Nov 29, 2023
By Jeremy Logan
The Balsillie Prize for Public Policy has been awarded to anthropologist David R. Samson, for his book about how tribalism can be harnessed for good and ill.
The Writers’ Trust of Canada awarded the $60,000 prize to “Our Tribal Future: How to Channel Our Foundational Human Instincts into a Force for Good.”
The Balsillie Prize is awarded to a book of non-fiction that advances policy debates.
Samson’s book suggests that the desire to form “tribes” is behind some of the division in today’s society, but that it shouldn’t be eliminated outright and can instead by used to improve things.
Jurors have lauded the book as essential reading with “deep and enduring implications.”
The runners-up, which each receive $5,000, are “Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence” by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb; “Booze, Cigarettes, and Constitutional Dust-Ups: Canada’s Quest for Interprovincial Free Trade” by Ryan Manucha; “Truth Telling: Seven Conversations about Indigenous Life in Canada” by Michelle Good and “The Compassionate Imagination: How the Arts Are Central to a Functioning Democracy” by Max Wyman.