London Futurists news, 7 Feb 2018

Dear Futurists,

1.) New choice of London Futurists pub?

It’s long been the practice after London Futurists events in Birkbeck College for attendees to meet in the nearby Marlborough Arms pub on Torrington Place. These post-event discussions allow deeper and wider exploration of all matters futurist. They’re also a great chance to get to know people better.

On occasions, however, that pub becomes crowded and noisy. A number of London Futurists have suggested that we should trial a different venue for our post-Birkbeck gatherings.

So, as an experiment, I’m going to point people after our next Birkbeck College event to the Royal National Hotel, 38-51 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0DG.


The Royal National is around five minutes walk roughly east from Birkbeck (whereas the Marlborough Arms is around five minutes walk roughly west).

We’ll be in the area which describes itself as a “Pizza Cafe”, though it sells beer and wine too (along with pizza, coffee, soft drinks, and other snacks). There are two floors of seating area, and I’m told it is usually relatively quiet on a late Saturday afternoon.

Anyone looking for a wider choice of alcoholic drink will be able to obtain them from another bar area in the same large hotel.

Ideally, the quieter location will enable conversations that are even more stimulating!

2.) The Future of Healthcare and Medicine – Sat 17 Feb

Our next Birkbeck event, as it happens, will be on Saturday 17th Feb, with Dr Stephen Minger bringing us up-to-date on the subject of the future of regenerative medicine.

180227 Stephen Minger preview

We’ll be in one of the largest rooms in Birkbeck, but in view of the popularity of this speaker, there’s still a chance we’ll run out of seats. So if you are thinking of attending, I suggest you RSVP sooner rather than later. More details here.

3.) Hangout On Air: Reversing Aging – Sun 11 Feb

The second of the new series of London Futurists Hangout on Air video events will be taking place this Sunday, 11th Feb, for 90 minutes starting at 6pm UK time.

To find that time in a different timezone – since you’ll be able to watch the event live, wherever you are in the world, so long as you have an Internet connection – use this link.

To watch the event – and to raise questions live, via the Live Chat text window – point your browser at this YouTube URL:

The event is entitled Reversing Aging – 2018 update:

Reversing Aging 2018 update v2

During the discussion, the panellists – healthspan extension researchers and activists from around the world – will be addressing the question of what progress is being made in the field of reversing aging. They’ll be answering questions such as:

  • What do you know now, that wasn’t known, or which was less clear, back in January 2017?
  • What progress has encouraged you? And what disappointments have there been
  • Overall, what have we learned? And what should the field do differently in the future?

Answers are expected to cover developments in the understanding of:

  • The underlying science of aging
  • The most effective medical interventions to slow or reverse aging
  • The most effective forms of advocacy, to change public opinion regarding this field
  • The social and economic consequences of significantly extended healthspans.

For more details of the panellists, see here.

4.) Digital Leadership Forum Breakfast – AI applications

The Digital Leadership Forum have kindly reserved a number of complimentary places for members of London Futurists at their breakfast session on Thursday 15th February on practical applications of leading edge AI in business settings.

These places are for senior professionals, so please bear that in mind if/when you apply to attend (see below).

DLF events


Attendees will join a group of leading edge AI and machine learning experts, to learn about how AI can help improve customer experiences and combat fraud.

Speakers from leading AI companies, SeldonChattermill and Ravelin will be among those taking part, sharing updates on their AI applications and explaining how their new technologies are being applied in businesses:

  • Discover how Chattermill uses machine learning to learn what customers are talking about and how they feel about their experiences.
  • Learn how Ravelin’s machine learning models combat fraud and adapt to meet existing and new threats to business.
  • Find out how Seldon is helping enterprises predict and shape the future with its machine learning open source applications.

The event will be hosted at the offices of CMS London, on Thursday 15th February 8.30am – 10.30am. This is an excellent opportunity to help build your knowledge and understanding of AI technologies and how they can be applied to your business.

To apply to attend, please send an email to stating your role and the organisation you represent, and explaining your interest in AI.

5.) AI Expo Global: London / Amsterdam / Santa Clara

I would like to make everyone aware of the AI Expo Global happening at London Olympia on April 18th and 19th. I’m told that over 12,000 attendees are expected. There will be keynotes and case studies from AI thought leaders, 19 conference tracks, and over 300 exhibitors. The conference aims to provide thought leadership uncovering how AI can deliver a smarter future.


The AI Expo has a total of 4 conference tracks, a further 16 IoT and Blockchain tracks and 2 co-located events covering Blockchain and IoT. Sessions vary between being free to attend and requiring a paid ticket.

Members of London Futurists can use the discount code FUTURISTS15 for a 20% reduction on ticket prices if you wish to attend more of the conference tracks. This will also provide access to extra networking opportunities and the exclusive ‘The Blocks’ award ceremony.

The AI Expo website contains the full agenda, details of the speakers, and a registration page.

Can’t make the London event? Check out the events happening in Amsterdam and Santa Clara:

Secure 20% discount on all shows using the code given above.

6.) Newspeak House: AI and politics

Interested in the application of AI to politics?

This event is taking place at Newspeak House on Friday evening (9th Feb):

AI and Politics 6.png

AI & Politics – Episode VI – Hosted by Newspeak House Fellows:

  • Ekin Can Genç, Director at Politik Consulting, former Research Associate at Global Politics of AI Research Group
  • Andreas Kirsch, former Research Engineer at DeepMind, former Software Engineer at Google Zurich

There will be a number of lightning talks:

  • Federated Learning: the data privacy holy grail
  • Deepfakes: porn today, propaganda tomorrow
  • UK Gov announces Office of AI: what should we expect?


  • Doors open: 7:00pm
  • Lightning talks: 7:30pm
  • Drinks & moderated discussions: 8:00-10:00pm

Places are limited and pre-registration is essential. More details here.

7.) Transcending Politics – last few days before publication

Politics is broken

My book “Transcending Politics” is scheduled to be e-published this Saturday (10th February) – unless any showstopper issues with the content are found between now and then. A physical version will follow shortly afterwards.

Many thanks to everyone who has already provided endorsements for the book, based on reading pre-publication versions of the content.

If anyone else would like to be included in the list of names inside the book, don’t delay!

8.) Politics without politicians? Sun 11 Mar

Brett Hennig event.png

As part of the ongoing partnerships London Futurists holds with both GlobalNet21 and Conway Hall, the three organisations are jointly supporting an event in Conway Hall on the morning of Sunday 11th March. The speaker is Brett Hennig, author of the recent book with the provocative title “The End of Politicians”:

Democracy, like all powerful terms, is a slippery word to get a grip on. What is the essence of democracy? What are the ideals?

Writer and speaker Brett Hennig will take us on a voyage revealing democracy’s intriguing and complicated history to explore these questions and discover how we got to where we are. This trip will lead us all the way back to ancient Athens, where they used rotation and random selection (also called sortition) to allocate almost all of their political positions.

Brett will then take a massive jump back to the future to see how the rediscovery of sortition in modern democratic experiments shows us a way to potentially fix the broken system we have inherited and to institute a real democracy. This would spell the end of politicians. Would you vote for that?

You’ll find more details on this London Futurists meetup page. You’ll also find links there to the Conway Hall event page where you’ll be able to register.

9.) The Daily Alternative

Looking for some imaginatively different suggestions about alternative politics?

The Alternative UK

I recommend “The Daily Alternative”, produced by The Alternative UK. It bills itself as “Every day, a new way to make change happen”.

You’ll find plenty there to engage your creativity!

I particularly like this declaration from their website:

We are a political platform, not a political party.

Our purpose is to catalyse a new politics that goes far beyond our current reality. We focus on engagement more than elections, on values over ideology, on futures that include, not exclude. We care about solutions, challenges – and great questions.

Beneath the democratic deficit lies an imagination deficit.

10.) Virtual Futures: Human Exploration of Space

If you like your futurism with edge and drama, you should keep track of Virtual Futures.

Virtual Futures Space

An event they’re holding on Tuesday 27th February has caught my eye:

Virtual Futures presents a panel discussion on the human exploration of space.

Living beyond the earth’s atmosphere continues to pose a significant scientific challenge. Solutions for surviving in space include the complete cyborgisation of the human body, the construction of large artificial orbital habitats, and even the radical terraforming of other planets. Despite the extreme industrial and economic undertaking associated with these methodologies, scientists have stressed the importance of space colonisation as the most viable solution to ensure the long-term survival of human civilisation.

If we are to flourish in extra-terrestrial environments, how might such colonies be constructed? And, how can we convince the public that space exploration is a sufficiently valuable social goal?

Join us for a discussion with the visionaries who advocate for the projects that could enable human life to flourish amongst the stars.

For tickets, click here.

(Unfortunately I’ll have to miss that event – I’ll be speaking at a Funzing event that same evening… see next item)

11.) Funzing talks – London, Manchester, and Bristol

The talks I’ve been doing at events organised by Funzing have been getting very positive reviews from audience members. As a result, Funzing keep organising more of them.

If you’re interesting in exploring in more detail the possible abolition of aging, or the risks and opportunities of artificial superintelligence, see the links below.

DW Funzing talks header


// David W. Wood
Chair, London Futurists

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