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  • Writer's pictureJo Caudron

Why I wrote 'The World Is Round'

Updated: Sep 22, 2019

View from the Hilton hotel in San Francisco, from where I did much of the preparations for the book

The idea for the new book came right after the election of Trump as the 45th president of the United States. To be honest: I was shocked. Not that he became president as such; I don't believe you can hold that kind of senior position if you are a really good person - something is probably wrong with every potential president. Trump's election and what he stood for just added more arguments to my growing overall pessimism.

My first idea was to write my doubts and emotions away in a couple of blogposts. But of course that never happened, I never found the time. Slowly I started thinking about something bigger. Can I write a book about what's wrong with the world? As I started researching and reading, I began to notice that many people talking about the uncertain times we seem to be in and the challenges we are facing. The remarkable thing was that a lot of what I read wasn't pessimistic. It tried to understand and analyse what was happening but it also showed many positive things that were happening.

The remarkable thing was that a lot of what I read wasn't pessimistic

At about the same time, my company did extensive research for clients in different domains: food, mobility, housing, education, ... Many innovations passed by and I started to see a pattern: yes people are very worried and that makes them pessimistic and makes them do awkward things (like voting for Trump). But the issues that worry them (work, living, belonging, economy, mobility, ...) are all subject to transformation themselves. It became even more interesting when I started noticing connections between different domains: innovations in production lead to changes in how we live in communities; how we work and live changes mobility; future work impacts social integration; and so on. The cool thing was that these disruptive forces also had a certain optimism in them. They could disturb the world even more, or they could show a way out, the only thing we had to do was connect the dots to see the roadmap for a positive future.

They could disturb the world even more, or they could show a way out

By then I knew I was going to write a new book and it was going to be an optimistic one. I read hundreds of articles, blogpost and books and those taught me that there was room for a book that not just tried to explain we have reasons to be optimistic about the future - people like Roslin, Harari or Pinker already successfully did that. The book I wanted to write was one that actually connected the dots, describing what that future could be like and how we can get there. I sincerely hope that I have succeeded and that The World Is Round can be an inspiration for many people who have to plan for the future, for their businesses, for society or just for themselves and their families. Thanks for reading!

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