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Harvard Business Review | January - February 2012

By Parag Khanna and Karan Khemka

The new year begins precariously. The global economy vacillates between signs of recovery and omens of collapse. Businesses seem paralyzed. Even though they’re sitting on $2 trillion in cash, they’re risk-averse, strategically incremental, and notably lacking in fresh ideas.

We think this stinks. The world needs invention and daring now more than ever. Now is the time for audacity, not austerity.

To that end we’ve asked experts and leaders from many disciplines to propose audacious ideas that attack big, difficult problems while improving the economy and society as a whole. Though these ideas are bold, they’re not quixotic. They represent real business opportunities. They aren’t lectures; they’re conversation starters that ask the one question that sparks every revolution: Why not?

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