Skip to main content
Press Release

Book release: Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil

Francis de Vericourt
In “Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil,” ESMT Berlin Professor Francis de Véricourt, together with Economist journalist Kenneth Cukier and Oxford Professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger present an in-depth analysis of framing. The ability to frame, which is unique to humans and cannot be handed off to machines, gives us a tool to conquer today’s global challenges. The publication is being released today, May 11, 2021.


The authors Cukier, Mayer-Schönberger, and de Véricourt demonstrate the importance of framing in an age of growing dominance of artificial intelligence (AI) and huge global challenges, such as pandemics and climate change. Frames are mental models that help us recognize patterns, predict how things will develop, and make sense of new situations. We use frames constantly and often unconsciously, and the ones we employ affect the options we see, the decisions we make, and the results we attain.

Based on current research in AI, decision science, and cognitive psychology, this new book explains how to make better decisions by placing problems in the right frame. It demonstrates why a diversity of frames is important for communities, organizations, and humanity as a whole. “Framers” systematically introduces its readers to the most important framing methods and answers the questions: How do we apply frames in everyday life? How do frames adapt to characteristics and new circumstances? How can frames change or be reinvented altogether?

Using compelling examples, authors Cukier, Mayer-Schönberger and de Véricourt examine among other things:

  • Why the ubiquitous phrase “think outside the box” completely misses the mark as a cognitive method
  • What the breathtaking story of a radical ascent to the summit of Mount Everest can teach us about finding solutions to seemingly intractable problems
  • The power of reframing a societal problem based on the example of the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter
  • How different countries framed the Covid-19 outbreak (for example, as ”flu” or ”SARS”) affected how they responded and their failure or success
  • Why the discovery of a new antibiotic via AI is really a triumph for humans over machines because we can frame and reframe how we see the world

“Framing as such has always been with us—without most people even being aware of it,” says Francis de Véricourt, director of the Center for Decisions, Models and Data at ESMT. “We need to understand frames as a tool to not only help us positively shape our lives but also to make better and faster decisions. A major challenge today is to improve our framing and be open to diversity and tolerance.

Our framing influences whether we will be successful, innovative, and progressive – and ultimately how we will shape the 21st century.”

The publication is being released today, May 11, 2021, and can be purchased here. Price: $28.00 (23,99€). The excerpt can be read here.

Please see here for more information. 

Further information: Cukier, K.; Mayer-Schönberger, V.; de Véricourt, F. (2021): Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil. Dutton.


About ESMT Berlin

ESMT Berlin is the highest-ranked business school in Germany and Top 10 in Europe. Founded by 25 leading global companies, ESMT offers master’s, MBA, and PhD programs, as well as executive education on its campus in Berlin, in locations around the world, online, and in online blended format. Focusing on leadership, innovation, and analytics, its diverse faculty publishes outstanding research in top academic journals. Additionally, the international business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. ESMT is a non-profit private institution of higher education, accredited by AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, and FIBAA, and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across all its activities and communities.