Over the last two years, the US government has started thinking about the future of the world in a very different way. Across speeches and policy papers, a vision of world politics has emerged which breaks sharply both with the old logic of the Cold War and the newer politics of globalization.
The globalization bet has turned sour, but it has created a far more closely connected world than ever existed before. Problems such as climate change, economic inequality, food security, supply chain vulnerabilities, democratic weakness and mass migration emerge from the interdependent choices of people and governments in a global system without any global rulers.
In a complex interdependent world, is the only way forward to accept these complexities, and try to work with them? That is the challenge that the US now faces – moving from the simple imagined futures of the past to a more entangled and realistic vision of our planet's future.
This Long Now Talk is presented in partnership with the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University. CASBS brings together deep thinkers from diverse disciplines and communities to advance understanding of the full range of human beliefs, behaviors, interactions, and institutions. A leading incubator of human-centered knowledge, CASBS facilitates collaborations across academia, policy, industry, civil society, and government to collectively design a better future.
Long Now Talks are made possible by David and Abby Rumsey, Kim Polese, The Kaphan Foundation, Garrett Gruener, Scorpio Rising Fund, Peter Baumann, Brian Eno, Greg Stikeleather, Cameo Wood, Ping Fu, Peter Schwartz, Lawrence Wilkinson, Ken and Maddy Dychtwald, Future Ventures, Ken and Jackie Broad, AtoB, WHH Foundation, Stewart Brand and Ryan Phelan, Jackson Square Partners Foundation, and The Long Now Members. We would also like to recognize George Cowan (01920 - 02012) for being the first to sponsor this series.
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What is the long now?
The Long Now Foundation 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.