Big Lessons from Small Nations | James Breiding | TEDxCambridgeUniversity

Much of the current debate focuses not on success but on failure. But history teaches us that progress is about discovering what works, not what is broken. “Big lessons from small nations” shows us that some of the boldest and most innovative solutions to our most pressing challenges are coming from small, outperforming nations. Their success derives from their lack of entitlement; they expect to have to adapt to outside forces, so they do.
Through their positive examples they are redefining what it means to be a great nation. They are also pointing the way towards a new order; one based on excellence rather than power.
How do they achieve vibrant, fair, resilient societies? What are their common recipes for success? What can we learn from them? James Breiding is author of Swiss Made – the untold story behind Switzerland’s success. Available in 10 languages, the book has become the most authoritative work on ‘Swissness’. Many of the leading Swiss companies, foundations, and high net worth individuals have supported the Swiss Made initiative, designed to raise awareness of Swiss achievements at home and abroad. His latest book is Too Small To Fail: Why Some Small Nations Outperform Larger Ones and How They Are Reshaping the World (Harper Collins).
His writing appears in The Economist, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. He was elected a fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Development, and is the founder and owner of Naissance Capital, a Zurich investment firm.
Inspired by his latest book, Too Small to Fail, Breiding co-founded with the help of various supporters the non-profit organization S8nations, headquartered in Zurich, in 2020. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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