is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking.
Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years —
a timespan we call the long now.
We hope to help each other be good ancestors.
We hope to preserve possibilities for the future.
Our work began with
an immense mechanical monument, installed in a mountain, designed to keep accurate time for the next 10,000 years.
It is still being assembled deep inside a mountain in west Texas. The Clock provides a rare invitation to think and engineer at the timescale of civilization. It offers an enduring symbol of our personal connection to the distant future.
The Clock will mark time with specially-designed dials and a chime generator — designed with Brian Eno — that can produce over 3.5 million unique bell chime sequences, for each and every day The Clock is visited for the next 10,000 years.
Work on The Clock continues at present. No completion date has been set.
Our foundation is home to a select group of projects which aim to foster long-term thinking.
Many of our projects engage deep questions about preservation and continuity on long timescales.
Our Rosetta Project has compiled an archive of thousands of human languages and fabricated an artifact, The Rosetta Disk, which can preserve that information accessibly for thousands of years. In 02016 we helped land one onto a comet for safekeeping. In 02018 we helped put another onto the moon. A few hundred copies have been distributed around the globe.
Other Long Now projects include Long Bets (our long-term predictions betting arena), the Manual for Civilization (our civilization-rebuilding library), and our monthly Talks (seminars and interviews with long-term thinkers). We have also successfully incubated organizations with long timescales, like Revive & Restore (genetic rescue of endangered and extinct species).
A community of practice is essential for long-term thinking — so we gather regularly to learn and share and connect. Everyone is welcome to join us on the journey.
Long-term thinking benefits from diversity and discussion. Each month our Talks series invite a domain expert to explore their work in the context of the next and last 10,000 years. We share this media with our global audience via our social channels and member newsletter.
Our local community gathers in San Francisco, California — where the administrative offices of The Long Now Foundation double as an award-winning public space called The Interval. This lively ‘third space’ features craft cocktails, artisan coffee and tea, a library that stretches from floor to ceiling, and large-scale prototypes from the 10,000-year Clock project.
Everyone everywhere is invited to join us on this journey. Our global membership program connects over 11,000 individuals across more than 65 countries to a whole world of long-term thinking.