In looking across the broad array of business, environmental, social, technological and political topics that cross my screen and engage me in daily conversation, there is a temptation to allocate a growing share of mind for pessimism. Post-pandemic disruptions, plummeting biodiversity, rising carbon dioxide concentrations, corporate executives largely ignorant of how to integrate sustainability into business planning, net-zero greenwashing, intensifying white nationalism, expanding voter suppression and dysfunctional politics at all levels of government are some reasons to metaphorically slit one’s wrists.
Roman Krznaric’s book “The Good Ancestor” is an important antidote to redirect our thinking away from apathy and fear. He argues persuasively that, in addition to large-scale, self-inflicted wounds, humanity’s “capacity to think and plan over long timespans is wired into our brains and has enabled monumental feats.” For the future, there are emerging innovations and resilience lifelines that can transcend the limits of politics and short-term thinking to create better choices over a span of the next several decades.The present moment presents an extraordinary opportunity for public engagement around a different agenda for the future.
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