London Futurists news, 15th April 2016

Dear Futurists,

1.) The Internet of and for Things, Thurs 21st April – a DSMLF event


According a forecast from the World Economic  Forum (PDF), one trillion sensors will be connected to the web by 2025. The systems enabled and enhanced by these sensors are expected to trigger a new industrial revolution (sometimes called Industry 4.0) and to fundamentally change the way we live and work.

The Digital and Social Media Leadership Foundation (DSMLF) are hosting an event on the morning of Thursday 21st April, “The Internet of and for Things”, about the implications of these new sensors.

The meeting will start at 8.30am and run until 11.30am. Deloitte Digital will be contributing, along with other experts in the IoT (Internet of Things).

There will be plenty of opportunities at the meeting to raise questions and to explore the implications of IoT platforms and services for specific industry sectors. As usual at DSMLF events, prizes will be awarded for the best contributions.

Attendees at this meeting can:

  • Discover how IoT might impact how businesses and individuals communicate
  • Learn about the trends and challenges which are facing  emerging IoT platforms and services
  • Learn about the types of interfaces early adopters are using to interact with sensors in homes and as part of “quantified self” usage (tracking sleep patterns, body mass, and more)
  • Review security implications and opportunities of the IoT
  • Debate the timescales in which specific IoT services are likely to become widespread
  • Gain practical ideas and solutions on how to adapt, shape and harness the potential of this dramatic technological change.

The DSMLF are kindly making a small number of complimentary passes available to London Futurists members to attend this event.

To apply to receive one of these complementary passes, please email, mentioning London Futurists.

Note: The DSMLF is a membership organisation with the goal of enabling members to stay abreast of new social and digital technology. The DSMLF hosts regular monthly sessions in the offices of a variety of world leading member organisations based in London. These meetings are specially designed to be highly interactive and feature key contributions from independent experts and insights from your peers. For more details, see

2.) RAAD Fest, San Diego, 4-7 August: Early bird pricing extension

The Coalition for Radical Life Extension, the promoters of the RAAD Festival taking place in San Diego, California, 4-7 August, have extended their early bird discount pricing for the festival up until the end of April.

RAAD stands for “Revolution Against Aging and Death”. The festival is designed with the intent of becoming “The Woodstock of healthy longevity”, with attendees from countries worldwide. The tagline of RAAD is “The revolution against aging and death starts with you”.

For full details of this conference – which Hyesoon and myself will be attending, see

You’ll see that speakers include: Bill Andrews, Jose Cordeiro, Aubrey de Grey, Greg Fahy, Zoltan Istvan, Ray Kurzweil, Max More, Liz Parrish, James Strole, Natasha Vita-More, and many others.

If you decide to register, be sure to supply the code FUTURISTS to obtain an extra $80 discount.

RAAD Festival discount till end April

3.) The future of cryopreservation – Sat 16 April (tomorrow!)

Much closer in both time and space, London Futurists has a speaker tomorrow (Saturday 16th April) who is one of Europe’s foremost experts in aging – and in methods to fend off age-related diseases and improve human health. This is Dr João Pedro de Magalhães, Senior Lecturer in Functional and Comparative Genomics at the Institute of Integrative Biology of the University of Liverpool.

Dr de Magalhães will be speaking to us on the subject “The future of cryopreservation: research and applications”. For more details, and to RSVP to attend, see here.

We’ll be in room B18, on the Basement Level of Birkbeck’s main building.


4.) A selection of non London Futurists events

Here are some interesting futurist-related events happening in London over the next few weeks, where (at time of writing) there are still some tickets left. Follow the links for more information:

  • OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) London event with talks on “Drones and their Flaws” and “How (NOT) to Code Your Ransomware”, Thur 28 April
  • The inaugural event of London Exponential Technologies Meetup, featuring talks by Jack Watts, Nvidia (“GPU’s in the future of Technology”) and by me (“An Overview of Exponential Technologies”), Tues 10 May
  • Basic Income UK meetup “What future for basic income?” – featuring Nick Srnicek & Alex Williams, the authors of the thought-provoking book “Inventing the future”, Wed 11 May
  • “The Rise and Fall of American Growth” – a contrarian view of the prospects for technology to accelerate the economy, presented at the LSE by Professor Robert Gordon, Wed 11 May

  • “What’s next after Moore’s Law: Quantum Computing” – a lecture at UCL by John Martinis of Google & University California Santa Barbara, Fri 20 May

5.) Foresight in the Theatre, 28 April until May 7

KFAS Chelsea Image.jpg

Long-time futurist Tony Diggle is making his own contribution to the celebrations of the four hundredth anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare (23rd April, 2016) by producing his own new play about the bard, “A Kingdom for a Stage”, with a professional cast and crew at the Chelsea Theatre at the end of the month.

What has this to do with foresight you may wonder? But wait, what does Hamlet say?

“What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and god-like reason
To fust in us unus’d.”

Some might say that that capability is still not used nearly enough. Here’s how the play is described on the flyer:

“William Shakespeare sits in the heavens with his peers excited by the recreation of his Globe Theatre in London and by the anniversary of his death. With Puck’s assistance he returns to London believing that everything is very much better. But has anything really changed? And what does this mean for the future?”

Full details are given on the Chelsea Theatre website. The play will run from Thursday, 28th April until Saturday, May 7th.

6.) The renewal of the World Future Society

The World Future Society (WFS), which is probably the world’s oldest futurist society (founded 1966) is in the process of rebooting itself. This includes building a new online network, supported with a mobile application. If you’re interested in what futurists are doing worldwide, why not look at:

World Future 2016

7.) Following up from last Saturday’s event on Circular Economy

I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to an excellent discussion at last Saturday’s event “From Tipping Site to Tipping Point: Making the Circular Economy Happen”. There have also been some thoughtful comments on the meetup page after the event.

This event also featured an experimental new approach to filming our events. The videos haven’t been fully processed yet, but will be uploaded to when they are ready. I also plan to create a page on that site to continue key parts of the discussion from the meetup.


(This photo from the event, by Rupesh Mahandru, may have captured the moment when all four of us on stage were flummoxed by the “horesh*t” remarks from Terence Freedman about why a circular economy for horse manure wasn’t the best response to the horse manure crisis in Victorian London roadways…)

For the time being, I’ll just comment on an important challenge raised by Peter Desmond, one of the speakers: “How do futurists measure success?” That question probably deserves an event in its own right, where we can explore it fully. But the presentation I gave two years ago, at the Anticipating 2025 conference, provides some answers. That presentation was entitled “Predictions, good, bad, and ugly”. A video recording is available here.


// David W. Wood
Chair, London Futurists

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