Register now and join us on March 30th, 2017

March 30th, 2017 : The Royal Geographical Society, London

Alain de Botton


Time: 12:00 - 12:30

Emotional Evolution

Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1969, and now lives in London. He is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a 'philosophy of everyday life', covering a range of subjects including: love, travel, architecture, religion, art and literature. His books have become bestsellers in 30 countries and his latest, The Course of Love, was published in April 2016.

In 2008, Alain founded The School of Life, with the aim of challenging traditional universities and reorganising knowledge, directing it towards life, and away from knowledge for its own sake. The School of Life offers an emotional education, focusing in particular on the issues of Work and Relationships and is an institution that is trying to give people a sense of direction and wisdom for their lives with the help of culture. It now has branches around the world, in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Seoul, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, São Paulo, Berlin, Zurich and Melbourne.

As CEO, Alain is heavily involved with The School of Life as it develops and grows and he authors pieces for its YouTube channel and for a curated collection of the best and most helpful ideas in the area of emotional life.

Session Overview

Emotional Evolution

Alain is looking forward to speaking where Darwin gave his lecture on the Origin of the Species. Like Darwin, at this event we'll also be considering the development of the species, but from a rather different perspective: our personal and professional growth.

As we look toward the future we'll need to adapt to the nearly blindingly-fast pace of technological development, from artificial intelligence to automation. That's because we are, as a species, moving away from certain technical and routine types of work altogether. Instead, it is our capacity for critical thought and our social and emotional skills that will make the difference. As a result, employees will increasingly need to develop emotional skills like empathy, resilience, and persuasion. Equipping people with these skills is a particular passion of Alain's and core to The School of Life's mission.

We are now better placed than ever before to devote our energies to the greatest tasks there are: things like building trust with others, choosing the right moral priorities and meaningful goals, and convincing others to join our work and take up our cause.

It's a deeply exciting time to be thinking about professional development and the future of work.