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Book review: Standing on the Sun – Christopher Meyer & Julia Kirby (2012)



Christopher Meyer and Julia Kirby’s latest book, Standing on the Sun: How the Explosion of Capitalism Abroad Will Change Business Everywhere, is a journey into some of the most innovative ideas around capitalism and development.

Written from first-hand observations of firms that went against the grain of capitalism, yet prospered, Meyer and co-writer Julia Kirby say how 21st century businesses can use a set of new principles to create success.

The pair outline how firms now take the so-called externalities – pollution, waste, communities – into account in their decisions.

A comprehensive, thoroughly-researched read, Standing on the Sun includes predictions, statistics and ideas on how to reshape business and the economy.

It argues that a new take on capitalism is needed – and urgently.

Its title, Standing on the Sun, is a metaphor used to describe and look at what is happening to the global economy and capitalism itself.

It refers to how the 16th century astronomer Copernicus arrived at his groundbreaking perspective that placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the centre of the universe: by imagining himself in a different place, with a different frame of reference. In other words, by standing on the sun, not the Earth.

Meyer and Kirby say this fresh outlook on capitalism and economics is needed. We just need to find the best vantage point first.