Roman Krznaric

Masterclass Roman Krznaric

Date: Time: 13:00 Location: Black Box, Esplanade building (Tilburg University)

How can we be good ancestors? In this masterclass the well-known public philosopher Roman Krznaric talks with students on our penchant for short-term thinking and provides building blocks for ‘cathedral thinking’. (English / SG-Certificate*)

Time: 13:00-14:45 hrs.

Tilburg University students only. Free entrance, but registration required. Be in time: limited number of seats.


Today, in an age driven by the tyranny of the now, with 24/7 news, the latest tweet, and the buy-now button commanding our attention, we rarely stop to consider how our actions will affect future generations. With such frenetic short-termism at the root of contemporary crises, the call for long-term thinking grows every day – but what is it, has it ever worked, and can we even do it?

Imagine the long term

In his book ‘The Good Ancestor’ philosopher Roman Krznaric argues that there is still hope. From the pyramids to institutions like the National Health Service (NHS), humankind has always had the innate ability to plan for posterity and take action that will resonate for decades, centuries, even millennia to come. If we want to become good ancestors, now is the time to recover and enrich this imaginative skill.

Cathedral thinking

The Good Ancestor reveals six profound ways in which we can all learn to think long-term, exploring how we can reawaken oft-neglected but uniquely human talents like ‘cathedral thinking’ that expand our time horizons and sharpen our foresight. Drawing on radical solutions from around the world, Krznaric celebrates the innovators who are reinventing democracy, culture and economics so that we all have the chance to become good ancestors and create a better tomorrow.


Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to change society. After growing up in Sydney and Hong Kong, Roman studied at the universities of Oxford, London and Essex, where he gained his PhD in political sociology. He is cofounder of the School of Life in London and founder of the world’s first Empathy Museum. Besides that he is a Research Fellow of the Long Now Foundation and a member of the Club of Rome. Krznaric has been named by The Observer as one of Britain’s leading popular philosophers.

Alternative option: keynote lecture

Besides this masterclass, Roman Krznaric will give a keynote lecture in the context of the yearly Shift Talks on Wednesday (evening) 17 November at St. John's Cathedral in 's-Hertogenbosch. Tickets to the lecture are available for everyone interested.

More information

Professor Han Somsen will also contribute to the masterclass. He holds the Chair in EU law at Tilburg Law School, and is principal investigator of the multi-annual research project 'Constitutionalizing in the Anthropocene'.

This masterclass is organized in the context of multi-day event Shift Talks by Huis73. This specific masterclass at Tilburg University is organized with  Studium Generale (Tilburg University)

Contact: Has Klerx (Studium Generale).

Picture: Roman Krznaric © Kate Raworth

* For students, this event may count towards the SG-Certificate. Check the SG-Certificate website for all the terms and conditions. There will be no recording of this event available afterwards, but is an event with live audience only!

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