London Futurists news, 2 Apr 2018

Dear Futurists,

1.) UBIA 2018: Request for speakers

I was recently overwhelmed by the positive response to a request I had made for speakers for a forthcoming event – our TechXLR8 Futurist Summit on 14th June (see next news item). For that event, I received four times as many volunteers as could be fitted onto the schedule. I’m sorry that I’m having to say “Thanks, but no thanks” to so many fine proposals.

With some trepidation, therefore, I’m undertaking a similar experiment for another forthcoming London Futurists event. This will be taking place in Birkbeck College on Saturday 2nd June, with the title “Universal Basic Income and/or Alternatives: 2018 update”. You can read the provisional details here. Registration will be opening shortly.

UBIA cover

The schedule for UBIA 2018 envisages a total of eight presenters. Four are already lined up, and will be announced soon. That leaves four slots still to be filled. I’m open to your suggestions.

Here are the questions that define the scope of UBIA 2018:

  • What do we know, in June 2018, about Universal Basic Income and its alternatives (UBIA), that wasn’t known, or was less clear, just a few years ago?
  • What are the main risks and issues with the concept of UBIA?
  • How might the ideas of UBIA evolve in the years ahead?
  • If not a UBI, what alternatives might be considered, to meet the underlying requirements which have led many people to propose a UBI?
  • What can we learn from the previous and ongoing experiments in Basic Income?
  • What are the feasible systems (new or increased taxes, or other means) to pay for a UBIA?
  • What steps can be taken to make UBIA politically feasible?
  • What is a credible roadmap for going beyond a “basic” income towards enabling attainment of a “universal prosperity” by everyone?

If you have an interesting angle on one or more of these questions – and can cover your ideas within a 20 minute presentation (to be followed by 10 minutes of Q&A) then please get in touch.

2.) TechXLR8 Futurist Summit: Advice from 2023

TechXLR8 FS cover 2

As mentioned above, I received a wave of compelling proposals to speak at the “Advice from 2023” Futurist Summit taking place on the main stage of TechXLR in the London ExCeL centre on the afternoon of Thursday 14th June. I could only say ‘Yes’ to around one quarter of the suggested speakers.

Taking my cue in part from requests from the overall organisers of TechXLR8 for which subject matter should be covered, I’ve settled on the following agenda for the event:

12.45: Chair’s welcome – David Wood
12.50: From AI to Brexit: Coping with multiple shocks and disruptions – Rohit Talwar, Founder and CEO of FastFuture Research
13.15: Security: through Renewal or through Protection? – David Bent, independent sustainability advisor
13.35: Values and the tech industry – Katy Cook, Founder of the Centre for Technology Awareness
13.55: Advertising in 2023 – Tom Ollerton, Innovation Director, We Are Social
14.15: Career advice from 2023 – Laura Thomson, Training Director, Phenomenal Training
14.35: New fuels and new tools – Jim O’Reilly, Strategist, Vital Growth
14.55: Seize the bitcoin moment – Dil Green, Digital Anthropology Blogger
15.15: Schrodinger’s future: 2023 and beyond – Paul Imre, independent futurist
15.35: Rediscovering our humanity – Matt O’Neill, independent futurist
15.55: Concluding remarks – David Wood, Chair of London Futurists

See this event page for more details about the speakers, their presentations, and how to register to attend.

I hope to be able to include presentations from other volunteers to speak, in other events to be organised in the months ahead. Watch this space…

3.) The future of collective intelligence – Sat 14th Apr

Can technology enable better collective intelligence?

Collective Intelligence banner 2

On Saturday 14th April, Joe Kay, the founder and CEO of Enswarm, will be addressing the following questions:

  • How is group behaviour driven by the different tools and processes available today?
  • How can we use technology in our meetings to bring out the better aspects of our human nature, rather than reinforcing groupthink or “HiPPO” (highest paid person’s opinion)?
  • How can teams think together more effectively to reach the best insights about the issues and opportunities facing them, and then collectively decide on the best action plan?
  • What are the implications of recent findings about human evolution for the ways in which we can achieve positive collaboration rather than negative reinforcement?
  • How can human-focused collective intelligence help us develop unbiased artificial general intelligence?
  • How can human-focused collective intelligence be used to transform politics?

For more details of this London Futurists event, and to RSVP to attend, click here.

4.) Humanity+ prize contest

Do you have ideas about the big picture for blockchain technology?

And do foresee how blockchain and transhumanism might benefit each other?

If so, you will be interested in an essay prize contest that has just been announced by Humanity+.

Essay contest

The contest invites essays on the subject “Mutual Benefits of Blockchain and Transhumanism”. Entries need to be submitted by 23 June 2018. Three essays will be awarded a prize of $1,000 each, and one will win the top prize of $5,000.

For more details of this contest, see the Humanity+ website.

5.) Startup Weekend Health London, 13-15 April

Startup Weekend Health London

There’s an event taking place 13-15 April that may interest many London Futurists – especially if you have ideas on how to improve the healthcare system in the UK.

You can read more about it here. This is a brief extract:

Startup Weekend Health London is the first Startup Weekend dedicated exclusively to Health in the UK.  We are all patients and friends and family of patients and we all have ideas on how to improve the healthcare system in the UK. We want you to bring your ideas for helping patients, caregivers and the NHS provide better, more efficient care. Even if you don’t have an idea, come work with others who do to build what could be the next great solution for the NHS.

  • Do you seek knowledge and other like-minded people interested in the Healthcare system?
  • Are a medical professional with a new idea who wants to develop it and help its patients?
  • Are you a business professional interested in the new Medtech revolution?
  • Are a developer or a UX specialist who wants to make a difference?
  • Do you want to get hands on and learn by doing about business design, marketing research and developing a prototype?
  • Do you want to get mentoring from insiders, clinical specialists, technological geniuses and business gurus?
  • Do you want to start building your future and help change the world in just 54 hours?

Do you have an idea you’d like to pursue or a problem you’d like to solve but don’t know where to start or who to start with?

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Members of London Futurists can specify the discount code ‘stethoscope‘ for 20% off the full price.

6.) La muerte de la muerte – presentations in Spain

This item is for any London Futurists who happen to be in Spain – more precisely, in Bilbao on April 16, Madrid on April 17, Malaga on April 18, or Barcelona on April 19.

Sociedad Bilbaina

Along with my co-author José Luis Cordeiro, I’ll be taking part in a book launch tour, visiting the above cities. The book in question is La Muerte de la Muerte. You can find more details about the events – and about the book – from this website.

This new book develops and extends some of the themes I previously explored in my earlier book The Abolition of Aging. José has added a range of extra considerations and arguments, along with his characteristic energy and revolutionary spirit. All being well, an English-language version of this book will become available later this year, or early 2019.

7.) Presentations on Transcending Politics

In parallel with the publication in Spanish of La Muerte de la Muerte, the publication has taken place in English of my book on the application of technology to the radical transformation of politics, namely Transcending Politics.

I had the pleasure to speak about themes from Transcending Politics at an event in Newspeak House, London, last Monday. My thanks to everyone who attended, and for the excellent questions and comments raised by audience members.

Newspeak House banner

I’ll be happy to repeat and extend elements from that talk with different audiences. If you organise meetings of your own, or if you’re in a position to recommend speakers for events or conferences, please get in touch with me to discuss which themes from Transcending Politics might be of most interest to your audience.


// David W. Wood
Chair, London Futurists

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