Co-founder of Planet Money, award-winning journalist, and author of The Passion Economy
Photo credit: Michael Lionstar
About Adam Davidson
Ever since his Peabody Award-winning This American Life episode, “The Giant Pool of Money,” which broke down the 2009 financial crisis, Adam Davidson has become the go-to writer for entertaining, accessible, and comprehensive primers on how complicated economic trends affect our everyday life. In his book The Passion Economy, Davidson illuminates how the 21st-century economic paradigm offers new ways of making money, fresh paths towards professional fulfillment, and unprecedented opportunity.
Drawing on case studies of average people who have found ways to combine the things they love with their careers (as well as current academic research), Davidson shows us how the economy of scale has given way to an economy of passion—and why that’s a good thing. He now also hosts The Passion Economy Podcast, where he unearths stories from regular people who have cracked the code to success in our new economic reality.
In lively, funny, and enlightening presentations, Adam Davidson explains the new rules for thriving in the 21st-century economy as he answers major questions on complex economic issues such as international trade, financial and monetary policy, and the changing nature of work. He also offers customized presentations on individual industries and their new roles in the context of the current historical moment and global changes.
In 2023 Davidson guest-hosted a three-part series by Freakonomics Radio on “How to Think About A.I.” The series cuts through the noise surrounding Artificial Intelligence. Opening his first episode Davidson says: “I’ve spent months now talking to as many smart people as I can find about A.I., and I learned a lot. The main thing, the big headline: nobody knows where A.I. is heading.” Throughout the series and in his keynotes on the topic, Davidson provides a clear, easily understandable overview of the transformative power of A.I.—from the general nuts and bolts to the specific impact on individual industries.
Adam Davidson is a contributing writer at The New Yorker. Previously, he was economics writer for the New York Times Magazine. Davidson co-founded and ran NPR’s Planet Money, served as NPR’s international business and economics correspondent, and has been a frequent contributor to This American Life, where he received a Peabody Award, a DuPont-Columbia Award, and a Polk Award for his work on “The Giant Pool of Money.”
His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, GQ, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. He is currently working on launching a course on passion storytelling for business with the education startup Maven. He also served as a technical consultant to Adam McKay, the co-writer and director of the Academy Award-winning film The Big Short (and later, Davidson’s cohost on Gimlet Media podcast Surprisingly Awesome). He is a graduate of the University of Chicago.
The Passion Economy: The New Rules For Thriving In the Twenty-First Century Economy
We are not doomed. The Economy is not broken. It just works differently than it ever has before. And that is great news for entrepreneurs, students, and others with passion and curiosity. More than ever before in human history, our current system allows people to focus their working lives on those things they love most and to find customers who love them, too; we simply need to learn the new rules. Davidson is a lively, funny speaker whose presentation is packed with substantive information (based on the work of an advisory team of economists and business school professors at MIT and Harvard) that entertains as it inspires.
How to Think About AI
AI will make the world infinitely better! AI might kill us all! Adam Davidson cuts through the hype—the good and the bad—to provide a clear, easily understandable guide through the transformative power of AI. Davidson can address AI in general terms or focus on how AI is impacting specific industries.
Your Industry Is Being Transformed (Because All of them Are). Here's How.
Automation, global trade, shifting international allegiances, a rapidly changing workforce. Every industry is going through a massive transformation. Each has its own story and each is connected to the same set of macro forces. Adam Davidson can work with you and other industry experts to create a customized presentation that places your industry in the context of transformative historical, global change.
The Economy, Explained
Adam Davidson is among the country’s leading explainers of the economy. He has been economics writer for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and he founded NPR’s Planet Money. He’s received numerous awards, including the Peabody and Polk, for his clear, fun, smart explanations of complex economic issues, including international trade, financial and monetary policy, the changing nature of work, and most other major economic questions. His talks are deeply substantive but also entertaining and lively.
Praise for Adam Davidson
He was fantastic – the audience was really engaged and a lot of people thought that the topic was inspiring and that he was engaging and easy to relate to, an overall fantastic presentation.— Greater Des Moines Partnership
Adam was a fantastic keynote speaker! Our attendees absolutely loved him! Adam was able to not only make connections between the many wonderful concepts in his book and the world of our attendees, he was able to brilliantly riff off the audience’s reactions, leveraging stories and experiences from his impressive background in ways that went well beyond our expectations. Truly, he has a gift and I cannot recommend him strongly enough as a speaker.— Supporting Strategies
Adam’s presentation was a crowd favorite. As the first speaker of the morning, he got people laughing and thinking right out of the gate, which set the right tone for our two-day conference. His ability to deliver high quality insights and get our very niche crowd examining their businesses in new ways was pretty incredible. He’s such a talent and also personally so delightful.— Business of Home
We had very fruitful discussions through the seminar, and Adam’s keynote was much appreciated, like a booster to our thoughts. He was really the perfect fit.— Chargeurs
Praise for The Passion Economy
Exuberant. . . With his distinctive voice Davidson winningly blends case studies of fervent, enthusiastic believers – creators of amazing ice cream, expensive pencils, menswear – with a set of counterintuitive rules so that work lives and our deepest passions can merge to make people better off financially, and personally.— National Book Review
Adam Davidson is a master storyteller. . . An engaging mix of Michael Lewis-style reporting and a Shark Tank-like focus on how to succeed in business, [The Passion Economy is] an upbeat spin on what's ahead for us in the new, gig-and-hustle environment.— Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader
Move over Malcolm Gladwell. In The Passion Economy Adam Davidson upends the conventional thinking about how to succeed in our topsy-turvy, seemingly unforgiving post-industrial economy by sharing the stories of regular people who followed their dreams. You won't soon forget the wisdom Davidson conveys in these pages.— William D. Cohan, author of House of Cards
Adam Davidson is one of America’s most accomplished business journalists — and this book reminds us why. With a reporter’s eye and a storyteller’s grace, he has traveled the country to find regular people who have cracked the code of the modern economy. Reading their stories will reveal the secrets of successful careers. It might even restore your faith in the American Dream.— Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive
The Passion Economy is exactly what everyone needs today: examples of how to thrive in an economy that can seem overwhelming, and crystal-clear explanations of how to succeed. The book is an enormously fun, exciting adventure story that takes us from the wineries of Napa to the laboratories of Google to far-off chocolate makers. This is the book about how to live (and work) a more passionate life.— Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better
Books by Adam Davidson
Media About Adam Davidson
- 212 572-2013
- Adam Davidson travels from Vermont
The Passion Economy
“I love Adam Davidson’s book. This is the golden moment for the marriage of passion and excellence, a time for optimism, not pessimism. The opportunity to create great businesses you love and which your customers come to love lies around every corner. The heart of every economy is small enterprise, not large. We have waited a long time for this book, and brother does it deliver. Bravo!” —Tom Peters, author of The Excellence Dividend