Long Now Boston 02020 Survey Results

Our goal at Long Now Boston is to build a community of people who are passionate about long-term thinking and building toward a sustainable future. In November 02020, we released a survey to gain a better understanding of what you, our members, are interested in so that we can more effectively bring long-term thinking to the Greater Boston Area.

We asked several questions in this survey, including asking how you heard of Long Now Boston, when you would like to meet, themes you are most interested in us focusing on, and which meeting formats are preferable.

Forty percent of respondents first learned of Long Now Boston through a friend or colleague. Please continue spreading the word! Also, thanks to your input, our 02021 Conversation Series will typically be held on the first Monday of each month at 7:30pm. Keep your eyes out for special events too; they may be offered on different dates and may occur at a different time.

Science and Technology topics were the most requested themes, followed by topics on Purpose, Culture and Governance, Long Term Threats, and Thinking about Time, the Future and Prediction (Figure 1). “Other” responses for suggested themes were quite varied with ideas ranging from the Deep Past to generational health to methods for synthesizing knowledge form different fields to discussions on climate and environment. Such suggestions are helpful in informing our program content for 02021.

Membership survey bar graph 02020. Sci & Tech was the top response at over 70%. Purpose, culture and governance and Long term threats tie around 50%. Time, the future, and prediction was next, just under 50%. Urbanism around 30%. Long Now projects around 25%. Boston-specific items around 20%. Transhumanism around 15%. Off planet around 10%. Other about 15%.
Science & Technology topics are most popular among our membership

There are lots of wonderful options for event formats. Most respondents were very interested in hearing from people who are knowledgeable in a specific area (Table 1). We also received some great alternative suggestions for conversation-style formats for events, including combining guest lectures with audience participation, panel-based exploration of a specific topic, and a dedicated forum for online discussion. We are considering platforms for this: should it be Slack? Discord? Reddit? Something else? Please offer ideas for great interaction platforms you’ve used.

Speakers who are less well known but have something interesting to say was 88%. Speakers with high media profile 60%. Ongoing project based activities 38%. Audience discussion based 35%. Social events (when safe to do): 33%. Workshops 30%. Field trips 25%. Open mic flash talks 23%. Book club 15%. Other 10%.
Table 1. Responses for “What format of event do you prefer for Long Now Boston events? Please choose your top 4” from the Long Now Boston 02020 survey.

Finally, in answer to “How do you prefer to interact with other Long Now Boston members?” we found that over 70% of respondents preferred in-person events. We get it…we like to interact face-to-face too. Until we can get back to gathering safely in person, we welcome you to continue participating in our virtual events on Zoom.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to write in suggestions and comments for ways to improve our content and expand our outreach efforts. Your input is valuable and important to us. Is there anything you would like to add? We are always interested in hearing what our community has to say. Please connect with us!  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Meetup, and Instagram or visit our website and write to us directly. If you miss any events, you can also catch our Podcasts.

Post written by Jennifer Clifford

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