May 29, 2020 Print

The Prometheus Institut, an Atlas Network partner in Germany, recently translated Johan Norberg’s Progress; Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future into their native language. Fortschritt: Ein Motivationsbuch für Weltverbesserer counters the narrative that “things are constantly getting worse,” and highlights the positive steps humanity has taken over the last several decades. Norberg offers examples that range from improvements in food production to a decrease in overall poverty to a longer life expectancy; he also points to the future as a sign of hope and continual improvement. 

The Prometheus Institut believes this translation will especially resonate in the midst of the current crisis, which has driven a bleak outlook for the immediate future. “Since the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety about the future is more than ever dominating the public debate,” explained Prometheus Institut’s Florian Andreas Hartjen. “With the strong anecdotes and stories in Fortschritt (German for “Progress”) we are positioned to influence thousands of opinion makers and help them shape their ideas.”

Norberg was featured in Prometheus’ podcast, where he discussed his ideas and experiences, reassuring the listeners that progress does not halt after an international crisis like COVID-19. 

Prometheus expects to sell over 2,500 copies of the translation in the coming weeks and hopes it will shift public and legislative opinions, especially for younger Germans. “In the long run,” continued Hartjen, “we are equipping the next generation of decision-makers for a social change towards individual freedom.”

Atlas Network supported the translation of Progress with a translation grant.