Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran
Award-winning correspondent for The Economist
Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran is an award-winning correspondent for the Economist. He opened the magazine’s Shanghai bureau in 2012 and currently serves as China Business & Finance Editor. His editorial responsibilities range from business and finance to science, technology and innovation. He also serves as chairman of the Economist's provocative series of conferences on innovation known as the Ideas Economy.
Vaitheeswaran joined the editorial staff in 1992 as its London-based Latin America correspondent, and opened the magazine's first regional bureau in Mexico City. From 1998 to 2006, he covered the politics, economics, business and technology of energy and the environment. From 2007 to 2011 his portfolio encompassed innovation, global health, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
His new book on the future of global innovation, published by Harper Collins, is Need, Speed and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World's Most Wicked Problems. Amazon named it a Book of the Month and Kirkus Reviews has called it “the perfect primer for the postindustrial age.” In reviewing the new book, the Financial Times declared that “Vaitheeswaran is a writer to whom it is worth paying attention.” It has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and several other languages.
Vaitheeswaran is a life member at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is an advisor on sustainability and innovation to the World Economic Forum at Davos, and a regular speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative. He has taught at NYU’s Stern Business School, and his commentaries have appeared on NPR and the BBC, in the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and the New York Times. He has addressed groups ranging from the US National Governors’ Association and the UN General Assembly to the Technology, Entertainment & Design (TED), Aspen Ideas and AAAS conferences.
His last book, ZOOM: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future, co-authored with Iain Carson, was named a Book of the Year by The Financial Times. His first book, Power to the People, was reviewed by Nobel-prize winner John Holdren (currently the Chief Science Advisor to the White House) in Scientific American as “by far the most helpful, entertaining, up-to-date and accessible treatment of the energy-economy-environment problematique available.”
Vaitheeswaran attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a National Merit Scholar, and earned a degree in engineering. While at MIT, he was named a Harry S. Truman Presidential Scholar by the U.S. Congress.
Need, Speed and Greed: Welcome to the Innovation Economy
In this expertly crafted talk, Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran examines the interconnected innovation mega-trends that are reshaping the world economy. It's a beat he's thoroughly covered for The Economist. Taking us on a continent-spanning tour -- from traditional hotbeds of innovation to developing markets ready to leapfrog ahead of the competition -- Vaitheeswaran shows us why innovation is the only competitive advantage in the 21st Century and why it's the only engine driving commerce. As new technologies emerge -- and as the speed at which they are developed and adopted reduces -- the economy reconfigures and moves forward. In a brilliant talk that knits together the worlds of technology, energy, sustainability and the economy, Vaitheeswaran makes these disparate issues resonate for audiences who need to know where we stand, and how quickly things change in our new innovation economy.
The Upcoming Energy Economy
The new energy economy will usher in seismic changes that affect practically every industry. What can businesses, distributors, consumers, government regulators, automakers and Big Oil expect? And how can they prepare, adapt and capitalize? Oil remains the dominant energy source, but what, if anything, will be next? A formidable expert on energy, Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran ties together mega-trend thinking and industry specifics, giving us a quick recap of how we got here, and where we stand now, as well as an articulate discussion of where we're headed. Neither an anti-corporate polemic, nor a tirade against the oil industry, this practical, considered, even thrilling talk will enlarge our understanding of what it means to be an energy producer and consumer in the energy economy to come.The new energy economy will usher in seismic changes that affect practically every industry. What can businesses, distributors, consumers, government regulators, automakers and Big Oil expect? And how can they prepare, adapt and capitalize? Oil remains the dominant energy source, but what, if anything, will be next? A formidable expert on energy, Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran ties together mega-trend thinking and industry specifics, giving us a quick recap of how we got here, and where we stand now, as well as an articulate discussion of where we're headed. Neither an anti-corporate polemic, nor a tirade against the oil industry, this practical, considered, even thrilling talk will enlarge our understanding of what it means to be an energy producer and consumer in the energy economy to come.
Need, Speed, and Greed
Over the past few decades, globalization and Googlization have kicked off the first phase of an innovation revolution more profound and more powerful than any economic force since the arrival of Europeans on North American shores half a millennium ago. These developments have brought us such advances as the Web, social networking, 24/7 connectivity, and global markets.
But the benefits of all this progress have not been shared fairly among all. It is true that the elites of Mumbai are closer today to the elites of Manhattan than they were two decades ago, but what about Kansas? The hard-working salarymen of the developed world are not getting wealthier, but the economic elites who have mastered the new rules of global innovation are. Even as rural women in Africa and Asia have seen their lives transformed by mobile phones and the Internet, the middle classes and blue-collar workers in prosperous countries everywhere have been squeezed by the new global realities. And as the first phase of the innovation revolution gives way to a much greater transformation, America and other rich societies must find a path to inclusive growth or else risk being left behind by history.
All this leads to the central political and economic question of our age: How can the extraordinary benefits of the innovation revolution be shared more equitably among all of society? In Need, Speed, and Greed, global correspondent for the Economist Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran answers that question, offering the essential insider's guide to this new world of innovation. Drawing on the best of the academic and field work in this emerging area, Need, Speed, and Greed inspires and empowers readers to improve their lives, their work, and perhaps even the world.
Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future
"Oil is the problem. Cars are the solution."
Those two simple sentences by the authors of Zoom define the scope of their illuminating and important book, an examination of a transformation in business and culture that is occurring before our eyes.
We are living in the midst of a Great Awakening. People are seeking environmentally-sound alternatives to gas guzzlers. Detroit's reign is over. Oil companies, despite their billion-dollar profits, could be on the brink of extinction if they don't adapt. And citizens, all too aware that these industries have lobbied politicians into gridlock over energy policy, are mobilizing to support leaders who advocate new policies.
In Zoom, Iain Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran, award-winning correspondents for The Economist, show why and how geopolitical and economic forces are compelling the linked industries of oil and autos to change as never before. Drawing on years of industry research-including dozens of interviews with motor and energy executives, top policymakers, and latter-day Fords and Edisons-Carson and Vaitheeswaran explain:
-How Toyota became the world's largest automaker through innovation and superior performance.
-Why American politicians have, for decades failed to address our energy issues and global warming-and how grassroots movements, along with individual entrepreneurs, innovators, and outsiders, are making real reform possible.
-How these Green revolutionaries are creating new products powered by hydrogen, electricity, bio-fuels, and digital technology.
As political leaders debate our energy, environmental and economic future, Zoom offers a lucid and visionary portrait of what that future could be. Anyone planning to vote will find compelling truth in its assertions and conclusions.
Power to the People
"By far the most helpful, entertaining, up-to-date and accessible treatment of the energy-economy-environment problematique available." --John P. Holdren, Scientific American
A fiercely independent and irresistibly entertaining look at the economic, political and technological forces that are reshaping the world's management of energy resources, Power to the People has been hailed as "as good a manifesto for the new energy world as you will find." (Fred Pearce, New Scientist). The Economist's Environment and Energy correspondent, Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran sees great opportunity in the energy realm today, and he documents an energy revolution already under way.
From the corporate boardroom of a Texas oil titan who denies the reality of global warming, to a think tank nestled in the Rocky Mountains where a visionary named Amory Lovins is developing hydrogen fuel-cell technology that could make the internal combustion engine obsolete, Vaitheeswaran gamely pursues the people who hold the keys to our future. Avoiding the traditional divide that pits free markets against the wisdom of conservation and the need for clean energy, Power to the People debunks myths without debunking hope.
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