• The world's problems are not solved by the same mindset that created them.

    Foresight Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation for world-changing technologies. We support technological developments towards an abundant future.

  • Legacy

    We are getting a new website after having made a difference in technologies for 30 years. Click here to see our legacy website with access to all reports, events, and documents.

  • The Foresight Fellowship

    We're launching a new initiative. The Foresight Fellowship catalyzes the talent that builds a bright future. We support exceptional technologists, inventors, and innovators. You can use the button below to get involved, to get notified of our launch, or to nominate someone else to be considered.

  • Videos

    Impressions Foresight Institute's most recent event. Click here for our archive of events.


    1 Minute

    Latest workshop: Atomic precision for Energy

    5 Minutes

  • What we do

    Foresight Institute is a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on transformative future technologies. Founded in 1986 on a vision of coming revolutions in technology that will bring both great opportunities and great dangers, and including ideas of how to prepare for these technologies, its mission is to discover and promote the upsides, and help avoid the dangers, of nanotechnology, AI, biotech, and similar life-changing developments.

    Our ongoing efforts include public talks, media appearances, advocacy, and engagement with institutions.

    Our Technical Workshops attract luminaries and domain experts from diverse fields. We follow a 'magic' recipe inspired by design thinking to make ideas and exchanges happen that wouldn't otherwise happen. Besides the creation of lifelong bonds and collaborations, projects hatched at the workshops have attracted millions in funding.

    Our next technical workshop is Artificial Intelligence for Scientific Progress on September 30 - October 1 2016.



    We have crafted the Foresight Guidelines and the Foresight Nanotech Roadmap which act as a guidepost for the development of beneficial nanotechnology.



    Our Conferences and Unconferences are open events where we engage the public on topics related to our mission. We employ a mix of talks and facilitate self-emergent groups and projects.

    The next unconference is Will Technology Eat The World? Technological progress and the future of our society on November 16 2016.



    The Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, established in 1993, awards outstanding scientific work in theoretical and applied nanotechnology.

    Read about our past laureates here.



    The Foresight Fellowship features innovators from the fields of world-changing technologies. We select for quality of work, courage, and consideration for the future of the world.

    The first Fellowship class will launch in 2017.



    Lastly, we never rest to improve our approach, challenge our assumptions, scout recent developments, and test new ideas.



  • Team

    United by a passion for future technologies and the drive to improve the state of the world

    Julia Bossmann

    President & CEO

    Julia Bossmann is the president of Foresight Institute. Previously she founded at Synthetic, co-founded Anticip8 Analytics, and conducted research of coming technologies at Bosch Research & Technology. She is a McKinsey fellow, Singularity University GSP graduate, and World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Her academic background is in Neuroscience and Psychology where she holds a MSc with highest honors. She speaks on AI, innovation, the future, and how technology transforms society. In 2016 the World Economic Forum appointed Julia as member of the Global Future Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

    Steve Burgess

    COO & Treasurer

    Steve Burgess is a nanotechnology activist, tech writer & speaker, startup mentor, and an internationally recognized computer forensics consultant. A founder of the data recovery industry in 1984 and a pioneer of today’s burgeoning computer forensics and electronic discovery industry, Burgess is active as a digital forensic specialist and testifies widely as an expert witness in the field.
    Steve has reported on Japan’s space programs, contributed various Nanotech Glossaries, is the author of "The (Needed) New Economics of Abundance," contributor to the text, "Scientific Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases," and regularly writes on cyberissues, tech tips, and CSI stories found at http://burgessforensics.com/articles.php

    Christine Peterson

    Co-founder & Projects director

    Christine Peterson is Co-founder and former President of Foresight Institute. She lectures and writes about nanotechnology, AI, and longevity. Christine leads Foresight’s technical workshops and Feynman Prizes in Nanotechnology. She is co-author of Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution (Morrow, also free online) and Leaping the Abyss: Putting Group Genius to Work (knOwhere Press, also free online).

    She advises the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, Global Healthspan Policy Institute, National Space Society, startup Ligandal, and the Voice & Exit conference. She coined the term ‘open source software.’ She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from MIT.

    Dr. Jim Lewis

    Research Analyst & Technical Editor

    Jim received a BA (University of Pennsylvania, 1967), MA and PhD in chemistry (Harvard University, 1968, 1972). After postdoctoral research in molecular biology at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (1971-1973), Jim continued research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (1973-1980), finishing as a Senior Staff Investigator, and then as an Associate Member, Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (1980-1988). He joined the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute as a Senior Research Investigator (1988-1996). Since 1996 he has been working with Foresight, and as a consultant on nanotechnology.

    Allison Duettmann

    Program Manager


    Allison is a philosopher by training with a Summa Cum Laude MSc from the London School of Economics, where she developed a moral framework for AGI. She is interested in applying good philosophy to real-world challenges to aid the long-term wellbeing of all species. For this purpose she planned TEDx, workshops and conferences for governments, private companies, think tanks and NGO’s in Germany, France, Colombia, the UK and the US.
    As Program Manager she helps coordinate Foresight’s workshops, publications, newsletter, donations, public events and more. If these interest you, contact: a.duettmann@foresight.org

    Maya Lockwood

    Director of Engagement


    Maya provides public relations, communications and business development services for organizations who want to increase their visibility and form valuable strategic partnerships. She has worked with venture capital and startup clients, including Richard Branson's 2015 Extreme Tech Challenge as their publicist. Maya's technical background includes 15+ years as analyst, leading implementation, training and more with Meditech, UCSF Medical Center, and Symantek. She frequently hosts workshops and salons that engage the public in authentic storytelling. She enjoys empowering new ideas, building strong relationships, and developing our collective potential.


    Marcia Seidler, Event Coordination

    Miron Cuperman, IT

    Ben Harper, IT

    Tad Hogg, Reports

    Tammy Kettler, Accounting

    Terry Miller, Financial Advice

    David Sohn, Legal Counsel

    Gene Takagi, Corporate Counsel

    Board of Directors

    Advisory board

    Stewart Brand, Long Now Foundation

    Peter Diamandis, M.D., The X PRIZE Foundation

    Jamie Dinkelacker, Ph.D., Google, Inc.

    John Gilmore, Electronic Frontier Foundation

    C. Christopher Hook, M.D., Mayo Clinic

    Ray Kurzweil, Kurzweil Technologies, Inc.

    Prof. Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University

    Prof. Amory B. Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

    Prof. Glenn H. Reynolds, University of Tennessee

    Peter Schwartz, Salesforce.com

    James R. Von Ehr II, Zyvex Labs

  • Donate today

    And make a difference for our world's future.


    We're independent and rely on private donations to do everything we do. Because Foresight Institute is an accredited 501(c)3 non-profit organization, your contributions are fully tax-deductible.

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  • Who we are

    Foresight Institute steers technology to solve humanity's challenges. A bright future requires action today.



    Foresight Institute selectively accelerates technologies that can have huge benefits for the world. We believe that the future can be incredibly bright if the right actions are taken today.

    Whether it's nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, or biotechnology, we are at a crucial point in history where we are about to develop tools that are more powerful than anything that came before. Driven with strong values, we guide and support the development of transformative tools that unlock humanity's potential for a flourishing future.







    Foresight Institute is a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on transformative future technologies. Founded in 1986, its mission is to discover and promote the upsides, and help avoid the dangers, of nanotechnology, AI, biotech, and similar life-changing developments.

    Foresight's mission is to:

    • speed development of nanotechnology and other key fundamental technologies,
    • promote beneficial uses of these revolutionary technologies, and
    • reduce misuse and accidents potentially associated with them.




    • Solar-powered nanostructures for the desalination of ocean water

    • Artificially intelligent modeling for scientific breakthrough

    • Atomically precise structures to fight neurodegenerative disease

    • Nanofactories capable of general-purpose, high throughput atomically precise manufacturing

    • Ability to manufacture practically anything compatible with physical law for the price of agricultural products

    • Automated systems for engineering design powered by machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence

    • Microscopic medical nanorobots designed and built to atomic precision and able to repair virtually any damage caused by disease, aging, or trauma







  • What we believe in

    A few of our values

    Life should flourish

    Technology is great when it solves more problems for the state of the world than it creates. Its end is to contribute to better lives, a better world, and after that, to expand the light of consciousness throughout the universe. Life is an infinitely valuable system, and everything we do is first and foremost to make life flourish.

    Effectiveness and Resourcefulness

    We are committed to focusing our energy on producing the best possible future. That also means that we optimize impact per dollar for the donations we receive. Our network effects model has produced good results, where thousands of dollars spent have resulted in millions in government funding for our technologies. Besides that, we retain a resourceful start-up attitude and constantly look for ways to have an effective impact. We won't take "well, we tried" for an answer.

    Listen, understand, and anticipate

    Einstein allegedly said “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” Before choosing our initiatives, activities, and workshop topics, we ensure we're at the edge of technological progress, knowledge about developments in the world, and mindful ways to have an impact. Learning about the latest developments is an ongoing effort that is expected from every member of the organization.

    Great power = great responsibility

    Powerful tools can create vastly positive outcomes for the state of the world. But if applied without caution, they also bring potential risks for devastation. Foresight Institute practices transparent advocacy of the responsibility that novel technology brings throughout all levels of society. Along with the development of beneficial technologies, we promote efforts to ensure their safety as well as their contribution to freedom and justice. At the same time we understand that powerful new technologies are necessary to ensure humanity’s long-term survival and flourishing. Inaction can be just as dangerous as the wrong action.

    This takes honesty and courage. We defend our independence from ideology, relentlessly challenge our beliefs and practices for possible bias, and don’t shy away from the hard questions.


    Our vision is to enable everyone to live more capably and free in a world that is stable, peaceful, and just. Flourishing life is diverse, colorful and complex. Free from suffering, healthy, and alive as long as they desire, humanity will be empowered to grow wise, understand reality without limit, travel, build, explore, enjoy—to flourish.

  • Contact Us

    Don't be afraid to reach out. You + us = awesome.

    1455 Adams Dr, Menlo Park,CA 94025
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