Infectious Generosity

Infectious Generosity

The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading


**Picked by Bill Gates for his summer reading list**

Recent years have been tough on optimists. Hopes that the Internet might bring people together have been crushed by the ills of social media. Is there a way back?

Chris Anderson, the head of TED, believes that we can turn outrage back into optimism. It all comes down to reimagining one of the most fundamental human virtues: generosity. What if generosity could become infectious generosity? Consider:

• how a London barber began offering haircuts to people experiencing homelessness - and catalysed a movement

• how two anonymous donors gave $10,000 each to 200 strangers and discovered that most recipients wanted to 'pay it forward' with their own generous acts

• how TED itself transformed from a niche annual summit into a global beacon of ideas by giving away talks online, allowing millions access to free learning

In telling these inspiring stories, Anderson offers a playbook for how to embark on our own generous acts - whether gifts of money, time, talent, connection, or kindness - and to prime them, thanks to the Internet, to have self-replicating, world-changing impacts.


  • This book is a masterpiece, and an important one. It is not only about generosity, but is itself an act of generosity, profound and compelling. I want everyone I know to read this - and everyone I don't know, too
    Andrew Solomon, NYT-bestselling author of Far From the Tree, Wellcome Book Prize winner, National Book Award winner and 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist

About the author

Chris Anderson

After a career in journalism and publishing, Chris Anderson became the curator of the TED Conference in 2001 and has developed it as a global platform for identifying and disseminating ideas worth spreading. His TED mantra - 'ideas worth spreading' - continues to blossom on an international scale, with more than one billion TED Talks viewed annually. He lives in New York City and London.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more