Back to the Dark Ages? Today’s Attacks on Reason and Individualism
The stagnant oppressiveness of the Middle Ages was swept aside centuries ago by the Renaissance and the rise of its radical philosophy: the primacy of reason and the value of the individual. Today, however, the medieval mentality is being resurrected. In the tribalism of multiculturalism, the anti-science of environmentalism and the overt mysticism and statism of religion -- we are witnessing a return to primitivism.
In this talk Peter Schwartz examines the roots of this tragic development -- and presents the case for a philosophy of reason, science, progress and capitalism.
Peter Schwartz is co-founder and chairman of Global Business Network (GBN), a unique membership organization and worldwide network of strategists, business executives, scientists, and artists based in Emeryville, California.
Established in 1988, GBN specializes in corporate scenario planning and research on the future of the business environment. From 1982 to 1986, Schwartz headed scenario planning for the Royal Dutch/ Shell Group of Companies in London. His team conducted comprehensive analyses of the global business and political environment and worked with senior management to create successful strategies.
Before joining Royal Dutch/ Shell, Schwartz directed the Strategic Environment Center at SRI International. The Center researched the business milieu, lifestyles, and consumer values, and conducted scenario planning for corporate and government clients.
Schwartz is the co-author of both The Long Boom, and When Good Companies Do Bad Things: Responsibility and Risk in an Age of Globalization. Schwartz is also the author of The Art of the Long View: Planning for the Future in an Uncertain World. This seminal publication on scenario planning has been translated into Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Schwartz also co-authored Seven Tomorrows: Toward a Voluntary History with James Ogilvy and Paul Hawken in 1982, and The Emergent Paradigm: Changing Patterns of Thought and Belie with James Ogilvy in 1979. He has published and lectured widely and served as a script consultant on the films War Games and Sneakers. Schwartz received a BS in aeronautical engineering and astronautics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.