Peace Through Entrepreneurship
Investing in a Startup Culture for Security and Development
By Steven R. Koltai; With Matthew Muspratt
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
5:45 – 8:30 p.m.
Columbia Business School, Uris Hall
(Entrance behind the Curl)
New York, NY 10027
Joblessness is the root cause of the global unrest threatening American security. Fostering entrepreneurship is the remedy.
The combined weight of American diplomacy and military power cannot end unrest and extremism in the Middle East and other troubled regions of the world, Steven Koltai argues. Could an alternative approach work? Koltai says yes: by investing in entrepreneurship, and reaping the benefits of the jobs created through entrepreneurial startups.
From 9/11 and the Arab Spring to the self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate, instability and terror breed where young men cannot find jobs. Koltai marshals evidence to show that joblessness — not religious or cultural conflict — is the root cause of the unrest that vexes American foreign policy and threatens international security.
Drawing on Koltai’s stint as Senior Adviser for Entrepreneurship in Secretary Hillary Clinton’s State Department, and his thirty-year career as a successful entrepreneur and business executive, World Peace through Entrepreneurship argues for the significant elevation of entrepreneurship in the service of foreign policy. This entrepreneurship is not rural microfinance or mercantile trading. It is the scalable stuff of Silicon Valley and Sam Walton, generating the vast majority of new jobs in economies large and small.
Peace through Entrepreneurship offers a nonmilitary, long-term solution at a time of disillusionment with Washington’s “big development” approach to unstable and underdeveloped parts of the world — and when the new normal is fear of terrorist attacks against Western targets, beheadings in Syria, and jihad. Extremism will not be resolved by a war on terror. The answer, Koltai shows, is stimulating economic opportunities for the virtually limitless supply of desperate, unemployed young men and women leading lives of endless economic frustration. Those opportunities will come through entrepreneurship.
Steven R. Koltai is a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and managing director of the entrepreneurship consultancy Koltai and Co. LLC. He is a successful entrepreneur in the telecommunications and event management industries, and from 2009–11 served as Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Advance Praise for Peace through Entrepreneurship: Investing in a Startup Culture for Security and Development
‘We are turning the screw of economic development with a rubber screwdriver.’ That’s Steve Koltai’s lively and engaging account of what is wrong with much official U.S. foreign assistance. Happily, he has a deeply American solution: harnessing the creativity and energy of people around the world in ‘doing entrepreneurship.’ He’s both a visionary and a pragmatist; his ideas actually work on the ground and should occupy a much larger place in U.S. foreign policy.
—Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO, New America Foundation
An imaginative, innovative, and inspiring book about the power of entrepreneurs to change lives.
—Tara Sonenshine, Former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Steven Koltai makes the critical point that joblessness in volatile states is a major national security concern that must be addressed by innovative means. America’s traditional strength in entrepreneurship represents a promising and much needed tool in the fight against joblessness and the hopelessness, anger, and desperation it creates. Koltai has identified and persuasively argued for an important new element in American foreign policy that must be added to our toolkit.
—Ret. Admiral James Stavridis, Dean, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University; Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
Brookings Institution Press, August 30, 2016
Hardcover ISBN: 9780815729235
Ebook ISBN: 9780815729242