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Who's in the Video

D. Quinn Mills

Daniel Quinn Mills is the Albert J. Weatherhead, Jr. Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus.  His tenure at Harvard lasted from 1976 to 2007.  He consults with major corporations and governments[…]

A combination of human impulse and human innovation have shaped us, says Mills.

Question: What forces have shaped humanity most?

D. Quinn Mills: The most important thing that shapes humanity is human nature. In my view, it is a complex combination of good and bad--of altruistic impulses and impulses that are fundamentally selfish and difficult, and that's the most important thing. Now, in addition to that, shaping the history of the recent past by which I mean the last few thousand years, rapid growth the technology, which is very important, the improvements in our learning and skills and that things, so that the population has grown enormously. It's very interesting about that. When I was born, and I am not that old, there were about two billion people in the world. When I die, I expect it will be eight. So, that will have been a four-fold increase and enormous numbers. I think we underestimate how significant that has been, but those are the major factors I think that so there are demographics, there are technology and there are our basic nature. Those would be the factors I say that really shape us.

Recorded on: 9/27/07