The word nanotechnology is used today to refer to everything from particles in sunscreens to stain-resistant "nanopants". But the original vision — molecular machine systems building complex structures to atomic precision, including such advanced applications as medical nanorobots cleaning out arteries and repairing cells — is what drives young researchers to enter the field. (Try a Google search — the original goal wins there too.)
At the Foresight Vision Weekend, we'll picture what molecular nanotechnology (MNT) will bring, and strategize on how each of us can participate in what's coming during the years ahead. Now is the time — every nanotech scenario depends heavily on initial conditions, which we can tweak by starting today.
Make a difference in steering your nanotech future. Hear tech visionaries sketch what's coming, then brainstorm how to make the future we're picturing today into the reality of tomorrow. Then we implement!
Who: A group of the most foresighted folks on the planet today. We look fearlessly at the future of technology and work to steer it toward the best outcomes — for society, the environment, and our families. As a group we have the technical skill, entrepreneurial drive, financial resources, experience in effecting change, and determination needed to make a difference to nanotech.
When: May 14 evening through May 16, 2004. We'll start with a reception at 7 PM Friday and wrap up at about 5 PM Sunday.
How: What aspect of our MNT future most excites you — repairing the human body, ending chemical pollution, creating economic abundance, developing space resources, delivering basic necessities — like clean water — to the developing world...or how about a personal role in making all this happen?
This year's meeting will have a strong focus on empowering you to take action:
Join one of the new Special Interest Groups — on MNT and Medicine, the Environment, Law, or Business/Investing — to move your goals for MNT (and your own role) forward.
Your special interest not on the list? How about Space Applications, Education, even Fiction/Hollywood? Start a new SIG to bring together those sharing your particular goal.
Had trouble getting your colleagues, or even your spouse, to understand what's coming? Now you can sponsor guests at the meeting — let them hear for themselves and feel the excitement of MNT's potential.
Want a career in MNT? Start positioning yourself now by getting to know those most directly involved today.
Why: Foresight was over a decade ahead of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative in promoting nanotechnology, and we're still out in front — addressing the wonderful promise (and potential problems) of advanced nanotech. Molecular machine systems will remake our world from the bottom up. Handled correctly, this technology could revolutionize our economy, eliminate disease, enable settlement of the solar system, and do molecular-level restoration of Earth's environment.
Much depends on what we do now: will the patent system facilitate this technology — helping to make it affordable by all — or cripple it? Will R&D funds go toward MNT projects, or continue to focus only on nearer-term goals? Can private investment make a difference at this early stage? Do we need a great novel or film to educate the public?
Looking ahead is challenging, but Foresight knows how to make it tremendous fun as well. We bring together the best thinkers on the future of technology, extract their deepest insights — and then debate these with all participants, who can often teach the speakers a thing or two. The result: a clearer picture of where we'll be in ten, twenty, and thirty years — vital information in planning our individual careers and the futures of our families, companies, and countries.
Join us May 14-16 in Palo Alto— you'll never meet a more inspirational group.
Steve Jurvetson: Steve is often called "Mr. Nanotech VC" and has the clearest view of how private money can move things forward. He'll give us the inside scoop from the tech investing perspective.
K. Eric Drexler: Nanotechnologist and author of Engines of Creation and Nanosystems, Eric will inspire us to take action on nanotech.
William Hurlbut: Dr. Hurlbut serves on the President's Council on Bioethics. He will debate Ramez Naam, opposing "enhancement" of the human body.
Ramez Naam: As an Advisor to the NanoBusiness Alliance, Ramez is working to make the vision of human enhancement in his upcoming book become reality: More Than Human: How Technology Will Transform Us and Why We Should Embrace It (Broadway/Random House, January 2005).
Ralph Merkle: By popular demand, the leading computational nanotechnologist will give us this year's "Top Ten" nanotech achievements and point where R&D needs to go in the years ahead.
Wrye Sententia: As co-director of the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, Wrye defends the individual's "rights of mind" and helps policymakers navigate the challenges of cognitive enhancement.
Mike Treder: In just one year, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology has become a force in nanotech—Mike will tell us how.
Luke Nosek: As a founder and former Director of Strategy for Paypal, Luke Nosek has been touring the world for a few years now, having fun. Now it's back to work — applying his strategic sense to the challenge of molecular manufacturing. Let's hope he can speed it up as much as he did PayPal!
Christine Peterson: As Foresight's president, Christine is at the center of the nanotech earthquake. She'll describe the state of play and what can be done to make MNT happen both sooner and safer.
Pat Parker: Pat Parker—originally an economist, executive and management prof—got pulled into the world of national security and what is termed "intelligence". He'll give the big picture on how nano fits into the balance (or imbalance) or powers, what could happen, and what we should do about it.
Ted Sabety: Former Chief Engineer for the DARPA-funded Non-Von Supercomputer Project, Ted Sabety's moved on to work with tech startups as well as serve as one of the Advisors to the NanoBusiness Alliance. His breakout will look at what it will take to make the Nanotech Revolution move as fast as the Silicon one has—and what's needed to make that happen.
Neil Jacobstein: Neil Jacobstein, Chairman of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, will present a compelling new rationale for the NNI to provide major funding for molecular nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing.
Steve Omohundro: Steve Omohundro, co-founder of the UIUC Center for Complex Systems, will explore the assertion that we are very close to building systems that are self-aware, can learn from their experiences, and can modify and improve every aspect of their behavior.
Brad Templeton: As chairman of Electronic Frontier Foundation and a Foresight director, Brad's unique and humorous style is perfect for emceeing the Vision Weekend.
Philippe Van Nedervelde: Philippe Van Nedervelde, Foresight's European rep, will lead a breakout on accelerating change and the Nano/Bio/Info/Cogno Convergence. What happens when nanotech meets biotech combined with computation and neurotech—and how fast?
Brian Wang: Brian Wang will kick off the new Nanobusiness/Investing SIG, exploring the creation of long-term molecular nanotechnology investment funds and tracking MNT investment opportunities.
Rosa Wang: Rosa Wang will jump-start the new NanoEducation SIG, focusing on MNT curriculum materials and study guide for the book Nanosystems.
Josh Hall: Josh Hall will lead a discussion of recent work on molecular dynamic simulation of nanomechanical devices, including some fascinating new nanomovies.
John Bashinski: JBash has created an online world where we can accomplish great things together—he'll show us how to get going.
Eliezer Yudkowsky: Eliezer Yudkowsky, Research Fellow at the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, will lead a breakout examining potential dangers from supercomputing.