"Disequilibrium" is an essay at the intersection of economics, geopolitics, and political and environmental science: it connects the dots between various academic disciplines and does a great job at simplifying the increasing complexity of today's world. It contends that in the foreseeable future, our world will be lurching from one global crisis to the next as it becomes much more susceptible to shocks and surprises than just a few years ago. Consequently, we will all have the impression of being on the verge of constant instability, with random occurrences happening all the time. Essentially, the world has become a conveyor belt for constant surprises. 

The book provides a conceptual framework that explains why this is so (looking in particular at how ever-increasing interdependency, complexity, velocity and transparency interact with each other, creating feedback loops in the process). It also analyses what this all means for decision-makers and argues that the complexity of the world is progressively overwhelming their capabilities (particularly in the case of politicians and bankers) to make sensible, well-informed decisions. The last chapter (largely based on interviews and conversations with key decision-makers and leading investors) provides some important insights and “tips” not only on how to cope with, but also on how to benefit from these dramatic changes.

"Disequilibrium" has been endorsed by some of today's most prominent thinkers and decision-makers. It contains a foreword by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, an organization famous for its annual gathering of global thinkers, global CEOs, and some of the world's most famous opinion and policy-makers in Davos.

Testimonials

  • “I've travelled the world for decades, met politicians, experts and business people; I've lead global companies and global brands; I have a Master in Economics and …..  I thought I knew it all. That was until I worked with Thierry Malleret on becoming co-CEO of the World Economic Forum. In his simple, straightforward way of thinking, he made me realize how little I really understood the complexities of today's world. This is what his book, Disequilibrium, does. It may appear pessimistic, but in fact it is just the opposite. Every politician should read it rather than being in denial: then the world will be better.”

    Philippe Bourguignon,
    Vice Chairman, Revolution Places, CEO Exclusive Resorts, USA

  • "Disequilibrium is a clarion wake-up call for those who refuse to acknowledge that we are not going back to the world we knew. Thierry Malleret presents a “short and simple (but not simplistic)” analysis-kit on how to make sense of a new genre of trends, risks and uncertainties, emanating from a completely new planet-scape. It is a subtle guide to tuning one’s faculties and evolving one’s own path to cope with tangibly ever-increasing complexity.  In the process, the reader is gently prodded to substantially enlarge his canvas of understanding as well as enhance her skills of discernment.   An outstanding work – it is a must-read for not only leaders of today but also aspiring leaders of tomorrow, and any global citizen who wishes to understand where our world could be heading."

    Ravi Chaudhry,
    Chairman, CeNext Consulting & Investment Pvt Ltd, India; Author of “Quest for Exceptional Leadership: Mirage to Reality

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  • “Few people think sensibly about big questions. Academic specialization has enabled extraordinary progress, but offers us little help in grappling with the challenges of a hyper-connected, complex adaptive system in which all actors are asymmetrically dependent, while some, for brief periods, are disproportionately, even asymptotically, influential. Thierry Malleret has drawn on years of experience in economics, public policy, finance and risk analysis in a number of leading national and international institutions, to offer a compendium of insights into the workings of our world, and the poor repertoire of skills and instruments we employ to make sense of, and to manage, it. You may be more effective after reading this short work, especially if you reflect on the advice in Chapter 5; and you’ll certainly be better informed!”

    Sean Cleary,
    Executive Vice-Chair, FutureWorld Foundation, Switzerland

  • “The complexity of our world distilled to its essence, with practical advice to successfully navigate the uncharted waters humanity is traversing. Malleret’s book is a must-read.”

    José-Maria Figueres,
    President of the Carbon War Room, USA; former President of Costa Rica

  • “In the beginning of Disequilibrium, Thierry Malleret points out that “the ever-growing complexity of our world vastly overwhelms our cognitive abilities to understand it”. This is correct and the “information revolution” does not help: “everyone knows what’s happening, but almost nobody knows what it means”. It is in this setting that in Disequilibrium, Malleret has produced a brilliant, succinct, incisive and lucid guide to the 21st century. He sets a framework of the inter-related forces causing the disequilibrium and sets out the implications. It is all quite alarming. Yet if we get things right and follow the prescriptions he gives us on what should be our conceptual mindsets and attitudinal traits we should be able to manage to prevent the apocalypse. This book is an absolute must read for the current generation of business, government and thought leaders and also for the coming generations as an extremely helpful guide for the world they will inherit.”

    Jean-Pierre Lehmann,
    Emeritus Professor, IMD, Switzerland; Founder of The Evian Group; Senior Fellow, Fung Global Institute, Hong Kong

  • “Global policymakers are feeling lost. The world continues to change dramatically and unpredictably. They should all read Disequilibrium. It provides a quick guide to the forces driving these remarkable changes.”

    Kishore Mahbubani,
    Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS, Singapore; and author of “The Great Convergence

  • “Thierry Malleret delivers a compelling demonstration of how, and why, our risk landscape is changing so fast, and what to do about it. A must read.”

    Erwann Michel-Kerjan,
    Managing Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, Wharton School of Business, USA

  • “Decision makers not only have to deal with the current economic, social and geopolitical turmoil.   They are also challenged by a bewildering intellectual turmoil.  An avalanche of competing ideas, approaches and theories spurred by the crisis makes it even harder to understand what is going on and where it is all headed.   This book offers a rigorous, practical and accessible synthesis of the best tools available to navigate this intellectual turmoil.  Anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of  our current convulsions and their likely evolution must read what Thierry Malleret has given us in these fascinating pages.”

    Moisés Naím,
    Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of “The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields & from Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be”; Former editor-in-chief, Foreign Policy

  • “Free of ideological biases Thierry Malleret dissects and explains the new constant of our times and the foreseeable future – Disequilibrium. It is an eloquent and highly readable attempt to explain and move beyond clichés. As economic and political power shifts form the West to the East, this is a book that should be read by policy makers and business leaders around the world but perhaps especially those in Asia.”

    Chandran Nair,
    Founder, Global Institute for Tomorrow, Hong Kong

  • “Malleret has an admirable ability to explain complex phenomena in terms that are accessible and insightful to decision-makers in business and politics.”

    Dennis Snower,
    President, Institute for the World Economy, Kiel, Germany

  • “Thierry cuts through the complexity of today's world and focuses clearly on the major challenges of our time.  As policy-makers are grappling, as they must, with the "here and now" of the economic and financial crisis, he reminds us that we ignore at our peril the even bigger and longer-term issues, particularly climate change and social inequity.”

    Nicholas Stern,
    IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics, UK