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Civilizations are mortal. Some rise to meet their challenges, others collapse and disappear into history. Why do some posses the capacity to change, and others not?

Jared Diamond warns that the Anthropocentric Age, in which the human species for the first time is the dominant influence on the planet, could end up like the extinct Maya, terminating our civilization's accomplishments if we don't squarely face our ecological challenges.

Bruce Mau, like Alvin Toffler, sees hope in the “distributed power” enabled by new technologies. Jared Cohen and Eric Schmidt examine the paradoxes of the digital age which has transformed how we live our lives in every respect.