Past Meetup

The Symbiosis Of Man And Machine. With Peter Cochrane

This Meetup is past

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Location image of event venue


The Symbiosis of Man and Machine

2pm-4pm, Saturday 19th January

Venue: B34, Basement Level, Birkbeck College (, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London

(relocated from the originally advertised venue - the Google Campus - in order to accommodate a significantly larger audience)

Peter Cochrane writes:

In 2000 it was clear that mankind was building a networked world of people and things that was non-linear, chaotic, highly unpredictable not well understood, and probably impossible to control and manage. Signs of increasing instability and management difficulty culminated in global stagnation and recession by 2010. Throughout this period it was clear that bankers, financiers, economists and politicians did not understand what was happening and could not adapt to the situation.

It was also clear that the old industries and management methods were unsustainable and fundamentally unmanageable in the long term. Something new was needed, something radically different! A new era for industry, economics and management was being forecast that relied upon the tools and wisdom provided by intelligent machines, and by 2012 a vision of what was needed and why was beginning to emerge. And perhaps for the first time it seemed that the machines were ready but people were not.

So what will be the state of play by 2035? Will we have made it or not? What is technologically possible, and what might humans accept?

In this presentation we therefore look at what looks to be technological possible and likely by 2020, 2030 and 2035, and speculate on the reaction and acceptance of people and political systems.

About the speaker:

Dr Peter Cochrane ( OBE, BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, CGIA, FREng, FRSA, FIEE, FIEEE

As a seasoned professional with over 40 years of hands on management, technology and operational experience, Peter has been involved in establishing new companies, the creation and deployment of new technologies, products and management systems, plus the transformation of corporations.

His career in BT saw a progression from linesman and technician to engineer, Head of R&D and then CTO. His 1000 strong team engaged in studies spanning optical fibre, fixed and mobile nets, complex systems, human interface design, eCommerce, eLogistics, Artificial Life and Intelligence.

Peter has also been employed in the defence, logistics, travel, retail, energy, healthcare, transport, pharma, and consulting sectors. As an investor and entrepreneur he has also engaged in the founding of new companies, and global investments.

He was appointed as the UK’s first Prof for the Public Understanding of Science & Technology @ Bristol in 1998. A graduate of Nottingham Trent and Essex Universities, Peter has received notable recognition with the Queen's Award for Innovation & Export in 1990, numerous Honorary Doctorates, and was awarded an OBE in 1999 for contributions to international communications.


2pm-4pm, Saturday 19th January 2013.

Venue: B34, Birkbeck College (, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.

Room B34 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.

The meeting is free to attend - no charge.
But please consider making a donation towards the costs of running the group:
- see How You Can Help London Futurists (

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.


This meeting was originally scheduled for 16th February, but due to change in speaker plans, the meetings for 16th February and 19th January have been switched.