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

    We support developments towards an abundant future.

  • What we do

    Foresight Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation for world-changing technologies.

    We impact the world on a systems level to advance civilization towards an abundant future.

    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.



  • 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







  • Team

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

    Julia Bossmann

    President & CEO

    Founder at Synthetic, Co-founder at Anticip8 Analytics, McKinsey fellow, Singularity University GSP graduate, World Economic Forum Global Shaper. MSc (HHons) in Psychology, Neuroscience. Background includes: McKinsey & Co, Bosch Research & Technology. Chair Silicon Valley Women. Speaks on AI, innovation, the future, and how technology transforms society.

    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 an American nanotechnologist, futurist, and the co-founder of Foresight Institute. She coined the term 'Open Source' when used in connection with software.

    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 sector firms, 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, informal events and more. If you are interested in any of these, please get in touch at: a.duettmann@foresight.org

    Marcia Seidler

    Event coordinator

    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.

    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

  • The Foresight Fellowship

    Creating a bright future by catalyzing the talent that builds it

  • Archives

    We are currently reinventing ourselves after having made a difference in technologies ​for 30 years.
    We are working on multiple events and projects, have new leadership, and have a new website in the making. At this point in time, your input can make a big difference to our future directions! Click here to see our legacy website with access to reports, events, and documents from the past 30 years.

  • Sign up to stay in touch

    Sign up to receive occasional news about Foresight Institute initiatives, related research, and events. We will keep your information confidential.

  • Video

    Impressions of a past workshop hosted by Foresight Institute.

  • Donate today

    And make a difference for our world's future.


    We 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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  • 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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