Rating

7

Recommendation

In the face of overwhelming environmental, social, economic, medical and political challenges on a global scale, certain individuals emerge as heroes. These “überpreneurs” tackle the world’s toughest problems and foment transformational change that positively affects thousands – if not millions – of people. Peter Andrews and Fiona Woods identify 36 such giants and tell their stories. The authors detail the characteristics these change-agents share and ask how society can foster similar leaders. The mini-biographies are engrossing, even if the authors don’t fulfill the promise of their subtitle (then again, transforming human society is a tall order). getAbstract recommends these personalized tales as a source of information and inspiration.

Summary

People Who Change the World

Entrepreneurs are innovators – widely diverse, creative thinkers who recognize and capitalize on opportunities in markets and industries. Uniquely, “überpreneurs” – larger than life entrepreneurs – tackle massive problems and spur transformational change that creates upheavals and reorders societies. They generate “massive new capital, be it financial or technological, social or spiritual.”

An überpreneur is: “An individual with an epic ambition to change the world, who sees and seizes opportunities for change, senses the way forward, attracts the necessary resources and pursues the dream, regardless of the odds.” Moreover, überpreneurs are:

  • Imbued with grand designs that offer far-reaching changes.
  • Alert to the vast potential of innovative ideas.
  • Undaunted by “cultural, organizational and geographic” differences.
  • Charismatic and compelling to their followers and investors.
  • Driven to attain their vision and bold in taking risks.
  • Able to learn from failure and energized by “change and uncertainty.”

Meet the Überpreneurs

Mechai Viravaidya, also known as the “Condom King...

About the Authors

Peter Andrews, former Queensland Chief Scientist, is a bio-entrepreneur and adviser on science and economic development. Policy consultant Fiona Wood researches science and innovation.


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