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The Ingenuity Gap Reader’s Guide

By Thomas Homer-Dixon

The Ingenuity Gap by Thomas Homer-Dixon


Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. How do you understand Thomas Homer-Dixon’s concept of the ingenuity gap? Do you think it is a useful lens through which to look at global problems? Why, or why not?

2. The Ingenuity Gap was published in 2000. How have the intervening years treated its ideas? Do you feel that Western societies are more or less arrogant and hubristic than five years ago? Would you argue that the September 11 attacks and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq relate in some way to ingenuity gaps?

3. Which part of the book did you find most stimulating? Which part of the book did you find least convincing? Why?

4. Did you find The Ingenuity Gap a dispiriting or inspiring read? Based on your reading of the evidence gathered in the book, do you think we can supply enough ingenuity to solve future problems? What can we each do, in our own lives, to make the world a better place — and is it enough?

5. If you met Thomas Homer-Dixon, what question would you put to him about The Ingenuity Gap?

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