Roman Krznaric is a cultural thinker and writer on the art of living and social change. His books, which include Empathy, The Wonderbox and How to Find Fulfilling Work, have been published in over 20 languages. He is founder of the world’s first Empathy Museum and of the digital Empathy Library. He advises organisations including Friends of the Earth on using empathy and conversation to create social change, and runs empathy awareness training for Britain’s top judges. He is also a founding faculty member of The School of Life and on the faculty of Year Here. Roman has been named by The Observer as one of Britain’s leading popular philosophers.
After growing up in Sydney and Hong Kong, he studied at the universities of Oxford, London and Essex, where he gained his PhD. He has taught sociology and politics at Cambridge University and City University, London, and has done human rights work in Central America with refugees and indigenous people. For several years he was Project Director at The Oxford Muse, the avant-garde foundation to stimulate courage and invention in personal, professional and cultural life.
He regularly speaks at public events on topics such as empathy, the history of love, the future of work, and the art of living. Recent appearances include the Edinburgh International Festival, the Latitude Arts Festival and the London Design Festival. He was described as one of the ‘breakthrough stars’ at the 2014 Hay Literary Festival. His media work ranges from articles in the Guardian and Wall Street Journal to interviews on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Channel 4 and PBS television in the United States.
His book Empathy has been widely influential amongst political and ecological campaigners, education reformers, social entrepreneurs, and designers. His other recent books are The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live (published in the US as How Should We Live?), which explores what we can learn from the past about better living, and How to Find Fulfilling Work, part of The School of Life’s practical philosophy series. He is the author of a book on what sport can teach us about life, The First Beautiful Game: Stories of Obsession in Real Tennis and, with the historian Theodore Zeldin, edited Guide to an Unknown University. His blog Outrospection has been featured in the media around the world. Over half a million people have watched his RSA Animate video The Power of Outrospection.
Roman is a fanatical real tennis player, has worked as a gardener, and has a passion for furniture making.
The following interviews offer a little more detail on Roman’s ideas and background
The European – interview with Martin Eiermann about the idea of homo empathicus
Philosophy for Life – interview with philosopher Jules Evans about the practical philosophy movement
The Australian – interview with Miriam Cosic on his wayward career path
The Browser/Five Books – interview with Alec Ash about five books that have influenced his ideas