The Optimist’s Telescope

September 23, 2019

The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age, September 11, 2019

The French-American Foundation hosted Bina Venkataraman, Director of Global Policy Initiatives at the Broad Institute of Harvard & MIT, at its September Transatlantic Forum to talk about her first book, The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age, published on August 27th.

The discussion focused on the ways we can better plan for the future and how we can make smart, long-term decisions in finance, health, community, and the planet. Bina also discussed with the group the ways we can think more clearly and strategically in our own lives.

A former journalist and adviser in the Obama White House, Bina helped communities and businesses prepare for climate change, and she learned firsthand why people don’t think ahead—and what can be done to change that.

In The Optimist’s Telescope, she draws from stories she has reported around the world and new research in biology, psychology, and economics to explain how we can make decisions that benefit us over time. With examples from ancient Pompeii to modern-day Fukushima, she dispels the myth that human nature is impossibly reckless and highlights the surprising practices each of us can adopt in our own lives—and the ones we must fight for as a society.

Learn more about the Transatlantic Forum