The Global Innovator. How Nations Have Held and Lost the Innovative Edge

Publication Date:

January 2022



Original language and publisher

Territories Handled

World excl. English North America, German, Russian and Arabic

Territories Sold

Arabic ()


Business & Leadership, Society

The Global Innovator. How Nations Have Held and Lost the Innovative Edge


“The book acts as the guide into the rich history of innovation, spanning a massive 5,000 years; from the ancient Egyptians, to the modern world. Having Dr. Hafez’s own life story woven into the history adds a very necessary touch of humanity and we understand that he embodies what it means to be a successful innovator. Most notably we realize that contrary to the societal narrative, religion is not always the enemy of innovation.” — DR. Mohamed Reda Awad, Author of The Makers of the Islamic Civilization, Med Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Al Azhar University Egypt“This book provides a historical perspective on the role of innovation in defining how organizations survive—and thrive—in good times and bad. This perspective is important for business leaders who are innovating through crises today.” — Lynda M. Applegate, Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School

“This remarkable blend of global business experience, history, and economic analysis gives us new insights into the vital process of innovation. It should be required reading for all students and scholars with an interest in the past, present, and future of capitalism.” — Louis Galambos, Research Professor in Business and Economic History, Johns Hopkins University

“Like The Rise and Fall Of The Great Powers by Paul Kennedy and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, this well paced book got me thinking about what happens next, how governments can help, how this informs public policy and how we can apply these lessons at Dow Jones.” — Mark Riley, GM, Innovation & Corporate Ventures at Dow Jones

“This book provides unique insights into innovation given the authors’ diverse back­grounds. Blended with Dr. Hafez’s experience as an entrepreneur working with people and businesses in a multicultural world, this is a refreshing look at an important topic.” — Muhummad Bin Ibrahim, the 8th Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia and Adjunct Professor at International Islamic University Malaysia

“A thoughtful look at how leaders can build an innovation culture to keep business grow­ing, and people motivated. The best thing about this book is the use of real life examples of big players and how they lost their edge because of missing innovation culture.” — Eng. Mohammed Al Mowkley, Deputy Minister, Water Services, CEO, National Water Company, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

What Makes A Society Innovative?

Tracing the story of five great civilizations, from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, to the Middle East, Europe, the United States and China, this book will tell you. History offers us a model and lessons for what can be done right, and it shows how once mighty and innovative societies can fall. The story here departs from pundits who believe that the Western or American-style political and legal system is universally best for economic success. At various times China, the Middle East and elsewhere were the great engines of innovation; later leadership passed to Europe and the United States. As some places rose to the top of science and technology, others fell away. And some, like China, rose again.

The lessons of history are clear. Centers of innovation learn from and borrow ideas, practices and technologies from elsewhere. They adapt ideas and practices to add new value. They activate the strengths of their population through education, cultural openness, and access to financial resources. They build strong institutions that pursue new knowledge and reject orthodoxy. At a time when the world seems to be closing doors to the talented and pulling back from global engagement, when suspicion of the foreign is running high, we may be losing the essential traits that make for innovation, the most important of all assets for the future of the human race.