Walter Isaacson on Elon Musk

Innovation and the Demons that Drive it

Isaacson’s latest inside story is filled with tales of triumph and turmoil, and addresses the question: are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress? Walter Isaacson is the bestselling biographer of the likes of Steve Jobs, Henry Kissinger, and Jennifer Doudna. Throughout his career he has served as …...

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Matthew Desmond

Poverty, by America

“Are we—we the secure, the insured, the housed, the college educated, the lucky—connected to all this needless suffering? This is a book about poverty that is not just about the poor. Instead, it’s a book about how some lives are made small so that others may grow.” Pulitzer Prize winning sociologist Matthew Desmond’s work on …...

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Bill Browder

Freezing Order

The latest massacres in Bucha and Mariupol have shown that Vladimir Putin has no regard for human life – he only cares about power and money. In Putin’s eyes, money is power, and vice versa. That’s why freezing the assets of Russians tied to Putin’s regime is so important. Between 1996 and 2005, American investor …...

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The Accessible City

Online event with Chris & Melissa Bruntlett

What was it about life in the Netherlands that Canadian couple Chris and Melissa Bruntlett found so attractive? So attractive that they pulled up stakes and left Vancouver to actually move to Delft with their two children? The answer is: quality of life. A big factor that impacts quality of life is how we move …...

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Patrick Radden Keefe

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

The name of the Sackler family adorns the walls of many storied institutions – Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged …...

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Eliot Brown

The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion

The Cult of We by Wall Street Journal correspondents Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell is the definitive inside story of WeWork and its audacious founder Adam Neumann. Neumann transformed himself from a struggling baby clothes salesman into the charismatic, hard-partying CEO of a company worth $47 billion — on paper. Billions poured in, but in …...

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Rebecca Henderson

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Yes, capitalism is the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. But many also blame it for the massive problems that plague the modern world. In Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire, Harvard Business School Professor Rebecca Henderson argues that only a new form of capitalism can drive the innovation we need …...

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Abhijit Banerjee

Good Economics for Hard Times

The Nobel Prize for Economics 2019 went to Abhijit Banerjee from India and his wife Esther Duflo, from France. Both are economists at MIT where they founded the Poverty Action Lab. They were awarded the Nobel Prize for their groundbreaking work on new, practical ways to fight global poverty. “Economics is too important to be …...

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Joseph Stiglitz

People, Power, and Profits

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz is returning to the John Adams to discuss his important new book People, Power, and Profits (translated into Winst voor iedereen, by Arian Verheij and Huub Stegeman for Athenaeum), about the dangers of free market fundamentalism and the many economic challenges America is facing. In this book, Stiglitz explains how …...

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Jed Emerson

The Purpose of Capital

What is the purpose of your capital? The emergent ‘impact investing’ movement holds out the golden promise that we can make money and do good at the same time. This new financial sector is being embraced not only by family offices and social entrepreneurs, but also by traditional financial strongholds such as by Blackrock, JP Morgan and …...

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Barry Eichengreen

The Populist Temptation

In the last few years, populism – on both the right and the left – has spread like wildfire throughout the world. Economic changes and downturns have left sections of populations worse off. What are these economic grievances that drive populist movements? And how can our welfare systems designed to support them prevent these grievances? …...

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Stephen P. Williams

Blockchain: The Next Everything

What is blockchain? Why does everyone, from tech experts to business moguls, believe it is bound to revolutionize society as significantly as the internet? Join us for an evening that helps us understand what it is, how it works and what the implications are for the future of our world. Journalist and author Stephen Williams, …...

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Everybody Works!

A workshop on diversity, youth and jobs

“Everybody Works!” is a hands-on conference and workshop that explores practical ways in which to connect diverse youth to labor opportunities in the private and public sectors. Organized by the John Adams Institute in cooperation with the United States Embassy and the U.S. Department of State, the conference started off with an overview of the …...

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Matthew Desmond

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

What if the dominant discourse on poverty in the United States is wrong? What if the problem isn’t that poor people have bad morals, or that they lack the skills and smarts to fit in with our shiny 21st-century economy? What if the problem is that poverty is profitable? These are the questions at the …...

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Branko Milanovic

Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization

Who are the winners and losers of globalization? One of the world’s leading economists of inequality, the former World Bank economist Branko Milanovic, visited the John Adams to explain the income disparities both within countries and between them, as well as how we got here, and whether there’s a way out. In his book Global Inequality: A New …...

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Lauren Greenfield

Generation Wealth

We are obsessed by the lifestyles of the rich and famous. The acclaimed American photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, maker of the award-winning documentary The Queen of Versailles, is a prominent chronicler of consumerism, youth culture and gender issues. In addition to her many films, exhibitions and monographs such as Girl Culture, Fast Forward and THIN, she is most …...

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Joseph Stiglitz

The Euro

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winner and one of the most influential economists in the world today, returned to the John Adams to speak about his new book The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe. As recent events in the U.K. have shown, unity within the EU has been replaced by dissent. Stiglitz …...

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Requiem for the American Dream

Kelly Nyks

In Requiem for the American Dream, Noam Chomsky argues that the collapse of American democratic ideals and the rise of the 1% means that the American dream is harder than ever to achieve. Tracing a half-century of policies designed to favor the most wealthy at the expense of the majority, Chomsky lays bare the costly debris left …...

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Robert Putnam

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis

A groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. Robert Putnam – about whom The Economist said, “his scholarship is wide-ranging, his intelligence luminous, his tone modest, his prose unpretentious and frequently funny” – offers a personal but also …...

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Jerome Karabel

Who Gets in, What Comes Out: Accessibility & Responsibility of Top Education

At the end of the 19th century, Harvard launched a policy to attract students not only from the elite, but also from public schools. This move resulted in an unwelcome surprise for Harvard: they enrolled too many Jewish students. Harvard quickly took measures that were intended to, as President A. Lawrence Lowell said, “prevent a dangerous …...

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Laszlo Bock

Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google that Will Transform How You Live and Lead

Each year, Google receives more than two million job applications from around the world. The company has been rated the #1 Best Company to Work For in the United States and 16 other countries, the 1# top Diversity Employer, and the best company for women in technology. But what makes Google such a widely praised …...

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Naomi Klein in cooperation with IDFA

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

Naomi Klein, author and one of the key figures in the ‘alter-globalization movement’, sees climate change as a catalyst for change and a better world. With her new book This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein opens her readers’ eyes – as she did in her bestsellers No Logo and The Shock Doctrine – with a merciless …...

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Dan Hassler-Forest

Capitalist Superheroes: Caped Crusaders in the Neoliberal Age

In 2002 the editors of Der Spiegel depicted then-president George W. Bush as a comic book superhero on their cover. They expected outrage from the White House. Instead, Bush ordered 33 posters of the image. In his new book, Dan Hassler-Forest, a professor of media studies at the University of Amsterdam, sees the Hollywood films …...

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Chris Zook

Repeatability: Build Enduring Businesses for a World of Constant Change

In a rapidly changing world, companies believe they have to constantly reinvent themselves to stay profitable. But authors Zook and James Allen argue pretty much the opposite. The companies that succeed – from Nike to Apple to Ikea – stick to their formula. They create a “repeatable” business model, and continually adapt it to changing …...

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Martha Nussbaum

Creating Capabilities

Martha Nussbaum, professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, is one of the world’s foremost philosophers. Her book, the culmination of a career dedicated to social justice issues, highlights one of the conundrums of western societies. As she says, “Leaders of countries often focus on national economic growth alone, but their people, …...

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Robert B Reich


President Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor argues in his important book that in the last thirty years capitalism has flourished at the expense of democracy. Robert Reich – one of America’s most renowned economists – says people now see themselves as buyers and sellers first and citizens only later, if at all. The rise …...

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Stedman Graham

Diversity: Leaders Not Labels

Stedman Graham demonstrates in his book Diversity: Leaders not Labels – a New Plan for the 21st Century, that cultural diversity is changing the face of nations across the world. Either embrace diversity or get left behind. In an inspiring talk he showed the great variety of opportunities cultural diversity has to offer by focusing …...

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William Easterly

The White Man's Burden

New York University Professor and former World Bank economist William Easterly joined us for a discussion on why the 100 billion USD the rich world yearly dedicates to end poverty in the developing world is for a big part wasted. The Millennium Development Goals, an initiative of the UN directed by Jeffrey Sachs, are the …...

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Antoine van Agtmael

Emerging Markets - The Challenge for Western Companies and the Strategies They Should Be Aware Of!

As part of the Dutch-American Friendship Day, we invited the brilliant author Antoine van Agtmael to talk about the topic for the afternoon: Emerging Markets – The Challenge for Western Companies and the Strategies They Should Be Aware Of! In his keynote speech Van Agtmael demonstrated how a new breed of world-class companies is taking …...

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Eric Schlosser

Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market

06 October 2005 An award-winning journalist, Schlosser’s first book – Fast Food Nation:The Dark Side of the All-American Meal – is a devastating exposé that spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list. His publication – Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market – delves into three key components of America’s underground …...

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Jeremy Rifkin

The European Dream

The John Adams Institute hosted an evening with Jeremy Rifkin. As director of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington D.C., he is one of the 150 most influential people in the United States capital. He has written seventeen books on the impact of technological changes on the economy and the community. Within his foundation …...

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Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed - On (not) getting by in America

Millions of Americans work full time and more, often juggling two jobs, yet still fall below the poverty line. In Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting by in America, journalist and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich goes undercover in low-wage America to experience the grinding treadmill of the ‘working poor’, and discover how they keep body, …...

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Walter Russell Mead

Power, Terror, Peace and War: America's Grand Strategy in a World at Risk

The John Adams Institute welcomed Walter Russell Mead, senior fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, to talk about his latest book: Power, Terror, Peace, and War: America’s Grand Strategy in a World at Risk. Maarten Huygen, commentator for NRC Handelsblad, interviewed Mead and moderated the discussion. Power, Terror, Peace, and War is …...

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Philip Kotler

Selling Amsterdam

The John Adams Institute proudly welcomed marketing expert Philip Kotler, whose textbooks are hailed worldwide as marketing ‘bibles’. Peter Jurgens, senior consultant for strategic communication at Boer & Croon , moderated a discussion about City Marketing Amsterdam between Professor Philip Kotler and Amsterdam’s Vice Mayor, Geert Dales and conducted the questions from the audience. Philip …...

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Paul Krugman

Has the Eagle Landed?

Paul Krugman spoke about the latest developments in macro-economics and commented on America’s current economic policy and on the consequences of America being the only superpower in the world. Sweder van Wijnbergen introduceded Paul Krugman and debated with him and the audience on several global and economic issues. Krugman joined The New York Times in …...

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Joseph E. Stiglitz

Globalization and its Discontents

The John Adams Institute hosted Joseph E. Stiglitz, former advisor to President Clinton. The winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics gave frank and controversial talk about his book Globalization and its Discontents and spoke openly about his tenure at the World Bank. During his time in Washington D.C., he was the never shy of critiquing …...

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Paul Volcker

The EMU and World Finance

The John Adams Institute was honored to host a lecture by Paul Volcker. After serving as President of the Federal Reserve of New York for many years, Paul Volcker was named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. He held this position until 1987, when …...

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Deirdre McCloskey

The Vices of Economists

The John Adams Institute hosted an evening with Professor Deirdre McCloskey. In 1985, her remarkable book The Rhetoric of Economics, was published under the name Donald McCloskey. According to McCloskey, economics is an exact science, but also and essentially argumental. Within a few years, she generated a notable reputation and created her own field: rhetorical economics. …...

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John Kenneth Galbraith

A Journey Through Economic Time and Where We've Come

The John Adams Institute hosted an evening with legendary American political economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who has become one of the most influential scholars in American politics, not only as professor of economics at Harvard but also as a presidential advisor and political leader. Always unorthodox and controversial, John Kenneth Galbraith has challenged traditional economic …...

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