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DEC 8 - Headliner Lecture

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December 8, 2016 - Headliner Lecture

Human Flourishing and the Urban Possibilities for our Grandchildren

December 8, 6:30 - 7:30 PM

Meacham Auditorium, Oklahoma Memorial Union, The University of Oklahoma
900 Asp Ave., Norman, OK 73019

Photos of this event are now posted on the Institute's Flickr page

There is perhaps no more universal desire than to see our children and our children’s children flourish. Few desires have defined the good life across more societies or historical eras. What about our own children and grandchildren’s possibilities for flourishing? What will their prospects be and will they be better than our own?

At the start of the 21st century, these are live questions. On the one hand, climate change, demographic transformation, economic inequality, technological disruption, and political polarization raise real and urgent questions about our inherited confidence in our ability to progressively and equitably flourish. On the other hand, a number of advances around connected computing and Big Data, and between smart technologies and material science, combined with new insights into the inner workings of human behavior coming out of the cognitive sciences promise the next big leap in human progress. Underlying both the challenges and the possibilities, is the little remarked upon fact that we are living through a profound transformation in the very meaning, shape, and sources of human flourishing, the full impact of which remains uncertain.

However this transformation plays out, one thing is certain: cities will be the crucible for the answers we will ultimately give to the question of flourishing. Humanity is now a predominantly urban species making the enduring quest for wellbeing and the good life fundamentally an urban concern. It is within the contexts of cities that we must today cultivate the practical, ethical, and political resources necessary to ensure the best chances for the flourishing for our grandchildren.

About Dr. Yates

Dr. Joshua Yates is Director of Thriving Cities and Research Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. He specializes in the study of culture and cultural change in the late modern world, with an emphasis on moral and ethical life. He has written on the cultural imperatives of humanitarian and human rights organizations, on the rise of the anti-globalization protest movement, on the ways modern institutions contend with disaster and catastrophe, and, most recently, on the cultural significance of sustainability as a leading paradigm of social, political, and ethical action. Learn more about Dr. Yates >>

Photo Release: This event will be photographed and filmed. By attending this event you agree to be photographed and give permission to the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing and The University of Oklahoma to use your likeness in online and print promotional materials.


Please direct event-related questions to Nathan Ewing.

(405) 325-4574


This event will take place in Meacham Auditorium, on the 2nd floor of the Oklahoma Memorial Union (900 Asp Ave, Norman, OK 73019).

OU Campus Map


The Union Parking Center is located on the north side of the Union on Asp Avenue. Parking is available to the public at a rate of $2 per hour or $14 per day. They accept cash, credit/debit cards and Sooner Card.