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R. James Breiding

Leading global powers are witnessing a decline in their influence 

 

In their place, a number of smartly led small countries are redefining what it means to be a great nation

 

What are their recipes for success? How are they achieving better-educated, more egalitarian, happier and wealthier populations?

What Goliath Can Learn From David (Book

America is the biggest, the strongest, the best! It follows then that the United States must have the world’s happiest, healthiest, and best educated citizens, right?

 

Nope, not right at all. 

 

For far too long we have been preoccupied with size rather than excellence. Turns out small nations routinely beat large, competitive nations in every category from health care to happiness. Why is this so?

ABOUT

R. James Breiding

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James is a graduate of IMD Lausanne and the Harvard Kennedy School. 

 

He has worked as an auditor and senior manager at Price Waterhouse Coopers, as a director at NM Rothschild & Sons and as a managing director at Templeton Investment. In 1999, with the support of Sir John Templeton and other investors, he founded Naissance Capital, a Swiss boutique investment firm. 

 

James is the author of Swiss Made: The Untold Story behind Switzerland's Success and Too Small To Fail: Why Some Small Nations Outperform Larger Ones and How They Are Reshaping the World and co-author of Wirtschaftswunder Schweiz. 

Inspired by his latest book, Too Small to Fail, James founded the non-profit organization S8nations in 2020 with headquarters in Zurich.

 

James' work is regularly published in The Economist, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, among others

S8nations

S8nations is a non-profit organization based in Zurich, Switzerland.

 

The goal of S8nations is to connect the most resourceful leaders and thinkers of the world’s most innovative nations with a view to learn from each other and spark bold, pragmatic best-in-class solutions.

 

S8nations is a global initiative and platform supported by an extensive network of distinguished leaders across industry, academia, and government from outperforming small nations. Delegates and partners in each of the S8 countries represent and promote the initiative.

 

Inspired by the book “Too Small to Fail: How Some Small Nations Are Reshaping The World” by James Breiding, the organization was founded on the idea that societies need to contemplate a new world order based on the recognition that our future will be very different from the world we live in today. While big nations have traditionally been at the forefront of this order, solutions to a tsunami of pressing socio-economic challenges such as climate change, pandemics, immigration, artificial intelligence, aging populations, and slowing growth are increasingly coming from small, adaptive and outperforming nations.

BOOKS

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Too Small to Fail

Leading global powers are witnessing a decline in their influence. In their place, a number of smartly led small countries are redefining what it means to be a great nation.

In South-East Asia, Singapore has found a way to provide cost-effective, quality healthcare for its citizens. In the Middle East, Israel has created a start-up ecosystem that can rival Silicon Valley. In Europe, Finland has transformed its primary education system and Denmark is a world leader in renewable energy. In Sweden, employees can take six months off work to start their own business, safe in the knowledge that they can return to their job if their start-up doesn’t work. Across the globe, these and other small nations are driving a quiet revolution.

What are their recipes for success? How are they achieving better-educated, more egalitarian, happier and wealthier populations? Too Small to Fail looks at a select number of small countries that have emerged as leaders of the pack. It considers the specific policies, individuals, corporations and institutions that have made positive and sustainable change possible. By looking at the parallels between these success stories, Too Small to Fail offers valuable lessons that the rest of the world can emulate.

Too small to fail
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What Can Goliath Learn From David

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What Goliath Can Learn From David (Book
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What Can Goliath Learn From DAvid

America is the biggest, the strongest, the best! That is our national mantra. To say otherwise is unpatriotic. It follows then that the United States must have the world’s happiest, healthiest, and best educated citizens, right?

 

Nope, not right at all. 

 

For far too long we have been preoccupied with size rather than excellence. Turns out small nations like Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and Singapore routinely beat large, competitive nations in every category from health care to happiness. Why is this so?

 

And what can we – the biggest and grandest – learn from them?

 

The world doesn’t need more praiseworthy declarations or empty political promises. What is urgently needed are proven and cost-effective policies. Leadership by example. Progress is after all usually about finding something that works and reverse engineering it. Just think of the wheel or the iPhone. 

 

Many are already out there – often arising from small, innovative, experimental countries better able to intermediate a social consensus in an increasingly polarized world. But our modern information highway traverses Los Angeles, New York, London, Berlin, Shanghai and Tokyo. So progress often remains unnoticed.

 

Now is a good time to peek over our garden hedges to discover many insightful and proven examples that suggest a better way of doing things. Testimony that all big things once started small. Treat this book as a garden ladder to help you ascend these hedges

ARTICLES AND PUBLICATIONS

A Better Way to Pay for Health Care

Scientific American

June 16, 2021
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The Unbearable Vanity of Davos

The Wall Street Journal

January 23, 2013

The Port Arthur Massacre and Beyond

Foreign Affairs

October 13, 2017

Hail to the Thieves

Why FIFA’s Problems are so Intractable

Foreign Affairs

May 31, 2016
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The Recipe for the Outperformance of Swiss Businesses

The Economist

May 23, 2022

Give America a Debt Brake

Project Syndicate

May 29, 2023
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Good Reasons for Swiss Banking’s Resilience

Financial Times

December 28, 2017

Die Schweiz ist aus dem Tritt

NZZ am Sonntag

February 19, 2022
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La raison du succès, c’est le modèle

Le Temps

March 17, 2013

OBITUARIES

Helmut Maucher, Nestlé chief executive, 1927-2018

Financial Times

March 16, 2018

Heaven's eyes: Luc Hoffmann, unsung hero of nature conservation

The Ecologist

November 23, 2016

A Long Way from Huttwil: Honoring Fritz Gerber

Yes, he played dirty – but Marc Rich also changed the world

Financial Times

June 27, 2013

On India, gay marriage, protesting, Iran, Marc Rich, political pi

The Economist

July 13, 2013

Leo Sternbach,  inventor of Valium

The Economist

October 13, 2005

Egon Zehnder, Discoverer of Talent

2021

Stephen Zuellig, Eigentlich wollte er Professor werden

NZZ

January 1, 2017

Jean Robert: Der vergessene Uhrenheld

FuW

February 13, 2017

Join the Mission of S8nations

Help us to raise awareness of excellence emerging from small nations, underappreciated elsewhere, and to support collaboration, experimentation and progress among leaders and changemakers from all nations

Become a Member

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CONTACT JAMES

Thank you for your message!

S8nations, Spyristrasse 2, 8044 Zürich

© 2020 by S8nations 

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