5.5.12

Envisioning the future of technology

Saturday 26th May, 2pm-4pm
Room 415, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London

We're fortunate to have as our lead speaker Michell Zappa, a London-based emerging technology strategist. Michell has spent his life between São Paulo, Stockholm & Amsterdam. His work, called Envisioning Technology, focuses on explaining where society is heading in the near future by extrapolating on current technological developments.

In an attempt to make sense of the future of technology, Michell will explain his "sci-fi scaffolding" methodology to fellow futurists. Still in development, the methodology approaches the outlook of emerging technologies from a combinatorial point of view, extrapolating a series of highly speculative sci-fi scenarios by looking at existing trends.

For an introduction to Michell's work, see http://envisioningtech.com which sets out plausible timelines over the next 30 years for changes in 11 different technology areas: AI, Internet, Interfaces, Sensors, Ubicomp, Robotics, Biotech, Materials, Energy, Space, and Geotech. As Michell suggests, the true worth of this analysis is "when you start connecting the dots between the individual technologies and start thinking about the critical paths between them".

There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions, make suggestions, and to contribute to the debate:

*) How well can we foresee the likely changes of the next 30 years? How does the "sci-fi scaffolding" methodology compare to other forecasting approaches?

*) Which combinations of change from different technology areas are the most likely?

*) Which would cause the biggest disruptions?

*) And should a better knowledge of likely future changes cause changes in our present-day behaviours and beliefs?

Location

 Room 415 is on the fourth 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.

As desired, coffee and other light refreshments can be purchased from the Costa Coffee shop in the reception area of the building, either ahead of or after the meeting.

The event will be followed by a chance to continue the discussion in a nearby pub - The Marlborough Arms, 36 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ

The meeting is free to attend - no charge.