The World to Come

How Our Fear about the Future Affects Our Actions Today

In our polarized society we seem to agree about at least one thing: we are concerned about the state of the world and its future. Our cities, towns, habitats, and rivers are changing, and what they are becoming often doesn't look good. Because we rarely talk openly about the emotions we experience about the world, these fears often remain unexamined. By talking among ourselves, we can begin to empathize with one another and see the shared origins of different political and personal convictions. Portland State University instructor David Osborn leads a discussion about our emotional responses to the world. The conversation may be about the world in general or focus on a specific issue of a host's choosing, such as climate change, housing affordability, immigration, or globalization.


David Osborn | Corbett

David Osborn is a faculty member at Portland State University where he teaches courses on the Pacific Northwest, place, identity, and social change. He is a participant in social movements and is currently involved in the climate justice movement at a local and international level. In his personal life, academic career, and activism, he experiences and studies the power of emotions and the possibility of their transformation. In particular, he is interested in applying ancient wisdom traditions and contemplative practices to our everyday life to further community-based social change. David lives with his partner and daughter in Corbett, Oregon, where he grows vegetables and cut flowers on land overlooking the Sandy River Gorge.

Program Themes

America , Divides , Environment , Global and Local , The Human Condition

Equipment Needs

chalk/whiteboard , digital projector , screen

Whiteboard preferred but not required