Agenda for the Future, and more

Dear Futurists,

1.) Agenda for the Future: registration re-opened

AftF v4

Registration has re-opened for our forthcoming multi-speaker event, Agenda for the Future. The new date for this event has been confirmed as Saturday 2nd September, after the original date of 3rd June proved too close to the snap UK General Election.

The event will include sessions from 10am up to 5pm, with a break for lunch (not provided) and other breaks for networking (light refreshments will be provided).

You can read more about the speakers and their topics here:

Unless we urgently change our culture, we risk collectively rushing towards a future which will turn out to be hostile to humanity. Can we identify and agree a better Agenda for the Future?

Speakers at this event will give their opinions on topics such as the transformation of politics, the challenge of artificial intelligence, the reform of capitalism, the increased importance of business ethics, a new approach to money, the risks to the environment, a simpler form of taxation, the benefits and risks of immigration, manipulation of the mass media, and changes in healthcare.

The speakers have in common the view that better solutions are at hand, provided we act with sufficient foresight. The aim of the event is to stimulate informed debate on the demands of the future…

Everyone who was registered for the original date has been re-registered automatically for the new date. In case this is no longer suitable for you, just change your RSVP to No, and your ticket fee will be refunded.

In view of the rescheduling, discounted early bird tickets for the event (priced at just £12) are now available until 1st June. The price rises to £18 after that. You can RSVP here.

2.) 5G World Futurist Summit, Thurs 15 June

Whilst Agenda for the Future is a multi-speaker event looking at general issues of the impact of technological change on society, a different multi-speaker event on Thursday 15th June, 5G World Futurist Summit, will be looking more closely at the consequences of changing technology in a number of industry sectors:

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Financial Services.

5G World Futurist Summit is organised by London Futurists as part of the 5G World stream of TechXLR8, a three day event happening at London’s ExCeL centre.

5G World Futurist summit

For more details of the event, and to RSVP, click here and follow the links to the 5G World website.

Registration options on that website include:

  • Free entry to many parts of TechXLR8, including the Futurist Summit, the exhibition area, the networking bar, and the Live Demo Zone
  • Paid entry to additional sections of TechXLR8.

Note: members of London Futurists can use the VIP discount code 5GFMG to obtain a 15% reduction on the registration costs for the paid sections of TechXLR8. Enter this code in the page “Items in your basket” before pressing the “Check out” button.

Speaking opportunities, 5G World Futurist summit

The futurists and industry experts who are already announced as speaking at the 5G World Futurist summit are as follows:

There remain two speaking slots in this schedule – one in the field of healthcare, and one in the field of educationIf you’re interested in either opportunity, please get in touch.

3.) Video of our most recent event

The video of last Saturday’s event, “Who can save Humanity from Superintelligence?”, is now available:

As you can see, it was a wide-ranging and stimulating discussion.

Thanks to Olga Yakimenko for operating the camera.

Many thanks also to the speaker, Tony Czarnecki of Sustensis, for making his slides available here, along with other material on the topics covered in his presentation.

4.) Radicals: A disturbing guide to the future? – Sat 20th May

Society is broken. That’s a belief shared by a wide mixture of ‘Radicals’ – a variety of individuals, groups and movements who reject the way we live now, and who are attempting to find alternatives.

In his forthcoming new book Radicals: Outsiders changing the world, Jamie Bartlett explores the various strange and exciting worlds inhabited by these innovators, disruptors, idealists and extremists. Here’s an extract from the description of the book:

From dawn raids into open mines to the darkest recesses of the internet, Radicals introduces us to some of the most secretive and influential movements today: the US Transhumanist Party, far-right groups seeking to close the borders, militant environmentalists striving to save the planet’s natural reserves by any means possible, libertarian movements founding new countries, autonomous cooperatives in self-sustaining micro-societies, and psychedelic pioneers attempting to heal society with the help of powerful hallucinogens. These radicals can be seen as symptoms of a deep unrest with modernity and capitalist democracy. Do they also provide a guide to the future?

Jamie will be sharing highlights of his new book at the London Futurists meetup on Saturday 20th May. He will discuss the prospects for these new political movements, and assess the plausibility of their models for our future. Click here for more details and to RSVP.

Radicals event preview

5.) ZDay London – Sat 13th May


I’ve had the pleasure to speak at three previous ZDay (Zeitgeist Day) London events. (Videos of these talks can be viewed on this page, about half way down.)

ZDay is returning to London on 13th May. As explained on the Facebook page for the event,

“Zeitgeist Day”, or Zday for short is an annual global educational symposium that works to amplify a context upon which existing/emerging scientific findings may find a concerted social imperative aiming to create a more truly responsible, sustainable, peaceful, global society. This year’s theme in London is based heavily on activism, what a person can set in motion, whether individually, collectively, directly and indirectly. There will a variety of inspiring talks throughout the day.

I’m looking forward to speaking at ZDay again this year. My talk this time will be on the theme of “Fixing politics”:

Why has political discussion become so divisive and unpleasant? And what can be done to ensure that the best opinions of the electorate are heard and recognised, instead of being drowned out by the loudest voices and the most powerful vested interests? This talk outlines a technoprogressive transhumanist vision of a sustainable future, along with a roadmap of actions needed to progress towards that vision.

I’m also looking forward to hearing what the other speakers have to say that day, and to taking part in the group discussions that have been a hallmark of previous ZDay gatherings.

For tickets, click here.

6.) Other events on the future of politics

If anyone has in their diary for this evening a joint event between GlobalNet21 and London Futurists at the House of Commons, “Democracy In The Digital Age”, then you must have missed the update messages (emailed to all registered attendees) that explained the postponement of this event due to, you guessed it, the UK General Election:

Because of the General Election on 8th June, the House of Parliament is being closed to external meetings from 5pm on 2nd May, the day this event was scheduled to take place. We’ll need to find a new date for it. That will be arranged once the General Election has been completed. The description will be updated at that time, and everyone will be asked to update their RSVP as appropriate. (We also hope to be able to move into a larger room, but that remains to be ascertained.)

Note that the date of 29 August currently showing in the meetup page is just a placeholder. We’ll update the page with new details once they’ve become available.

In the meantime, perhaps I can interest you instead in a webinar “Better Politics Via Progressive Technology & Digital Transformation?” taking place on Tuesday 23rd May?

This webinar is another joint project between GlobalNet21 and London Futurists:

Many fields of life have been positively transformed by application of technological innovations. What prevents politics from benefiting in a similar way from “politech” (technology for a better politics)? Can technology help us move from present-day “Politics 1.0” to a “Politics 2.0” that is more collaborative and more constructive? Or might accelerating technology precipitate instead a decline towards a poorer, more divisive form of politics?

Politics 1.0 evolution

One more event on the future of politics has caught my eye – a Conway Hall event this Sunday (7th May), “Beating the hell out of bad news”:

In this talk, we will dive into the psychology of influence and explore ways in which fake news is currently shaping public attitudes and decision-making about fundamental societal issues. One increasingly popular view is that false information can propagate throughout a population much like a virus.

Sander van der Linden, who has recently attracted great media interest in his approach to responding to this hugely concerning phenomenon, will discuss how false memes can spread from one mind to another and explore the latest research on whether it is possible, amazingly, to develop a psychological “vaccine” against fake news.

Dr. Sander van der Linden is a University Lecturer in Social Psychology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab. He has won numerous awards for his research from organisations such as the American Psychological Association (APA), the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). He received the Frank Research Prize in 2017 for outstanding research in the public interest. Prior to Cambridge, he held positions at Princeton and Yale University. He received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

For more details, see the Conway Hall Ethical Society meetup page.

7.) Events about the Abolition of Aging

I’m doing a talk on Tuesday 9th May at the Devonshire Club near to Liverpool Street station. The Devonshire Club organise “Tech Mingle” events from time to time. Next Tuesday, the subject is “The Abolition of Aging”. From the event description:

This month’s Tech Mingle is a discussion on ‘The Abolition of Aging’, the forthcoming radical extension of healthy human longevity with host David Wood, Chair of London Futurists. With a broad background in technology and the philosophy and history of science, David believes there is around a 50% chance that practical rejuvenation therapies resulting in the comprehensive reversal of aging will be widely available as early as 2040.

Can we really become biologically younger, in both body and mind, as rejuvenation therapies take hold? This discussion is not to be missed!

For more details, and to apply to attend, click here.

This Thursday evening, I’ll be returning to a venue where I got some practice in public speaking back in my student days in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Cambridge Union.

Term Card Capture

Along with Aubrey de Grey and Natasha Vita-More, I’ll be opposing the motion under debate, namely “This House Fears the Coming of the Immortal Generation”. I’ll be stating the case that, rather than being afraid of this development, we should welcome and seek to accelerate the widespread availability of affordable, reliable, rejuvenation therapies, that will enable positive regeneration of body, brain, mind, spirit, and society.

The debate is due to be filmed, by Vice Documentaries. Which is another reason I’ll need to be in good form that evening 😮


// David W. Wood
Chair, London Futurists


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