Mark’s last talk of the year will be addressing Science Communications students at University College London. It’s been a diverse twelve months with talks to everyone from schoolchildren to CEOs. In the New Year Mark will start writing his next book – but also be appearing in places as far apart as the Copenhagen planetarium and the Columbian book festival…
We’re very happy to announce that the book is now available in Spanish – via the truly fantastic publisher Galaxia Gutenberg – who have created a Spanish web site for the book: http://www.galaxiagutenberg.com/. Mark is currently doing a host of Spanish press interviews in Madrid and Barcelona – and is pleased to report that the League of Pragmatic Optimists (la liga del los Optimistas Pragmaticos) will soon have chapters in Spain….
LOPO came about after Mark became constantly inundated with the question “What can I do?” from people reading his book, or attending talks. He realised there was a huge un-tapped army of critical thinking optimists out there, however a lot them either felt isolated within their organisations or were craving other people to bump ideas together and start actually doing something rather than just thinking or talking about it.
We believe in an unashamed optimism of ambition about the future
We are pragmatists. We meet to help all of us do. Mouths on legs are discouraged
We believe in involving ourselves in projects that are ‘bigger than me’
We believe ideas become more powerful when they are shared, not protected
Your anecdotes are nice, but your evidence is better
We all aim to police our own cynicism, and keep it in check
Making mistakes is OK, but not trying is irresponsible
LOPO is a-political. All stripes welcome as long as you’re not here to promote your stripes
Already there are offers to launch chapters in NY, Boston, Princeton and Oxford. Our test event in London is on Oct 12th – already oversubscribed but regular meetings will be in the diary soon…
We’re very excited that a movie of the book (along with a spin-off TV series) is now out of the starting gate after over 18 months of extreme patience and fortitude from the team involved (particularly the lovely people over at Greg Atkins Productions).
Mark has been asked to co-curate with the British Library a series of talks to accompany their Out of This World exhibition. They’re sure to sell out fast and it’s a fascinating line up. You can find out more by following the links below:
“There’s nothing like some flattery and a nice sausage to cheer you up,” says Mark – which is why he’s very happy to have a cracking review from Wired’s ‘Geek Dad’ – and to be invited to Spain in September for the launch of Spanish language edition of the book.
We’ve been getting some really very lovely reviews from around the globe (well, the US and Australia!)
“Sharp and fascinating” – The Wall Street Journal.
“Insightful… entertaining… Stevenson’s restrained and rational enthusiasm makes for optimistic reading” – The Australian.
“Stevenson turns out to be an energetic tour guide to the cutting edge of science – like inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, but without that doomed feeling that can come from hearing Kurzweil’s predictions.” – Washington Post.
“An ability to express even the most complex scientific problems in terms easily understood by a layperson. His discussion of global warming is a model of cogency” – Sydney Morning Herald
“Never fails to be inspirational” – Mind Food Magazine
Mark is being asked to talk at a variety of public and private events around the world. Some of these are directly in support of the book, but others are going beyond it to help organisations make some of the right choices about how they approach the future. In addition, Mark has been contacted to work on a project imagining the future on a grand scale… watch this space. In the meantime, the book continues to garner cracking reviews….
...a rollicking roller-coaster ride around the cutting edge of science with dozens of laugh-out-loud moments —The Scotsman
"stellar reviews everywhere and certainly one of the most interesting science books I've read for a long time...contentious subjects tackled in an approachable way" - New Statesman
"Stevenson's journey is a measured effort to take stock of the reasons for hope, and to keep faith with the enlightenment project... he makes a good case for believing that we can have a future worth making an effort to reach." - The Guardian
Stevenson puts the trends of tomorrow’s world into perspective with a quizzical, fast-paced, quick-witted tour of the scientific horizon. - The Times
"...infectiously enthusiastic... Despite the book’s title, Stevenson is not a relentlessly wide-eyed guide to the future. He is alive to the self-puffing of scientists and engineers he meets, and has a nice eye for the absurd." - Sunday Times
"[a] grand tour of charismatic technologies. Stevenson bags some impressive interviewees." - Financial Times
“Stevenson wears no blindfold. His tools are curiosity, open-mindedness, clarity and reason. That makes his journey intriguing… and ultimately exhilarating.” —Chris Anderson, TED.com Curator
"Essential...illuminating and refreshingly hopeful...an auspicious yet grounded vision" - The Atlantic
"A refreshing reminder that the future will always belong to the optimists" - New Scientist
"It’s invigorating to be led to the far-side by someone who sees the bright-side!”— Henry Pollack, author of A World Without Ice and Nobel Peace Prize winner
"a hilarious and inspiring romp" - Cory Doctorow @ Boingboing
...a brilliant book, Stevenson is the perfect guide to a dizzying future. The ideas come so quickly, with such great humour - it's like the smartest dinner party you've ever attended - Peter Miller, author 'The Smart Swarm'
"an absolute winner: entertaining, educational, jaw dropping.Never before have I been so captivated by a piece of non-fiction" - The Book Bag
"Uplifting and liberating: optimistic without being naive, fun but not silly, entertaining yet enlightening.. This is a book to gladden the gloomiest heart." —Michael Brooks, author of 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense
"Stevenson turns out to be an energetic tour guide to the cutting edge of science - like inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, but without that doomed feeling that can come from hearing Kurzweil's predictions." - Washington Post
"insightful...entertaining...Stevenson's restrained and rational enthusiasm makes for optimistic reading" - The Australian
"Part trendhunting, part rigorous research, part cultural anthropology, An Optimist’s Tour of the Future may just be our generation’s version of Bill Brysons’s iconic A Short History of Nearly Everything — a bold and entertaining blueprint for a future that’s ours to shape and ours to live." - Brainpickings
In questioning progress, Stevenson employs science, ethics and philosophy and never fails to be inspirational.” - Mind Food Magazine