There is perhaps no more universal desire than to see our children and our children’s children flourish. Few desires have defined the good life across more societies or historical eras. What about our own children and grandchildren’s possibilities for flourishing? What will their prospects be and will they be better than our own?
At the start of the 21st century, these are live questions. On the one hand, climate change, demographic transformation, economic inequality, technological disruption, and political polarization raise real and urgent questions about our inherited confidence in our ability to progressively and equitably flourish. On the other hand, a number of advances around connected computing and Big Data, and between smart technologies and material science, combined with new insights into the inner workings of human behavior coming out of the cognitive sciences promise the next big leap in human progress. Underlying both the challenges and the possibilities, is the little remarked upon fact that we are living through a profound transformation in the very meaning, shape, and sources of human flourishing, the full impact of which remains uncertain.
However this transformation plays out, one thing is certain: cities will be the crucible for the answers we will ultimately give to the question of flourishing. Humanity is now a predominantly urban species making the enduring quest for wellbeing and the good life fundamentally an urban concern. It is within the contexts of cities that we must today cultivate the practical, ethical, and political resources necessary to ensure the best chances for the flourishing for our grandchildren.
Photo Release: This event will be photographed and filmed. By attending this event you agree to be photographed and give permission to the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing and The University of Oklahoma to use your likeness in online and print promotional materials.