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Re: [London-Futurists] A rare update from the London Futurists meetup group.

From: Rona D.
Sent on: Friday, March 16, 2012 2:35 PM
Sounds interesting but my computer hung when I tried to access it.  I haven't been to a meeting in a long time and would like to attend.  Prefer week-end sessions though.
From: Michell Zappa <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, 15 March 2012, 15:47
Subject: Re: [London-Futurists] A rare update from the London Futurists meetup group.

Hi Steve & everyone else.

I realize not much has been happening in the group, but I'm willing to stick my neck out to offer a theme.

I'm a budding futurist/technologist and am developing a framework for producing plausible scenarios (which I call "sci-fi scaffolding").

With that in mind, we could perhaps attempt to form a meeting around different scenario methodologies? I'll happy outline my approach, show a few examples, and compare it to others.

(You'll find a little bit more information about my approach on


Michell Zappa

Email: [address removed]
Phone: [masked]

On Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 4:30 PM, Steve Lowe wrote:
Ladies and gentlemen.  
The last big event, enjoyed by 120 London Futurists, was delivered back in October  thanks to the hard work David Wood. Subsequently, there were a couple of ?niche? meetings, but nothing since January. Membership has grown and it would be great to justify this by more events and information on the group message boards.
Events require quality venues and speakers. Over the past few months approaches have been made to several organisations, including NESTA and the Welcome Trust, in the hope of trying to secure FREE venue space for a quarterly series of ?futures? talks. So far, these approaches have come to nothing but there are multiple academic, research and commercial organisations that have relevant facilities, a good overlap of interests and which might see merit in such a proposal. It is a numbers game. We need to find an institution where its remit to disseminate knowledge has yet to be undermined by the scourge of ?activity based costing? that has turned empty lecture theatres into ?profit centres? and ?Administrators? and HR people into the cockroaches of British industry.  There must be a few left! The next organisation to be approached via telephone and email will be Gresham College. Then will be the Science & Technology Studies Department at University College London. Both host public lectures and can attract excellent speakers. Both also need sufficient time to properly consider such a proposal, so the process is time-consuming. Any other ideas of where to approach will be gratefully received.
Whist the search for a quality venue for a quarterly talk series continues we must also think about more ?niche?, less formal events.  Learning from Dirk and Amon?s Zero State meetups, Saturday lunchtimes at the Penderel?s Oak seems to work. Two more potentials of hundreds are upstairs at the Lyceum Public House in the Strand, which is ideally located, spacious and quiet after 2pm on a Sunday (With food served until 5) and, as suggested by others, the coffee bar in Waterstones, Piccadilly.
If you feel you have something interesting to share with other members of the futurists group, please, suggest a meetup. By the way, in response to the suggestion for one on nootropics,  which seems to need both a venue and speaker, I have made several calls with no joy, though note that Anders Sandberg, who presented at David?s Beyond Human event, co-authored a paper on the subject with Nick Bostrom. My ?final fling of the dice? with regard to this will be a cold pitch to Jim Wood the Director of the Medical Research Council?s facility at Mill Hill, for them to run an open seminar on the subject. They might go for it as I understand they are looking to grow their neurophysiology department and such a lecture could generate interest. The email goes out tomorrow.
Some ideas that I have for potential niche events are a bit dry or ill-formed at present. They include exploring a possible taxonomy for futurists; a complete collegiate-?Wikispeed?-style rethink of the embryonic Billion Year Project concept I presented at David?s event, plus an exploration of the just published today and yet to be read book, ?Abundance?, co authored by Peter Diamandis, one of the founders of the Singularity University. Any feedback or steer on these ideas will be gratefully received.
There are some interesting third party public events coming up, and I will post details onto the message boards in the next couple of days. There have also been a couple of interesting papers published recently and I will do likewise. Please, if you can, do the same with anything you find interesting. Courtesy of the hard work put in by David et al. this group still has the potential to deliver a great deal to many. Let?s build on this.
Remember, YOUR meetup  proposals will be MOST welcome! The resource is at your disposal.
Thank you for your time, rest assured you will not receive another email for at least another couple of months and (err..) have a great Lent!.
Steve Lowe

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