Past Meetup

Grand futures and existential risk, with Anders Sandberg

This Meetup is past

144 people went

Price: £7.00 /per person

Birkbeck College

Torrington Square WC1E 7HX · London

How to find us

We'll be in B33, on the basement level

Location image of event venue


How should we organise our thinking and our activities, in the face of the range of opportunities and risks facing humanity? Where should we prioritise our resources? How can we best keep in mind the set of "grand futures" which potentially lie ahead of us, as humanity is poised to transcend current circumstances and venture into the wider cosmos?

This talk by Anders Sandberg, Senior Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University, explores what can be done to enhance the probability of humanity having a grand future, rather than civilisation being inadvertently destroyed. Questions Anders will consider include:

• Just how much can be achieved in the long run?

• How many future generations can there be?

• What is known about the limits of advanced civilizations, our ability to colonize the universe, and the constraints the astrophysics of the far future pose for life and intelligence?

• And what existential risks do we most need to address in the shorter term, so we can access this grander future?

(Picture source: Nasa) (

About the speaker:

The research of Anders Sandberg ( at the Future of Humanity Institute centres on management of low-probability high-impact risks, estimating the capabilities of future technologies, and very long-range futures.

Anders is a Senior Research Fellow on the ERC UnPrEDICT Programme ( and the FHI-Amlin Collaboration (

Topics of particular interest to Anders include global catastrophic risk, cognitive biases, cognitive enhancement, collective intelligence, neuroethics, and public policy.

He is research associate to the the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. He is on the advisory boards of a number of organisations and often debates science and ethics in international media.

Anders has a background in computer science, neuroscience and medical engineering. He obtained his Ph.D. in computational neuroscience from Stockholm University, Sweden, for work on neural network modelling of human memory.

Since the 1990s, Anders has maintained the "Andart" website ( as "part of his exoself".

Meeting logistics:

2pm-4pm, Saturday 3rd February 2018.

Venue: Room B33, Birkbeck College (, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.

Room B33 is on the basement level 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.

Event hashtag:

#LonFut (

Wifi access:

Wireless network: BBK-Guest
Username: londonfuturists77
Password: kSEMM5

(This account is restricted to the day of the event.)

Covering meeting costs:

A small fee (£7) is payable to attend this meetup. This fee covers room hire costs. Please pay in advance, online, after you RSVP.

(NB you don't need a PayPal account to use the PayPal interface.)

This will be refunded if the meeting is cancelled or rearranged, or if the attendee cancels at least 2 days before the meetup.

In case of difficulty using the meetup app to RSVP and pay, please use a laptop or desktop web browser.

Alternatively, if there are still seats available, payment of £10 in that case can be made in cash at the door on the day. (Requesting payment in advance assists with accurate planning of the event.)

Journalists are welcome to attend the meeting free-of-charge - please contact the organiser, notifying us in advance of your plans to attend.