Transformational trends including globalization and the rise of new powers; climate change and humanitarian disaster; technological breakthrough; and economic booms and income inequality all appear both revolutionary and daunting. What impact can a single person hope to make in the face of such forces? The answer is: a lot.

In his new book, From Silk to Silicon: The Story of Globalization Through Ten Extraordinary Lives, Jeffrey E. Garten chronicles ten individuals over the last one thousand years—since the era of Genghis Khan—from all walks of life and every corner of the globe whose feats forever changed the world and continue to shape debate today. How they achieved their goals and the outcomes they ushered in, for better and for worse, provide critical insights into harnessing change in modern times.

Carnegie hosted  a conversation between Jeffrey E. Garten and Thomas L. Friedman to celebrate the launch of Garten's book. Carnegie President William J. Burns introduced the evening.

Copies of the book were available for purchase.

William J. Burns

William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as U.S. deputy secretary of state.

Thomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and New York Times columnist. He has received the Pulitzer Price three times.

Jeffrey E. Garten

Jeffrey E. Garten is dean emeritus at the Yale School of Management. He served as undersecretary of commerce for international trade in the Clinton administration and, before that, as a managing director of the Blackstone Group.