Big Lessons From Small Nations - Too Small To Fail: Why Small Nations Outperform Larger Ones And How They Are Reshaping The World - Meet The S8
Webinar - Switzerland

Webinar Recording

S8 is an international forum of business minds and diplomats, consisting of 8+ delegations from the world's most competitive small nations of Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Singapore, Ireland, Israel, and the Netherlands (with a nod to Norway). Founded by James Breiden, our goal is international economic cooperation under improved policies, and we are combatting the fallacy that bigger is better for nationhood.

The title of James’ lecture is ‘Big Lessons from Small Nations’ and he will explore the following points:

  • Why do the Dutch have the best pension funds in the world?
  • How did the Swiss manage to impose a debt moratorium on parliament – preventing them from obligating future generations and achieving one of the lowest debt levels as a % of GDP?
  • How does Singapore achieve superior health care outcomes at ¼ of the US – and achieve among the best PISA scores, despite spending the least among OECD nations?
  • How did the Danes replace cars with bicycles in cities in what is now commonly known as Copenhagenisation
  • The Finnish government just formed is majority women and on average 20 years younger than their counterparts in the US and the UK – does this better reflect preferences of its citizens and permit them to focus on future issues?


James Breiding is a Swiss-American political author and businessman with new publication Too Small to Fail: Why Small Nations Outperform Larger Ones and How They are Reshaping the World. By investigating the innovative policies of advanced small nations, Mr. Breiding’s research in Too Small To Fail explores in depth the character and qualities of places like Ireland and Singapore—offering an illuminating vision of what really makes a country “great.”

too small to fail book.jpg

A fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Development and the Collegium Helvetica, Mr. Breiding is also the author of Swiss Made, an international best seller studying Switzerland’s rise to global prominence from humble agrarian origins. This book has been translated into numerous languages from Arabic to Vietnamese, and it is still gifted by Switzerland’s embassies worldwide.

James is also the founder and CEO of Naissance Capital in Zurich, Switzerland. His experience in global business has led him to write critically and evaluatively of international politics and economics. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Economist, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs, and he divides his time between Zurich, Switzerland and the United States.

Most recently, Mr. Breiding has founded the international initiative S8 Nations, which takes root in his recent book Too Small To Fail and offers a global network for the world’s most advanced small nations to share their success stories. The S8 Summit takes place annually in Zurich Switzerland, and they hope to hold their inaugural event this October.

Wednesday, 03 June 2020

14:00 - 14:45



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  • James Breiding.jpg
    James Breiding
    Chief Executive
    Naissance Capital
  • michael Mainelli.png
    Professor Michael Mainelli
    Executive Chairman
    Z/Yen Group