With great excitement and optimism, The Long Now Foundation launches its search for our next Executive Director who will serve as our chief executive, working in close collaboration with our Board of Directors & Staff to steward the organization into our second quarter century and beyond.
Read more about Long Now's generational leadership transition »
Now entering its 27th year, The Long Now Foundation spent its first quarter century supporting audacious, visionary projects and igniting cultural imagination around long-term thinking. As we look ahead, we are eager to expand on this rich and experimental history and create a long-lasting institution that can serve and thrive in the coming centuries and millennia.
We now seek a visionary leader and an unusually bold thinker to partner with us to advance a next generation that will build The Long Now Foundation into a globally-recognized center for a prospering field in which individuals and institutions co-discover how to “become better ancestors” with every passing generation. We may look back at this time of preventable and cascading global crises as the galvanizing moment when humanity decided to invest in the institutional capacity necessary to meet civilization-scale challenges with the best of our collective abilities.
Our highest hope is that the next generation will never doubt that we thought of them and built for them. They will see this as normal human behavior.
Our future invites us to build an institution capable of coordinating a global community of individuals and institutions working for the long-term. Our centrality will be earned by providing that community with connections, lessons, and support as we all strive for a longer view. We will learn from expertise when possible, and from experience when the explorations are uniquely ours to undertake. We will promote the culture of long-term thinking for as long as it takes to become the norm.
In these next critical years and beyond, we envision crafting bold new initiatives to define our second quarter, including possibilities like:
- Audacious endeavors that inspire
- Fellowships that build stable connections to new ideas and individuals around the world, attracting a next generation of influential leaders, the first of many intergenerational programs of Long Now
- A library of long-term thinking that captures and disseminates learnings and best practices
- The completion of The Clock of the Long Now and its growing legend
About The Long Now Foundation
Founded in 01996 by Stewart Brand, Danny Hillis, and Brian Eno, The Long Now Foundation has become a globally-recognized champion of long-term thinking and responsibility. The Long Now Foundation began its work with The Clock of the Long Now, a mythic monument designed to keep time for the next 10,000 years from deep inside a mountain. Our work expanded into related projects all aimed at fostering long-term thinking — Long Now Talks, a renowned live event series whose podcasts and videos have over 100,000 subscribers and millions of global viewers, the Long Now membership program, which centers long-term thinking in the day-to-day lives of over 12,000 members from more than 60 countries, and an award-winning cafe, bar, and museum in San Francisco called The Interval.
We are working toward a world in which the interests of future generations inform the decisions of today, a world in which a shared sense of long-term responsibility and the wide-spread practice of long-term thinking have made long-term goals an essential complement to immediate results, a world in which core institutions take the long-term future and the long-term past seriously. We are working toward a world rich in imagination and possibility that provides a counterpoint to today's accelerating culture and helps make long-term thinking more common. Such a world will abound with possibility, enabled by intergenerational cooperation, long-term scientific studies, widespread cultural preservation, and resilient systems design.
We aim to carry out our mission by serving as an actor, convener, and platform to:
- Build and nurture a community of practitioners and leaders using long-term thinking
- Develop and disseminate best-practices and tools that ground the discipline of applied long-term thinking
- Create mythic artifacts and events that inspire a long-view imagination
About the Executive Director role
The Executive Director will lead all aspects of The Long Now Foundation, reporting to our Board of Directors. They will be responsible for advancing and refining our vision and mission, translating ideas into reality, leading with excellence and empowering our staff, ensuring financial growth and sustainability, raising our public profile and deepening our impact, and ensuring the overall wise stewardship and governance of The Long Now Foundation.
We are an intergenerational team that values pragmatic optimism, curiosity, resilience, diversity, awe, and experimentation; We seek an Executive Director aligned and committed to these values.
Organizational Leadership & Strategy (30%)
Lead the organization's vision, strategy, people, and growth as we move into our second quarter century and beyond, nurturing a culture rooted in our core values
External Relations (30%)
Serve as an inspiring external storyteller who advances Long Now’s visibility, credibility, revenue generation, and overall impact
Oversee financial growth and long-term financial sustainability and serve as a passionate advocate for philanthropic investments in Long Now
Board Governance (10%)
Lead the comprehensive transition of our Board of Directors from our founding Board to our next generation Board, nurturing a culture of meaningful contributions of work, wealth, and wisdom
- You are deeply inspired by and immersed in Long Now’s mission and ideas and unwavering in your commitment to create impact in the world
- You are a compelling communicator adept at influencing and rallying people, both internally among your colleagues and externally out in the world
- You are a tireless networker who builds meaningful and effective relationships with external leaders, partners, funders, and other stakeholders
- You believe in the power of collective action and are engaged in the many communities and ecosystems in and around Long Now
- You lead with ambition, tenacity, and creativity
- You are empathetic and relationship driven and inspire action in others
- You are a systems thinker and thrive when playing with uncertainty, exploring uncharted territory, and solving problems
- You excel at maintaining clarity within complexity
- You aspire to have a long-lasting impact and leave an inspiring legacy for future generations
We recognize that few candidates will have all of the relevant experience listed below. Our assessment includes consideration of transferable skills and experience, growth mindset and an eagerness to learn, and a holistic view of candidates' professional backgrounds.
- 10+ years in leadership, strategy, and/or senior management
- Demonstrated experience in crafting a vision and/or strategic planning
- Demonstrated experience managing people and teams to drive impact
- Demonstrated experience building meaningful funder relationships and successfully securing philanthropic funds or other capital
- Demonstrated experience and excellence in storytelling, PR, media, and public speaking
- Demonstrated experience mapping, networking, and aligning stakeholders toward collective action and impact
Compensation & Location
The salary for this position is expected to be $225,000 or above annually based on experience, which is competitive with the San Francisco Bay Area for national nonprofits of our size and scope. The Long Now Foundation offers a comprehensive benefits and incentives package, including health, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability insurance, as well as 401(k) and paid time off.
The Long Now Foundation is based in the San Francisco Bay Area at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture with office space above The Interval, our acclaimed cafe, museum, and bar. We have a hybrid workplace model with a few staff based outside the Bay Area. We are currently seeking local candidates for our Executive Director role. If you have questions after reviewing our materials, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Long Now is an equal opportunity employer. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, Veteran status, or other legally protected characteristics. People of color, people with disabilities, women, LGBTQ individuals, and members of other historically disadvantaged groups are encouraged to apply.