The future of politics. Can politicians prepare society for the major technology challenges ahead? With Darren Reynolds.

Venue: Room 416, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7HX (map)
Date: Saturday 20th February 2010
Time: 2pm-4pm

About the talk:

With the rapid accelerating changes in many fields of technology and society, there's a risk we'll wake up one morning in (say) 2015 and realise that our politicians have failed to play their role in anticipating and preparing for major risks and opportunities - politicians were focusing on issues of the past, and neglecting issues of the future.

What should we be doing, now, to change the topic of political debate, to bring more focus on the transformative potential of emerging technologies?

How should the role of politicians evolve, over the near future, to improve the technological leadership of this country (and beyond)?

And what role can non-politicians play, to improve the way society makes collective choices about the allocation of funding and resources?

About the main speaker:

Darren Reynolds is a pro-technology campaigner and local government councillor for the UK's Liberal Democrats. In his professional career he has helped many public and private sector organisations to introduce new technology and improve the way they work. Darren believes in putting choices in the hands of ordinary people and ensuring that tomorrow's technological developments flourish in a balanced regulatory framework.

Darren is Chair of the Burnley Liberal Democrats.

In 1998, Darren was part of the international team of philosophers and activists who produced the original "Transhumanist Declaration"

Opportunity for additional speakers

The meeting will also feature a number of 5-minute pitches from audience members (agreed in advance) stating cases for specific changes in the allocation of national budget - for example, which areas of research deserve a larger share of funding (and which areas deserve less).

Anyone wishing to take part in this section of the meeting should get in touch asap.

There's no charge to attend this meeting, and everyone is welcome.

There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and to make comments.

Discussion will continue after the event, in a nearby pub, for those who are able to stay.

** Why not join some of the Extrobritannia regulars for a drink and/or light lunch beforehand, any time after 12.30pm, in The Marlborough Arms, 36 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ. To find us, look out for a table where there's a copy of the book "Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future" displayed.

** About the venue:

Room 416 is on the fourth floor (via the lift near reception) 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.