Previous meetings

Here’s a selection of previous meetings. Click on the links to see more details.

2017

Agenda for the Future – Sat 2nd Sept

Democracy In The Digital Age – House of Commons Meeting – Tues 11th July

The future of AI and sustainability – Sat 1st July

Can technology abolish aging? – Mon 26th June

5G World Futurist Summit – Thu 15th June

 A serious assessment of the Technological Singularity – Wed 14th June

  • Part of TechXLR8; Speaker David Wood
  • No recording available

Better Politics Via Progressive Technology & Digital Transformation? – Tues 23rd May

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

Who can save Humanity from Superintelligence? – Sat 29th Apr

Can technology abolish aging? – Tues 25th Apr

  • Hosted by Funzing; Speaker David Wood
  • No recording available

Industrial strategy for a sustainable world – Sat 8th Apr

The age of technology arrived. Now what? – Sat 18th Mar

AI and our Future – Sat 18th Feb

Effective Altruism: The future of doing good deeds – Sat 21st Jan

Progressive ethics in the digital age – Wed 11th Jan

2016

Transpolitica 2016 – Sat 3rd Dec

  • “Real world policy changes for a radically better future”
  • Fifteen speakers delivering TED-style talks, followed by Q&A, audience discussion, and reflections for action
  • Videos available

Masters of the Exponential Age: An immersive leadership development experience – Sat 5th Nov

  • Speakers Warrick Harniess and Patrick Romano
  • No video recording available

Ask Me Anything About The Future – Tues 1st Nov

The Economic Singularity (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the AI) – Sat 8th Oct

Priorities for steering the digital revolution – Tues 4th Oct

Technology vs. Humanity: The coming clash between man and machine – Sat 10th September

The end of banking? – Sat 10th September

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work – Sat 20th August

The Future and All That Jazz – one night only – Thurs 18th August

  • Featuring Kim Solez & the Mallory Chipman Quartet

Our geopolitical futures – Sat 16th July

Scenarios for the future of healthy life extension – Sat 25th June

The Singularity Controversy: 3 years later – Sat 14th May

Constructing a roadmap to immortality? – Sat 30th April

The future of cryopreservation: research and applications – Sat 16th April

From Tipping Site to Tipping Point: Making the Circular Economy Happen – Sat 9th April

Work, Love, and Life when Robots Rule the Earth – Sat 19th March

Improving and Accelerating Innovation from a Strategy Perspective – Sat 27th February

  • Speaker Luciano Oveido
  • (No recording available)

The future of prediction markets: how technology can enable the wisdom of crowds – Mon 22nd February

  • Speaker Mike Halsall
  • (No recording available)

Network Society: the coming socio-economic phase transformation – Sat 6th February

The future of cybersecurity and cybercrime – Sat 9th January

2015

Experiment Earth: Responsible innovation in geoengineering – Mon 14th December

The increasing role of soft power in a hard world  – Sat 12th December

The State of the Future – Fri 13th November

Transhumanist Party Day (including AGM) – Sun 4th October

Anticipating 2040: A roadmap to sustainable abundance? – Sat 3rd October

Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence – Tue 15th September

From the 3 Rs to the 6 Ds – Digital Disruption within Education – Sat 5th September

Will We Crash Again? Why capitalism needs debt write-offs to survive – Tues 1st September

Enabling the ethical development of strong AI – Sat 1st August

  • Speakers Michael Stewart and Kay Firth-Butterfield
  • Video recording available here

Everything is normal, or is it? – Tues 21st July

  • Speaker Nik Badminton
  • Video recording available here

The future of business – Sat 20th June

  • Multiple speakers, including Rohit Talwar
  • Video recording available here

The radical potential of blockchain technology – Sat 6th June

  • Speaker Niki Wiles
  • Video recording available here

Can Technology Contribute to Social Equality? – Thu 4th June

  • Organised by UCL and supported by London Futurists
  • Panellists Judy Wajcman, David Wood, Marcos Cruz
  • Chair: Jack Stilgoe
  • Video recording available here (but has since been made “private” by UCL, sorry!)

The future of bioethics – Sat 23rd May

  • Speaker Stefano Vaj
  • Video recording available here
  • Slides used available here

The future of robot ethics – Sat 18th April

  • Speaker Joanna Bryson
  • Video recording and slides available here

Anticipating tomorrow’s politics – Sat 21st March

  • Speakers Amon Twyman, David Wood
  • Video recording available here

The winning of the Carbon War – Sat 7th March

  • Speaker Jeremy Leggett
  • Video recording and slides available here

The case for Universal Basic Income – Sat 14th February

  • Speakers Barb Jacobson and David Jenkins
  • Video recording available here

Singularity University Summit Spain preview – Thurs 12th February

  • Speakers David Wood, Russell Buckley, Luis Rey, Nick Chrissos
  • Video recording available here

Blue Skies – the future of regenerative medicine – Sat 31st January

  • Speaker Stephen Minger
  • Video recording available here

What is a fair distribution of brains? – Sat 17th January

  • Speaker Anders Sandberg
  • Video recording available here

2014

Transvision review: the social angle to transhumanism – Sat 6th December

  • Speaker David Wood
  • Video recording available here

The upcoming decentralization singularity – Sat 8th November

  • Speaker Stefan Tual
  • Video recording available here

How Human Will Posthumans Be? – Sat 25th October

  • Speaker David Roden
  • Video recording available here

The new future of old age – Sat 27th September

  • Panellists William Bains, Michael Price, Alex Zhavoronkov, and Sebastian Sethe
  • Video recording available here

Can technology and positive values revolutionise society? – Tues 23rd September

  • Speakers James Phillips (TZM) and Amon Twyman (WAVE)
  • Video recording available here

The proactionary imperative – Sat 13th September

  • Speakers: Prof Steve Fuller and Veronika Lipinska
  • Video recording available here

The future of futurism – Sat 18th August

  • Speaker: World Future Society CEO, Dr Amy Zalman
  • Audio recording available here

The future of self-hacking – Sat 2nd August

  • Panellists Jack Lewis, Andrew Vladimirov, and Stuart Calimport

The future of intelligence – Sat 26th July

  • Speakers included: Rohit Talwar, Stuart Calimport, Ajit Jaokar, David Wood

Three keys to a radically better society? – Tues 17th June

  • Speakers: David Wood (London Futurists) and James Phillips (The Zeitgeist Movement)

The State of the Future – Thurs 5th June

  • Speaker: Millennium Project CEO Jerome Glenn

Robots, unemployment, and basic income – Sun 11th May

  • Panellists James Hughes, Marshall Brain, and Gary Marchant

Terminator or transcendence: The future of super AI, Hollywood and beyond – Sun 4th May

  • Panellists Nikola Danaylov, Calum Chace, and Stuart Armstrong

The future of healthy longevity – Sat 26th April

  • Panellists Phil Micans, Tuvi Orbach, and Avi Roy

Anticipating 2025 – Sat 22nd and Sun 23rd March

  • This two-day conference brought together 18 expert speakers and an audience of over 200 budding futurists of all shapes and sizes. The goal was to elevate serious analysis of the potentially radical scenarios that may unfold between now and 2025.
  • The speakers gave their views as to which future scenarios are technically feasible and desirable. They also debated the best steps to take to bring these desirable visions into reality, despite the many roadblocks that are likely to be encountered en route.

Priority actions for a positive 2025 – Sun 16th February

  • Panellists Ben McLeish, Rohit Talwar, David Pearce, and Amon Kalkin

Our Final Invention – AI and the end of the human era – Sun 26th January

  • Panellists James Barrat, Jaan Tallinn, William Hertling, Calum Chace, and Peter Rothman

The burning question: climate change in context – Sat 18th January

  • Speaker Duncan Clark
  • An audio recording is available here.

Ramez Naam discusses Nexus, Crux, and The Infinite Resource – Sun 12th January

  • Panellists Ramez Naam, Randal Koene, Michell Zappa, and Giulio Prisco

2013

When linearity met exponential – a summer at Singularity University – Sat 7th December

  • Speaker Anish Mohammed

The future of cryonics – Sun 1st November

  • Panellists Max More, Anders Sandberg, Natasha Vita-More, and Garret Smyth

Drugs 2.0, The Web Revolution That’s Changing How The World Gets High – Sat 23rd November

  • Speaker Mike Power
  • Click here for an audio recording of this talk.

Secularism, Liberalism, and the Human Future – Sat 9th November

  • Emerging Technologies and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies
  • Speaker Russell Blackford
  • Click here for an audio recording of this talk, and for the slides used by the speaker

Which technologies will have the biggest impact by 2025? – Sun 3rd November

  • Panellists: Kevin Russell, Peter Rothman, Riva-Melissa Tez, Clyde DeSouza, and José Luis Cordeiro

Futurists discuss The Transhumanist Wager, with Zoltan Istvan – Sun 20th October

  • Panellists: Zoltan Istvan, Giulio Prisco, Rick Searle, and Chris T. Armstrong

The Energy of Nations, with Jeremy Leggett – Sat 5th October

Projects to accelerate radical healthy longevity – Sun 29th September

Futurism, Spirituality, and Faith – Sat 21st September

Biomedical Discoveries and the Ageless Generation, with Alex Zhavoronkov

 See here for a recording of this meeting, and to join the discussion about the topics covered.

The future of transport: Preparing for driverless vehicles? With Nathan Koren

The robots have arrived. Driverless transport pods are now in operation at Heathrow Terminal 5 and several other locations around the world. Driver-assist technologies are becoming commonplace. Many believe that fully driverless cars will be commercially available before the decade is out. But what will the broader impact of driverless transport be?

Automobiles were once called “horseless carriages,” as though the lack of a horse was their most important feature. In reality, they changed the way we work, live, and play; changed the way we design cities; and altered the global economy, political landscape, and climate.

It will be the same with driverless vehicles: we can expect their impact to be go far beyond simply being able to take our hands off the wheel.

This presentation and discussion went into depth about how automated transport will affect our lives and reshape the the world’s cities.

2045: Conscious avatars or wishful thinking?

This meeting aimed to provide a balanced review of the ground-breaking “Global Futures 2045” conference taking place in New York the previous weekend, 15-16 June.

The review was be led by David Wood, and included contributions from other London Futurists who are also taking part in the New York event.

The future is not what it used to be, with José Luis Cordeiro

Rapidly changing technology is changing how we think about the future – and how we MUST think about the future.

Topics covered in this talk included:

  • Options for dealing with shortages of fuel and energy: “moving from dirty energy to clean energy”
  • Synthetic biology – radical implications for the environment and for personalised medicine
  • The surprising future of technological convergence – “Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno” (NBIC)
  • Changing the meaning of humanity: prospects for indefinite healthy lifespans, artificial brains, and sentient robots
  • Practical progress at Singularity University: improving the world, a billion people at a time
  • The four types of futurist – which are you?

Radical Abundance, with Eric Drexler, the founding father of nanotechnology

This event marked the publication of the eagerly-anticipated book,Radical Abundance: How a Revolution In Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization, by K. Eric Drexler, the founding father of nanotechnology.

In this book, Eric Drexler explores the coming revolution in nano-scale engineering, and how it will change the world as we know it.

London Futurists are very fortunate that the author agreed to speak at this specially arranged meeting, to cover key themes from his book.

See here for a recording of this meeting, and to join the discussion about the topics covered.

Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment

This event marked the publication of the important new book The Singularity Hypotheses: A scientific and philosophical assessment. Speakers included Dr Amnon Eden and David Pearce.

What is the Singularity? Existential risk or cultist fantasy? Rapture of the nerds? An unstoppable intelligence explosion? The rapid acquisition by humanity of god-like powers? The rise of Terminator-style killer robots? The dramatic culmination of progress in enhancement technologies, enabling the emergence of a posthuman race which overcomes all existing human limitations, both physical and mental, and conquers aging, death and disease?

See here for a video recording of the event.

Assessing major risks: what should we worry about? With Anders Sandberg

Much of future studies is often treated as entertainment by the public, but if there is one thing people ask futurists about in a serious way, it is risks – including risks of catastrophic disasters. Having foresight against potential threats matters.

As well as the more ‘obvious’ global catastrophic risks like nuclear war, nuclear terrorism, global pandemics, and runaway climate change, we may also worry about risks from meteor and comet impacts, gamma ray bursts, bioterrorism, nanoscale manufacturing, and super-AI. For an even longer list, see Wikipedia.

But how do we assess large risks where there is little past evidence, or where we think the rules may change due to new technology, climate or culture? How do we factor in different kinds of uncertainty, and how do we present them to the public? What about biases that distort the message?

This talk looked at different ways of assessing risks, the many ways they are uncertain, and gave some practical tips about how to do it slightly better where it matters.

The future of Global Healthcare, with Lois Macklin

This event examined the future of Global Healthcare, with a talk by Dr Lois Macklin, a leading Canadian futurist. In her presentation, Dr. Macklin:

  • Examined the forces and factors that will shape global healthcare in the future
  • Provided new insights into emerging opportunities
  • Identified economic, legal, and social challenges presented by a global healthcare system.

Hacking our wetware: the biophysical approach – with Andrew Vladimirov

What are the most promising methods to enhance human mental and intellectual abilities significantly beyond the so-called physiological norm? Which specific brain mechanisms should be targeted, and how? Which aspects of wetware hacking are likely to grow in prominence in the not-too-distant future?

This talk went beyond the topic of pharmacological and future genetic avenues of human cognition enhancement, and was instead dedicated to the relevant physical neurostimulation approaches and methods.

By reviewing a variety of fascinating experimental findings, this talk explored:

  • The potential of non-invasive neurostimulation using direct and alternating current and their combination
  • The potential of using TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) for cognition enhancement
  • Data suggesting the possibility to “awaken” savant-like skills in healthy humans without paying the price of autism
  • Apparent means to stimulate seemingly paranormal abilities and transcendental experiences.

A Singularitarian Utopia Or A New Dark Age? With Ian Pearson

We’re all familiar with the idea of the singularity, the end-result of rapid acceleration of technology development caused by positive feedback. This will add greatly to human capability, not just via gadgets but also through direct body and mind enhancement, and we’ll mess a lot with other organisms and AIs too. So we’ll have superhumans and super AIs as part of our society. But this new technology won’t bring a utopia.

We all know that some powerful people, governments, companies and terrorists will also add lots of bad things to the mix. The same technology that lets you enhance your senses or expand your mind also allows greatly increased surveillance and control, eventually to the extremes of direct indoctrination and zombification. Taking the forces that already exist, of tribalism, political correctness, secrecy for them and exposure for us, and so on, it’s clear that the far future will be a weird mixture of fantastic capability, spoiled by abuse.

Even without deliberate abuse, many people tend towards illogical thinking processes that result in bad decisions and that will both delay good things and worsen them when they finally come.

The big question (that I can’t answer and will need some debate) is what are the relative strengths of these forces? And will the future be a whole lot better than today, worse, or just different?

The Symbiosis Of Man And Machine. With Peter Cochrane

In 2000 it was clear that mankind was building a networked world of people and things that was non-linear, chaotic, highly unpredictable not well understood, and probably impossible to control and manage. Signs of increasing instability and management difficulty culminated in global stagnation and recession by 2010. Throughout this period it was clear that bankers, financiers, economists and politicians did not understand what was happening and could not adapt to the situation.

It was also clear that the old industries and management methods were unsustainable and fundamentally unmanageable in the long term. Something new was needed, something radically different!  A new era for industry, economics and management was being forecast that relied upon the tools and wisdom provided by intelligent machines, and by 2012 a vision of what was needed and why was beginning to emerge.  And perhaps for the first time it seemed that the machines were ready but people were not.

So what will be the state of play by 2035?  Will we have made it or not?  What is technologically possible, and what might humans accept?

In this presentation we therefore look at what looks to be technological possible and likely by 2020, 2030 and 2035, and speculate on the reaction and acceptance of people and political systems.

Singularity Saturday, with Jaan Tallinn and Robin Hanson

In this extended (3 hour) session, Robin Hanson and Jaan Tallinn revisited and expanded the material from their ground-breaking presentations from the Singularity Summit 2012 – presentations that Vernor Vinge, commenting shortly afterwards, described as refutations of the saying that “there is nothing new under the sun”:

  • An Economic Analysis of Brain Emulation – Robin Hanson
  • The Technological Singularity: Why now? – Jaan Tallinn

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