Online 23 Jul 2020 Price: Free

A fortnightly online talk series on cultivating care for the world beyond our lifetimes.

2020 is a poignant reminder that we need longer-term thinking now to tackle the existential risks we face and create a better world for future generations. The Long Time Sessions is a fortnightly online talk series on cultivating care for the world beyond our lifetimes. It will bring together leading thinkers and doers from art, culture, philosophy, science, technology, law, finance and politics, to take a longer view. Speakers will explore how engaging with the long-term can change the way we act in the short term. Click here to view all sessions.

In this, the second session, geologist Marcia Bjornerud, author of Timefulness: How Thinking like a Geologist Can Help Save the World, will discuss how an awareness of Earth’s temporal rhythms might be critical for planetary survival. Bjornerud’s work explores how knowing the rhythms of Earth’s deep past – and conceiving of time in the way a geologist does – can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future. For this session, Bjornerud will be in conversation with The Long Time Project co-founder, Ella Saltmarshe.

The Long Time Sessions are organised by The Long Time Project, in collaboration with the RSA and the General Ecology Network at the Serpentine Galleries.



Marcia Bjornerud is Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies at Lawrence University. Bjornerud is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Oslo, Norway and University of Otago, New Zealand. She is the author of Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth and Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World, as well as a contributing writer to The New Yorker, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired. Bjornerud’s research focuses on the physics of earthquakes and mountain building.

Ella Saltmarshe is a co-founder of The Long Time Project. Her work sits at the intersection of culture, narrative and systems change. She’s founded organisations and initiatives like The Point People, The Comms Lab, ItsOurTime, SHEvotes and Time to Vote. Her writing for stage and screen is represented by The Agency. Saltmarshe is fascinated by the intersection between fiction and futures (see this recent film she wrote for the Guardian). Ella’s writing on culture and social change has been published in The Guardian, BBC, The Financial Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Wired, Monocle & Creative Review.


Discover over 50 years of the Serpentine

From the architectural Pavilion and digital commissions to the ideas Marathons and research-led initiatives, explore our past projects and exhibitions.

View archive