Optimism and positivity: a new outlook on the future of our world

The future of our world can be quite nerve racking. With constant concerns over political disputes, climate change and nuclear war, the idea that the world is getting worse is on everyone’s mind. But Steven Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, believes the exact opposite.

Pinker will offer an optimistic perspective on the fate of our future by analyzing recent data on homicide, war and poverty in his lecture “What IF the world’s actually getting better?” Despite all negative opinions on the state of our world, Pinker will discuss problem solving and how reframing one’s perspective could lessen worldly threats.

“We will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one,” Pinker says. “But there’s no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing.”

The two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, will present a refreshing, new outlook on life by debunking assumptions and arguing that the world around us is actually getting better.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will take place at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse.

“What IF the world’s actually getting better?” is a part of Purdue’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign. Pinker’s lecture is a part of the health, longevity and quality of life series of the Idea’s Festival which is designed spark a conversation between world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise on critical problems facing our world.

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