Jones Seminar: THE GREAT RACE—The Global Quest for the Car of the Future

Levi Tillemann, Jeff and Cal Leonard Fellow, New America Foundation

Friday, May 22, 2015, 3:30–4:30pm

Spanos Auditorium, Cummings Hall

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

In 1899 a young Henry Ford quit his job at the Edison Illuminating Company and charged headlong into a great race for market share, profit, and technological dominance in what would become the world’s largest manufacturing sector: the $2 trillion automobile industry. Today that twentieth century behemoth is in the throes of a revolution, and its future will include cars Ford would scarcely recognize. They will drive themselves, won’t consume oil, and will come in radical new shapes and sizes. In THE GREAT RACE: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future, entrepreneur, linguist, and energy policy expert Levi Tillemann tells an epic story of technology, innovation, the roiling global economy and geopolitical clash. It is a gripping and definitive analysis of today’s high stakes race for money, power, and the car of tomorrow. The hottest action is in the world’s three largest economies: China, Japan, and America. Team America is back from the brink of collapse and it has a surprising secret to success: a small group of technology buffs and regulators from California. The story of why and how these men and women are shaping the future of the world’s largest manufacturing industry is one of the century’s greatest, most illuminating, and most unexpected tales of strategy, markets, and innovation.

About the Speaker

Levi Tillemann brings a unique combination of energy-sector knowledge, international experience and policy expertise to his storytelling. He was the founder and CEO of a clean energy startup named IRIS Engines, an Associate Director at IHS Energy, and recently ended a two-year presidential appointment advising the U.S. Department of Energy on domestic and international policy. He has advised companies ranging from early stage startups to large multi-nationals and investment funds on corporate strategy and technology trends. He holds numerous international patents and speaks four languages (Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese). Tillemann is currently the Jeff and Cal Leonard Fellow at the New America Foundation. He holds a BA from Yale and an MA and PhD form the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

For more information, contact Haley Tucker at