It is one of the oldest pieces of life advice in Western history: carpe diem, seize the day. First uttered by the Roman poet Horace over two thousand years ago, it has become our cultural inheritance, reflected in mottos from ‘live as if you might die tomorrow’ to ‘be in the moment’, ‘Just do it’ and the hashtag #yolo (‘you only live once’). Carpe diem asks us to live with greater passion, consciousness and intention, so we don’t reach the end of our days and look back on life with regret. But here’s the problem: today, the spirit of seize the day has been hijacked by consumer culture, transformed into impulsive shopping sprees and one-click online buying, and reduced to the living in the here and now. Roman has written the first ever cultural biography of carpe diem, and goes further with a call to arms: the time has come to reclaim the power of seize the day, and recover it for the art of living and social change.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Roman Krznaric is a cultural thinker and writer on the art of living and social change. He is founder of the world’s first Empathy Museum and of the digital Empathy Library. He is also a founding faculty member of The School of Life, and advises organisations including Oxfam and the United Nations on using empathy and conversation to create social change. His writings have been widely influential amongst political and ecological campaigners, education reformers, social entrepreneurs, and designers. He is considered one of Britain’s leading popular philosophers.
Carpe diem regained (2017)
How to find fulfilling work (2012)
The Wonderbox: Curious histories of how to live (2011)
Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It (2010)
Guide to an unknown university (2006).
Roman Krznaric’s website
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