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O'Shaughnessy Ventures, a new investment firm that empowers creators, has awarded an O'Shaughnessy Fellowship of $100,000 to the Australian human progress dynamo Tony Morley.
We have written previously about OSV.
And it's founder Jim O'Shaughnessy.
Tony Morley is a progress studies writer specializing in the historical trends in global living standards and the forces that drive human progress.
His written work has appeared in TIME, Big Think, Freethink, The Progress Network, and HumanProgress.org, among others.
Interview with Tony Morley
First, congratulations! Well deserved! What will you do with the money?
Well, thank you, I’m obviously very grateful and honored for the opportunity. The O’Shaughnessy Fellowship is extremely unique with respect to the opportunity to make your own adventure with the funding provided.
One of the greatest challenges faced by an average person looking to take a giant leap into the unknown and try something transformative in their life and career; is the sunk-cost fallacy.
Unless you’re independently wealthy, most people find themselves in an established career track, with all those things that stop people from packing up and trying something new, family, job security, a house, and bills — good things to be thankful for, absolutely, but also roadblocks to transformative innovation.
The OSV Fellowship buys time; it buys opportunity bandwidth to park my previous vocation of 15 years and take a risk on, at least a year of work in the progress studies field.
The funding will allow me to focus 100 percent of my time and energy on writing, researching, communicating, and conducting original field research into human progress, without needing to also maintain a competing vocation.
In the best-case scenario, and that’s obviously what I’m shooting for, it will allow me to build a launchpad to work in the progress field or to build a future opportunity that will allow me to extend my one-year of work in the field into two, or perhaps maybe more.
What is the latest on your children's book?
Right out of the gate, the first two months, will be spent completing my work on “Human Progress for Beginners”, a work that has languished for two years now, much to the dismay of the signed publisher, Pantera Press, and those individuals who were early contributors to the project.
The book will be the first children's book to advance the story of human progress and the truly astonishing improvements in global living standards that have taken place in the last 200 years.
The book seeks to tell the optimistic story of how much better our lives are today than they were before industrialization - the "Enlightenment Now" for children, if you will.
The current plan is to hand the completed work over to the publisher at the beginning of July 2023, for publication at some point in early 2024.
You have mentioned my fellow Swede, Johan Norberg, as one of the people who has been very supportive of you?
Johan has been both an inspiration and a mentor since I first laid hands on his brilliant work “Progress” back at the beginning of 2018.
Over the years, he’s been generous with his time and boundless in his encouragement of my work, seeing the mutual success of fellow progress proponents as a positive sum contribution to the overall mission of progress studies.
The progress studies movement can feel, at times, rather zero-sum, as progress proponents and communicators clamber and jostle with one another for a seemingly limited pool of funding and limelight.
Johan’s input to my work has been an outstanding example of how to reject the temptation to chase a zero-sum world and instead pour time and encouragement into fellow up-and-coming writers, resulting in a win-win for both the friendship and the mission.
I remain enormously grateful to have the friendship and encouragement of such a brilliant progress thinker and accomplished communicator.
On that note, it would be a wasted opportunity if I failed to take a moment to plug Johan’s latest book, which was just released, “The Capitalist Manifesto, Why the Global Free Market Will Save the World.”
If you’re looking for an excellent book this year, I couldn’t recommend this work more. If a book is TLDR, check out Johan’s “10 Reasons to Look Forward to the Future"
Johan Norberg has also written this interesting piece about China, for Warp News.
We wish Tony Morley the best of luck! And I look forward to reading the book to my son, Teddy.
The Angry Optimist
Warp News donated $500 to Tony's crowdfunding campaign for the book.