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WANTING: Our Secret Economy of Desire
by Luke Arthur Burgis
History is the story of human desire. Economists measure it, politicians poll it, businesses feed it. The French philosopher René Girard fundamentally saw desire as mimetic—or imitative: we humans take our cues about what is wantable from other people. In other words, we imitate the desires of others. This leads to rivalry, competition, and even violence. But the good news, writes Burgis, is that we can channel it for good. This book shows us how.
The forces of mimetic desire have shaped human history. Burgis explains how these forces operate and how they affect our lives on a daily basis.
It’s possible to counteract the mimetic forces of the market and world around us by transforming blind wanting into intentional wanting—not by ridding ourselves of desire, but by desiring something greater.
“If you want people to build a ship, help them yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
The hidden forces that shape our world.
Business is not driven by profit or performance or any amount of social do-gooding. Business is driven by desire. It’s possible to counteract the mimetic forces of the market by turning blind wanting into intentional wanting—not by ridding ourselves of desire, but by desiring something greater.
Luke Arthur Burgis
Luke Arthur Burgis is an author, professor of business, and co-creator of three startups valued at more than $100 million. His unique perspective on business stems from diverse experiences: working on Wall Street, founding companies in Silicon Valley, living around the world, and studying classical philosophy, theology, and literature.
He is the author of Wanting: Our Secret Economy of Desire, which draws upon diverse examples to explore the hidden forces around us that shape why we want things and outlines a process for breaking free from destructive desires. Mr. Burgis is also the co-author with Dr. Joshua Miller of Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person.
Luke is currently the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship at The Catholic University of America. He’s a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University and the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.
How Wanting Serves
Global Master Trainer, Reebok International
Director, Ciocca Center for Principled Entrepreneurship
Richard Gordin, Esq.
Partner, Snell & Wilmer
American Enterprise Institute