Johan Norberg

What do you see when you scroll through the news? For many of us, the answer is chaos – a disheartening mishmash of catastrophes and corruption, a tidal wave of bad news and big trends threatening our very future. We know this is not the entire story. We need the bigger picture.

Johan Norberg is an author, lecturer and documentary filmmaker who specializes in the big questions, from liberty and progress to entrepreneurship, globalization and the hidden dichotomies shaping the world. He is a native of Sweden, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. and the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels. He is a frequent commentator in Swedish and international media. In 2018 he received the Walter Judd Freedom Award, previously awarded to luminaries such as Garry Kasparov and Ronald Reagan.

“A blast of good sense”

Norberg has written over 20 books covering a broad range of topics, including global economics and popular science. His breakthrough title, In Defence of Global Capitalism (2003), was published in over 25 countries. His latest book, Open – The Story of Human Progress (2020), is a grand odyssey through history’s ever-changing tides of connection and isolation, exchange and protectionism, open borders and closed minds. It has been praised by The Economist as ”amusing as well as illuminating”, ”clear, colorful and convincing”.

“No person or society is smart enough or wise enough or noble enough to solve the wicked problems of life by themselves. With clarity and grace, Johan Norberg reminds us that openness to things and ideas from others is the only route to well-being.” Steven Pinker

His previous book, the celebrated Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future (2016) was chosen as the Book of the Year by The Economist, Guardian and Observer. It has been translated to 20 languages (so far). The Economist calls it “a tornado of evidence… a blast of good sense” and The Times writes: “Norberg has a strong case and he makes it with energy and charm. A pertinent book for grumpy times.”

“The future is ours to win – or lose.”

Johan Norberg regularly writes and hosts documentaries on development, economics and current affairs, in most cases for American television, including Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis, Power to the People, Free or Equal and Economic Freedom in Action: Changing Lives. His latest documentary is Sweden: Lessons for America? about how others can learn from the success and mistakes of his native country.

For his international work, Johan Norberg has received the Distinguished Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award from the American Atlas Foundation, and the gold medal from the German Hayek Stiftung, that year shared with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

He is a passionate, experienced and acclaimed speaker with engagements from Stockholm to Sydney, from Buenos Aires to Beijing and from Cairo to Capitol Hill on subjects like liberty, progress, entrepreneurship, global trends and globalization. Norberg has been particularly celebrated for his ability to make complex ideas easily accessible and challenge his audience with truly sharp thinking for a rapidly changing world.