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Life, Death & The Space Between

Dec 29, 2022

“How you care for this moment matters. It matters today, tomorrow, and a thousand years from now.” — Ari Wallach






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Today, I talk with Ari Wallach, a futurist and social systems strategist. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Longpath Labs, an initiative focused on bringing long-term thinking and coordinated behavior to the individual, organizational, and societal realms in order to ensure humanity flourishes on an ecologically-thriving planet Earth for centuries to come. Ari is the author of “Longpath: Becoming the Great Ancestors Our Future Needs.”


Listen in to hear how Ari defines longpath, how we should be examining our own futures, and more.


Topics We Discuss:


  • [2:19] Longpath is a verb in the sense that it’s an applied mindset. Most people think of a futurist as someone who is projecting into the future; Ari isn’t that type of futurist, he doesn’t predict. Longpath is a way of navigating those intertidal moments, those moments that are chaotic and in flux. 


  • [11:22] Using the word “surviving” automatically trips the limbic system, and in that moment we become very short-term thinkers. When we become more fear-based in our approach, we become laser-focused on what’s in front of us. But we need to be thinking of the far future in these moments of chaos. 


  • [21:32] First and foremost, figure out who you are. How did you get to this point? Ari talks about desired futures versus examined-desired futures. No one is born thinking they should be a doctor or race car driver. A lot of these pathways are culturally forced onto people. Before you can start to think about what future you want to live in, you have to step back and examine what got you thinking that way in the first place.


  • [32:09] When we had the Copernican revolution, it led us to more human freedom and enlightened thinking, but we eradicated the vibrational, mystical realm. We said if you can measure it, great; if you can’t, it’s terrible. In this intertidal moment we’re realizing we can have both.


  • [37:52] Think of ourselves less in a 100-yard race and more in a marathon in which we’re holding the baton for the next generation. We need to T-up the next generation so they’re that much higher up on the ladder when it comes to flourishing. This will have us thinking less as individuals and tie us to a more extensive timeframe.


  • [39:39] How you say goodbye to your children in the morning, how you treat your partner, your colleagues, the person who checks your badge- those things matter not just in the moment. How you interact with them changes them and how they interact with other people.


  • [40:09] What does it mean for an emotion to go viral? An emotion like compassion, empathy, awe, or hope? If you’re embedding that in your everyday small interactions with other people and yourself, that could go viral. By doing that, we can change the soil from which we build solutions in order to build better tomorrows.
  • [42:49] As a culture we lack death awareness. Ari and Amy discuss how our culture is death-averse and the importance of engaging in activities that acknowledge our death so we can better prepare ourselves and future generations for what the world should look like. All of culture is our way of dealing with impermanence. We are the only species that becomes aware of our death, and it paralyzes us.  


  • [47:14] How Ari recommends focusing on life-affirming experiences that make the world a better place.  


  • [49:14] Death is in the zeitgeist right now due to COVID-19 and people are searching to understand the moment we are in and how they can find more meaning and purpose in their own life.  


  • [50:30] Understanding the questions we are asking ourselves about how to be on the Longpath. Ari discusses how the third paragraph of the obituary is very important to thinking about how we live our life. Ari shares some of the biggest questions we should actually be asking ourselves.  



Find Ari and the programs he offers on his website or on Instagram.


His new book, “Longpath: Becoming the Great Ancestors Our Future Needs” is available on Amazon.  



Life, Death and the Space Between is brought to you by:

Dr. Amy Robbins | Host, Executive Producer

PJ Duke | Executive Producer

2 Market Media | Audio & Video Editing

Mara Stallins | Outreach & Social Media Strategy

Claire | | Podcast Cover Design