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David Brin
Esther Dyson
Chris Allen

Fall 2000 Foresight Gathering

Sept 8 evening through Sept 10, 2000

Palo Alto in Silicon Valley

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

This event is open to current and new Senior Associates
Special thanks to Technanogy, this event's Principal Corporate Sponsor

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

Doug Engelbart
Eric Raymond
group photo of participants


Think you can handle rapid change?

Think you can handle rapid change? Better hope so, because coming technologies will turn our world on its head. What we need to navigate the coming decades is the best-informed advice we can get, combined with the moral support of a community that shares our values and goals:

  • maximizing freedom
  • extending human lifespan
  • restoring the environment
  • empowering individuals
  • exploring and settling space
  • spreading knowledge through openness
  • alleviating poverty
And — this one's critical — without it, we lose all the rest:
  • preventing the abuse of powerful technologies

Sounds great, but how? First, we need to get up to speed on the new tools already on the horizon:

  • nanotechnology
  • machine intelligence
  • private digital currencies
  • "supersurveillance"
  • life extension
  • new forms of intellectual "property"
  • open source R&D beyond software
  • new organizational forms enabled by the net
  • ever-larger "grassroots" projects formerly requiring government or large corporation support

Seems overwhelming. How to convert this into a personal action plan that makes a difference to you, your organization, and your larger goals?

It's time to meet face-to-face with those on the cutting edge. It's the only way to see who's who, what makes sense, and initiate the personal contacts that lead to the working relationships and companies of tomorrow. So join us at:


What, Who, When ...

What: Foresight's Fall Senior Associates Gathering
Who: 150 of those most able to look unblinkingly at what's coming and figure out what the heck to do about it.

Sept 8 evening through Sept 10, 2000

Where: Palo Alto in Silicon Valley — the place where tomorrow seems closest
How: Not just podium-based talking heads — there's more discussion time than "lecture" time
  • Because already we can feel the changes starting,
  • Because if we start now, there is still time to convert confusion into clear thinking and doable goals,
  • Because there's nowhere else to meet the people you need to meet,
  • Because it's great fun, and we deserve a treat.


Confirmed Speakers

Tom W. Bell:   maverick law prof — who questions even copyright (shocking!) — makes the radical case for Idea Futures
Eric Drexler:   Foresight Chairman, "How things look these days"
David Friedman:   controversial economist and author, augmented by his PhD in physics, tells how law, money & freedom play out in meatspace and cyberspace
John Gilmore:   well-known troublemaker, cypherpunk,   co-founder of Electronic Frontier Foundation tells how nanotech is motivating his fight for intellectual property reform and open source
Robert Grudin:   most rare — someone from the humanities with things to say that we need to hear
Tom Hartman:   starting the new nanotech division at giant law firm Foley & Lardner
Neil Jacobstein:   leader of the Foresight Guidelines, working to head off nanotech's downside
Dave Krieger:   father of our favorite website Nanodot, sketches the next big thing online
Jim McCoy:   founder & CTO of Autonomous Zone Industries, tells of Mojo Nation, the open-source software for secure private swapping of files and Mojo, which is not money...yet
Doug Mulhall:   nanoecologist, brings good news for Mother Earth. Let's hurry up with the nanotech R&D, she's in pretty bad shape.
Peter G. Neumann:   renowned expert on security, system survivability, reliability, fault tolerance, safety, systems-in-the-large, and risk avoidance -- gives us his views on, well, whatever he thinks we need to hear.
Peter Thiel:   by day, he's chairman of, where PayPal makes money fly invisibly through the air — outside the office, radical revolutionary through technology
Vernor Vinge:   coiner of "the Singularity", visionary author of our favorite sf novels
Jim Von Ehr:   founder of Zyvex, explains how it's going in the nanotech labs down there in Texas, and probably does a bit of recruiting on the side
Ka-Ping Yee:   father of Crit, inspirational freedom fighter through software development


Registration information


Optional extra events:

Optional extra events on Friday, Sept 8:

Friday, 2-4 pm: Informal seminar by special guest Robert Grudin, foresighted philosopher, on "The Morality of Power". Limited to ten Senior Associates. RSVP by Sept 1 with $80 donation.

Friday, 4-6 pm: Informal seminar by special guest Vernor Vinge, foresighted sf author. Limited to ten Senior Associates. RSVP by Sept 1 with $80 donation. [This seminar is fully subscribed as of August 11.]

Friday, 6-8 pm: Speaker Dinner, open also to Senior Associates at and above the Fellow level ($500/year, includes Dual Senior Associates--both Foresight and IMM). Due to space limitations, we are unable to invite spouses at this time. If your spouse would like to attend, please contact the office after Sept. 1 to see if there is seating available. RSVP by Sept 1 with $40 meal fee (does not qualify as charitable donation).


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