Accelerating Change 2004 :: Physical Space, Virtual Space, and Interface
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Participant Statements (alpha order)

Prior to AC2004, attendees have the option to submit a brief participant statement of passions (topics of personal interest), current projects and problems, and resources to recommend. Statements below will also be included in the Conference Handbook to optimize peer-to-peer networking and discussion. To submit your participant statement, please click here.

Miguel F. Aznar, Executive Director of KnowledgeContext (aznar {at}

Passions and Futures
How do we understand technology? How do we evaluate it? Since the first stone tools, we have used technology to transform our world...and technology has transformed us. Did anyone anticipate how the spear, written language, or global travel would create the environment in which our surviving ancestors were fittest? Will we select and guide 21st century technology to create a future we want?

Projects and Problems
I direct an educational nonprofit corporation that teaches young people, through a classroom curriculum, how to understand and evaluate technology...any technology. KnowledgeContext's soon-to-be-printed book takes this strategy to a deeper level for the parents, teachers, and others who want our society to be able to think critically about technology, and not just learn which buttons to push.

Resources to Recommend
The classroom curriculum and online book on understanding and evaluating technology are available for download at I am always interested in discussing the patterns underlying technology, in particular, those that explain how it changes, how it changes us, what its costs and benefits are, and how we evaluate it. If you care about education, talk to me about how we can promote technological literacy.

Robert J. Berger
(rberger {at}

Passions and Futures
The area I have been most involved is solving the last mile problem for broadband Internet Access. The last few years has been making 802.11 wireless suitable for that application. My belief is that making Internet access an alternative to the oligopoly of mass communications is key to opening the future to many more possibilities. Renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure is another area of interest. We need to be converting our brittle and wasteful ways of sustaining ourselves and our technology to ways that can last thousands of years. The flip side of that is the expectation that we will be seeing breakthrus in anti-aging and life extension within the next decade. How can we prepare for that and also help accelerate its dispersement in society.

Projects and Problems
As I mentioned, routing around the oligopolies of mass communication and creating new content and ways to transport that content are my main focus. I would also be interested in working with folks on ways to accelerate the development and introduction of anti-aging and life extension drugs and techniques. And of course the development of sustainable and renewable energy and technologies.

Resources to Recommend
Personal website (which of course will someday be updated):
Some favorite websites:
Sustainable Tech:
Life Extension / Anti-Aging:

Brian Chaikelson

Passions and Futures
Technology is most interesting in the context of a premeditated campaign; with an end goal, we're less likely to get lost in the implementation details. With that in mind, I'm hopeful for an international
commitment to address the demands of global population growth in the next few decades.

Projects and Problems
We seem to know people four clicks away better than our next door neighbor. As GPS becomes more integrated with the wireless web and we're able to easily provide contextual annotations to space, I'm
hopeful that we'll build relationships with those in close spatial proximity. Ping me before or during the conference if you know of great graduate school programs where I might be able to focus on these topics, along
with the policies which drive them.

Resources to Recommend
Elastic Space is an interesting site about spatial annotation.

David Clemens, Monterey Peninsula College

Passions and Futures
My passion is teaching and positively affecting students’ lives. I devised a literature/film class that engages some of the issues of human destiny (and human definition) in terms of the way Hollywood has depicted them (such as Blade Runner, 2001, Gattaca). The next 30 years are filled with conflicting potential—I would like to see the human race focused on exploring the universe but I realize we could also become omphaloskeptics, cowed by indifference of cosmic nature. The greatest risk is continuing erosion of human dignity from further redefinition of when and what a human being is—that is, technology proceeds blindly providing expanding opportunities for control and supposed perfectability. I would not want to live in the world of Gattaca, and I hope that sensitizing students to such a possible future will cause them to seek humanizing avenues for change rather than “inhumanizing” ones. Finally, I think that to be human involves encountering and coming to terms with mortality. In 30 years I expect to be dead, but, as Heinlein’s character says when going into battle, “C’mon you apes! What do you want to do, live forever?”

Projects and Problems
Primarily educational—I’m trying to put my “robot class” online even though I find online education a shadow of real education. As Martin Pawley once said, all technology acts as insulation against human contact. Futurist issues need to be more infused into the schools so that students have some sort of mental construct about the potentials inherent in the developments around them. Most students have no image of the future at all, or the past either, for that matter; they are ahistorical and cocooned . What sort of government eventuates from the ahistorical and cocooned?

Resources to Recommend

Class website: ( I am affiliated with the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, the National Association of Scholars, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Rob Courtney, Stanford Law School Student

Passions and Futures
I am a cyberpolicy wonk, particularly in areas of free expression, the growing network, and the ever-increasing degree to which personal and networked computing enhances the capabilities of individuals and groups.
Areas that I don't know much about, but want to learn more, include visualization, interface design,
mediated group dynamics, and the art of finding/building the right tool for the job. I am fascinated by
video games but very bad at them. I am a student at Stanford Law, and I hope that in thirty years I'll have leveraged my legal education into helping bring my vision somewhat closer to reality.

Projects and Problems
My interests tend towards the law/policy side. RIght now I am spending a lot of time studying the FCC's growing influence on the network and personal expression, and studying digital copyright law in general. I am also interested in the ways that technology is propelling changes to contract and property law, frequently in ways that place the cost of the transition on end-users.

Resources to Recommend
Traceroutes - the student blog of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet & Society
Center for Democracy & Technology
Public Knowledge
Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Importance Of
Susan Crawford blog
Game Girl Advance

John Fischer (jefischerjr {at}

Passions and Futures
Architecture is a lifelong passion of mine. However, I am not an architect, and the discipline is much less kind to hobbyists than, say, photography. In my lifetime, I would like to see more of the industrialized world, and particularly the United States, enjoy the benefits of more thoughtful architectural planning, a modern and relevant aesthetic, greater community, and more rational and sustainable use of scarce resources.

On a topical note, I would like our country to be governed by a more direct form of democracy, although not necessarily formalized in law. Our system carries the inherent flaws of coalition party politics with none of the benefits, as well as other structural problems which turn many of our elected representatives into a coterie of "the bribed and the coerced." I believe the Internet gives us the potential to introduce greater accountability on broad issues, e.g., dealing with our massive unfunded liabilities. The fact that both Presidential candidates punted on the issue of Social Security this year indicates to me the limitations of our politicians as intermediaries between the public and its policy needs.

Projects and Problems
I am currently leading a start-up venture in the field of cryptography. A mathematician by training, I nonetheless hung up my spurs years ago, and wear other hats where innovations in encryption algorithms are concerned. Alongside challenges to improve security and efficiency of cryptosystems, what I find most interesting is the corresponding challenge to enhance privacy and simplicity in our use of confidential information. A Privacy Guard application kit, available for free from any credit card company, is one illustration of the Tower of Babel that digital security needs to avoid. Early indications about the direction of the massive DHS project to police the Southern border seem to further illustrate the need for a robust and innovative intellectual framework over a focus on the newest technologies. I have recently started a blog, but it hasn't yet decided what it wants to be.

Resources to Recommend
Politics: Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal (requires paid subscription online),
Beautiful stuff:,

Terry Frazier, Principal, Cognovis Group, LLC

Passions and Futures
I am most fascinated by how people intereact, their disparate approaches to technology and collaboration, and how their fears and perceptions color their ability to reach their goals. As for 30 years hence, the IRS predicts that I will only live another 39.8 years so I I'll mainly be old but I expect biotechnology and genetic science to give me some help in that area. The world doesn't have quite as easy a task. The problems here will not be solved by technology, but rather by reformation of thinking and the evolution of destructive cultures. Our priorities should be to better understand the human mind, to develop economic and social frameworks that can aid cultural evolution, and to find better ways of cushioning the impact of change for those who suffer from its forces.

Projects and Problems
I spend time in two developmental areas: the effective combination of on-line and off-line media, and collaborative processes for knowledge workers. There is a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest significant physiological differences in the way we absorb information presented to us on a screen vs information on paper. Today there is little real effort at fully integrating the two forms complementary features, even though there are important audiences for each. Second, the range of computer-augmented collaborative solutions is quite large, but most are complex and costly with poor user adoption rates. I'm working to integrate friendlier, more cost-effective tools that appeal to non-technical users and can improve work processes without undue cost and complexity.

Resources to Recommend
My personal web page is where I track many of the issues that affect the projects listed above. I also work with the CRM Association ( which is the only non-profit, user-centered organization aimed at helping businesses improve their relationships. Resources I use regularly include the A-OK Network ( for excellent knowledge work discussion and news, Dave Pollard ( for insightful business innovation, Weblogg-ed News ( for educational and e-learning insight, Oligopoly Watch ( for tracking the ever-growing impact of MNCs on our society, and Dr. Lynn Kiesling ( for economic analysis. Martindale's "The Reference Desk" is a fascinating source of reference data in virtually every area.

W. Thomas Grové (lion {at}

Passions and Futures
I am interested in ways to employ both entertainment and technology for the purposes of raising the level of consciousness in individuals and in societies.

Projects and Problems
As change accelerates, will the governing bodies of the world be able to keep up with the world around them? Will they be able to effectively cultivate those changes?

Resources to Recommend This page has links to my personal homepage and to many pages and organizations that are directly related to progressive world change.

Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson

Passions and Futures
Presently, as a professional with nine years of progressive management experience in the operational areas of Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Distribution, Procurement and Research and Development, I’m passionate about simulations and anticipatory design science for the purpose of improving direction, decisions, and response-ability. As a digital media artist, new technology and its capabilities are my raw material in the process of extending technology to applications other than originally intended and exploring the impact of that technology. New technology also allows me to mine the gap between new and antique technology to create something of critical import. Social networking is a core interest of mine. (See below) One future challenge includes managing the degrees of separation with the right people while remaining unfound by the rest in an era of telepresence, nanoswarms, and personal information broadcasting devices such as the Lovegety service offered in Japan.

Projects and Problems
Most recently, I have researched and presented the impact on socio-economic class of occupational dreams and goals in a capitalist society. Currently, my digital media work is focused on social networking. The first project concerns dynamic representational methods for an individual’s network as it grows from person to person interactions… a sort of trip map with a trajectory and a past present and future. Ants leave a decaying pheromone trail. These power structure networks should also have contact reminders triggered at a certain decay level. The second project concerns diagramming power structures of corporations based on social networks rather than organizational design and structure both similar to the work that Marc Lombardi does in that it shows the interrelationship of things and similar to but for all individuals in the corporation rather than just the board members. Thirdly, my mine the gap project includes combining digital and antique photographic processes to comment both on the digital and the film worlds.

Resources to Recommend
Personal Websites: for resume, exhibits, and publications.
Also,, a website about the handmade in the era of the digital.
For reviews of books on social networking, technology, science, social culture and politics see Switch Journal issue on Interface: Software as Cultural Production:
Leonardo Journal:

Peter Jenkins
(pisemsky (at)

Passions and Futures
Passions -The metaverse, augmented reality with the use of RFID's and HUD's, human consciousness as a form of real estate, finding the real role of so-called "junk DNA".
Futures - It is impossible now to predict with any reasonable hope of accuracy 10 years into the future, let alone 30, but here goes - a world where human reproduction and perception is completely mediated by technology.

Projects and Problems
Projects - Dr. Hayutmann's Virtual Temple Project
Problems - cyberbalkanization, cyberpolarization, the linking of micropayment technology with the over-expansion of copyright.

Resources to Recommend
My weblog:

Peter Kaminski, CTO, SocialText (peter.kaminski {at}

Passions and Futures
What makes a mind? Most people don't think about it much, but "single human" is an oxymoron. Humans live within a rich web of information and infrastructure interdependence, and aren't really "human" without interacting with other humans. Does that rich web "think?" How do individuals interact with it? Where is it going? Could it -- or should it -- think faster?

Projects and Problems
Technology is too hard to use. People don't understand -- or even recognize -- systems well. How do we build good systems? How do we build robust systems, complete with immune systems to adaptively defend and repair themselves? We're still learning a lot about how people work best together. How do we learn to build bridges instead of walls?

Resources to Recommend
My home page and blog is at -- there are links there to my other homes on the web, including KaminskiWiki. is great, Google is great, Wikipedia is great. Read more foreign newspapers, with an online translator if you have to. It's a good way to see more of the world, and it's an easy way to pick up more of a language, with a constrained vocabulary and lots of context words you'll recognize.

Nelson R. (Buzz) Kellogg, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Sonoma State U. (kellogg {at}

Passions and Questions
The question which burns most brightly for me is one of stories and narratives in a world of accelerating change. Historically, we have located both individual and social meaning and purpose through the use of stories, often from various religions. But in order for these to function as meaning-bearers, they must have a certain durability. Now we are entering a time when individuals are reinventing their lives a half dozen times during their working lives. What narratives of meaning can embrace this change and give us some direction in the practical aspects of living as well?

I have worked during the mid 1990s on projects of electronic communities (I called them electronic villages), and assembled a group of students that helped several local communities establish a virtual counterpart. Recently, I have contributed a chapter (called “Wisdom Communities) to a soon to be published book titled Healing the Planet, Healing Ourselves. This work will include chapters by such writers as The Dalai Lama, Huston Smith, Deepak Chopra, and many more.

Adam Lasnik (adam {at}

Passions and Futures
I'm fascinated by how technology helps -- and hurts -- the social side of humanity. When I was 13 years old, I actively beta tested messaging software and helped shape online community guidelines for Prodigy Online Services, and I've been passionately involved in the theory and practices of online community development ever since. I'm excited by the potential for technology to enhance or augment existing offline communities and I conversely worry about online socializing serving as a crutch: damaging or even wholly replacing offline interactions. As you can imagine, I am now deeply involved with online social networking services and firmly believe that what we're seeing and using now is but a tiny tip of the iceberg of this sphere's potential. Another one of my online passions is digital music. While I understand the great risks and disadvantages of the rental-based paradigm, I've become a strong convert of the NewNapster/Rhapsody version of an eventual celestial-jukebox-on-call. Though most of my friends strongly disagree, I believe that someday we'll look back at the idea of "owning" music and laugh at the inefficiencies and waste inherent in toting around silver discs. As long as we're eventually able to wrest control from the greedy and clueless RIAA into the hands of music makers and music lovers, I know our world will be a better place with the concept of music an *experience* of discovery rather than a *thing* to be owned.

Projects and Problems
One of the greatest issues facing our world is the tension between the risks and the opportunities inherent in comprehensive personal information disclosure and aggregation. For instance, by allowing Google or any other search engine to fully correlate what I search for, publish, and store, my ability to find and receive targeted information of value to me would be dramatically increased. At the same time, trusting such comprehensive and aggregated personal particulars of my life even to a "Good" entity carries with it enormous risks: vulnerability to hackers, overzealous government officials, unhinged employees, and so on. At present, I worry that -- as with much of our society -- the debate is destructively polarized and usually uninformative. There is no such thing as ultimate privacy, total protection. Additionally, no one privacy policy can fit everyone's needs and desires. I deeply hope that our society looks past both fear mongering and dollar signs and thoughtfully evaluates both risks and benefits associated with personal data sharing and aggregation.

Resources to Recommend
- My 'personal portal' site -- -- which links to my blog and my SmileZone site.
- Furl and Spurl -- and -- two fabulous (and competing) personal online archiving services. You'll never bookmark an item to your local favorites list again.
- Any universal 'travel points' credit card. I think it's amazingly important for people to travel internationally as often as possible, and having a credit card like this (and charging all of one's expenses to it) is a very helpful way to get to Europe or Asia or Africa or wherever faster.
- The Arts. If you have never danced, dance. If you have never painted, paint. In Silicon Valley, it's too easy to get sucked up into virtual learning and virtual communications and virtual shoot-em-ups. Don't just consume -- create!

Mark Lenhart (singularity {at }

Passions and Futures

Most fascinating subjects: Interface of mind to machine allowing the transmission of thought into/out of the brain, altering/reprogramming long term human memory at will, super-enhanced human cognition by machine/chemical/genetic enhancement, and silicon/quantum/optical computer (self) awareness/consciousness/morality.
30 Year World Projection: If pre-Singularity - exactly the same with a few more elegant technological solutions, and a few more deeply troubling problems. If post Singularity, fallen off the bell curve - either nonexistent or on the utopic or dystopic extreme.
On Continual Acceleration: Technological advancement will be an S curve, but what will be lying on the
other plateau is beyond comprehension. Which technologies plateau first won't matter once Science is Singularity-controlled - most technologies will be rapidly developed to their physical/logical maximum, and will be largely indistinguishable from each other, and/or incomprehensible to us.
Personal to Global Developmental Priorities: There is no difference - they are fractal-scale mirrors of each other. Ultimately we must use morally enlightened technological means to guide or reprogram our collective primate neuropsychological development to achieve personal (and thereby global) ethical/moral mastery. Failure to do so in an age of super-technological empowerment will lead to techno-tyrannical dystopias and/or self/global annihilation.

Projects and Problems
Projects - Intellectual: Revisiting J.D. Bernal's Devil (The third element of Bernal's book: "World, the Flesh & the Devil: An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul", the 'Devil' signifying our self/other destructive impulse and how it will interfere with our post-human quest for virtual immortality.) Writing a thesis on the possibility of the ethical use of technology to enhance our collective individual moral compass and ethical self empowerment. And hopefully thereby avoiding global self-destruction in the transition to post-humanity and/or Singularity.
Projects - Business: Launching, an intellectual networking and bartering startup.
Personal Issues of Accelerating Change: What becomes of our ego, identity, and humanity with the exponential increase in intelligence, awareness, and knowledge. I.e., are you still you at IQ point 500? 1000? What happens to society if everyone's IQ is doubled or tripled?

Resources to Recommend
Bay Area Future Salon
SciTech Daily Review
The Internet Archive
Bug Me Not

Peter C. McCluskey

Passions and Futures
Idea futures markets will improve on democracy (see; AI creates big risks (described by Eliezer Yudkowsky); molecular assemblers will increase productivity dramatically but risk setting off arms races. Mind uploading will allow us to increase our mental capacity and to make frequent backup copies of
ourselves to protect against accidents. And once we've solved these problems, it may be time to relax and head off torwards the Far Edge Party.

Projects and Problems
I have a small investment in a nano-scale imaging startup called Angstrovision, which is looking for a larger investor.
Coaststead ( looks like it might be an interesting project to effectively build more land, and as a first step towards creating better governments by homesteading new societies in the sea.

Resources to Recommend
Personal web page:
Organizations I support:
The Singularity Institute
Foresight Institute
The Methuselah Mouse Prize

Cheryl Morris

Passions and Futures
In one year, Mars Rovers, Mars Express, Cassini-Huygens, and the Genesis Project have extended knowledge of our solar system-and raised more questions. At the smallest scale, new findings and developments at the quantum level and in nanotechnology are propelling technological advances.
Most important to me is what we do with knowledge gained from that science and technology.

Projects and Problems
As a doctoral student in Information Science, my current concerns are
twofold: the erosion of privacy with the offshoring of personal data and how to effect enforcement of national laws in an interconnected world and still permit citizens their freedom.

Steve Mushero

Passions and Futures
Technology will undoubtedly continue to accelerate, in directions as yet unforeseen. In particular, information delivery will increase from a torrent to a deluge, itself creating interesting opportunities to apply technology to managing access to every bit of human knowledge. On the flip side, most of the world is as yet unable to access or even read information in any form; the lack of education and literacy, especially for women, is appalling and one of the leading challenges for the world. Thirty years hence will ideally find the whole world firmly in peaceful co-existence, which will only happen when everyone is in the middle-class, with health, liberty, and happiness.

Projects and Problems
Existing or potential projects or unsolved problems you'd like to work on or are working on. Areas of collaborative opportunity. Business, social, and personal issues of accelerating change and technological development you find challenging, and want to discuss in the group.

Women, education, and public health in the developing world (at at home) are key issues for me, as they tie into nearly everything else, from poverty to AIDS to armed conflict and even terrorism. Developed country issues include how the U.S., Europe, and Japan will manage the twin challenges posed by aging populations (especially pensions and health care) and Globalization (potentially hollowing out their middle-classes). In the end, the West can no longer live fat, dumb, and happy, ignoring the economic and moral challenges posed by the developing world. In the end, we are all in this together and need to think globally, act globally.

Resources to Recommend
My business page is at and my personal page, with thousands of global travel pictures, is at Aside from that, I would promote the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (, helping women entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, and Pacific Community Ventures (, working with small Bay Area companies to promote employment and development of under-served communities. As a tech guy, I find Slashdot ( useful to keep current of the absolute latest tech happenings, plus for more traditional tech news. I find Rojo ( the new RSS reader/collaboration site, also very helpful for finally allowing me to manage my news feeds.

Sponge Nebson
(nebson {at}

Passions and Futures
I see almost everything as a complex adaptive system. Related concepts that have recently come to my attention are Chaos Theory, Fractals, Artificial Life, Emergent Computation, Self Organization, and many others. I am triple-majoring in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Neuroscience at CSULB. I believe this is a toolset which will give me freedom, versatility, and power to study complex adaptive systems of all flavors and varieties. As a futurist, I am concerned with the concept of the self, how the self-concept is changing, and what will eventually happen to it. First there was Dualism: "The Ghost in the Machine." Now most identify with their body alone, along with the ideas, preferences, and memories encoded in their brains. However, this modern self-concept, quickly becoming too simple. New technologies such as Computer Neural Interface Systems and other neural implants will make a strict body boundary much less definable. Recently, I have begun using a wonderful service provided by Google called "Google Alerts". I feel that Google Alerts is an extension of my self, a 'third eye' that keeps tabs on the developments that interest me. The modern self-concept is also beginning to become blurred due to communication technology. A sort of "collective consciousness" has developed and is becoming more and more prominent. Many are starting to feel as if their self is breaking out of their body and merging with their technology, as well as with the minds of others. This trend is accelerating with technological advancement; very soon many people will have a very hard time answering the question: "who/ what am I?"

Projects and Problems
Project 1: I wish to use EEG Biofeedback to treat my Attention Deficit Disorder. This winter I will be working with Dr. Bob Hill, a professional EEG Biofeedback practitioner who wrote a book on treating ADD/ADHD with EEG Biofeedback: "Getting Rid of Ritalin: How Neurofeedback Can Successfully Treat Attention Deficit Disorder Without Drugs". I will be using very low cost open source hardware developed by the OpenEEG project ( Hopefully I will be able to help others with what I learn.
Project 2: I have become overloaded with media and information. My hard drive is a complete mess of digital articles, pictures, online conversations, web pages, emails, sounds, videos and other media. My physical office space is in a similar condition. I am looking for a unified solution to my media mess. I am currently learning the Perl and SQL programming languages, which I will one day use to build a sophisticated, cross linked, brain-like, searchable database solution to my media problem.
I will one day build (or find) a wireless internet enabled wearable computer, with a built in scanner, video/still camera, and microphone. I expect to use this wearable computer, along with my database software to store, organize, search, and retrieve any and all media I wish. Ideally it will be my second brain, my neo-neocortex.

Resources to Recommend
Personal web page: Operation Beta Wave LA Futurists: OpenEEG Project: (

Eric Nehrlich (nehrlich {at}

Passions and Futures
I am fascinated by the topic of how people communicate, whether it's in the form of how a company makes its management decisions, or how people coordinate on a project, or how we decide who to vote for. I think that one of the most valuable aspects of the internet and its offshoots is the ability to support such communication. While I don't believe in the technology-led paradigm shifts that we once dreamed of, I think it's interesting how we have found ways to embed technology into our lives. It's only when technology is no longer technology that it has crossed over into the mainstream. So my interest is more in understanding the social aspects of interaction that can then be buttressed by an appropriate use of technology, or as Joel on Software dubbed it, social interface design.

Projects and Problems
I don't have any specific projects or problems I'm working on. I'm interested in hearing about research into tools for supporting new group interactions. Technology in and of itself isn't of much interest to me. Technology in support of a real, identified problem is.

Resources to Recommend
My personal web page is at, which is where I post my thoughts on a variety of subjects. It also includes links to blogs I follow. Relevant to the issues I mentioned above is the Many-to-Many group blog (, discussing how technology can be used to support group communications, from blogs to wikis to social tagging like, etc.

Phil Nelson, Ph.D.
(penelson {at}

Passions and Futures
The human, organizational, and Cultural Changes (Spiral Dynamics) in response to accelerating change. How can we consciously facilitate our human evolution and development using accelerating change as the driver?

Projects and Problems
How can we Invest wisely to profit from accelerating change? I build teamwork and facilitate interdisciplinary, creative problem--solving meetings. Need a breakthrough? I also coach managers. How can we leverage eLearning (and later, virtual reality learning) to lift global educational level, cooperation and synergy? How can we shift the U.S. & world cultural balance away from competition and toward cooperation, to take full advantage of the potential synergy offered by accelerating change?

Resources to Recommend
My SUN Coaching web site:
My field of Organization Development is skilled in the art of organizational change. and
Spiral Dynamics provides a map of the process of cultural change. The 2-steps at each level of their ladder of cultural evolution are close to the general principles of 1. Evolution and 2. Development, in the “strata” of human culture.

Michael Olson

Passions and Futures
My general interest is in systems thinking related to the evolution of man as influenced by his use of tools. The tools of course are our technological skills that continue to evolve at an accelerating pace - as discussed by Ray Kurzweil and numerous others. The key technologies to watch in my mind are the usual suspects, 1) computing/storage/graphics/power, 2) biotechnology and 3) nanotechnology. The latter drives both of the former going forward.

The most influential book that I often recall is The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski as an indicator of our species' imperative to continue to evolve. The biggest challenge will be to allow the fecundity of Man to be expressed in useful ways that may well see the divergence of the species into various philosophies depending upon how various like-minded individuals see the "future of man". Some will see the convergence of man and machine as indicated by the embedding of electromechanical technology to both restore lost biological function as well as to improve our abilities such as adding exoskeletons and vision augmentation. Some will see the genetic perfection as perhaps the most "natural evolution" that follows from man's long history of husbandry - in this case, upon ourselves. And some will see any tampering as "against nature" that has through the eons created the variability in our species to generate a robust gene pool to help aid survivability. In the next 30 years these trends will begin to seriously emerge, I believe, and the result is likely to create a competition of values.

Thus, tolerance will be a major challenge and needed behavioral trait as all people are stressed by the rates of change in the world. Like an automobile traveling a highway with slow rolling hills - the ride is comfortable. But come to a gravel road and the slow rolling hills can come at shorter and shorted intervals until suddenly you are traveling on a washboard of lateral ruts and there is no time for adaptation - just a stuttering bouncing and rattling of teeth and heads bouncing off the roof. Hence the need to develop the buffers that absorb the shocks of accelerating change, change that typically now occurs faster than most of us are used to adapting to. I sometimes ask - Did H.G. Wells get it right with his vision of the future in The Time Machine? Will engineers (and scientists) begin to be looked upon like the Morlocks while everyone else (the Eloi) lives in a protected cocoon of both childhood delight and fear of the dark? The challenges are many and the opportunities to achieve great visions are numerous. Thankfully, the tools for global collaboration to better manage our continued evolution are coming together and hopefully we will have the will to use them productively.

Frank Paynter

Passions and Futures
I have a passion for truth. For three hundred years, euro-culture advanced an understanding of the universe in a quest for foundational truth. Then about thirty years ago, there was a retreat from the commitment to shaping a universal understanding in favor of a darker solipsistic postmodernism. While this cultural cul de sac provides fuel for its own immolation, it has also encouraged the growth of bizarre belief structures and fundamentalisms. Ideally, the next thirty years will be spent recovering lost ground and committing to reinvestment in science, knowledge and the growth of respect for universal education. I look for an emerging global culture with broad advances in international law, health and wellness, food and shelter for the billions, and equal opportunities for creativity and interpersonal cultural enrichment.

Projects and Problems
The problem of combustion-based energy haunts us. Discarding substitutes like coal gasification, ethanol, and bio-diesel in favor of bio-electric, wind and solar will be necessary if we want to halt global warming in time. Unfortunately, combustion alternatives are the low-hanging fruit economically as we shift from the petroleum culture. Democracy is necessary to enforce the mandate world-wide against the destruction of combustion based energy. Chemical based agriculture seems to harm as much as it provides sustenance. Closed system organic approaches that recycle bio-wastes will be needed on a broad scale to restore soil that has been sterilized by herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers. The internet promises communication and cultural integration for all. Protecting it as a commons and developing it according to standards that will prevent it from collapsing under its own weight is a challenge constantly before us.

Resources to Recommend

John Peterson, President, The Arlington Institute (johnp {at}

Passions and Futures
I am interested in the future in general, and breakthrough tools for anticipating futures and facilitating a global transition to a new world, in particular. I believe that one of the most profound areas of technological advancement will be in "sense-making" and anticipatory analysis, both of which will provide humans extraordinary abilities for dealing with a world that increasingly seems out of control and headed toward fundamental dysfunction..

Projects and Problems
We are developing very powerful technologies for sense making and surprise anticipation, in particular, a surprise anticipation center.

Resources to Recommend
More about me can be found at I am a network member of the Global Business Network. I edit the fortenightly published free newsletter: FUTUREdition, which monitors early indicators that could portend significant future change.

Edward Piou (piou {at}

Passions and Futures
Bioinformatics: will sequence analysis give us the insight and tools to cure and enhance ourselves as appropriate? And will those tools be restricted to a chosen few? In 30 years, I hope to see the fruits of research into this field benefiting people from the top to the bottom of the economic scale. I'm also passionate - now more than ever - about leveraging networks and information to help move this country's citizens towards a reality-based view of the world, away from the faith-based course we appear to be on.

Projects and Problems
I recently helped develop and debug the Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS), an online system used in the recent national election to document and deal with voting irregularities nationwide. Inspired by the folks who put in months developing EIRS before I ever heard of it, I am contemplating projects which can contribute to a positive change in the world.

Resources to Recommend
Personal page:
Online political destinations:
Online indicators of offline entertainment:

Ryan Rawson

Passions and Futures
We all brought our unique viewpoints and priorities to ACC2003 and discovered new and interesting things. A year later viewpoints and priorities shift, and what follows are some of my main concerns for the future (or lack thereof):
- Devolution of public debate and policy. Shrinking away from Science and Rationalism as deciding measures.
- Total amortized energy costs - Oil is going to get quite a bit more expensive in the future.
- Environmental preservation - Plan for the future today.
- Social Justice and Human Rights - It's not just an abstract concept, there are tangible benefits to these concepts. Property theft and crime being the most obvious.
- Advertising - the manufacturing of desire and the 30 second attention span will become more of a problem as the problems and issues we face become more complex.

Projects and Problems
Perhaps the main question is "How do we build a future worth living in?" I look forward to an interesting and invigorating conference.

Gregor J. Rothfuss, Vice President, Business Development, KAYWA Ltd.

Passions and Futures
I am interested especially in nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. I expect the rate of change to increase in the next 30 years as various previously unconnected technologies begin to interesect. I hope that the world will see the first pre-singularity technologies being put to use within 30 years, and hope that I can be a part of the ride by learning and teaching about these changes. The risks and opportunities have been written up cogently elsewhere, let me add that I consider the creation of friendly AI to be key.

Projects and Problems
One of the biggest problems facing us today is for society to adapt to change. The collective intelligence of society has to grow much quicker than it does today to tackle the complex problems of today and the future. I hope that social software and weblogs can be a first step in that direction. I design and promote weblog software.

Resources to Recommend
For more, see my personal weblog:

Chris Smith, Project Manager, Artificial Development
(chris.smith {at}

Passions and Futures
Some of my favorite subjects include interactivity, cognitive systems, augmentation, and emerging technologies. I would like to see the creative and responsible development of molecular nanotechnologies, and the application of these and other new technologies towards increasing our collective knowledge.

Projects and Problems
My primary project is working on CCortex, a biologically realistic simulation of the human brain, at Artificial Development ( Another project I'm involved with is Kidz Magazine (, an international children's publication written entirely by K-8 students.

Resources to Recommend
My personal site is Accelerating Technology (, which includes news and resources on accelerating change, nanotech, cognitive systems, and many related subjects.

Philip Steele

Passions and Futures
Ethical aspects of artificial intelligence. What will be the legal status and responsibilities of AI's as they emerge, and how do we demarcate their passage from "childhood" to "adult" legal status? How do we motivate and enforce responsible behavior in AI's?

Projects and Problems
Currently plotting a science fiction novel involving AI and singularity issues. Currently participating socially with ASF members and looking for a more productive involvement with this community. Wondering how to apply my professional skills (predominantly writing/editing/copywriting/web-content/usability) to help advance discussion of these issues. I would welcome opportunities to consult in these areas.

Resources to Recommend
My company for website services, copywriting, editing, and design (

Lisa Tansey (lisaware {at}

Passions and Futures
Molecular and cell biology, human behaviour (genetic and socio/anthro/political), and software
development including database design are my current favorites.

Ideally...30 years...the world would have found multiple better ways to generate any needed energy for specific needs in specific places, transportation will be improved for everyone - providing both the benefits of mass transit wherever possible as well as satisfying individual needs, we'll have found a higher plane
on which to solve the Lucifer Principle in human group relations, nanotechnologies and stem cell research will solve the annoying parts of aging (but people will still finally die), I'll be benefitting from all of these advances as well as helping to advance them in whatever ways I can - primarily by becoming a more globally conscious consumer & thoughtful citizen. I expect that nano and genetic technologies will continue to accelerate, as will some software technologies.

Opportunities, challenges and priorities - already listed above. I suppose I could change the original list from "Ideally" to Really", in which case it'd all move down here & up above I'd say we were continuing to swing further & further out on the pendulum between environmental disaster and technological/social salvation.

Projects and Problems
I'd like to work on helping the U.S. and really the whole world define a "middle ground" we could all truly agree on. I am working on this in small ways through various social organizations. I am wondering how these goals can be advanced more rapidly through effective use of technology. The accelerating change and technological development issues I find challenging in my day to day life have to do primarily with my paid employment at Northrop Grumman and my desire to find more effective ways to communicate the ideas I think are important. Are plays effective? Not too many people see plays. Movies are effective, but expensive to produce and difficult to distribute. Web pages are good, but now the web is so big that I'd need to invest time in learning how to make it stand out and be found. My biggest political quandry right now is the situation in the Middle East - how to assist those folks in coming to a peaceful resolution.

Resources to Recommend
ASF, Futurists, The World Affairs Council, Sister Cities International, Sifter (atheists social network), Morris dancing, Samba (Diaspora and SuperSonicSambaSchool), Benissimo5 improv, IEEE Siggraph, the International Dance Association of San Diego, and Mensa are all groups with which I am affiliated or promote. MIT's "Technology Review", "Science News", the BBC, NPR, tempest, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Commentary, Muslim World Today, the Jerusalem Post, and the national and local Mensa publications are where mostly I get my info. I also like to read Simon Funk's blog from time to time. I keep meaning to join a web community... :) &, for that matter, set up a web page - for a computer geek, I've been pretty slothful on these two items.

Hans van Rietschote (hvrietsc {at}

Passions and Futures
What fascinates me is the ability to be connected all the time, everywhere, to everyone and everything I want to be connected to at any given time. My cell phone gives me the opportunity to talk to anyone. My ultra-portable lap/palm/button-top gives me access to everything digital: all my pictures, movies, emails, files and the whole internet. The challenge will be to filter all this stuff so I can find what I want to look at it immediately, so I don't get bombarded with SPAM, and I don't get contacted by people or bots that I don't want to be contacted by. The challenge will be flexible privacy in a digital world and at the same time the ability "record" everything I do digitally.

Projects and Problems
Given my job in the CTO organization of VERITAS I am interested in working on topics such as: can I have immediate access to all my data by carrying around something the size of a matchbook or smaller. Another topic of interest how do I find something I am looking for. I was going to write "how to organize everything" but I think we will not be able to organize all the bits we generate, so there has to be a better way...

Peter Voss, Founder, Adaptive AI Inc.

Passions and Futures
My interests include: Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), philosophy, ethics, futurism, technology, psychology, as well as radical life-extension including calorie restriction (CRON) and cryonics. Indications are that in less than 10 years we'll hit the singularity, and who knows what things will be like... AGI is the key: It will happen before full-blown nanotech, bioengineering, and before we figure out how to stop ageing – AGI will make these other advances possible.

Projects and Problems
Adaptive AI (a2i2) is building an AGI system: . We are always looking for additional team members & collaborators. Our AGI engine is based on a specific theoretical model of high-level intelligence developed over the past decade. Our immediate goal is the creation of a fully functional, proof-of-concept prototype of all the foundational elements of General Intelligence. We currently have seven full-time members on our team, who in a short period of time have created a significant framework of core functionality and tools for our AGI engine. For more information about our project, see our Research and Company page.

Resources to Recommend
Peter Voss:
Longevity: CRON - Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition

Kennita Watson, Software QA Engineer

Passions and Futures
What subjects fascinate you most? Space travel and colonization. The meeting of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and psychology (for example, as they could be applied for rehabilitation of criminals or for reacclimatization of reanimated cryonics patients). Biomedical technology (neural regeneration and repair).
Where will the world, and you, be in the next 30 years? Most of the world, particularly the third world, may be held to approximately its present state by political inertia and the slow diffusion of ideas across linguistic, cultural, and ideological boundaries. For those in developed countries, death from aging and disease will be greatly reduced, as will unplanned procreation. Other than that, I really don't know, which is part of the point.
Do you expect continual acceleration of technology? Yes, although I don't know what that will look like.
What are the risks and opportunities? Risks include that technology will be used for violence and destruction, or that it will push humans out of their accustomed niches without giving them time to adapt to new ones. Opportunities include that it will be used to free up the creative energy of billions who are currently unable to use it effectively due to poverty and disease.
What should be our development priorities? A general priority, not connected to any particular technology, should be safety. Many technologies are in the works or on the horizon that have the potential to get out of control, or to be purposely developed and used, to the detriment of millions or even billions.

Projects and Problems
I'm interested in AI-assisted psychology and education. Think The Diamond Age: or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer. I have long thought that grades (in both senses) should be done away with in schools; now I think that schools themselves (as we have come to know them) should be done away with. I'd like to hear others' views of how those brought up in the 20th century will deal with an economy turned topsy-turvy by coming developments, and how our social structure will integrate people who live much longer and healthier life spans. Will people retire much later? Much earlier? Not at all? Will they even have to (or be able to) work as we know it?

Resources to Recommend
Personal web page: Groups you are affiliated with or promote: Foresight Institute, Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Extropy Institute, Libertarian Party. Other info sources you use and recommend: The only one that comes immediately to mind at 5 AM is, particularly the Tutorials section.

William Wiser

Passions and Futures
I am currently most interested in learning about potentially world changing technologies, such as superhuman intelligence (either computers or human augmentation), nanotechnology, and biotechnology. I am also interested in the sociology of technology development, international military relations, and the politics of technology, war, and freedom. I don't know where things will be in 30 years. I do expect technology to keep accelerating. Risks and opportunities are too many to mention. Development priorities for me would be inevitable technologies with dramatic effect or anti-aging science.

Projects and Problems
My current top project is learning potentially dramatic technologies and keeping up on them. Methods for tracking technology are interesting to me. Current health and productivity is also a big interest for me - teaching and applying what is known, stimulating interest. My main focus for now is learning and teaching (mostly by writing) technology and ways to avoid death. Technology with high, near-term profit potential and long term value is also interesting to me.

Resources to Recommend
I like Foresight Institute. I generally hang out with a life extension, future oriented crowd but I have few novel recommendations. I have a good knowledge of general life extension topics.


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