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We need more Realistic Optimists: Anna Fifield

In an excellent essay, "Put aside the grim. Here are lots of reasons to feel optimistic (and to make them happen)", Anna Fifield concludes, "At the moment the world has many problems including threats to democracy, climate change, inequality, deforestation, ocean acidification and the pandemic. To address these challenges and create more anti-catastrophes we need more realistic optimists."

Anna Fifield is the editor of the Dominion Post newspaper and the Wellington editor at Stuff.

Her conclusion is very much in line with the purpose of The Centre for Optimism fostering realistic and infectiously optimistic leadership.  So too her thinking is aligned with Singapore's Senior Minister's recent speech on the desperate need for global optimism.

Read Tharman's Speech

Anna writes, "Realistic optimists expect the path to success will be difficult and anticipate some of the problems that might occur. Like all good futures thinking, the power of this approach does not come from accurate predictions, but from the difficult conversations that arise when considering how to navigate potential future issues. The opposite approaches to realistic optimism include cognitive paralysis, where thinking about the future is considered too hard, and conscious ignorance."

On this last point, there's strong agreement from the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern commenting on climate change said, "You may well argue that, based on our current trajectory, now is not the time for optimism. "But if we only talk about the loss of glacier mass or sea level rises we run the risk of a society that believes all is lost and that it is simply too late. "It is not. "No one has the luxury of copping out. Not those who deny climate change, nor those who believe it’s too far gone. "Now is the time for optimism and for hope and crucially a plan.”

 

 

 

 
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