Dharamsala, India

Nested in the foothills of the Himalayas, Dharamsala is the home of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Buddhist people he leads. Exiled by the communist Chinese government, the Dalai Lama has resided in Dharamsala for many decades, teaching his followers and those around the world about leadership and spiritual development.

Copenhagen, Denmark

The capital of Denmark, Copenhagen is home to 600,000 people, the second-shortest average work week in Europe, a democratic-socialist government, and—according to some surveys—the happiest people in the world.

Barcelona, Spain

The second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is where Arthur spent several years as a professional French hornist, regularly playing concerts with the City Orchestra of Barcelona in the historic Palau de la Música. Barcelona is also the home of Arthur’s wife, Ester.

New York, NY

The most populous metropolis in America, New York City is synonymous for the dynamism, creativity, and openness that has propelled the United States economy for decades. It is also home to The Doe Fund, a remarkable homeless shelter whose belief in the dignity and power of work has helped countless struggling men get back on their feet.

Washington, DC

For the past decade, Arthur has led the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank based in Washington, DC. During that time, Arthur has helped all kinds of leaders—in business, politics, and academia—craft policy that promotes human flourishing, whether in the nation’s capital, the United States as a whole, or in countries around the world.

Inez, KY

The seat of Martin County, Kentucky, Inez is where President Lyndon Johnson first declared war on poverty in America, with the objective of total victory. Inez remains a mining town, but the decline of the coal industry and a lack of economic opportunity has created a different reality than the one Johnson first envisioned for Inez.

Houston, TX

The largest city in the Lone Star State and home to NASA’s Mission Control Center, Houston is a national model of innovation. This is especially true with respect to the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, founded in 2004. It offers inmates a chance to learn important life skills for when they leave prison, and has seen recidivism rates for participants fall to less than 10% of the national average. 

Dharavi, India

A beehive of entrepreneurial activity, Dharavi is among the most densely populated slums in the world. Over the last several decades, this vibrant locality of Mumbai has transformed itself into a hub of growth and innovation through the power of free enterprise.


Professional musician turned intrepid economist Arthur Brooks travels around the globe in search of an answer to the question: How can we lift up the world, starting with those at the margins of society? His journey takes him through the chaotic streets of Mumbai, a town in Kentucky left behind by the global economy, a homeless shelter in New York, a street protest in Barcelona, and a Himalayan Buddhist monastery. Along the way, he discovers the secrets not only to material progress for the least fortunate, but also true and lasting happiness for all.

Watch The Trailer

Title: The Pursuit
Genre: Documentary
Length: 76 minutes
Director: John Papola
Distributor: Aspiration Entertainment

About Arthur Brooks

Arthur C. Brooks is a former president of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He concurrently serves as a professor of the practice of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and a senior fellow at Harvard Business School.

Before becoming president of AEI in 2009, Dr. Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government at Syracuse University, where he taught economics and social entrepreneurship. Prior to his work in academia and public policy, he spent 12 years as a classical musician in the United States and Spain.

Dr. Brooks is a columnist for the Washington Post, host of the podcast “The Arthur Brooks Show,” and the bestselling author of 11 books on topics including the role of government, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise. His latest book, “Love Your Enemies” (Broadside Books, 2019), and a feature-length documentary, “The Pursuit,” will be released in spring 2019. He has also published dozens of academic journal articles and the textbook “Social Entrepreneurship” (Prentice Hall, 2008).

Dr. Brooks holds a Ph.D. and an M.Phil. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He also holds an M.A. in economics from Florida Atlantic University and a B.A. in economics from Thomas Edison State College.

About John Papola

About John Papola

John Papola is a filmmaker, entrepreneur and co-founder of Emergent Order, a creative studio based in Austin, Texas. The company specializes in creating authentic, entertaining and impactful content for audiences on every platform, garnering over 60 million global impressions for its collective work.

Papola began his career in broadcast at MTV Networks, where as a creative director he launched numerous new shows with award-winning creative campaigns. An economics autodidact, John is known in education and financial circles as the co-creator of numerous digital properties bringing economics to millions of viewers, including Love Gov, The Kronies, EconPop, and the world-renowned Keynes vs. Hayek rap videos, which have become go-to content for high school and university teachers around the globe.

As a film director and producer, John’s feature documentary At The Fork, produced with support from Whole Foods Market and the HSUS, debuted to critical acclaim, an international premiere at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival and worldwide distribution by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Amazon Prime. His new film The Pursuit, starring NY Times best seller Arthur Brooks, about the search for happiness and global prosperity in our age of populism is set for release in 2019.

About Arthur Brooks