Make, Think, Imagine
John Browne dreams big about engineering and infrastructure but practically and with empathy for history and place. This is apparent in Make, Think, Imagine, which is a feast of stimulating and significant ideas. Like all the best books, it is partly autobiographical. — Read the complete FT review
Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilisation
Publishing date: May 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Today’s unprecedented pace of change leaves many people wondering what new technologies are doing to our lives. Has social media robbed us of our privacy and fed us with false information? Are the decisions about our health, security and finances made by computer programs inexplicable and biased? Will these algorithms become so complex that we can no longer control them? Are robots going to take our jobs? Will better healthcare lead to an ageing population which cannot be cared for? Can we provide housing for our ever-growing urban populations? Will we all be terrorised by autonomous drones that can identify and kill us, one by one? And has our demand for energy driven the Earth’s climate to the edge of catastrophe?
John Browne argues that we need not and must not put the brakes on technological advance. Civilisation is founded on engineering innovation; all progress stems from the human urge to make things and to shape the world around us, resulting in greater freedom, health and wealth for all. Drawing on history, his own experiences and conversations with many of today’s great innovators, he uncovers the basis for all progress and its consequences, both good and bad. He argues compellingly that the same spark that triggers each innovation can be used to counter its negative consequences. Make, Think, Imagine provides an eloquent blueprint for how we can keep moving towards a brighter future.