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The future is not what it used to be, with José Luis Cordeiro

Rapidly changing technology is changing how we think about the future - and how we MUST think about the future.

Topics covered in this talk include:

  • Options for dealing with shortages of fuel and energy: "moving from dirty energy to clean energy"
  • Synthetic biology - radical implications for the environment and for personalised medicine
  • The surprising future of technological convergence - "Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno" (NBIC)
  • Changing the meaning of humanity: prospects for indefinite healthy lifespans, artificial brains, and sentient robots
  • Practical progress at Singularity University: improving the world, a billion people at a time
  • The four types of futurist - which are you?

About the speaker:

The speaker at this event is José Luis Cordeiro, chair of the Venezuelan Node of the Millennium Project, Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies in Tokyo, Japan, and Energy Advisor and Faculty at Singularity University in NASA Ames, Silicon Valley, USA. He is also an independent consultant, writer, researcher, professor and “tireless traveler”.


José Cordeiro is founder and president emeritus of the World Future Society (Venezuela Chapter, Sociedad Mundial del Futuro Venezuela), director of the Single Global Currency Association (SGCA) and the Lifeboat Foundation, cofounder of the Venezuelan Transhumanist Association and of the Internet Society (ISOC, Venezuela Chapter), board advisor to the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN), member of the Academic Committee of the Center for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge (CEDICE), the World Future Society (WFS) and the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF), former director of the World Transhumanist Association (WTA, Humanity+), the Extropy Institute (ExI), the Club of Rome (Venezuela Chapter, where he was active promoting classical liberal ideas) and of the Association of Venezuelan Exporters (AVEX), where he participated in the original negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). He has also been advisor to the Venezuelan Business Association (AVE) and other companies and international organizations.


The meeting will be held in the Roberts Engineering Building of UCL. This building is on Torrington Place, WC1E 7JE, almost directly opposite the large Waterstones Booksellers. The nearest tube stations include Goodge Street, Euston Square, and Russell Square: all are within five minutes walk.

For precise directions, see the map

The meeting is taking place from 7pm to 9pm on Thursday June 6th in Lecture Theatre Roberts 309, on the third floor.

After the meeting, attendees are welcome to continue informal 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 5.30pm onwards, for general chat over a light snack 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.)

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  • Rick P.

    The exponential rate at which technology accumulates, advances, and prevails, correlates to the rate at which resources are consumed, the populations grows, and the earth is polluted. The consequence of the singularity is a duality, in the sense it makes life convenient for the growing population and catastrophic for the aging planet. As our Science Fiction heroes prophesize the birth of A.I., let’s not forget their other prophecies, such as the various ways to control the growing population that consumes the planet’s resources, life, and area that the rich has worked so hard to control. Without a planet, those in power can’t enjoy all that they have worked so hard to control. Consequently, man-made plagues, wars, and even Zombies should not be trivial aspects of the future.

    July 13, 2013

  • david s.

    David, small point, but are we able to access a copy of Jose presenation, now that he's given it? Dorry if i'm being dumb about accessing it if its obvious. its just that it would be nice to quote from him on occasions.

    June 14, 2013

    • David W.

      Hi David - Sorry, I don't have a copy of the slides yet, but I'll post them in the files section here,­, as soon as they're available.

      June 15, 2013

  • PB

    It was interesting and funny, and Jose was inclusively insulting to many countries & religions - though some came of worse than others. Some bits were new, I liked the spitting eye-colour 23&Me, Biopolis, some book ideas and a Watson YouTube recommendation (better than "average, average, average" I hope or is that being, er, mean ;-) ) - and some bits were familiar. It was like the crystal maze getting to the lecture theatre - locked doors, suspicious staff, fruitless phone calls, dead-ends ...I wondered at one point if I was going to miss the end of the human age - what would I have done then? Thanks for an entertaining couple of hours and lots to think about

    June 8, 2013

    • David W.

      PB - I'm sorry for the Crystal Maze ordeal to reach the lecture theatre. It was a room we hadn't used before and I don't intend to use it again (although it was good in several other ways). The next few London Futurist events should be back in Birkbeck College which is more of a known entity for us.

      June 8, 2013

    • PB

      Thanks David. The Maze didn't detract at all from the evening, but I almost wondered if it had been deliberately planned as a kind of metaphor for joys and frustrations of discovery, and the elusive "lecture theatre" of breakthrough that might (or might not) lay at "the end". It was a fun, inspiring evening, so many thanks to the planners and arrangers who set it up.

      June 10, 2013

  • Kiran M.

    Talking of 4 armed humanoid species vs Machines ...

    June 7, 2013

  • Kiran M.

    June 7, 2013

  • terence f.

    excellent range of topics wsell explained but obviously somewhat biassed

    June 7, 2013

  • Steve N.

    Jose was I retesting and an engaging speaker who is very enthusiastic about the future . He is well worth seeing if your interested in a view of where things are projected to go.

    June 6, 2013

    • Steve N.

      Should read "interesting".­ Predictive text!

      June 6, 2013

  • James E.

    I enjoyed Jose's talk a lot. I liked the fact he didn't tip-toe around offending people's ideas when it came to topics like creationism. An enthusiastic and maybe slightly controversial speaker - well worth rushing out of work for!

    June 6, 2013

  • Heather

    Very interesting. Raised great questions.

    June 6, 2013

  • * Dan Dunleavy *

    Excellent in some ways, but did not robustly address issues of managing the power the future will place in the hands of all - imagine a Berlusconi or a Woolwich bomber with some of this. I'm sure wisdom can be enhanced in future, but this imperative was not articulated

    2 · June 6, 2013

  • Jack N.

    Interesting subjects and questions but an unfocused talk made it too general

    June 6, 2013

  • Izen

    A very powerful and emotive presentation

    June 6, 2013

  • Mark G.

    Sorry - I can't make this now.

    June 6, 2013

  • Wilfried

    Regrettably, I can't attend as I have another, longterm commitment

    June 5, 2013

    • Elaine

      Should have been @Jose sorry - in a rush!

      June 6, 2013

    • David W.

      Hi Elaine - The session tomorrow (7th) will cover many more areas, in greater depth

      June 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    unfortunately, I wont be able to attend tonight as I have a client dinner I have to be at with work. I'm really interested in your talk and wonder if there will be a summary or presentation available to view later on please?

    June 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you Jose, I regrettably will be out of country from tomorrow til Monday. I hope to catch you next time you are speaking in London.

      June 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Jose, I'm also keen to hear your views on Orgasmic Meditation as the human regenerative technology and see if you agree that what the internet did for computers, female orgasm can do for human connection?

    June 6, 2013

  • Will S.

    Unfortunately my future does not include attending this meeting. Will it be recorded?

    June 6, 2013

  • Stephen A.

    I'm sorry I can't make it Jose (I have a dinner to attend in Suffolk), it looks to be a really good session. I am finding, as I get older, our views seem to be converging more and more. I just have to find something for us to disagree about in Chicago! Will I see you there?

    May 9, 2013

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