Hope is not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out…. It is also this hope, above all, that gives us the strength to live and continually to try new things, even in conditions that seem as hopeless as ours do, here and now.
Vaclav Havel, CEU Founder and former President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic
Faced with today’s challenges (climate change, political extremism, and threats to liberal democracy around the world, amongst others), what reasons can we find for why things are as they are, and—inspired by Havel—how do we remain committed to our ideals when the future looks dark? What rational grounds, based on evidence, knowledge and science, can help us to sustain our hope?
Join some of the world’s most distinguished intellectuals—philosophers, historians, economists, activists and social scientists—as they debate these questions in the 2019 CEU Presidential Lecture Series, Reasons for Hope.
Central European University, founded by Havel and other leaders of the democratic transition, is committed to ensuring universal values and principals such as truth, democracy, and human rights continue to be supported and maintained—especially at a time of tremendous global uncertainty and upheaval.