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The ghost of Schumpeter: Failure, risk and innovation in the digital era

Does the nature of innovation in the sphere of digital technology today represent success or failure for contemporary capitalism? Newly appointed Hertie School Senior Fellow Arjun Appadurai revisited the political economist Joseph Schumpeter's influential ideas about "creative destruction” to shed light on this question. Examining the role of designers, investors, and consumers in the era of digital products and services, Appadurai showed how technological innovation has turned disruption into the primary entrepreneurial ideology.

Arjun Appadurai and Helmut K. Anheier


Arjun Appadurai is Paulette Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and Senior Fellow at the Hertie School in Berlin. He is currently Visiting Professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt University. He is an internationally recognised scholar of globalisation, of the cultural dimensions of economic development and of struggles over national and transnational identity. His primary areal specialty is South Asia.


Helmut K. Anheier is President of the Hertie School and Professor of Sociology. His research centres on indicator systems, social innovation, culture, philanthropy, and organisational studies. He also holds a Chair of Sociology at Heidelberg University and serves as Academic Director of the Centre for Social Investment.