Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Power of Outrospection

I can't explain exactly why, but the RSA Animate folks approach to taking complex ideas and presenting them in 10-12 minute animations that combine fantastic drawing with TEDx type talks really 'animate' me.

They only do a handful a year and they just posted one yesterday, that you might take the almost 11 minutes to watch. The title is "The Power of Outrospection" and is an animated talk by Philosopher and author Roman Krznaric who explains how we can help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves. There are only 13 other animations, among my favorites (I haven't viewed them all yet) are the one on education ("Changing Paradigms") and the one on the "Crisis of Capitalism".

We all learn differently so maybe these won't speak to everyone, but they are easy to miss. In fact I wouldn't have found this if I hadn't come back to the site this evening to send a link to the education animation sparked by a long discussion with a colleague today. I believe the quality is amplified by the fact that the basic talk that is animated, would be compelling in its own right. The animation just seems to add some additional quality, one substantially different than either pictures or power points might add.

While I emphasize the process above, the content is very thoughtful and timely for anyone puzzling how we might steer clear of the impending crises that seem to grow more visible with each passing day. A Google search of the author turns up significant  information including:

After growing up in Sydney and Hong Kong, he studied at the universities of Oxford, London and Essex, where he gained his PhD. He has taught sociology and politics at Cambridge University and City University, London, and has done human rights work in Central America with refugees and indigenous people. For several years he was Project Director at The Oxford Muse, the avant-garde foundation to stimulate courage and invention in personal, professional and cultural life. He regularly speaks at public events on topics such as empathy, the history of love, the future of work, and the art of living. Recent appearances include the Edinburgh International Festival, the Latitude Arts Festival and the London Design Festival.
His latest books are The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live, which explores what we can learn from the past about better living, and How to Find Fulfilling Work, part of a new practical philosophy series edited by Alain de Botton. He is the author of a book on what sport can teach us about life, The First Beautiful Game: Stories of Obsession in Real Tennis and, with the historian Theodore Zeldin, edited Guide to an Unknown University. Roman’s books are currently being translated into over a dozen languages. His blog dedicated to empathy and the art of living, Outrospection, has been featured in the media around the world.