Future Tense

Join Us to Peer Through The Optimist’s Telescope

Photo illustration by Slate.

As an adviser in the Obama White House, Bina Venkataraman helped communities and businesses prepare for climate change—an experience that led her to probe a pivotal question of our time: How can we secure our own future and do right by future generations?

In The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age, Venkataraman draws on true stories and new research in biology, psychology, and economics to illuminate how we can make decisions that benefit us over time. For five years, Venkataraman, a former journalist and current MIT professor, traveled around the world studying how people and communities think about the future. With examples from ancient Pompeii to modern-day Fukushima, she dispels the myth that human nature is impossibly reckless and reveals the practices each of us can adopt in our own lives—and the ones we must fight for as a society. What emerges is a surprising case for optimism and a path to becoming the good ancestors we long to be.

On Sept. 9, join the New America’s Fellows Program, Future Tense, and New America NYC at the Core Club in New York for a conversation with Bina Venkataraman and Nicholas Thompson, editor in chief at Wired, on how we can make better long-term decisions in our lives, businesses, and society. Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America, will make welcome remarks.

Registration and brief cocktail reception to begin at 5:30 p.m.; the discussion will begin promptly at 6.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.