap is a near-inevitable consequence of the rise of AI, automation, and other exponential technologies, like renewable energy, 3D printing, and synthetic biology, which loom over the horizon.

And he offers a set of policy solutions that can prevent the growing exponential gap from fragmenting, weakening, or even destroying our societies. The result is a wholly new way to think about technology, one that will transform our understanding of the economy, politics, and the future.

Publisher: Diversion Books
Original Binding: Hardcover with printed dust jacket
Pages: 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1635769094
Item Weight: 1.66 lbs
Dimensions: 6.0 x 1.06 x 9.0 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 1,001 to 10,000 ratings
Praise for The Exponential Age

“The world is inthe midst of [an exponential] transformation, argues Azeem Azhar….With hisexperience as a startup entrepreneur, tech investor, innovation executive atbig companies and journalist, Mr. Azhar is well-placed to decrypt these digitaltrends. He has a knack for interrogating and inverting conventional thinking,for example in making the case that the adoption of exponential technologyleads to job increases, not cuts—witness the rising headcounts of expandingbusinesses such as Amazon or Ocado, a British online grocer. The unemploymentthat results, he says, is down to the firms that fail to adapt, not those thatdo.”  

—The Economist

“Azeem Azhar is one of the best-regarded thought leaders in the industry. But more importantly, he has a broad understanding of the exponential ways technology can be used to solve our biggest problems, shape our society, and bridge cultural divides.”

Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify 

“As high-tech innovation accelerates in ways that deliver huge benefits to society but also create unique challenges, Azeem delivers a comprehensive but lively take on the key issues informing what he calls the Exponential Age. It's an essential addition to the ongoing discourse about where these remarkable new technologies can take us, and where we should be aiming to go. Highly recommended!”

Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and co-author of Blitzscaling

"While many talk about the rate of innovation, too few talk about its direction. Azeem’s new book helps bring that directionality to the surface through a dynamic understanding of the connections between economic, social and technological forces. Read this book if you are interested in how we can design a more inclusive and sustainable system with a redirection of technological change at its center."
Mariana Mazzucato, Professor at University College London, and author of Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism

“Every generation fears technology is changing frighteningly fast. Usually it is hyperbole, the fear of the unknown, but today technological shifts are posing challenges to our security, our democracies, our way of life, and our sanity. Azeem Azhar’s brilliant book demystifies these exponentially fast changes and—importantly—shows how the chronic volatility can be harnessed for good. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how to reclaim a good society from the snapping jaws of looming chaos.”
Robert Peston, ITV News’ political editor and presenter of ITV’s show Peston

“Azeem is a master at interpreting a dazzling array of trends and illuminating the future. Exponential is a must read to understand the problems, promise, and paths forward on the exponential journey ahead for us as individuals, businesses, and society.”
Paul Daugherty, Group Chief Executive Officer, Technology, Accenture

“Most businesses and business leaders measure and think in linear terms. Azeem Azhar understands and writes about how the truly important breakthroughs take the form of exponential functions. In The Exponential Age, Azeem builds the case for exponential thinking through insightful examples of technologies that have made possible discontinuous leaps forward.”
—Tom Glocer, Former CEO of Thomson Reuters, and Executive Chairman at BlueVoyant LLC and Capitolis Inc

“Azeem Azhar’s The Exponential Age presents an audacious spectrum of interconnecting trends, which already profoundly impact our lives. In the book, the risks and challenges arising out of the exponentially leaping technologies are masterfully balanced with opportunities and proposed policy actions. The book is an essential read for leaders and enthusiasts who care about the better future for all.”
—Giedrimas Jeglinskas, Assistant Secretary General at NATO

“Using countless stories and insightful analysis, Azeem Azhar guides us from the industrial assumptions we grew up with to the exponential realities that define our future.”
—Tom Wheeler, Brookings Institution, author of From Gutenberg to Google: A History of Our Future

“Azeem Azhar is that rare thing: a thought-leader who has also been a tech founder. The combination of big-picture vision and real tech experience shines through in this unmissable book.”
—Stian Westlake, Chief Executive, Royal Statistical Society

“Azeem's new book charts a clear path through an uncertain and complex future, one shaped by technology and one which accelerates at an exponential rate. He takes us on a journey into our collective future, asks the hard questions and provides a compelling possible future for all of us. A must-read for anyone who wants to actively shape the decades ahead.”
—Pascal Finette, Founder, be radical

“Azeem Azhar is a globally recognized voice on technology and its impact. He has written a fascinating and important book. It’s required reading for anyone seeking to understand the new economy and the massive global corporations that seek to dominate that economy.”
—Matthew Taylor, CEO of the RSA

“Azeem's kinetic mind is uniquely able to connect social, political, economic and technological trends in ways that inspire and challenge. The Exponential Age is a natural extension and expansion of Azeem's unique ability, on display in his podcast and newsletter, of isolating, unpicking and retying the threads which make up the fabric of our technosociety.”
—Carly Kind, Director, Ada Lovelace Institute

“You will be exponentially smarter after having read Azeem Azhar’s book.”
—Laure Claire Reillier, COO and Co-Founder Launchworks & Co, Co-Author Platform Strategy

“A much-needed manual for unlocking opportunities and overcoming vertigo in a world that seems to be spinning out of control. Azeem Azhar, a genius networker, proves to be a brilliant guide to our intensely networked age.” 
—Kevin Werbach, Professor, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

“I can’t think of a more importantbook to bring into sharp relief the rate of technological change we arecurrently living in. It is no longer a matter of linear change over time. It isa matter of transformative and exponential shifts in all matters of life.”

Tsedal Neeley, Senior associate dean at Harvard Business School

Azeem Azhar is the creator of the Exponential View, a global platform for in-depth tech analysis. His weekly newsletter is read by nearly two hundred thousand people from around the world, and his chart-topping podcast has featured guests including Yuval Noah Harari, Reid Hoffman, and Tony Blair. Over the last three decades, Azhar has founded and invested in a number of successful tech companies bought by firms like Amazon and Microsoft. He is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Futures Council, a senior advisor at PwC, and a contributor to publications including the Financial Times, Prospect, and the MIT Technology Review. He served as the Economist's first ever internet correspondent. He lives in London.