Publishers Weekly Book Review

From Nonfiction Reviews: 9/21/2009

The Surprising Solution:
Creating Possibility in a Swift and Severe World

Piasecki (In Search of Environmental Excellence) updates his 2007 book (formerly titled World, Inc.) to address the current economic crisis and further explore the new frontier of sustainability, innovation and corporate social responsibility. The underlying theme of this thought-provoking work is that big businesses have overtaken governments in terms of political and economic power—51 of the 100 largest economies in the world are now corporations; 300 multinational businesses control 25% of the world’s assets, and as much as 40% of world trade now occurs within these top multinationals. With their disproportionate power, big businesses now wield a tremendous ability to shape our social landscape, and the author impresses the importance of “Social Response Capitalism,” an approach that emphasizes a business’s “social brand” as well as the price and quality of their product or service. While the concepts are fascinating, the shifts in tone from academic to more casual create a jarring inconsistency. Still, for any reader who is a student of innovation and who seeks to understand the role of corporations in addressing global problems in the future, this is a treasure trove of provocative ideas. 

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