Infectious Generosity

Infectious Generosity

The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading

Summary

**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.

Reviews

  • 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.
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