Red Wall & Stairs

Research

We collaborate with leading academics, cause area experts and policymakers to inform our actions to positively shape the long-term future.

The Long View

In 2021, we will publish The Long View, a collection of essays on longtermism, policy and philanthropy from some of the world's leading academics, cause area experts and policymakers.

 

The volume will feature a foreword from Toby Ord, Oxford philosopher and author of The Precipice (‘A book that seems made for the present moment’ -- New Yorker), alongside new essays from 13 contributors.  A selection of these contributors is below.

Navigating the Next Century's Challenges

Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

Lord Rees argues that, despite technological growth and increased connectivity, humanity still faces huge obstacles to fulfilling our potential. He identifies resource scarcity, biodiversity, climate change and AI safety as long-term challenges facing humanity. He encourages adopting a broad, long-term perspective to meet these challenges and build a brighter and more equitable future.

Biosecurity, Longtermism and Global Catastrophic Biological Risks

Dr. Jaime Yassif, Senior Fellow, Global Biological Policy and Programs

Dr. Yassif advocates efforts to mitigate tail-end biosecurity risks and safeguard the long-term future, with a focus on monitoring advances in biotechnology and creating new approaches to improve infectious disease surveillance to measurably strengthen global health security capabilities.

Distributing Risk from Extreme Climate Change

Lord Des Browne, Former Head of Civil Service

Lord Browne argues that insurers can be a critical part of the solution to climate change by assessing and managing the near and longer-term impacts of climate change, improving resilience, integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation and incentivising low carbon transition.

Ensuring the Safety of Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Amanda Askell​, Research Scientist in AI Policy

Dr. Askell writes on the long-term impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and the systems that employ it. Because AI can be applied to various problems it has the potential to have an extremely positive impact on the future while also posing risks, especially if AI systems are not developed and deployed with care. This chapter is an introduction to AI and AI policy, and the positive impact that AI safety work can have on the long-term future.

Long-term Thinking Within Government

Lord Bob Kerslake, Former Head of Civil Service

Lord Kerslake writes on the challenges that central governments face when trying to implement long-term thinking on cross-cutting issues, such as the lack of capacity for long-term thinking in the UK civil service. He argues that philanthropy can fill in the gaps when governments fail to act, highlighting George Peabody as an example of a philanthropist who has achieved long-term impact.

The Garden of Forking Paths

Prof. Hiski Haukkala, Professor of International Relations, former Chief of Cabinet to the President of Finland

Prof. Haukkala analyses the challenges of inserting long-term thinking into current affairs and decision-making. He argues that we need deep cultural change that compels us to factor the long term into the very fabric of our lives, and proposes a new cultural tradition for the whole of humanity, which reminds us to be custodians of the planet and its long-term potential.