January 10, 2021 @ 1:00 pm
Virtual Author Series: Roman Krznaric and Bina Venkataraman
Books & Books and Miami Book Fair present…
An Evening with Roman Krznaric
In conversation with Bina Venkataraman
(The Experiment, $25.95)
Sunday, January 10, 1 PM
LIVE via Crowdcast
The most important question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we being good ancestors?”
So said Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine in 1953 but refused to patent it—forgoing profit so that more lives could be saved.
Salk’s radical generosity to future generations should inspire us. But when leading philosopher Roman Krznaric examines society today, he sees just the opposite: Our short term, exploitative mindsets have “colonized the future.” Businesses eschew civic responsibility for immediate gains, politicians throw their support behind whatever will win the next election, and we all struggle to focus our attention beyond the next alert from our phones. The result? An inexcusable chasm between the haves and have-nots—and mounting existential threats—have brought our species to the precipice of disaster.
Yet Krznaric sees reason to hope. Yes, the urgent struggle for intergenerational justice calls for hugely ambitious solutions, from rewiring our growth-at-all-costs economy to giving voters of future generations a voice in our democracies. But at the heart of all these changes is one we can enact within ourselves: We must trade shortsightedness for long-term thinking.
In The Good Ancestor, Krznaric reveals six practical ways we can retrain our brains to think of the long view, including 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 more “time rebels” like Greta Thunberg—to shift our allegiance from this generation to all humanity—in short, to save our planet and our future.
About the Author:
Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to change society. His books include Empathy, The Wonderbox, and Carpe Diem Regained, and have been published in more than twenty languages. He studied at the Universities of Oxford, London, and Essex, where he received his PhD. He is a founding faculty member of The School of Life and is based in the UK.
About the Conversant:
Bina Venkataraman teaches in the program on Science, Technology, and Society at MIT and is a fellow at New America. A former journalist for The New York Times and The Boston Globe who also served as senior adviser for climate change innovation in the Obama White House, she is now director of Global Policy Initiatives at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Venkataraman is an alumna of Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School. She grew up in Ohio and now lives in greater Boston.