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'This is the book our children's children will thank us for reading' - The Edge, U2
How can we be good ancestors?
From the first seeds sown thousands of years ago, to the construction of the cities we still inhabit, to the scientific discoveries that have ensured our survival, we are the inheritors of countless gifts from the past. Today, in an age driven by the tyranny of the now, with 24/7 news, the latest tweet, and the buy-now button commanding our attention, we rarely stop to consider how our actions will affect future generations. With such frenetic short-termism at the root of contemporary crises, the call for long-term thinking grows every day - but what is it, has it ever worked, and can we even do it?
In The Good Ancestor, leading public philosopher Roman Krznaric argues that there is still hope. From the pyramids to the NHS, humankind has always had the innate ability to plan for posterity and take action that will resonate for decades, centuries, even millennia to come. If we want to become good ancestors, now is the time to recover and enrich this imaginative skill.
The Good Ancestor reveals six profound ways in which we can all learn to think long-term, exploring how we can reawaken oft-neglected but uniquely human talents like 'cathedral thinking' that expand our time horizons and sharpen our foresight. Drawing on radical solutions from around the world, Krznaric celebrates the innovators who are reinventing democracy, culture and economics so that we all have the chance to become good ancestors and create a better tomorrow.
Roman Krznaric is a social philosopher whose books, including Empathy, The Wonderbox and How to Find Fulfilling Work, have been published in more than twenty languages. He is the founder of the world's first Empathy Museum and of the digital Empathy Library. He is also a founding faculty member of The School of Life and on the faculty of Year Here.
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. He is an acclaimed public speaker, and his talks and workshops have taken him from a London prison to Google's headquarters in California.
After growing up in Sydney and Hong Kong, he studied at the universities of Oxford, London and Essex, where he gained his PhD in political sociology. Roman has worked as an academic, a gardener and a human rights campaigner. He is also a fanatical real tennis player and has a passion for making furniture.