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David Brin
Esther Dyson
Chris Allen

Openness in the Realms
of "Stuff" and Bits:

Confronting the Complexity Challenge in
Meatspace, Infospace, Peoplespace

September 17-19, 1999

Hotel Sofitel, San Francisco Bay

The meeting is off the record; no media writeups please.

This event is open to current and new Senior Associates

This event has been held. This page is for archival purposes only.

Doug Engelbart
Eric Raymond
group photo of participants

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What, Who, When ...


Foresight Brainstorming-Planning-Actionfest & NanoSchmoozathon
How much change can you process?  It's coming faster every month now — nanotechnology, open source, ubiquitous surveillance, mammalian cloning, bizarre intellectual property laws, smart drugs — all mixed with a big dose of media hype.  How to cope?  We invite you to trade ideas with some allies — individuals who can examine these prospects without undergoing mental shutdown.

Who: 80 of the most forward-looking minds on the planet — leaders and visionaries in emerging technologies and dynamic change — meeting to pool their insights and conspire on strategies for improvement, broadly defined.

September 17 evening through September 19, 1999
Friday, 8-10 PM, Saturday 8 AM-10 PM, Sunday 9 AM-5 PM.  Approximately.

Where: Silicon Valley, the eye of the technological hurricane. We'll be taking over the Hotel Sofitel on San Francisco Bay — chatting in the hallways, lolling about in the spa, dashing through the lobby on our way to a demo, making deals in the schmooze room, and sometimes staying quiet long enough to hear a speaker. On Saturday evening, we party poolside in nearby Atherton.
How: With a group like this, there's only one way — we go where the ideas lead us. It's informal, impromptu, controversial, sometimes argumentative, but always polite. We have speakers, but the audience tends to speak up also, since they as a group often exceed the speaker's expertise in just about any field one can name. Meanwhile, there's always a little group off in the next room setting up YASC — yet another startup company.
Why: No matter what your values are — freedom, the biosphere, the space frontier, the third world, or your company's economic well-being — achieving your goals depends on understanding where technology is heading. It's impossible to do this alone; there's far too much going on. Let's put our heads together, examine the rush of technology, and see what is to be done about it. (And of course, have some fun while we're at it. We deserve it, right? ;^)


Who's coming this time?

Invited and Confirmed

  • Bruce Ames:  controversial biochemist, inventor of "Ames test" for mutagens, speaks out on science as spontaneous order, government, and economics
  • Brian Behlendorf:  web pioneer, co-founder of Apache and SourceXchange, a marketplace for open source software development
  • Tom Bell:  controversial legal scholar who takes on tough issues, e.g. Internet gambling made legal
  • Eric Drexler:  nanotechnologist, author Engines of Creation, Nanosystems
  • Doug Engelbart:  hypertext pioneer, computer mouse inventor, all-round visionary
  • Anita Goel:  a visionary physicist, molecular motors researcher, and enthusiastic proponent of bio-nanotechnology
  • Robert Hambrecht:  co-founder WR Hambrecht+Co; Venture Partner, Venture Strategy Partners; board member, various environmental groups
  • Neil Jacobstein:  President and COO of Teknowledge, and Chairman of Institute for Molecular Manufacturing
  • Brewster Kahle:  founder Internet Archive; co-founder Alexa; inventor WAIS, supercomputer designer

Registration Information