Penguin Life will publish a debut by academic Dr Christian Busch, The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck.
Editorial director Emily Robertson acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown, with publication in hardback scheduled for May 2020.
The book is based on Busch's shortlisted entry for the Financial Times/McKinsey Bracken Bower Prize, "The Serendipity Factor: Harnessing the science of coincidence for work and life".
The synopsis reads: “Modern life is full of chance encounters, changing plans, delayed journeys, human errors and other mishaps. What if we could use such unpredictability to our advantage? LSE and NYU academic Dr Christian Busch has spent a decade exploring how, if acted upon, unexpected encounters can enhance our worldview, expand our social circles and create new professional opportunities. In this book, he reveals the secrets behind the hidden force that rules the universe: serendipity.”
The book spans social mobility in Sub-Saharan Africa, to accidental energy-saving multinationals in the West, with research from Busch’s international studies. “We meet people from all backgrounds, from couples who first interacted during chance encounters, to businesspeople who invented multimillion-[dollar] ideas after a best-laid plan misfired, learning the fundamental common denominators among lucky people,” Penguin General said.
“The Serendipity Mindset is a revolutionary exploration of a well-researched and essential life skill that we can all develop in a few simple steps. By learning to identify, act on and share it, we can use uncertainty as a pathway to more joyful, purposeful and successful lives.”
Busch teaches at New York University (NYU) and the London School of Economics (LSE). At NYU, he directs the Global Economy programme of the Center for Global Affairs. He co-founded Sandbox Network, a global community of young innovators, and Leaders on Purpose, an organisation convening high-impact leaders.
The author said: “I am thrilled to work with such a smart, kind and inspiring team who share my passion for this subject. For the past 15 years, cultivating serendipity has become a life philosophy for myself and for many people that are featured in the book. A core message of the book is that, in a world where we cannot predict what will happen tomorrow, the best we can do is to set ourselves, our children, our friends and our companies up to create conditions that make the best out of whatever might happen. It is a reminder that we do not have to have it all figured out, but that a serendipity mindset enables us to navigate the future.”
Robertson said of the deal: “Christian’s flair for storytelling, his total commitment to and enthusiasm for the subject of serendipity, and his credentials make this a truly special book that will speak to so many different readers. It’s the kind of book that you want to share with all of your colleagues and best friends alike.”