COVID-19 update: Victoria update. Click for details.
Contact Us Need help? Contact us
Explore Departments
Departments

The Optimist's Telescope

by Bina Venkataraman

PUBLISHED: 27th August 2019
ISBN: 9780735219472
ANNOTATION:
A former journalist and senior adviser in the Obama administration draws from her own experience, the stories she has reported from around the world, and research in biology, psychology, economics, archaeology, and beyond to identify the best ways to make decisions that benefit people over time.
SAVE
8%
RRP $46.00
$42.33
Or pay later with
Leaves warehouse in 1 to 3 days
From United Kingdom
Delivery
Check your delivery time: Your delivery location:
{{ SelectedArea.Suburb }}{{ SelectedArea.Country == 'AU' ? (', ' + SelectedArea.State) : '' }} ({{ SelectedArea.Postcode }}) change
  • {{ Area.Suburb }}{{ Area.Country == 'AU' ? (', ' + Area.State) : '' }} {{ Area.Postcode }}
  • Your area not listed?
    Try search by suburb and postcode.
{{ DeliveryOption.expectation }} - {{ DeliveryOption.door_time }}
{{ DeliveryOption.price | currencyCentsFree }}
from {{ DeliveryOption.price | currencyCentsFree }}
Option unavailable
If ordered {{ DeliveryOption.cutoff }}
{{ DeliveryOption.name }}
{{ DeliveryOption.special_message }}
 
 
!
An error occurred getting delivery options
Sorry about that, please try again later.
OTHER FORMATS:
PUBLISHED: 27th August 2019
ISBN: 9780735219472
ANNOTATION:
A former journalist and senior adviser in the Obama administration draws from her own experience, the stories she has reported from around the world, and research in biology, psychology, economics, archaeology, and beyond to identify the best ways to make decisions that benefit people over time.

Annotation

A former journalist and senior adviser in the Obama administration draws from her own experience, the stories she has reported from around the world, and research in biology, psychology, economics, archaeology, and beyond to identify the best ways to make decisions that benefit people over time.

Publisher Description

Many of us never learned--or have forgotten--how to make smart, long-term decisions, so we avoid making them. In a world where immediate satisfaction is the norm, it's easy to do. Whether it's decisions about our health (our chronic overuse of antibiotics has triggered a shocking rise in immunity to them), our finances (20% of us have nothing saved for retirement), or our jobs (we slash R and D to improve short-term balance sheets and then can't keep pace with competitors), we avoid mastering the skills to make smart choices about the future. Yet today more than ever, we need to understand how to make such choices--for ourselves, our families, and the world.

Bina Venkataraman understands this. As a former senior advisor in the Obama administration, she led efforts to build partnerships between government and business to combat climate change, and she learned firsthand that we have forgotten how to talk about thinking ahead. Drawing from her own experience and new research in biology, psychology, economics, and beyond, she identifies the most effective ways we can learn to think clearly about long-term decisions. She explains the crucial roles that biology, the environment, and culture play in our decision-making, and she highlights the surprisingly human and achievable changes we can implement in our lives to make smarter, more thoughtful choices.

The result is The Optimist's Telescope, a book brimming with useful ideas and insights into understanding how we can think about the future more clearly and make better decisions about it.

Author Biography

Bina Venkataraman is the editorial page editor of The Boston Globe. Before joining the Globe, she served as a senior adviser for climate change innovation in the Obama White House, was the director of global policy initiatives at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and taught in the program on science, technology, and society at MIT. An alumna of Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School, Venkataraman grew up in a small town in Ohio and now lives in Boston.

Review

"How might we mitigate losses caused by shortsightedness? Bina Venkataraman, a former climate adviser to the Obama administration, brings a storyteller's eye to this question. . . . She is also deeply informed . . . heed Venkataraman's impassioned call for making a commitment to future change." --The New York Times Book Review "Bina Venkataraman zeroes in on the heart of [the] problem... with vivid anecdotes, Venkataraman musters all the optimism she can manage to suggest how we might be able to overcome something that feels like plain old human nature." --NPR, Best Books of 2019

"Venkataraman vividly depicts what happens when we don't plan ahead and what we can do about it, on our own and together." --The Washington Post

"In pacy prose that's easy to digest but offers concrete examples of change . . . this book offers hope that we can take back some control of our own destinies and aim for a better future." --The Financial Times

"Most of us only see the future after it becomes the past. The Optimist's Telescope is here to change that. It's a rare read that's as fascinating as it is important. In it, Bina Venkataraman brings together powerful narrative, cutting-edge behavioral science, and the rich experience of a high-impact career." --Adam Grant, author of Originals

"The unknown can always be scary. But in this wise, eye-opening, and hopeful book, Bina Venkataraman shows us the ways we can think more clearly and strategically about the future - in our communities, our families, and in our own lives." --Arianna Huffington

"Bina Venkataraman illuminates how we can make better decisions for ourselves, our communities, and Earth itself. She introduces us to an array of colorful and unexpected characters, from ancient philosophers to tech entrepreneurs, all while distilling the science of foresight into practical advice we can all use. A timely and valuable book." --Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of Unfinished Business

"The Optimist's Telescope is a noble and important book. Through stories of people who have made a difference and an acute awareness of how things can be made better, Bina Venkataraman shows how we can effect change and make the world a better place. She is the good parent this planet so desperately needs." --Errol Morris, Oscar-winning filmmaker and author of Believing Is Seeing

"[Venkataraman] explores all sorts of ways that businesses, governments, and communities have learned to be better planners-ahead. . . . She also writes beautifully about how we can all 'be better ancestors.'" --The Grist

"A timely reminder that time is not on our side without long-term thinking." --Kirkus Reviews

"A thought-provoking and eminently readable debut...Venkataraman's thoughtful and clear-eyed assessment of how to teach oneself to make more carefully considered decisions should prove a valuable tool for anyone wishing to think less in the short term and more toward the future." --Publishers Weekly

"An intriguing look at strategies for the long-term with citations from business executives, sociologists, and philosophers; highly recommended." --Library Journal

"Chinese peasants once got paid by the piece to find dinosaur bones; soon they took to smashing the bones into tiny pieces to boost their income. This book is a sobering compendium of the many ways in which ill-conceived short-term incentives undermine valuable long-term goals. The stakes go way beyond busted fossils: think rising sea waters, treatment-resistant pathogens, collapsing infrastructure, disappearing topsoil . . . A grim list and grounds for pessimism unless, that is, it gets read in the context of this book, for Bina Venkataraman has assembled a remarkable repair kit, full of tested tools for harmonizing the lure of present reward with the foresight we need if we are to build a durable future." --Lewis Hyde

"The Optimist's Telescope will help you think about the biggest decisions you face in your life and that humanity faces in this historical moment. Everyone should read this book." --Gary Knell, chairman of National Geographic Partners

Review Quote

"Most of us only see the future after it becomes the past. The Optimist's Telescope is here to change that. It's a rare read that's as fascinating as it is important. In it, Bina Venkataraman brings together powerful narrative, cutting-edge behavioral science, and the rich experience of a high-impact career." --Adam Grant, author of Originals "The unknown can always be scary. But in this wise, eye-opening, and hopeful book, Bina Venkataraman shows us the ways we can think more clearly and strategically about the future - in our communities, our families, and in our own lives." --Arianna Huffington "Bina Venkataraman illuminates how we can make better decisions for ourselves, our communities, and Earth itself. She introduces us to an array of colorful and unexpected characters, from ancient philosophers to tech entrepreneurs, all while distilling the science of foresight into practical advice we can all use. A timely and valuable book." --Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of Unfinished Business " The Optimist's Telescope is a noble and important book. Through stories of people who have made a difference and an acute awareness of how things can be made better, Bina Venkataraman shows how we can effect change and make the world a better place. She is the good parent this planet so desperately needs." --Errol Morris, Oscar-winning filmmaker and author of Believing Is Seeing "We live in an age marked by problems of enormous scope and complexity--climate change, income inequality, food security--and yet we are still relying on tools and solutions that have failed us repeatedly in the past. In The Optimist's Telescope , Bina Venkataraman marshals a wide-ranging collection of astounding and provocative examples of our myopia and offers insightful practices for short-circuiting our short-sightedness to address the huge challenges we face as citizens of Earth." --Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab "Chinese peasants once got paid by the piece to find dinosaur bones; soon they took to smashing the bones into tiny pieces to boost their income. This book is a sobering compendium of the many ways in which ill-conceived short-term incentives undermine valuable long-term goals. The stakes go way beyond busted fossils: think rising sea waters, treatment-resistant pathogens, collapsing infrastructure, disappearing topsoil . . . A grim list and grounds for pessimism unless, that is, it gets read in the context of this book, for Bina Venkataraman has assembled a remarkable repair kit, full of tested tools for harmonizing the lure of present reward with the foresight we need if we are to build a durable future." --Lewis Hyde " The Optimist's Telescope will help you think about the biggest decisions you face in your life and that humanity faces in this historical moment. Everyone should read this book." --Gary Knell, chairman of National Geographic Partners

Promotional "Headline"

A trailblazing exploration of how we can think more strategically and effectively about the future--our own, our family's, and our society's.

Description for Sales People

Like bestsellers Nudge and When, this is a big-idea book that takes an abstract idea and gives it real-world value. Every day in politics, business, education, and beyond, the debates about our futures are becoming more important. A lucid, welcome, and reasoned approach to understanding the future in ways that we hadn't thought of before. Bina Venkataraman served as senior advisor for climate change innovation in the Obama White House. She brings a fresh perspective to her ideas and the insights she shares in the book are lively and unexpected.

Product Details

Author
Bina Venkataraman
Year
2019
ISBN-10
0735219478
ISBN-13
9780735219472
Format
Hardcover
Publication Date
2019-08-27
Country of Publication
United States
Subtitle
Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age
Pages
336
Publisher
Prentice Hall Press
Short Title
The Optimist's Telescope
Language
English
Audience
General/Trade