Open seminar

William MacAskill: What we owe the future - planning for a million years

Date: 13 June 2023
Time: 18:30-19:30

Location: Kulturhuset, Sergels torg in Stockholm

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The philosopher William MacAskill is known to many as one of the founders of Effective Altruism, the movement that has received global attention for using evidence-based research to show how individuals can contribute to a better world in the most effective way.

With the concept of longtermism, he now clarifies how the decisions we make today are decisive for how life will develop in the long term. Homo Sapiens has existed for about 300 000 years. If man, like most other mammalian species, can be expected to exist for at least a million years, we are still at the very beginning of our reckoning of time. We live in what the people of the future will regard as ancient times. The decisions we make today have consequences for all those who come after us. Are we prepared to take that responsibility?

In this evening's lecture and conversation, William MacAskill discusses existential issues of destiny such as the ongoing AI revolution, the nuclear threat and the climate crisis. Everything is not simple and obvious, yet William MacAskill gives concrete examples of decisions that cannot be postponed if we want the people of the future to have a life worth living.

William MacAskill is a philosopher and co-founder of Effective Altruism. This spring, his book What we owe the future is published in Swedish Vad framtiden förtjänar - att planera för en miljon år (Volante). MacAskill works as an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford and has previously written the highly regarded book Doing Good Better (2015).

The panelists participating in the discussion with MacAskill will be among others:

Krister Bykvist, professor of practical philosophy at Stockholm University and the Institute for Future Studies
Beatrice Fihn, former Swedish Secretary General of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
Oliver Edholm, AI-entreprenör

Both the lecture and the talk will be held in English.

The event is organized in collaboration with Volante and Effective Altruism Sweden.

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