The Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford wins the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2015

Christopher Clearfield and András Tilcsik are winners of the Bracken Bower Prize 2015

The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company today announce that Martin Ford has won the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award for The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment, published by Basic Books and Oneworld Publications. The book discusses the impact of accelerating technology on our economic prospects, and whether the future will see broad based prosperity or catastrophic levels of inequality and economic insecurity.

The award recognises the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues. It was presented this evening to Martin Ford at a ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City by Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, and Dominic Barton, global managing director of McKinsey & Company. Keynote speaker at the ceremony was Wendell P. Weeks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Corning, who said, “It’s a pleasure to participate in an event that celebrates the greatest business books of the year, because I know how much I have personally benefited from expert insights, well timed, and well-illustrated – including past winners of this award.”

Martin Ford saw off strong competition from a shortlist of titles that ranged in theme from the economic recession to technological disruption, to win the £30,000 prize. Each of the five runners-up received a cheque for £10,000.

Lionel Barber said, “The Rise of the Robots is a tightly-written and deeply-researched addition to the public policy debate du jour and du demain. The judges didn’t agree with all of the conclusions, but were unanimous on the verdict and the impact of the book.”

Dominic Barton commented, “While no one can be certain how the future will unfold, this year’s winner delivers an important message: Companies and governments are racing into a world where both work and the work force will need to be radically redesigned.”

The distinguished judging panel for the 2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award comprised:

  • Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economics Advisor, Allianz Chair, President Obama’s Global Development Council (winner, 2008, When Markets Collide)
  • Reid Hoffman, Entrepreneur, Co-founder, LinkedIn; Partner, Greylock Partners
  • Herminia Ibarra, Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning Professor of Organizational Behavior, INSEAD
  • Rik Kirkland, Partner, Global Publishing, McKinsey & Company
  • Dambisa Moyo, Director, Barclays Bank, SABMiller, Barrick Gold
  • Shriti Vadera, Chair, Santander UK; Director, Shriti Vadera Ltd; Non-Executive Director, BHP Billiton and AstraZeneca

Also announced today at the same ceremony by the Financial Times and McKinsey & Company, co-authors Christopher Clearfield and András Tilcsik are the winners of the 2015 Bracken Bower Prize. The award is designed to encourage young authors to tackle emerging business themes, with a focus this year on the challenges and opportunities presented by growth.

Christopher Clearfield and András Tilcsik’s proposal stood out from the many entries, received from 33 countries and on topics ranging from technology to globalisation.

Lynda Gratton, Professor, London Business School said, “It was an incredibly impressive shortlist, with some knockout ideas, which made it hard to choose between them.”

Their book proposal, Rethinking the Unthinkable: Managing the Risk of Catastrophic Failure in the Twenty-First Century, which examines the forces transforming the contemporary risk landscape and the steps that executives can take to ready their organisations to manage a crisis before it becomes catastrophe, was awarded £15,000.

Stephen Rubin, President & Publisher, Henry Holt & Co, said, “I admired the quality of the proposal as well as the idea. Rethinking the Unthinkable takes on a really important subject.”

The distinguished judging panel for the Bracken Bower Prize comprised:

  • Vindi Banga, Partner, Clayton Dubilier & Rice
  • Lynda Gratton, Professor, London Business School
  • Jorma Ollila, Chairman, Outokumpu
  • Stephen Rubin, President & Publisher, Henry Holt & Co

Photographs of the presentation of the Business Book of the Year Award, the winner of the Bracken Bower Prize, shortlisted authors, the judges and speaker Wendell P. Weeks will be available for download from http://www.flickr.com/photos/financialtimes/ after 10.00pm EDT on 17 November.

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