WorldFuture 2004: Creating the Future Now!

The Futurist, May-June 2004 | Go to article overview

WorldFuture 2004: Creating the Future Now!


WorldFuture 2004 Welcomes the World

The annual meeting of the World Future Society is shaping up to be an exciting example of what has come to be known as a "global village in microcosm." Speakers and conference goers will be arriving in Washington from around the world-Tasmania and Taiwan, Italy and India, Finland and Venezuela--all to share their unique perspectives on the future of the world we share.

Among the fascinating, global-oriented topics to be covered include the future of nation states, preparing for an interdependent world, the limits to globalization, and the future of "people politics in global society."

Kicking off the meeting at the opening plenary session will be world-renowned futurists Jeremy Rifkin and Ray Kurzweil.

Rifkin, founder and president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, will outline the future Hydrogen Economy--the subject of his most recent book. Rifkin's broad-ranging insights on the impacts of technological change on society, the economy, and the environment have been influential in shaping public policy around the world.

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Kurzweil will offer insights on the coming merger of humans and machines. Kurzweil is an award-winning inventor and high-tech entrepreneur, whose Web site KurzweilAI.net is a leading provider of resources on artificial intelligence. Kurzweil argues that artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence as technological development continues to accelerate. This will be good news for humans because the merger with intelligent nanorobots, for example, will extend our longevity and enhance our senses and intelligence.

Other recently confirmed speakers include:

Karen Brooks, director for Asian Affairs, National Security Council, The White House, who will participate in the panel on "The Future of Nation States: Singapore as a Model." Invited to join her are ambassadors Chon Heng Chee, Franklin L. Lavin, and J. Orstrom Moller.

John L. Petersen, president of The Arlington Institute, will address "The Future of National and International Security."

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T. Irene Sanders, executive director of the Washington Center for Complexity and Public Policy, will enlighten participants on "Strategic Thinking in a Complex World."

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Amotz Brandes, former security agent for El Al Airlines, will focus on "Anti-Terrorism and Predictive Profiling."

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Joseph F. Coates, consulting futurist, will speak on "Sex and Sexuality in the 21st Century."

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Robin Gunston, chairperson of the New Zealand Futures Trust, will discuss "Creating a New Future for Healthy Sports and Games.

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