While society may seem divided in many respects, we can all agree that the need to solve some of the world’s biggest problems is urgent. And as more and more young people demand that organizations of all shapes and sizes focus on purpose and sustainability, how can leaders get everyone in an organization – from the C-suites to the front-lines – to think about the long-term effects of their decisions, not only to keep people happy today, but to ensure we all become great ancestors to future generations?
Applied futurist and social systems strategist Ari Wallach, founder and executive director of Longpath Labs, helps organizations and individuals discover and leverage a new version of “why” for their work that leads to deeper and more meaningful motivations for all stakeholders – employees, customers, communities and future generations. By advocating for what he calls a “transgenerational ethic,” a big picture understanding of our place in the world and how we can contribute to future generations, Wallach helps leaders build strategic decision-making capabilities that go beyond the quarterly or annual review to ensure long-term impact.
“Transgenerational thinking, which is really transgenerational ethics, allows you to expand how you think about the bigger problems in the world and what role you can play in solving them,” says Wallach, former adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. “‘Longpath’ is a verb: to Longpath means to actively counter our instinct for short-termism by making decisions today that create far futures where humans, ecosystems and planet flourish.”
Wallach illuminates his ideas with clarity and eloquence in his latest TED Talk, “3 Ways to Plan for the (Very) Long Term,” which has been viewed more than 2.6 million times. He expands upon the talk in his new book, “Longpath: Becoming the Great Ancestors Our Future Needs – An Antidote for Short-Termism” (Harper Collins, August 16, 2022).
An expert strategist, Wallach has worked with clients as diverse as CNN, VW, Sephora, The U.S. State Department, The U.N. Refugee Agency and Deepak Chopra, among others. In 2008, he co-founded the presidential initiative, “The Great Schlep with Sarah Silverman,” whose eponymous video garnered more than 350 million global media impressions and started a national conversation about race, faith and democracy.
“Instead of operating with a short-term mindset – trying to beat our competitors to the future – we should first envision the best possible world for everyone and move humanistically in that direction,” says Wallach. “Being at the forefront of innovation means aligning practices with what’s good for the world at large. Together, we can become the ancestors the future needs.”
Ari Wallach is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.
Advance Praise for “Longpath”
“This perceptive book is an antidote to nearsightedness. Ari Wallach won’t just leave you planning months or years ahead — he challenges you to look generations ahead. Get ready to think and think again.” – Adam Grant, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of “Think Again” and Host of the TED Podcast WorkLife
“Ari Wallach has written an essential guide to the 22nd century. You read that right. With the acumen of a futurist and the soul of a rabbi, Wallach shows us that the only effective antidote to the rampant now-ism of the present is to have an urgent conversation about reshaping the far-future. ‘Longpath’ will make every conversation you have more meaningful.” – Bruce Feiler, New York Times-bestselling Author of “Life Is in the Transitions”
“People who face great oppression – as Ari’s father did – are somehow best able to think beyond themselves, seeing ways forward just when every path seems blocked. Black people in America never had the luxury not to see ahead. We thank our ancestors at the same time we strive to become ancestors worth thanking. ‘Longpath’ will help more people embrace this mindset and the behaviors that go with it. Changing our minds can transform our lives.” – Rashad Robinson, President, Color Of Change
“I loved this book for its authenticity and audacity. ‘Longpath’ not only helped me envision a brighter future, but also to improve how I can be a more effective leader in the present. This is a playbook that anyone can leverage right now to achieve world changing results. It’s an impressive feat and makes ‘Longpath’ a must read.” – Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League
“Albert Einstein observed that we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Ari Wallach’s ‘Longpath’ provides a clear way to think differently, so that we can better address the issues of our time.” – Jonathan Rose, Author, “The Well-Tempered City,” Co-founder of the Garrison Institute and President of Rose Companies
“In the context of a time that is hyperconnected, yet fractured, filled with both transformational change and anxiety, Ari Wallach gives us a compelling roadmap forward, a manifesto for shifting our mindset from the short to the long term—bringing us from the past to the present to a better future we still have the chance to co-create, with even our smallest decisions and interactions.” – Asha Curran, CEO, GivingTuesday
“What if we took the time to extend empathy and care to the generations that came before us? And how about generations that will come after us? In this heart-stretching, time-bending invitation, futurist Ari Wallach pushes us to widen our circle of concern by seeing ourselves as links on an intergenerational chain. Longpathism is a clarion call: it’s on us to make sure the future of humankind is not characterized by the loneliness, alienation, and divisiveness we’re living amidst today.” – Jenn Hoos Rothberg, Executive Director of Einhorn Collaborative