Skip to main content

At a Distance: 100 Visionaries at Home in a Pandemic

Comprising 100 illuminating, never-before-published conversations, At a Distance is a window into what world-changing visionaries across multiple disciplines were contemplating during a historic year that saw more than four million coronavirus-related deaths, mass calls for social-justice reform, and a turbulent U.S. presidential election.

In March 2020, less than a year after The Slowdown’s co-founders Spencer Bailey and Andrew Zuckerman launched the company—as Covid-19 emerged and lockdowns began—they felt the urge to record what leading minds across various fields were thinking and feeling in real time. At a Distance, a podcast of conversations focused on long-view, planetary-scale concerns, was born. Now organized as a book of 100 of these interviews (recorded between March 2020 and May 2021), At a Distance provides a curated selection of the wisdom shared by the podcast’s guests. Presented in short-form narratives that capture the best thinking in an easily digestible way, the book contextualizes the surrounding political, cultural, and social climate with revealing editorial commentary. At once informative, intelligent, and deeply personal, At a Distance explores the dramatic changes that could be possible going forward and provides a hopeful, rationally optimistic guide toward the future.

“The kind of whole-earth thinking we need now more than ever.… It’s destined to become my go-to resource for many years to come.” —Bjarke Ingels, architect

“A remarkably clear-eyed view of the role we all play as agents for change.” —Zoë Ryan, director, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

“A wonderfully pleasing and capacious panorama.” —Simon Critchley, the Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research

“A go-to for me when I want to lose myself in the brilliance of some of today’s most prescient thinkers.” —Sanford Biggers, artist