April 27, 2020

Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance: How Innovation Improves Economies and Governments

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With the growing concerns around connectivity and broadband, artificial intelligence ethics, antitrust in the technology sector, and the future of governance, there are growing questions around how disruptive innovations should be handled in a rapidly changing world. 

In Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance: How Innovation Improves Economies and Governments, a product of the Cato Institute, scholar Adam Thierer examines how evasive entrepreneurs—innovators who don’t always conform to social or legal norms—are changing the world and challenging their governments.

Thierer makes the case that we should accept—and often even embrace—a certain amount of disruptive entrepreneurship that drives economic growth, and makes government accountable to the governed. He examines how “evasive entrepreneurs”—innovators who don’t always conform to social or legal norms—are changing the world and challenging the status quo of governance, culture, and the way we earn a living. 

Evasive entrepreneurialism can also play a role to constrain unaccountable government activities that fail to reflect common sense or the consent of the governed. With technological civil disobedience, evasive entrepreneurship help act as checks and balances to rein in the state, make government more transparent and accountable to the governed, and ensure the rights of the people are upheld. 

Thierer is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He specializes in innovation, entrepreneurialism, Internet, and free-speech issues, with a particular focus on the public policy concerns surrounding emerging technologies.

His foundational book, Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom, explored the freedom to innovate, technological progress, and long-run prosperity. 

Previously, Thierer was president of the Progress & Freedom Foundation, director of Telecommunications Studies at the Cato Institute, and a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He received his MA in international business management and trade theory at the University of Maryland and his BA in Journalism and Political Philosophy from Indiana University.

Testimonials about Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance:

“Entrepreneurs who skirt regulations that would block their ideas from coming to fruition aren’t the greedy scofflaws they’re sometimes portrayed as. Rather, they’re engaged in a form of civil disobedience that can lead to better governance, and forward-looking public officials are taking that information to heart. In Evasive Entrepreneurs, Adam Thierer provides an important new way of reframing the debate around ‘permissionless innovation,’ with lessons for business, regulators, and everyone concerned with a fair and prosperous future." – Virginia Postrel, author and columnist

“Adam Thierer bravely takes up arms against a sea of anti-technology histrionics, reminding us that the benefits of permissionless innovation far outweigh the costs.  Though his calls for entrepreneurs to continue evading or even ignoring counter-productive and counter-intuitive laws and regulations may sound radical, it’s worth remembering that every great inventor in history followed that advice, to the vast benefit of society.  This is a welcome counter-attack to faddish technophobia.  Thierer’s common-sense recommendations will someday be heeded by policymakers, entrepreneurs, and consumers—hopefully before too much damage is done to the engine of innovation driving 21st century life.” – Larry Downes, New York Times Best-Selling Author of Unleashing the Killer App, The Laws of Disruption, and Pivot to the Future

“In Permissionless Innovation, Adam Thierer made a clear and powerful case against regulations that bind innovators.  The book was oft-quoted, but also oft-ignored by regulators---'it is hard to teach someone something that it is not in their interest to learn.'  But like the innovators whom he defends, Thierer courageously perseveres.  In his hopeful new Evasive Entrepreneurs, he boldly argues that when onerous regulations persist, innovators can and should escape.” – Arthur M. Diamond, Jr., Professor of Economics at University of Nebraska Omaha, and author of Openness to Creative Destruction: Sustaining Innovative Dynamism

“Thierer presents a bold and new concept that will disrupt how societies manages disruptive technologies.” – Gary Marchant, Professor of Law at Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

“As our overly-bureaucratized society threatens every day to stifle the innovation, discovery, and entrepreneurship that have for so long been regarded as a core element of American prosperity, Adam Thierer comes along with a book that shows us a better way. Blending real life examples with the theories of social science, he shows why “freedom to innovate is a moral imperative” both for individuals and society at large. If humanity is to have any future at all, it must be along the lines Thierer lays down in this book.” – Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Litigation, Goldwater Institute, and author of The Permission Society: How the Ruling Class Turns Our Freedoms into Privileges and What We Can Do About It

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Event at Cato, Tuesday, April 28, 2020  at 1 PM: https://www.cato.org/events/evasive-entrepreneurs-future-governance-how-innovation-improves-economies-governments