A Conversation About HOPE and OPTIMISM


Mark Stevenson, Author, Optimist’s Tour of the Future, UK


‘The secret of happiness is: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.’

Daniel Dennett


Extraordinary people that get things done have the following things in common:

  • Optimism of ambition about the future
  • Engage in projects that are bigger than you
  • Engineer serendipity
  • You are what you do – not what you intend to do
  • Make mistakes
  • Think like an engineer, not like a politician – forget the ‘ideology’. Have a commitment to observation and a willingness to change.
  • Play the long game – most people give up at 30% of convincing people about their idea (they convince three people out of a group of ten and then stop). Have to be prepared to keep going.
  • Police your own cynicism. Cynicism is powerful because it is easy but it is like smoking – it looks cool but bad for you and the person next to you.


Allan Savory, President and Co-Founder, Savory Institute


We can begin to deal with our problems using the tools of fire and technology, but with an added tool of returning responsibly managed livestock to the land.

Land itself is not manageable.

Culture, land and economy are inseparable. They need to be managed together holistically.

We need to move from adaptive to proactive management.


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