Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to change society. His books, including Empathy, The Wonderbox and Carpe Diem Regained, have been published in more than 20 languages. His new book, The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long Term in a Short Term World, will be published in July 2020, and has been described by U2’s The Edge as ‘the book our children’s children will thank us for reading’.
After growing up in Sydney and Hong Kong, Roman studied at the universities of Oxford, London and Essex, where he gained his PhD in political sociology. He went on to found the world’s first Empathy Museum and the digital Empathy Library, and was also a founding faculty member of The School of Life. He is currently a Research Fellow of the Long Now Foundation.
From their website:
Empathy Museum is a series of participatory art projects dedicated to helping us look at the world through other people’s eyes.
With a focus on storytelling and dialogue, our travelling museum explores how empathy can not only transform our personal relationships, but also help tackle global challenges such as prejudice, conflict and inequality.
Empathy Museum doesn’t have a permanent home. All our projects are travelling, nimble pop-ups – they’ve been across the UK and to Belgium, Ireland, the USA, Australia, Brazil and Siberia.
The biggest deficit that we have in our society and in the world right now is an empathy deficit. We are in great need of people being able to stand in somebody else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes.
From their website:
The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.
* The Long Now Foundation uses five-digit dates, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.
Last 50 posts on own channels (YouTube, Podcast, Medium or Website/Blog):
To be launched in October 2020. Pre-order is available.
“The most important question we must ask ourselves is: Are we being good ancestors?” So said Jonas Salk, who cured polio in 1953. Salk saved millions of lives, but he refused to patent his cure or make any money from it. His radical rethinking of what we owe future generations should be an inspiration to us all, but it has hardly taken hold: Businesses can barely see past the next quarter; politicians can’t see past the next election. Markets spike, then they crash in speculative bubbles. We rarely stop to consider whether we’re being good ancestors . . . but the future depends on it.
In The Good Ancestor, leading public intellectual, philosopher, and bestselling author Roman Krznaric explains six practical ways we can retrain our brains to save our future—such as adopting Deep Time Humility (recognizing our lives as a cosmic eyeblink) and Cathedral Thinking (starting projects that will take more than one lifetime to complete). His aim is to inspire a “time rebellion”—to shift our allegiance from our generation only to all humanity, present and future.