For half a century the US has sat at the center of the global economic system, and Western-style capitalism has dominated.  Now, it's no secret that the center of gravity is shifting. The advanced economies that in 2000 consumed 75% of the world's output will, by 2050, consume just 32%. Meanwhile, the emerging economies of the world--Brazil, India, China, and others--will surge forward. As these fast-growing, low-income economies mature, will they adopt the practices of the old guard?  Or will they make their own way, and create the next prevailing version of capitalism?  What new opportunities will that create for firms around the world?  Standing on the Sun tackles these questions with fresh ideas and provocative examples.

Based on firsthand observations of companies defying capitalism's old rules yet prospering, authors Meyer and Julia Kirby outline new principles for commercial success.  Among them:

  • The obsession with return on equity gives way to more broad-based measurements of success

  • Adam Smith's invisible hand of the market is redeemed by the "invisible handshake" of collaborative networks

  • Businesses take ownership of the impacts they now call "externalities." 

Just as Copernicus saw the true shape of the solar system by realizing he was not at it's center – in effect, by standing on the sun – the authors question today's deeply held assumptions about capitalism, and see a world of other possibilities.


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Chris Meyer – Biography

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Read the Harvard Business Review article "Runaway Capitalism" or download the pdf.