Philip Auerswald

Co-founder, The National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (NCEI)
Author, The Code Economy and The Coming Prosperity

The 21st century isn't just full of challenges. It's full of opportunity.

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Philip Auerswald believes we're living in the most exciting period of human history. Over the next quarter century, three billion people will join the global economy — the most dramatic transformation in all civilization. While most thinkers today see the century ahead as a time of disasters and challenges, Phil sees it as a time of great opportunity. The real story of the 21st century isn't a dark story of scarcity. It's a thrilling adventure in prosperity and growth. It's the story of his book, The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs are Transforming the Global Economy.

His next book, The Code Economy (February 2017), offers an indispensable guide to the future, based on a narrative stretching forty-thousand years into the past.

Phil sees opportunity where others see despair. His work in Beijing and in Seoul, watching men and women jump ahead centuries' worth of technological progress in a single generation, has filled him with hope for a dynamic and profitable age, in the U.S. and abroad. He speaks about the power of entrepreneurship and innovation, fueled by the growth of the world economy, to increase living standards around the world, open new technological horizons, and even address the problems of energy and environment that do lie ahead. It's an inspiring message that touches all of us, whether our focus is innovation, entrepreneurship, the economy, technology, or the future.

Philip Auerswald is an Economist at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation. He is the founding board chair of the National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He co-founded and co-edits Innovations, a quarterly journal from MIT Press about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges. He is an associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and a former lecturer and assistant director at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He has served as a consultant to the National Academies of Science, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative. His other books include Seeds of Disaster, Roots of Response: How Private Action Can Reduce Public Vulnerability and Taking Technical Risk: How Innovators, Executives, and Investors Manage High-Tech Risks.


The Code Economy

A Forty-Thousand Year History

Philip Auerswald

Code is the "how" of human productive activity. The creation, implementation, and refinement of code have been the infrastructure of human progress from Neolithic simplicity to modern complexity. In a sweeping narrative that takes readers from the production of Stone Age axes, to the invention of chocolate chip cookies, to the experience of Burning Man, Philip Auerswald argues that the key driver of human history is the advance of code. At each major stage in the advance of code over the span of centuries, shifts in the structure of society have challenged we human beings to reinvent not only how we work, but who we are. We are at one of those stages now. The Code Economy offers an indispensible guide to the future, based on a narrative stretching forty-thousand years into the past.

Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 1, 2017)

The Coming Prosperity

How Entrepreneurs Are Transforming the Global Economy

Philip Auerswald

Ours is the most dynamic era in human history. The benefits of four centuries of technological and organizational change are at last reaching a previously excluded global majority. This transformation will create large-scale opportunities in richer countries like the United States just as it has in poorer countries now in the ascent.

In The Coming Prosperity, Philip E. Auerswald argues that it is time to overcome the outdated narratives of fear that dominate public discourse and to grasp the powerful momentum of progress. Acknowledging the gravity of today's greatest global challenges--like climate change, water scarcity, and rapid urbanization--Auerswald emphasizes that the choices we make today will determine the extent and reach of the coming prosperity. To make the most of this epochal transition, he writes, the key is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs introduce new products and services, expand the range of global knowledge networks, and, most importantly, challenge established business interests, maintaining the vitality of mature capitalist economies and enhancing the viability of emerging ones. Auerswald frames narratives of inspiring entrepreneurs within the sweep of human history. The book's deft analysis of economic trends is enlivened by stories of entrepreneurs making an outsize difference in their communities and the world--people like Karim Khoja, who led the creation of the first mobile phone company in Afghanistan; Leila Janah, who is bringing digital-age opportunity to talented people trapped in refugee camps; and Victoria Hale, whose non-profit pharmaceutical company turned an orphan drug into a cure for black fever.

Engagingly written and bracingly realistic about the prospects of our historical moment, The Coming Prosperity disarms the current narratives of fear and brings to light the vast new opportunities in the expanding global economy.

Oxford University Press, USA (April 2, 2012)

Book Reviews

Techno-Optimists Beware — Stanford Social Innovation Review
Dr. BoomCity Journal


"Philip Auerswald shows the role that innovators must play if we are to create 'The Coming Prosperity.' In this important book, he reminds us that challenging the status quo is the inescapable first step toward building the future of our dreams."
— President Bill Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd president of the United States

"With compelling writing, Auerswald offers an enjoyable and thought-provoking read."
Publishers Weekly


Philip tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

The Coming Prosperity

Videos Launch Event

The One Sector Economy


An advertising consulting group:
I wanted to let you know how terrific Phil was at our speaking engagement. He was dynamic, enlightening and all the things we had hoped he would be. A ringing endorsement.