De Botton’s project from 2008 is The School of Life – a new cultural enterprise based in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Melbourne and aiming to offer instruction on how to lead a fulfilled life. In an interview with Metkere.com de Botton said:
The idea is to challenge traditional universities and reorganise knowledge, directing it towards life, and away from knowledge for its own sake. In a modest way, it’s an institution that is trying to give people what universities should I think always give them: a sense of direction and wisdom for their lives with the help of culture
De Botton has described his relationship with his father as difficult, stating:
“When I sold my first bestseller (and a million dollars was peanuts for my father) he was not impressed and wondered what I was going to do with myself.”
When his father died, his family was left a large trust fund, although de Botton says his income is derived solely from his own activities (book sales, speaking engagements, business consulting, The School of Life).