The Good Ancestor

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The greatest challenge facing humankind is not climate change, or extreme inequality, or terrorism; it is our inability to think long term.
 
“The most important question we must ask ourselves is: Are we being good ancestors?” So said Jonas Salk, who cured polio in 1955, saving millions of lives, but refused to patent his discovery or make any money out of it. His radical rethinking of what we owe to future generations should be an inspiration to us all, but it has hardly taken root.

That’s because we’re living in the age of now. Businesses can barely see beyond the next quarterly report, nor politicians beyond the next election. Markets spike, then crash in speculative bubbles. In this right-here, right-now society, we rarely stop to consider if we’re being good ancestors. But the future depends on it.

Here, leading public intellectual, philosopher, and bestselling author Roman Krznaric explains how we lost sight of the future, and introduces the six simple, practical ways that we can change our thinking today to give our children, and our planet, a chance at a better tomorrow.