HKS Library Virtual Book Tour "The End of Big"

Interview with Author: Nicco Mele

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Nicco Mele
Harvard Kennedy School Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Shorenstein Center

Publisher's Book Description

In The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath, Internet pioneer and Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Nicco Mele shows how our ability to connect instantly, constantly, and globally is altering the exercise of power with breathtaking speed. Business, politics, and culture are being disrupted in revolutionary ways. Many of these changes are for the good. But Nicco argues that the realities of technology come with a troubling downside. He asks:

  • How does radical thinking underpin the design of everyday technology—and undermine power?
  • How do we hold institutions accountable when investigative journalism is being replaced by ad-hoc bloggers, phone videos, and tweets?
  • Web-based micro-businesses can out-compete major corporations. But who then enforces basic regulations—product safety, privacy protection, fraud, and tax collection?
  • As our two-party system grinds to a halt, can government produce leaders we need – or demagogues for special interests?
  • Currency, health and safety systems, rule of law: When these erode, are we better off?

Nicco argues that unless we exercise deliberate choices over the use of our technologies, we doom ourselves to a future that tramples human values, generates chaos in our social structures, and destroys rather than enhances freedom. This landmark book is both alarming and hopeful — thought-provoking and passionately-argued – and will change the way you interact with technology forever.

Quotes about the Book

“Anyone who is not asleep is unsettled by the speed and sweep of technological change, aware that with the force of a category 10 storm it upends our workplace, our institutions, leisure, culture, individual and communal behavior. To comprehend the awesome changes we have and will experience, the opportunities and the pitfalls, Nicco Mele’s The End of Big is a clear-eyed, compellingly written account bursting with vivid anecdotes and analysis.”
— Ken Auletta, Author and New Yorker writer

“Radical connectivity changes EVERYTHING, says Nicco Mele, and it’s hard to disagree. From how we shop to how we work to how we govern, The End of Big means the end of top-down, centralized hierarchical control. What it will look like when we get there remains blurry, but we can be assured that it will be radically different from the past. This book is an engaging guide to the underlying forces that are eroding all that is BIG, and its many examples will pull you in to this sweeping story of change.”
— Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School

The Virtual Book Tour is brought to you by the Harvard Kennedy School Library. If you have any requests, comments or suggestions, please contact us.

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath

Cover of the book, "The End of Big"

St. Martin's Press

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