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Advancing beneficial technology

Foresight Institute is a non-profit organization focused on emerging world-shaping technologies. It was founded in 1986 on a vision of coming revolutions in technology that will bring extraordinary opportunities, as well as unprecedented challenges. Foresight’s mission is to steer towards positive futures, futures of Existential Hope.

If we push in the right directions — learning, teaching, arguing, shifting directions, and pushing further — then we may yet steer the technology race toward a future with room enough for our dreams.

—K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation

 

Join our reflection on creating positive futures

Contemporary Materials Science: How Can Molecular Machines Help?

September 20 @ 8:00 am - September 21 @ 5:00 pm PDT

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In this fantastic introduction to Atomic Precision, Jonathan Barnes discusses the wide variety of molecular machines researchers have created, and how they compare with such machines assembled and used in nature. ... See MoreSee Less

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In this excellent talk, Patrick Mellor describes several significant climate changes in earth’s history, providing context for the scale of changes required to significantly affect climate. ... See MoreSee Less

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In “Nanotechnology and the Resource Fallacy” Steven Gillett showed how nanotechnology could improve the environment by creating better filtering technologies:

Atomically-precise manufacturing could make molecular-scale filters that precisely separate desired materials from unwanted byproducts, and do at with much lower energy use than current methods.

Such capabilities could turn the mixture of materials we discard as garbage into economically valuable feedstock for new products.

This observation means pollution is a resource in disguise because we currently lack the technology to utilize it.

This amazing talk was given during the interactive technical competition “Healing the Planet: Atomic Precision for Clean Energy & Clean Air”.

You can watch all the other presentations and projects on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH78wfbGI1x0LhgDmwwAzEVZbsTP4I-z1
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Join Peter Eckersley on Algorithms in the US Criminal Justice System, August 20th, San Francisco - mailchi.mp/foresight/your-invite-to-peter-eckersleyalgorithms-in-the-us-criminal-justice-system-a... ... See MoreSee Less

Join Peter Eckersley on Algorithms in the US Criminal Justice System, August 20th, San Francisco - https://mailchi.mp/foresight/your-invite-to-peter-eckersleyalgorithms-in-the-us-criminal-justice-system-august-20th-san-francisco

The Birth of the Carbocene - a winning project proposal from our workshop on Atomic Precision for Healing the Planet presented by Patrick Mellor.
youtu.be/jtR-rtkpuT8

Removal of significant amounts of carbon from the air and sequestering it for a long time are important aspects of addressing climate change. Current carbon offset schemes for planting trees focus on removal. But trees return the CO2 to the atmosphere when they die and then rot. For example, typical trees in commercial forests remove 360 tons CO2 per acre per year. But 30% of the captured carbon returns to the atmosphere when trees die and rot.

This project aims to improve bio-sequestration with large-scale deployment of a biomaterial that extracts carbon from air as it grows, but does not release the carbon when the organism dies. To do so, the project will genetically modify lignin (a component of wood) so it doesn’t degrade. The necessary mechanism already exists in some plants, making them resistant to rot. This ability arises from a gene complex. Transferring this complex to fast-growing commercial trees will improve sequestration. The mechanism involves the plant absorbing and using metals, so the modified trees would have the additional benefit of removing metals from the soil, thereby partially remediating contaminated soils.

This is one of the five projects that were proposed as outcomes of Foresight's 2019 Healing the Planet Workshop, a competition held from April 27- 28 in Palo Alto, CA.

Watch all other videos from this workshop: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH78wfbGI1x0LhgDmwwAzEVZbsTP4I-z1

For more information on these workshops,
see our workshop page: goo.gl/tCBrLB
see a recent workshop video: goo.gl/fMXqkq
see a recent workshop white paper: goo.gl/8CBRWq
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CarbonAct: Converting CO2 into Value, presented by Lorenzo Mosca and team. - This is one of the five projects that were proposed as outcomes of Foresight's 2019 Healing the Planet Workshop, a competition held in Palo Alto.

Providing economic incentives to address environmental problems could encourage development and application of new technologies to these problems. This project is one such example: developing technology to convert CO2 into valuable products. This will provide commercial incentives to sequester the carbon in products with long-term uses.

Potential products include new carbon nanomaterials and high-value chemicals used in the production of pharmaceuticals. For example, graphene is currently worth $1000/kg. Atomically-precise manufacturing could produce defect-free materials, giving much higher strength to weight ratios than today’s structural materials. Such materials would be especially useful in aerospace applications.

Watch all other videos from this workshop: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH78wfbGI1x0LhgDmwwAzEVZbsTP4I-z1

For more information on these workshops,
see our workshop page: goo.gl/tCBrLB
see a recent workshop video: goo.gl/fMXqkq
see a recent workshop white paper: goo.gl/8CBRWq
... See MoreSee Less

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Heavy Metal Detox of Oceans!🔧🔩🧫🧪⚡️🌊🐳
- the winning project proposal from our last technical competition

This project proposes to create atomically-precise polymers with binding sites for metals, whose binding affinity varies with stress. Pulling on the polymer releases captured ions into a collection bag that is regularly picked up and replaced. This would allow collecting metals in situ instead of having to return a clogged filter to a lab to remove the collected ions.

These polymers could provide low cost remediation of heavy metals with applications to power plants, oil spills, and mining waste. Scaling up to filtering cubic kilometers of water could help reduce ocean acidification.

This is one of the five projects that were proposed as outcomes of Foresight's 2019 Healing the Planet Workshop, a competition held from April 27- 28 in Palo Alto, CA.

About this competition “Healing the Planet: Atomic Precision for Clean Energy & Clean Air”.

An interactive competition Co-chaired by William Goddard (Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology) and Tom Chi (Co-Founder, Google X).

This workshop is part of Foresight’s invitational technical competition series to leverage atomic precision to solve urgent challenges for humanity. A big motivation for Foresight’s focus on atomic precision is the tremendous potential for cleaning up and revitalizing our planet!

For more information on these workshops,
see our workshop page: goo.gl/tCBrLB
see a recent workshop video: goo.gl/fMXqkq
see a recent workshop white paper: goo.gl/8CBRWq
... See MoreSee Less

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07.31.19

Foresight Institute

Foresight's 2019 Healing the Planet Workshop, a competition held from April 27- 28 in Palo Alto, CA.

About this competition “Healing the Planet: Atomic Precision for Clean Energy & Clean Air”.

An interactive competition Co-chaired by William A. Goddard III (Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology) and Tom Chi (Co-Founder, Google X).

This workshop is part of Foresight’s invitational technical competition series to leverage atomic precision to solve urgent challenges for humanity.

These workshops are highly result-oriented: In two days, interdisciplinary teams of scientists compete to develop project proposals to leverage their scientific discipline to solve urgent challenges for humanity.

A big motivation for Foresight’s focus on atomic precision is the tremendous potential for cleaning up and revitalizing our planet.

In this workshop, a multidisciplinary group of specialists in clean energy and pollution reduction research collaborated with those tackling the challenges of atomically-precise 3D structures and molecular machines, including construction pathways using chemistry, applied physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and engineering.

For more information on these workshops,
see our workshop page: goo.gl/tCBrLB
see a recent workshop video: goo.gl/fMXqkq
see a recent workshop white paper: goo.gl/8CBRWq

Foresight Info and Events: bit.ly/foresightupdates
... See MoreSee Less

Foresights 2019 Healing the Planet Workshop, a competition held from April 27- 28 in Palo Alto, CA. 

About this competition “Healing the Planet: Atomic Precision for Clean Energy & Clean Air”.

An interactive competition Co-chaired by William A. Goddard III (Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology) and Tom Chi (Co-Founder, Google X).

This workshop is part of Foresight’s invitational technical competition series to leverage atomic precision to solve urgent challenges for humanity. 

These workshops are highly result-oriented: In two days, interdisciplinary teams of scientists compete to develop project proposals to leverage their scientific discipline to solve urgent challenges for humanity.

A big motivation for Foresight’s focus on atomic precision is the tremendous potential for cleaning up and revitalizing our planet. 

In this workshop, a multidisciplinary group of specialists in clean energy and pollution reduction research collaborated with those tackling the challenges of atomically-precise 3D structures and molecular machines, including construction pathways using chemistry, applied physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and engineering.
 
For more information on these workshops, 
see our workshop page: https://goo.gl/tCBrLB
see a recent workshop video: https://goo.gl/fMXqkq
see a recent workshop white paper: https://goo.gl/8CBRWq

Foresight Info and Events: https://bit.ly/foresightupdates

Save the date! Vision Weekend, our annual member gathering, will be Nov 2-3, at the Internet Archive and The Laundry in San Francisco.

Time to renew your Foresight Senior Associate membership, or to become a member! foresight.org/donate-old/membership-2/

To get a feel of what you can expect, watch last years video summary below <3
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Vision Weekend is happening Nov. 2 & 3, 2019 - Save the date! - mailchi.mp/foresight/vision-weekend-nov-2-3-2019-save-the-date ... See MoreSee Less

Vision Weekend is happening Nov. 2 & 3, 2019 - Save the date! - https://mailchi.mp/foresight/vision-weekend-nov-2-3-2019-save-the-date
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