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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 technologies that can have a large benefit for the world, such as nanotechnology and beneficial artificial intelligence. Let's move 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 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.
United by a passion for future technologies and the drive to improve the state of the world
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.
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
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 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: email@example.com
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
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
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.
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:
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
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.