Loading Episode...
Infinite Earth Radio – weekly conversations with leaders building smarter, more sustainable, and equitable communities - Michael Hancox EPISODE 24
“The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity, Security, and Sustainability in the 21st Century”
00:00:00 00:35:41

“The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity, Security, and Sustainability in the 21st Century”


Addressing the Economy, Climate Change, and the Challenge of Global Unsustainability


[01:39] Introduction of Joel Makower.

[01:56] Introduction of Mark Mykleby.

[02:29] Where can listeners buy a copy of the book, “The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity, Security, and Sustainability in the 21st Century”?

[03:22] What is grand strategy, and have we had grand strategies in the past?

[05:38] Why did we stop using grand strategy?

[07:25] Is the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II considered one of the grand strategies?

[08:23] Why was the Pentagon interested in a new grand strategy?

[09:57] Why wasn’t the plan embraced by the Pentagon or the Obama administration?

[11:24] What are the three pools of pent-up demand currently seen in our society, and how will tapping into them make us safer?

[16:28] What would need to happen to tap into these three pools of demand?

[21:44] How do we move forward in getting this grand strategic plan in place? Are there people who could drive this within the business community that would then drive the politics in Washington to be more supportive?

[27:09] How could a grand strategy affect the conversation about climate change?

[30:45] How would a grand strategy address the growing income inequality and lack of social mobility? How does this help the working class and disenfranchised communities of color?


Joel Makower is chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group, Inc., a media and events company focusing at the intersection of sustainable business and clean technology. He also serves as a senior fellow at the Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University. A former nationally syndicated columnist, Makower is author of more than a dozen other books, among the earliest books on corporate environmental responsibility and corporate social responsibility. In 2012, he was awarded the Hutchens Medal by the American Society for Quality, which cited “his ability to tell compelling stories that both inform and inspire business leaders toward profitable action.” In 2014, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Institute of Sustainability Professionals. The Associated Press has called him “The guru of green business practices.”

Mark Mykleby is a founder and co-director of the Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps following his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1987. Designated as a qualified F/A-18 pilot in December 1990, he served in five fleet fighter squadrons from 1991 to 2006. In 2007, Mykleby was assigned to the U.S. Special Operations Command, where he developed strategy for the Special Operations Forces. From 2009 until 2011, he served as a special strategic assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that capacity, he coauthored with Navy Captain Wayne Porter A National Strategic Narrative, a concept and vision for a 21st century grand strategy for the nation. Mykleby retired from the Marine Corps in 2011. From 2011 until 2014, he served as a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, working alongside Patrick Doherty to develop the framework for a new U.S. grand strategy.


“The New Grand Strategy” tells the story of a plan, born within the Pentagon, to recapture America’s greatness at home and abroad by elevating sustainability as our new strategic imperative. It aligns our enduring national interests of prosperity and security with a new framework that addresses pressing economic, social, and environmental issues at home, tapping into a trillion-dollar market demand for walkable communities, regenerative agriculture and resource productivity. It is an inspiring vision of what’s possible when Americans hold a collective view of the future and come together to bring it to reality.

This is no idealistic pipe dream or wonky policy prescription. The story that unfolds in this book weaves together hard-nosed economic analysis, a clear-eyed study of demographic and societal shifts, the realities of climate change and resource scarcity, a risk-based assessment of America’s challenges and opportunities, and on-the-ground reporting of how much this is already unfolding throughout the country. By rediscovering the power and discipline of grand strategy―and taking responsibility for our future―America can reimagine the American dream and once again take on “the cause of all mankind.”

Released during one of America’s most divisive presidential election campaigns, The New Grand Strategy avoids the partisan rhetoric dividing our nation today. Instead of placing blame, it offers a clear, pragmatic plan that can unite Americans and launch a new era of prosperity and security.

Why sustainability should be America’s ‘grand strategy’


“The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity, Security, and Sustainability in the 21st Century” can be found anywhere you buy books! Find it in local stores near you or on:

Amazon (hardcover & Kindle)

Barnes & Noble



“America, right now, is standing on the unique opportunity to reframe its grand strategic approach, its grand strategic framework, by focusing in on sustainability as our grand strategic organizing logic, where we can stand on our economy and we can align our governing institutions and our foreign policy to take on this big, global challenge of unsustainability.”

“The idea of grand strategy originated primarily in the worlds of military and foreign policy, and that certainly is how we’ve used it—America has used it—in the past, doing things like fighting fascism or containing communism…but the way we’ve played this out in the book is not a military, not a foreign policy, not even a government strategy—at least not a federal government strategy. We’ve taken this concept that has been used successfully in this country to take on the big challenges of the day.”

“The three big pools of the demand…are walkable communities, regenerative agriculture, and resource productivity…each of these, we’ll say right now, are massive economic opportunities to realign our economy with sustainability and security, creating resilience…and, therefore, be in a much better place as a nation to then take on and address the larger global needs.”


“The New Grand Strategy: Restoring America’s Prosperity, Security, and Sustainability in the 21st Century”

Green Biz

Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University

Learn More about Joel Makower


Thanks so much for joining us. Have some feedback or an idea you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave an honest review for Infinite Earth Radio on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are super helpful and greatly appreciated as it helps us expose this show to a wider audience – plus, we read each and every one of them!