The feeling of rapid change and tectonic shifts in global society are tangible and disorienting, perhaps to a degree not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union twenty-five years ago. Brought to a head with the recent U.S. election and a wave of similar upheavals worldwide, epic societal trends are making many wonder how we got to this place and fear for the uncertainty of the future.

In his latest book Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Expectations, Thomas L. Friedman identifies three rapidly accelerating forces behind these disruptions: Moore’s Law (technological change), the Market (globalization), and Mother Nature (climate change). His work serves as both an explanation of the state of our world and a guide to navigating and surviving these changes. Rather than struggle against them, he recommends “being late”—taking the time to both reflect upon these changes and to appreciate this watershed moment in history.

Carnegie’s David Rothkopf hosted a conversation with Friedman, about why they believe optimism is the only logical conclusion an intellectually rigorous assessment of history can produce.

The first 150 attendees received a complementary copy of Thank You for Being Late.

William J. Burns

William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as U.S. deputy secretary of state.

Thomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and, columnist, as well as the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes. He is the author of Thank You for Being Late.

David Rothkopf

David Rothkopf is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as well as CEO and editor of Foreign Policy magazine.