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Jeremy Rifkin, The Empathic Civilization

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Jeremy Rifkin is president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the author of seventeen bestselling books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages and are used in thousands of universities, corporations and government agencies around the world. His most recent books include The Empathic Civilization, The Hydrogen Economy, The European Dream, The End of Work, The Age of Access, and The Biotech Century. Jeremy Rifkin has been an advisor to the European Union for the past decade. Mr. Rifkin is advising the government of Spain during its presidency of the European Union (January 1st – June 30, 2010). Mr. Rifkin also served as an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Jose Socrates of Portugal, and Prime Minister Janez Janša of Slovenia, during their respective European Council Presidencies, on issues related to the economy, climate change, and energy security. He currently advises the European Commission, the European Parliament, and several EU heads of state, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain. Mr. Rifkin is the principle architect of the European Union’s Third Industrial Revolution long-term economic sustainability plan to address the triple challenge of the global economic crisis, energy security, and climate change. The Third Industrial Revolution was formally endorsed by the European Parliament in 2007 and is now being implemented by various agencies within the European Commission as well as in the 27 member-states. Mr. Rifkin is also the founder and chairperson of the Third Industrial Revolution Global CEO Business Roundtable, comprised of 100 of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, construction companies, architectural firms, real estate companies, IT companies, power and utility companies, and transport and logistics companies. Mr. Rifkin’s global economic development team is the largest of its kind in the world and is working with cities, regions, and national governments to develop master plans to transition their economies into post- carbon Third Industrial Revolution infrastructures. Since 1994, Mr. Rifkin has been a senior lecturer at the Wharton School’s Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania—the world’s #1 ranked business school—where he instructs CEOs and senior management on transitioning their business operations into sustainable Third Industrial Revolution economies. Mr. Rifkin's monthly column on global issues appears in many of the world's leading newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times in the United States The Guardian in the U.K., Die Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany, L'Espresso in Italy, El Mundo and El País in Spain, Le Soir and Knack in Belgium, Kathimerini in Greece, Informatíon in Denmark, De Volkskrant in the Netherlands, Hospodárské Noviny in the Czech Republic, Wort in Luxembourg, Eesti Päevaleht in Estonia, Trud in Bulgaria, Clarín in Argentina, and Al-Ittihad in the U.A.E. Rifkin has been influential in shaping public policy in the United States and around the world. He has testified before numerous congressional committees and has had consistent success in litigation to ensure responsible government policies on a variety of environmental, scientific and technology related issues. He has been a frequent guest on numerous television programs, including Face the Nation, The Lehrer News Hour, 20/20, Larry King Live, Today, and Good Morning America. The National Journal named Rifkin as one of 150 people in the U.S. that have the most influence in shaping federal government policy. Mr. Rifkin holds a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Rifkin speaks frequently before government, business, labor and civic forums. He has lectured at hundreds of the world’s leading corporations as well as more than 200 universities in some 30 countries in the past 30 years. Jeremy Rifkin is the founder and president of The Foundation on Economic Trends (www.foet.org). The Foundation examines the economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts of new technologies introduced into the global economy.

When Both Faith and Reason Fail: Stepping Up to The Age of Empathy

While our radio talk shows and 24-hour cable TV news programs incessantly play off the political rift between conservative and liberal ideologies, the deeper conflict in America has always been the cultural divide between faith versus reason. At the dawn of the modern market economy and nation-state era, the philosophers of the Enlightenment challenged the […]

Is It Time To Replace The American Dream?

For two hundred years the American Dream has served as the bedrock foundation of the American way of life. The dream, reduced to its essence, is that in America, every person has the right and opportunity to pursue his or her own individual material self interest in the marketplace, and make something of their life, […]

What Does Facebook Have To Do With Job Creation And Renewable Energy?

The fossil fuel energies that propelled the great Industrial Revolutions of the past two centuries are now sunsetting and the infrastructure within which they are embedded is on life support. All across the world people are without work and becoming increasingly desperate. An anxious human race is asking the question, what do we do? Here […]

Empathic Civilization: Why Have We Become So Uncivil?

In the past two weeks, President Obama has made an unprecedented plea for civility in public discourse. Washington insiders say they can’t ever recall a period in American public life as full of anger and polarization as now. TV and radio talk show hosts, in particular, have fanned the flames of hatred with occasional outrageous […]

Empathy: The Real Invisible Hand of the Marketplace

The anemic global economic recovery is beginning to stall. Unemployment is shooting up again. The housing market is threatened by a new wave of foreclosures. Tens of millions of Americans are teetering on the edge of survival. Public surveys show that people on Main Street are fast loosing trust in Wall Street and the workings […]

The Earthquake That Triggered A Global Empathic Response: What The Haitian Crisis Tells Us About Human Nature

Frantic tweets and videos have been seeping out of Haiti, pleading for help from the rest of the human race in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that leveled one of the poorest countries on the planet, spreading destruction and death. The response by people all over the world has been immediate. Governments, NGOs, and […]

The Empathic Civilization: Rethinking Human Nature in the Biosphere Era

Two spectacular failures, separated by only 18 months, marked the end of the modern era. In July 2008, the price of oil on world markets peaked at $147/ barrel, inflation soared, the price of everything from food to gasoline skyrocketed, and the global economic engine shut off. Growing demand in the developed nations, as well […]

Animation of The Empathic Civilization

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Read an annotated table of contents for The Empathic Civilization:

Read the annotated table of contents of The Empathic Civilization


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