The number of books, conferences and researchers in the field of heroism is steadily growing but these materials are not always as easy to find as you might hope. With this in mind, this section of the site is dedicated to providing you with links to some of the best material currently available.
The Hero Roundtable was founded by Matt Langdon, a key figure in the everyday hero movement. Often referred to as the 'TED talks' of heroism, the conference is an international affair, attracting some of the best speakers from across the globe. The site also has a well-populated Youtube channel with highlights of some of the keynote speeches, in case you can't attend in person.
The Heroic Imagination Project was set up by Philip Zimbardo, to develop and implement research, education, corporate and public initiatives to inspire and encourage everyday heroism. The site has some excellent articles, video clips and downloadable resources. Professor Zimbardo, arguably, sparked the modern resurgence of interest in heroism and his work on the subject is powerful and engaging.
Pop Culture Hero Coalition works to educate and support children, teens and adults to overcome bullying and social injustice, and to transform their struggles into strengths, using stories and characters from pop culture TV, film, and comics.
Giraffe Heroes project encourages people to stick their necks out for the common good, and gives them tools to succeed.
The Hero Construction Company is Matt Langdon's non-profit organization which offers a curriculum and training for young people so that they can develop the traits of everyday heroism.
Moral Heroes provides an online gallery of real heroes, making a difference in the world right now, alongside heroes of history.
Heroism Science is a repository of academic research and articles on heroism and altruism as an emerging, multi-disciplinary field of study.
Parkour Generations is the world's leading provider of parkour movement training; if you are looking for ways to refine your physical conditioning and ability to perform useful action in the real world, these are the guys to talk to!
Books & Publications
What Makes a Hero by Elizabeth Svoboda is a compelling read that explores cutting edge research into the science of altruism and heroic service. Elizabeth weaves a series of anecdotes and stories alongside the research on selflessness and arrives at some fascinating conclusions.
The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo concerns itself primarily with the nature of evil. What causes people to commit atrocities and how can we counter the darkness in the world? The last chapter of the book in particular planted the seeds for Zimbardo's 'Heroic Imagination Project' and was to redirect his research from the worst of mankind, towards our redemptive potential. It is a thought-provoking read from the professor whose 'Stanford Prison Experiment' gave us all a glimpse into what we are all capable of, under the right circumstances.
The Freak Factor by David J. Rendall is a playful book that offers a clarion call for non-conformity. While not strictly speaking a book which directly concerns itself with heroism or altruism, David has been a repeat speaker at the Hero Roundtable Conference and the underlying message is key to awakening the heroic imagination. He argues that we must all defy the demands of the world for us to 'fit in' and must, instead, lean into our strengths and weaknesses in order to make our unique contribution to the world. Witty, insightful and loaded with paradigm-shifting ideas, this is a wonderful book.
Untangling Heroism by Ari Kohen is an academic text, written with an erudite focus upon the differing expressions of heroism during the Classical period. Ari explores the figures of Achilles, Odysseus and Socrates as historical characters who embody very different archetypal roles, before examining the impact of these ideas in the modern era. Certainly a thought-provoking book which has played a key role in my own thinking about heroism.
Natural Born Heroes by Chris McDougall is the kind of book you can't put down once you've turned the first page. It tells the tale of the civil defence of Crete during the attempted nazi invasion in World War Two. Along the way Chris explores a wide range of fascinating topics including the secrets of movement, nutrition and mindset in a way that drove this book right into the bestseller charts. Part historical drama, part practical guidebook, this should be required reading for anyone looking to develop their own heroic potential.