What is your outlook?

Question: What is your outlook?

Rosabeth Moss Kanter: I tend to be a natural optimist. I tend to talk positively about things. So my answer has to be "it depends. I think that if we continue current trends … current trends, many of them look negative. Current trends are that the income divide is widening around the world. Health problems coming from one place to another are getting scarier … that we might have pandemics that we're not prepared for. I mean those are a horror show of potential problems. On the other hand I am optimistic because I see more people paying attention to that. I see more leaders in institutions. I see more optimistic and hopeful candidates that don't want to turn their back on the world . . . that wanna solve problems. I'm seeing more young people who wanna get involved and make a difference. And I think it depends. If we encourage that kind of leadership … if we vote for those kinds of candidates …. if we each say, “What could I do to recycle? I have a friend who started a company called “One Bag at a Time so that we don't have to use as many grocery bags. Well it's true. If each one of us takes some small steps, those add up. If each one of us takes a positive agenda seriously . . . but we have to believe it's possible. Let's not give up.

I end “America the Principled", my new book, by do… writing what I call a “pep talk for America". Well, you know that sounds … kind of sounds like a cheerleader; but sometimes I think the country does need a pep talk. I hear too many people to say, "These problems are too big. We can't possibly do something about them. But yes we can. We have millions of people. Let's educate some more. Let's improve public education. Let's get high school students working on pieces of some of these problems. There was a set of high school students in New Hampshire that worked on an alternative fuel made from used cooking oil from local restaurants. And they were doing that as a science project. Well who knows? Maybe they'll have a breakthrough and we'll run all of our hybrid cars on used cooking oil from New Hampshire restaurants. I think it's possible. It's a matter of confidence.

Recorded on: 6/13/07

The fact that more people are paying attention to what's going on around them gives Rosabeth Moss Kanter hope.

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less