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From Malthus to Mars

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From Malthus to Mars

How to Live, Lead, and Learn in an Exponential World

Fast Company Press,

15 min. de leitura
9 Ideias Fundamentais
Áudio & Texto

Sobre o que é?

Discover the unlimited potential of a future built on innovation – and learn how to prepare for it.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Eye Opening
  • Visionary


Over the last 200 years, the pace of change has accelerated to a mind-boggling speed, and it’s unlikely to slow down. The exponential growth of human innovation means that your life in 10 years’ time is likely to look very different from how it does today. If this seems like a scary thought, futurists Lars Tvede and Nicolai Chen Nielsen will put your mind at rest. Their whistle-stop tour of humanity’s possible future depicts a world of abundance. On top of that, they equip you with all the tools you need to embrace and successfully navigate whatever’s coming your way.


The majority of human innovation has taken place in less than 1% of human history.

For most of human history, very little innovation happened and there was very little growth in GDP per capita. This type of economy is called a “Malthusian economy,” after the priest Thomas Malthus, who claimed that, at some point, Earth’s human population would outgrow food production and therefore face mass starvation. However, his prediction did not come true. People managed to escape the “Malthusian Trap” when the “Great Divergence” happened: Starting around 1450, certain areas in Western Europe saw an exponential increase in living standards. Events that spurred this growth included the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the “Social Networking Revolution” – all of which promoted the dissemination of knowledge and creativity.

During peak growth periods, many “10x technologies” appeared. These technologies solve a problem 10 times better than the previous solution. For example, the introduction of the Gutenberg printing press meant that the price of a Bible dropped from 300 florins to 30 ...

About the Authors

Lars Tvede is an investor, serial entrepreneur and futurist. Nicolai Chen Nielsen is an entrepreneur, educator and adviser on leadership development, personal growth and organizations of the future. He is also the co-author of Return on Ambition, which was shortlisted by getAbstract as of one of the five best business books in 2021.

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