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2045: Conscious avatars or wishful thinking?

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

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

As described at

Global Future 2045 is a one of a kind congress, premised on the notion that the world stands on the brink of global change. In order for civilization to move to a higher stage of development, humanity vitally needs a scientific revolution and significant spiritual changes that will be inseparably linked, supporting and supplementing each other.

GF2045 discussions will include global challenges and science mega-projects to address them, and insights on these matters from various spiritual traditions.

The main focus will be the Avatar project, which includes the development of anthropomorphic robots, telepresence systems, brain-computer interfaces (BCI), life-support systems for the brain, neuroprostheses, whole brain modeling, consciousness theory, and roadmaps for non-biological mind substrates.

Dmitry Itskov, founder of the 2045 Initiative and organizer of the Global Future 2045 congress said:“Civilization is in the midst of a sea change, ushering in a new era of foresighted, self-directed spiritual and corporeal human evolution.” Itskov continued: “The mission of GF2045 is to shape the imminent capability for self-directed evolution into a strategy to benefit all of mankind.”

The London Futurist event will contain selective summaries of highlights from presentations by speakers at Global Future 2045. These speakers include:

Ray Kurzweil — Director of Engineering, Google; futurist and inventor, co-founder, Singularity University, and author of How to Create a Mind and The Singularity is Near.

Dr. Marvin Minsky — A.I. pioneer, professor of Media Arts and Science, MIT Media Lab.

Dr. George Church — Harvard University PhD, molecular geneticist, pioneer in personal genomics and synthetic biology.

Dr. James Martin — British author and entrepreneur and the largest individual benefactor to the University of Oxford in its 900-year history.

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis — Founder and Chairman, X Prize Foundation, Co-founder, Singularity University, author of Abundance.

Dr. David Hanson — Robotics designer and researcher, creating androids: humanlike robots with intelligence and feelings.

Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro — Android Creator; Director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory in Osaka, Japan.

Dr. Theodore Berger — USC Professor, brain prosthesis technology developer.

Dr. Ed Boyden — Optogeneticist, neuroscientist at MIT; associate member McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

Mahayogi ‘Pilot’ Baba — Self-realized Siddha Master. Mahamandaleshwar of the Juna Akhara Order of Hindu Monks.

Dr. Amit Goswami — Professor Emeritus from the Theoretical Physics Department of the University of Oregon.

Visit the Global Future 2045 website for complete agenda details and speaker bios.


2pm-4pm, Saturday 22nd June

Venue: Room 532, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.

Room 532 is on the 5th 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.

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

Optional pre-meeting rendezvous - please feel free to join a small number of regular London Futurist attendees at the Marlborough Arms any time from 12.30pm onwards, for general chat over a light lunch and/or drinks. To find us, look out for a table with a futurist book on it.

Covering meeting costs:

A small fee (£5) is payable to attend this meetup. This fee covers room costs. Please pay in advance, online.

This will be refunded if the meeting is cancelled or rearranged, or if the attendee cancels at least 3 days before the meetup.

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


This two hour London Futurist meetup will inevitably convey only some of the highlights from the New York conference, which lasts two days. I recommend that anyone who is seriously interested in the topics addressed by GF2045 to consider finding a way to travel to New York and attend in person.

Join or login to comment.

  • Yanna B.

    Thank you again for organising a great event David and Hyesoon!
    I am starting to post the photo's that I took at the event. I hope you like them! If you recognise yourself in the photo, please don't hesitate to email me and request the original.
    Best wishes to all and looking forward to the next event.

    June 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Yanna, Thanks for taking the photos. I would like to have the original one of me (you have put it in the photo section already). I will let you work out which one is me from my photo on the left. :-p

      1 · July 1, 2013

  • Kiran M.
    Robotics designer David Hanson & Dmitry Itskov, founder and chair, 2045 initiative on robotics and avatars of the future. Interview on Charlie Rose. (acclaimed US interviewer & journalist)

    1 · June 29, 2013

    • Yanna B.

      Thanks for sharing this brilliant video Kiran! It's the best I've seen about the Initiative 2045 so far.

      1 · June 30, 2013

  • David W.

    Very sad news: one of the people whose presentation from GF2045 that I was talking about on Saturday, Dr James Martin, has been found dead:

    Despite being 79 years old, he seemed so full of life at GF2045.

    June 25, 2013

  • Yissar


    Are you going to share the presentation you gave?

    It would be much appreciated :)

    June 24, 2013

    • David W.

      Yissar - Sorry for the delay. A PDF of my presentation is now in the Files section of this site (members will need to be logged in to see this file listed):­.

      June 24, 2013

    • Yissar

      Thank you David

      June 25, 2013

  • David V.

    Following up on those 'telepathy' experiments mentioned by Amit Goswami, they're summarised in this paper on p.417:

    June 24, 2013

    • David W.

      David: Thanks for the pointer to the 2004 paper by Gao Shan. Its uncritical acceptance of the infamous experiments conducted by Targ and Puthoff, among others, gives me little confidence in the credibility of the rest of this paper.
      See e.g. http://en.wikipedia.o...­ for some further discussion.

      June 24, 2013

    • David W.

      (Targ and Puthoff's endorsement of Uri Geller's psychic abilities is another reason to treat their proclamations with caution.)

      June 24, 2013

  • Sheila M.

    Excellent overview of what was obviously a packed 2 days - thanks David

    June 24, 2013

  • Eva

    Interesting and thought provoking......with some .... "scary" ideas

    June 24, 2013

  • Matias C.

    Interesting topic covered, saw some things I had not before.

    June 23, 2013

  • Kiran M.

    I thought this piece had some transferable wisdom to progress in future issues.

    1 · June 23, 2013

  • Candice

    can't make saturday daytimes anymore unfortunately :(

    June 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      You missed a very interesting talk. :-p

      June 23, 2013

  • James E.

    Unfortunately I got called up by work at very short notice and couldn't attend. Is there a Google hangouts link for this?

    1 · June 22, 2013

  • Yissar

    Not exactly avatars nut recommended nevertheless,
    Swedish TV series 'Real Humans', where Hubots (Humanoid robots) are common and the relationship with human society.
    Showing many aspects of such reality.

    June 22, 2013

  • terence f.

    excellent summary of a two day event with a focus on day 1 leading to lively Qs and As

    June 22, 2013

  • David V.

    Interesting debate - sorry I had to duck out before the pub.

    June 22, 2013

  • Brian From C.

    hi is anyone there now to give a live feed via twitter or google video?

    June 22, 2013

  • David V.

    I'll be going to GF2045 in person as well, along with Spela Strukelj. Look out for us if you happen to be there.

    June 11, 2013

  • Kiran M.

    Videos of previews of talks at conference.

    June 3, 2013

    • Kiran M.

      Oops! It's the same as David's link below. :)

      June 3, 2013

  • David W.

    For a sympathetic, thoughtful review of Dmitry Itskov, the main thinker and sponsor behind GF2045, see

    June 2, 2013

  • CyberJack

    'Fraid we won't be able to help with this -- we won't get back from attending GF2045 until the following week!

    May 28, 2013

  • Anette

    David, could you clarify is the meeting planned as a overview of the conference or specificly focused on Dmitry's replica head?

    May 7, 2013

    • David W.

      The meeting will be an overview from all aspects of the conference. I'll highlight the ideas and projects from the conference which strike me as the most interesting, novel, and important.

      May 7, 2013

  • Andrew K.

    Sounds very interesting!

    May 5, 2013

  • David W.



    Dmitry Itskov, founder of the 2045 Initiative and Global Future 2045 congress (GF2045) has announced that he will unveil the Dmitry Avatar-A head—the world’s most human-like android head—at GF2045.

    This is an exact robotic replica of the head of Mr. Dmitry Itskov himself and was created by award-winning roboticist Dr. David Hanson, founder of Hanson Robotics. Hanson is best known for his robotic androids of Albert Einstein and Philip K. Dick, and the latter will also be exhibited at GF2045...

    1 · May 1, 2013

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  • the Meetup is cancelled
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