Get personalized recommendations and earn points toward a free book!
Check Out
The Bestselling Books of All Time
See the List

The Optimist’s Telescope

Best Seller
The Optimist's Telescope by Bina Venkataraman
Hardcover
Aug 27, 2019 | 336 Pages
See All Formats (3) +
  • Hardcover $28.00

    Aug 27, 2019 | 336 Pages

  • Ebook $14.99

    Aug 27, 2019 | 336 Pages

  • CD $40.00

    Aug 27, 2019 | 600 Minutes

  • Audiobook Download $20.00

    Aug 27, 2019 | 608 Minutes

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details

Praise

“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

“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

“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

Looking for More Great Reads?
Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now
Back to Top