Summary of Standing on the Sun

How the Explosion of Capitalism Abroad Will Change Business Everywhere

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Standing on the Sun book summary
Innovative enterprises in developing countries present a glimpse into the future of capitalism.


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Economist Christopher Meyer and Harvard Business Review editor Julia Kirby adopt the artifice of “standing on the sun” to gain a global perspective on how capitalism is changing. They foresee inevitable transformation and Internet-fueled innovation and predict that traditional profit-driven models of capitalism will evolve – in a Darwinian sense – to incorporate the social and environmental values that customers demand. The authors make a strong case that much of this innovation and adaptation will come from the developing world and that the West will have to adjust quickly to part-public, part-private, part-social hybrids of capitalism. The text roams worldwide to offer telling examples of altruistic firms making money. Despite some jargon and a certain academic nature, it is a valuable read. getAbstract finds its compelling content provides a valuable view on capitalism’s future.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why capitalism is evolving;
  • How a firm’s combined, often unintended, effects on society affect its performance;
  • How developing countries are changing the face of capitalism; and
  • How the private, public and nonprofit sectors collaborate to solve business and social issues.


Shining on Developing Countries
If you could stand on the sun and look back at Earth, you’d see the planet from a whole new perspective. The biological evolution of the natural world offers a metaphor for how capitalism itself will evolve. Darwin’s theories of natural selection are entirely...
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About the Authors

Christopher Meyer is an economist and the author of Blur: The Speed of Change in the Connected Economy. Julia Kirby is an editor-at-large at the Harvard Business Review.

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By the same authors

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    Christopher Meyer and Stan Davis

    Thomson Texere, 2001


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