How to Foster Deep Time Thinking

April 5, 02021: How to Foster Deep Time Thinking

April 5, 02021 Doors open at 7:15 pm ET
Come early and meet other Long Now thinkers; tickets are available on Eventbrite. Presentation starts at 7:30 pm ET

SPECIAL NOTICE: April brings two climate change themed events to the Long Now Boston community, both part of the month-long Cambridge MA Science Festival 2021! How to Foster Deep Time Thinking (see below) and Dear Tomorrow (April 19, 7:30PM), which offers an interactive program fostering personal, emotion-based conversations about climate change to inspire action towards a secure and sustainable future.

A Long Now Boston Community Conversation with Vincent Ialenti, and panel guests Bina Venkataraman and Cristina Parreno Alonso.

Vincent Ialenti studies deep time through an anthropologist’s lens. In Deep Time Reckoning he highlights two alarming global trends: (1) the environmental cascades of the Anthropocene are propelling the Earth towards global collapse, and (2) cultural shifts are causing the “deflation of expertise,” undermining scientific and technical competence and eroding collaboration and consensus. Vincent draws upon his detailed field investigations of the Finnish nuclear waste repository “Safety Case” project for insights on how to respond to these colliding trends. His answer: a multidisciplinary and multitemporal effort, which he calls “Deep Time Reckoning.” This is not about being right or wrong, but applying human imagination to envision the long term future and to forge creative pathways forward.

Vincent sees great hope in Deep Time Reckoning. From his field work among nuclear waste experts he has extracted practical recommendations for transforming our understanding and building Deep Time Reckoning into our lives and our institutions. 

Join Vincent and other Long Now thinkers as we discuss how to foster Deep Time Thinking. Vincent will give a presentation, and then our two special guests, Bina Venkataraman and Cristina Parreno Alonso, will join him for a panel conversation. 

Among the questions we hope to address:

  • What time scales are the most important, and the most difficult, to envision?
  • How are the tools of an anthropologist useful for Deep Time explorations?
  • What motivations drive the Finnish Safety Case process? Can we inspire those motivations in other situations?
  • Where do we start?

Join the conversation and be part of the solution. $5 in advance. Students admitted free. Audience participation is encouraged.

About the speakers:

Vincent Ialenti is an Assistant Research Professor at George Washington University, and a MacArthur Postdoctoral Fellow at University of British Columbia. His new book, Deep Time Reckoning (MIT Press, 2020), draws on his anthropological fieldwork among Finland’s nuclear waste repository experts to propose imaginative strategies for envisioning far future worlds. He earned a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from Cornell University and a MSc in Law, Anthropology & Society from the London School of Economics.

Bina Venkataraman is the Editorial Page Editor of The Boston Globe, a fellow at New America, and has taught at MIT. She is the author of The Optimist’s Telescope, named a best book of the year by Amazon, Science Friday, and National Public Radio. Bina spoke with Long Now Boston in March of 2020: Long Term Thinking in an Age of Recklessness.

Cristina Parreño Alonso is an architect, designer, and educator at the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT, where her research Transtectonics explores expanded temporal sensibilities in architectural material practice. She is the director of her eponymous architectural firm which is currently designing the permanent art installation “Deep Time Stories of JP” in the Hyde square of Jamaica Plain in Boston.

We’re proud and excited to welcome Vincent and guests Bina and Cristina to the Long Now Boston community.

Cambridge Innovation Center is an in-kind sponsor of this Long Now Boston conversation. We are very grateful for their support.

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