26th March: 7.30pm
Can We Redesign Democracy For Future Generations?
With Roman Krznaric.
Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to change society. Drawing on his powerful new book, The Good Ancestor: How To Think Long Term in a Short-Term World, Krznaric reveals how we can expand our imaginations far beyond the here and now, focusing on the ways we can redesign democracy for the benefit of both current and future generations. Exploring everything from citizen assembly movements in Japan to pioneering legal struggles for intergenerational justice and the appointment of ‘guardians of the future’, Krznaric argues that we have the capacity to inject long-term ‘cathedral thinking’ into the DNA of democratic life.
“We live in the age of the tyranny of the now: politicians can barely see past the next election or businesses past the next quarterly report, and we are addicted to the latest tweet and the ‘buy now’ button. How can we overcome this frenetic short-termism and extend our time horizons to tackle long-term challenges from the climate crisis to threats from artificial intelligence and the next pandemic on the horizon?”
His previous books, including Empathy, The Wonderbox and Carpe Diem Regained, have been published in more than 20 languages. 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 is founder of the world’s first Empathy Museum and is currently a Research Fellow of the Long Now Foundation.
Roman has been named by The Observer as one of Britain’s leading popular philosophers. His writings have been widely influential amongst political and ecological campaigners, education reformers, social entrepreneurs and designers. An acclaimed public speaker, his talks and workshops have taken him from a London prison to Google’s headquarters in California.
Reviews of The Good Ancestor: How To Think Long Term in a Short-Term World:
“This is the book our children’s children will thank us for reading.” – The Edge, U2
“It deserves to be widely read – by policy makers, and indeed by all citizens who care about the prospects for their children and grandchildren.” – Professor Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
“Clear-sighted and inspiring – a must-read for anyone who’s looking for the good news.” – Brian Eno
“Beautiful to read, heartfelt and persuasive The Good Ancestor is one of those landmark books with the power to shift a mindset. One turns the pages feeling a growing compulsion for change. Krznaric’s clarion call for long-term thinking makes him an ancestor all future generations can be proud of.” – Isabella Tree, author of Wilding
“For anyone who is interested in how we can get today’s society to leave the world better than they found it – this is your Guide.” – Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
“Krznaric’s seamless and magical prose delights on every page. Let’s engrave his “six ways to think long” across the gateway to every Parliament in the world.” – Professor Tim Jackson, author of Prosperity Without Growth