TransVision 2019

Since 1998, the TransVision conference series has been advocating the ethical use of technology to expand human capabilities and transcend limitations.

19 years since TransVision was last held in London, Humanity+ and London Futurists are bringing TransVision 2019 to London, with the headline title Humanity+ @ London.

TransVision 2019 banner

The event will take place on Sat 6th and Sun 7th July, in Birkbeck College in central London.

To register to attend this event, click here and RSVP Yes.

The core purpose of this event is to review the relevance of transhumanism to key issues of the present and near-term future:

  • The future of Artificial Intelligence
  • The future of health
  • The future of education
  • The future of politics
  • The future of human values

Schedule

Saturday 6th July

09:30-09:55: Arrival and registration

09:55-10:00: Chair’s opening remarks

10.00-12.00: Transhumanism and the future of AI

12:00-13:00: Break for lunch (lunch not provided)

13:30-14:00: Networking over drinks

13.30-15.00: Open questions about transhumanism

  • Max More, CEO of Alcor Life Extension Foundation
  • Steve Fuller, Professor in Social Epistemology, Warwick Univ
  • Robert Frodeman, Professor in Environmental Ethics and Philosophy

15:00-15:30: Networking over drinks

15.30-17.00: Transhumanism and the future of education

  • Natasha Vita-More, Executive Director, Humanity+
  • Marc Roux, President of the French Transhumanist Association
  • David Orban, Founder, Network Society:
    • “Learning 21st Century Life Design Skills”

17.00-17.30: Reflections on issues raised during the day

  • All speakers from the day return

18:00 onwards: Optional off-site networking continues

Sunday 7th July

09:30-09:55: Arrival and registration

09:55-10:00: Chair’s opening remarks

10:00-12:00: Open questions about transhumanism (cont)

12:00-13:00: Break for lunch (lunch not provided)

13:30-14:00: Networking over drinks

13.30-15.00: Transhumanism and the future of health

15:00-15:30: Networking over drinks

15.30-17.00: Transhumanism and the future of health (cont)

17.00-17.30: Reflections on issues raised during the conference

  • All speakers from the day return

18:00 onwards: Optional off-site networking continues

Speakers

21 speakers v2

Natasha Vita-More 2019Natasha Vita-More

Natasha Vita-More is the Executive Director of Humanity+ and Senior Professor of graduate and undergraduate programs at the University of Advancing Technology. Natasha is co-editor of The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Look at Philosophy and Technology.

Natasha’s research focuses on the questions humanity is facing today that are impacting our future—from AI to human enhancement, life extension and space exploration. She writes about the cultural, philosophical, and socio-political issues concerning what it means to be human and an awareness of our trajectory that require us to reflect on where we are headed. Her study examines who or what will govern our future, how we can strategize existential threats and assess the scope of AI and supercomputers, build awareness of cybersecurity, and protect our human rights.

Natasha holds a PhD, University of Plymouth, School of Media Arts, Design and Architecture; a MPhil, University of Plymouth, School of Communications and Media Studies; an MSc, University of Houston, School of Sciences and Technology – Future Studies; and a BFA, University of Memphis, School of Fine Arts.

Ben GoertzelBen Goertzel

Ben Goertzel is the Founder, CEO, and Chief Scientist of SingularityNET, which is dedicated to the creation of benevolent decentralized AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). SingularityNet brings AI and blockchain together to create a decentralized open market for AIs. It’s a medium for the creation and emergence of AGI, a way to roll out superior AI-as-a-service to every vertical market, and a way to enable everyone in the world contribute to and benefit from AI.

Ben is also the chair of the open source software initiative the OpenCog Foundation, and of the Artificial General Intelligence Society, which has organized an annual Artificial General Intelligence conference every year since 2008 (plus an earlier AGI Workshop in 2006). Ben has been promoting the term “AGI” since deciding in 2002 on the title of a forthcoming book.

Additionally, Ben is the chief scientist of the robotics firm Hanson Robotics, of the AI healthcare specialist Mozi Health, and of the financial prediction firm Aidyia Holdings, and the chair of Humanity+. Ben has a PhD in mathematics from Temple University, and has held teaching or research positions in universities in the USA, New Zealand, Australia, and China.

Max-More 2019Max More

Max More is a philosopher and futurist who writes, speaks, and consults on emerging technologies. Born in Bristol, England, Max has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from St Anne’s College, Oxford University (1987). His 1995 University of Southern California doctoral dissertation examined several issues that concern transhumanists, including the nature of death, and what it is about each individual that continues despite great change over time.

Founder of the Extropy Institute, Max has written many articles espousing the philosophy of transhumanism and the transhumanist philosophy of extropy, most importantly his Principles of Extropy (currently version 3.11). In a 1990 essay “Transhumanism: Toward a Futurist Philosophy”, he introduced the term “transhumanism” in its modern sense. Max is also noted for his writings about the impact of new and emerging technologies on businesses and other organizations. His “Proactionary Principle” is intended as a balanced guide to the risks and benefits of technological innovation.

At the start of 2011, Max became president and CEO of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation — the largest provider of cryopreservation services in the world — an organization he first joined in 1986.

Jose CordeiroJosé Cordeiro

José Cordeiro, Vice Chair of Humanity+, is standing for election to the European Parliament as a member of the recently formed Miel party in Spain.

As an engineer, economist, futurist, and transhumanist, José has worked on multiple areas including energy trends, monetary policy, economic development, international relations, comparison of constitutions, cryonics, and longevity. Books he has authored include The Great TabooConstitutions Around the World: A Comparative View from Latin America, and (in Spanish) La Muerte de la Muerte.

José is also a Director of the Millennium Project, an international fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS), and executive director of the Ibero-American Futurists Network. He has degrees from MIT, INSEAD, and USB (Universidad Simón Bolívar). He was a founding advisor of the Singularity University.

José was the lead organiser of TransVision 2005 (held in Caracas, Venezuela) and of TransVision 2018 (held in Madrid, Spain).

david-pearceDavid Pearce

David Pearce co-founded Humanity+ in 1998, when the organisation had the name the World Transhumanist Association.

David maintains a series of websites devoted to transhumanist topics and what he calls the “hedonistic imperative”, a moral obligation to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto, The Hedonistic Imperative (1995), outlines how pharmacology, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and neurosurgery could converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience from human and non-human life, replacing suffering with “gradients of bliss”. David calls this “the abolitionist project”.

David has answered over 500 questions about transhumanism and related topics on Quora. He has been ranked as the fifth most followed philosopher on Twitter.

Amy LiAmy Li

Amy Li is Founder of Dance4Healing, an award winning social venture inspired by her personal stage IV cancer journey. Dance4Healing is an AI-powered live video platform  that provides access to creative arts therapy, in order to support building healthy habits in fun way. Dance4Healing has won over 15 awards including Stanford Medicine X Healthcare Design Award, Stanford Health++ Hackathon, Intel Nervana AI Cluster Grand Prize, and top 5 finalist for Pfizer’s global mBC Challenge.

Amy has provided consultancy in UX, design, and branding expertise for global brands such as Yahoo, AT&T, VW and Sony. Her first iPhone app Have2P was independently reviewed and featured as “App of the Week” at New York Times and was positioned in third place on a list of “11 Coolest App ever”.

Amy’s educational background includes Stanford, California State University Long Beach, and UCLA. She is a graduate of the Singularity University Graduate Studies Program, and is the Treasurer of Humanity+

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller holds the Auguste Comte Chair as Professor of Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at Warwick University.

Steve’s previous books on transhumanist topics include

Steve’s next book, due out later this year is entitled Nietzschean Meditations: Untimely Thoughts at the Dawn of the Transhuman Era (Schwabe Verlag).

Steve has degrees from Columbia University (New York), Cambridge University, and Pittsburgh, in History & Sociology, and in the History & Philosophy of Science.

rohit-talwarRohit Talwar

Rohit Talwar is the founder and CEO of Fast Future Publishing. He advises clients around the world on the forces shaping the landscape, emerging scenarios, and how to experiment towards preferred futures.

Rohit is the co-author of A Very Human Future; lead editor and a contributing author for The Future of BusinessBeyond Genuine Stupidity—Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, and The Future Reinvented—Reimagining Life, Society, and Business; editor of Technology vs. Humanity; and co-editor and contributor for two forthcoming books: Unleashing Human Potential—The Future of AI in Business and 50:50—Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.

Kate Levchuk 2019Kate Levchuk

Kate Levchuk is the founder of the KateGoesTech Futuristic Blog, and of the Transpire Platform which has the dual aims of preserving the planet whilst advancing the human species.

Kate’s writing on transhumanism, AI, and the philosophy of tech has been featured on ForbesWarwick Business SchoolSpringer Nature, and Tech Talks. Kate is passionate about an infinite human potential and the role of technology in uncovering this.

Kate also works full-time at Infosys, managing multi-million-dollar strategic clients in Financial Services. She has degrees from Odessa National ‘I.I. Mecnikov’ University (Ukraine), Central European University (Hungary), and IE Business School (Spain). Describing herself, she states: “Loves controversy, adrenalin, parallel times hypothesis, and people who make their dreams a reality. Afraid of mediocrity, aging, and stupid TV shows.”

Calum ChaceCalum Chace

Calum Chace writes and speaks on the subject of artificial intelligence. His books include:

Previously, Calum had a 30-year career in journalism and business, in which he was a marketer, a strategy consultant and a CEO. In 2000 he co-wrote The Internet Startup Bible, a business best-seller published by Random House. In 2018 he co-founded the Economic Singularity Club, a think tank which seeks to promote serious discussion of possible future technological unemployment.

A long time ago, Calum studied philosophy at Oxford University, where he discovered that the science fiction he had been reading since boyhood was actually philosophy in fancy dress.

Marc RouxMarc Roux

Marc Roux is Co-Founder and President of AFT Technoprog, the French Transhumanist Association.

Marc has organized a number of conferences in Paris on various aspects of transhumanism, three of which were at the University of the Sorbonne, and one being TransVision 2014, the first international transhumanist colloquium in France.

Marc teaches history to secondary school students. He taught in schools in the suburbs of Paris for ten years, and now lives in Greece. Along with Didier Coeurnelle, Marc authored the book TECHNOPROG, le transhumanisme au service du progrès social.

Didier-CouernelleDidier Coeurnelle

Didier Coeurnelle is is vice-president and spokesperson of the Association Française Transhumaniste Technoprog. He is also a member of the Board of Humanity+. He was the main organizer of Transvision 2017 in Brussels.

For the last ten years, Didier has been co-chair of Heales (Healthy Life Extension Society), which publishes a monthly newsletter of information: La mort de la mort (The Death of the Death). He is also one of the main organizers of the Eurosymposium on Healthy Ageing, and co-organized the Longevity Film Competition.

Didier is a member of the board of the International Longevity Alliance, a lifelong member of Longecity, and one of the 300 Members of Methuselah Foundation.

Didier has written two books: Et si on arrêtait de vieillir ! : Réalité, enjeux et perspectives d’une vie en bonne santé beaucoup plus longue and (with Marc Roux) Technoprog, le transhumanisme au service du progrès social.

Micah ReddingMicah Redding

Micah Redding is founder and Executive Director of the Christian Transhumanist Association and host of the Christian Transhumanist Podcast. He grew up as a preacher’s kid, spent eight years as a rock musician, and has traveled extensively, to places such as Kathmandu, Afghanistan, and the coasts of Africa. In 2012, he found himself in Tahrir Square during the first election after the Egyptian revolution.

As a software developer, Micah has worked with startups to lay the groundwork for open-ended growth, led development on multi-million dollar web products, and helped larger companies accelerate their development process.

Micah lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he coordinates inter-religious dialogue, cutting-edge art events, and public conversations on the technological singularity and the future of the human race. He is a member of Mensa, a contributor to the Huffington Post and Vice Motherboard, and a speaker for TEDx and numerous other events.

Nell WatsonNell Watson

Eleanor ‘Nell’ Watson is a Machine Intelligence engineer and tech philosopher who grow up in Northern Ireland. Nell is also the Co-Founder and Chairman of EthicsNet.org, a community teaching pro-social behaviors to machines.

Nell helped to develop pioneering Machine Vision techniques at her company Poikos (now QuantaCorp), which enables fast and accurate body measurement from two photos. Later she decided to teach these techniques to others, as author of Machine Intelligence coursebooks for O’Reilly Media.

Nell serves as Vice-Chairman of the IEEE P7001 Committee creating new safety standards for autonomous systems. She also serves as a Senior Scientific Advisor to The Future Society at Harvard, and holds Fellowships with the British Computing Society, and Royal Statistical Society, among others.

David OrbanDavid Orban

David Orban is the Founder and Managing Partner of Network Society Ventures, a seed stage global investment firm focused on innovative startups at the intersection of exponential technologies and decentralized networks. David is a former Chair of Humanity+, and he is a faculty member of Singularity University.

Born in Budapest, David studied Physics at the University of Milan and the University of Padua. He is an investor, entrepreneur, author, blogger, keynote speaker, and thought leader of the global technology landscape. His entrepreneurial accomplishments span several companies founded and grown over more than twenty years.

An early adopter of blockchain technologies and an active Bitcoin investor since 2010, David was the first to own Ether during the Ethereum launch in 2014. He also led the adoption of Bitcoin and blockchain in start-ups and is an advisor and investor in numerous blockchain companies and funds.

Robert Frodeman 2019Robert Frodeman

Robert Frodeman is a professor in the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences in the University of North Texas. His fields of research include Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, Philosophy of Science Policy, Science and Technology Studies, and Interdisciplinarity.

Robert’s new book Transhumanism, Nature, and the Ends of Science will be published later this year. The book reviews the role of science and technology in contemporary culture, assesses the writings of many leading advocates of transhumanism, and culminates in a social-political and philosophical critique of transhumanism. The central claim of the book is that it is past time to restrain the runaway ambitions of technoscientific knowledge.

Robert has a PhD in Philosophy from Pennsylvania State University and an MSc in Geology from the University of Colorado. He is the author or editor of fifteen previous books.

Denisa RensenDenisa Rensen

Denisa Rensen is the founder and CEO of ‘blissDesigned’ — a future-conscious, intelligent-luxe society for the Future Human. She designs Clinical & Virtual Rejuvenative Programs, and curates Age Reversal Salon Experiences and Elegant Global Retreats – all in the goal of expanding lives for highest potential and deepest happiness. Ultimately, she designs human lives for bliss – the zenith of our physical and metaphysical experience.

Denisa is an avid academic/researcher, holding Honors Degrees in Philosophy, in Biology, in Psychology and a Medical Degree in Naturopathic Medicine. Her expertise in Longevity is enriched with the Fellowship in Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine from American Academy of Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine (A4M).

Hugh ShieldsHugh Shields

Hugh Shields is the Head of AI and Technology at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He is also a thought leader in the field of capital market reform. Hugh regularly talks about the implications of AI for business and for human purpose.

Named in 2010 as one of the 50 most influential accountants in the UK for thought leadership in corporate reporting, Hugh’s career spans three professions (Accounting, Treasury and Economics) and three sectors (Telecoms, Banking and Oil). He has worked in 30 countries, including two years in Oman and one year in Africa.

Hugh’s roles have included positions with Huawei, Credit Suisse, Barclays Capital, the Church Commissioners, and KPMG.

Paul SpiegelPaul Spiegel

Paul Spiegel has been an attorney since 1983, in private practice since 1989, helping businesses, individuals, artists, entertainment professionals and, particularly, transhumanists with their legal needs.  Long before attending his first Humanity + conference in Hong Kong, in 2011, he was an ardent life-extensionist and, effectively, a transhumanist lawyer, providing legal counsel and legal services to many members of the transhumanist and longevity communities.

Paul is Principal Counsel at Eclectic Law, and is also Founder & CEO, Libertas Biomedical, which pursues international alternatives for the research and administration of medical treatment, particularly related to the treatment of aging and age-related diseases.

Paul has been a legal advisor to the U.S. Transhumanist Party since May 2015. He also serve on the board of directors of Humanity+, the Life Extension Advocacy Foundation, the International Longevity Alliance, and the American Longevity Alliance, and has provided mentoring services for the California Life Sciences Association. Paul has degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard Law School, and Berkeley Law School.

Giulio Prisco 2019Giulio Prisco

Giulio Prisco is the founder and senior editor at Turing Church, which declares a focus on “hacking religion, enlightening science, awakening technology”.

Giulio’s background includes a career as a physicist, computer scientist, and senior manager, in organizations including the European Space Agency. He serves on the board of the IEET (Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies) and was formerly the Executive Director of the WTA (the earlier name for Humanity+). Giulio was the principal organiser of TransVision 2010 in Milan.

Giulio is the author of the book Tales of the Turing Church, which opens with the following sentences: “This isn’t your grandfather’s religion. Future science and technology will permit playing with the building blocks of spacetime, matter, energy and life in ways that we could only call magic and supernatural today. Someday in the future, you and your loved ones will be resurrected by very advanced science and technology.”

Hannes SjobladHannes Sjoblad

Hannes Sjoblad is a co-founder of the Human Augmentation Design Agency DSruptive, and an advisor to multiple ventures in the human augmentation tech space.

Hannes is also the former chairman of of Människa+ (“m+”), the Swedish transhumanist association, and the co-founder of Bionyfiken, the Swedish Biohacker Association, which hosts events and workshops for self experimenting with technology.

As a biohacking campaigner, Hannes works to radically democratize broad public access to powerful biotechnologies. In this setting, he does not step back from experimenting with technology with his own body, and his vision is of a future where the human body has fundamentally different capabilities than it does today.

David WoodConference chair: David Wood

David Wood is the Chair of London Futurists and the Co-Leader of the Transhumanist Party UK. He is also principal of the futurist consultancy Delta Wisdom, Secretary of the Board of Humanity+, and a Fellow of the IEET (Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies).

In his professional career, David spent 25 years in the mobile computing and smartphone industry. This included co-founding Symbian in 1998, as well as leadership roles at Accenture Mobility and Psion.

David’s most recent book is Sustainable Superabundance: A universal transhumanist invitation.

Venue

The event will take place in room B34, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.

Room B34 is on the ground floor in the main Birkbeck College building, in Torrington Square (which is a pedestrian-only square). Torrington Square is about 10 minutes walk from either Russell Square or Goodge St tube stations.

Registration

To register to attend this event, click here.

The ticket cost for the event (£35) is designed to cover room hire costs and light refreshments.

Alternatively, if there are still seats available, payment of £40 in that case can be made in cash at the door on the day. (Requesting payment in advance assists with accurate planning of the event.)

Journalists are welcome to attend the meeting free-of-charge – please contact the organisers in advance.

Early bird discounts

Until the 5th of June, tickets are available at the reduced cost of £30 (down from £35; prior to 6th May, tickets cost just £25 each).

Suggested accommodation

For people living outside of London, there are advantages to staying in the same hotel.

One option is The Royal National Hotel, 38-51 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0DG. This is a large three star hotel located a short walk from Birkbeck College. It’s also close to a tube station (Russell Square) that is on a direct line from Heathrow. Further, one of the bars at this hotel has been, for the last year or so, the usual meeting place for informal drinks at the conclusion of London Futurists events. The reviews on Tripadvisor are mixed, but hotels with higher ratings in the same general location will probably be more expensive.

(If anyone has other suggestions for suitable accommodation, please contact the organisers.)

Preview video

Credits

The image of Tower Bridge is by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay.