As we hope to show in the progress update below, thanks to the virtual switch, this year has elevated Foresight’s work to a new stage in terms of the scientific talent we support. We have concrete plans to grow to respond to the expansion of our community. On the other hand, with the economic downturn, we are facing insecure times ahead, which is concerning as our support for high-impact science is more needed than ever. At the moment, both challenges and opportunities for our future work are radically enhanced.
This Giving Tuesday, consider becoming a member or increasing your support to help us weather challenges and focus on seeking the newly emergent opportunities.
With your help we could leverage the new international attention for our work to make a significant difference in the niche area we occupy; spurring long-term progress in molecular nanotechnology, biotechnology and computer science for human and planetary health.
Thank you so much,
Allison Duettmann, President
Christine Peterson, Co-Founder
Lou de Kerhuelvez, Program Director
The story is long because we have much to report. We hope you may find the patience to skim our (1) 2020 projects in full; if you’d like to skip to our 2021 plans, please go to (2) plans or to (3) what your help allows us to achieve in 2021, and how to participate.
First, here are three key points on how we were able to ramp up our continuous efforts in 2020, thanks to your support:
Accelerating Selected High-Risk High Reward Projects that Heal the Planet
After focusing on fostering theoretical research via our yearly technical competitions on molecular nanotechnology for medicine and energy, the time was ripe this year to select the very top of early-stage projects on climate amelioration and accelerate their impact in the world through our Healing the Planet Accelerator. Take a peek at the project presentations:
Project Vesta: Olivine-Accelerated Coastal Enhanced Weathering
Farm Foresight App: Improving Ag to Avoid Excess Carbon
Large-scale Passive Carbon Sequestration via Engineered Porous Materials
CT Fusion: High Energy Fusion Energy Proof of Concept
Accelerating the 2020 Foresight Science & Technology Fellows
This year we had an incredibly talented application pool, and were able to support the work of exceptionally gifted researchers (full bios) by publicizing their progress in our online salons, and connecting them with relevant advisors and mentors, in the following areas: Molecular Engineering, ML-accelerated Materials Discovery, Legal Engineering for the Biosphere, Health Sciences & Glycobiology, Sustainable Agriculture, Space Studies, Applied Artificial Intelligence, AI Governance, Ethical Biotechnology.
Online Education & Onboarding of Students into High-impact STEM Areas for Positive Futures
The switch to becoming a virtual organization in 2020 led to an explosion of our reach, and we are now a truly international organization with an emerging community in Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and India. With the start of the shelter-in-place order, this 600 person strong global community met twice a day online to coordinate immediate help and seek opportunities for systemic changes in crucial areas. Our Flourishing Futures from COVID-19 report summarizes 10-weeks of daily meetings, by focusing on 70 opportunities for how individuals can have an impact on human health, planetary resilience, and global coordination.
Following this COVID-19 focused project, we dramatically expanded the reach of our previously monthly Bay-area science salons by launching weekly global online salons focused on exciting the global pool of next-generation scientists to focus on high-impact STEM areas for beneficial long-term futures.
Working Groups to Advance Molecular Nanotechnology, Biotechnology & Health, Intelligent Cooperation, Existential Hope:
The switch to the virtual has elevated our work to a new stage in terms of the global scientific talent we can reach. To translate the expertise of 10+ years of technical competitions for advancing biotechnology, nanotechnology, and computation into consistent long-term progress, in 2021, the one-off competitions turn into outcome-driven strategy groups.
Invited participants in these groups include leading scientists, entrepreneurs and institutional allies across the world, as well as Foresight fellows and supporters. Each group is connected by a virtual community and meets monthly online to focus on advancing a crucial aspect of their field, guided by invited keynote presenters. Apart from creating high-trust cross-industry collaboration among leaders and talent in the field, outputs of these year-long working groups seek to generate and support promising approaches to solving those key areas via financial support, mentorship, and connection to relevant researchers, founders, and funders.
Nanotech | Molecular Machines Group: A group of scientists, entrepreneurs, and institutional allies who cooperate to advance progress on atomically precise applications in energy, medicine, and materials science toward Feynman’s vision of molecular machines.
Biotech | Health Extension Group: Sponsored by 100 Plus Capital this group of scientists, entrepreneurs, and institutional allies cooperates in spurring field-wide progress on technologies that fight aging and increase human healthspan.
Computer Science | Intelligent Cooperation Group: A group of experts in computer science, cryptography, AI, and related fields who apply these tools to build a future defined by intelligent cooperation and decentralized defenses against automated physical and digital threats.
Foresight | Existential Hope Group: A group of scientists, innovators, philosophers, and activists who collaborate on seeking crucial opportunities for humanity to leverage high-impact STEM areas for flourishing futures.
At our virtual annual member gathering, planned for Dec 12, 2020, 11 am PDT, we’ll assemble Accelerator projects, Fellows, strategy group keynotes, and the Foresight community to launch our 2021 program. Receive your invitation to the member gathering Dec 12th and join our community to collaborate on accelerating futures as extraordinary as you dare envision them:
Join us as Senior Associate: you support the work of our public group on Existential Hope and are invited to join the kick-off and monthly keynote meetings of this group in 2021. Become or renew your annual Senior Associate support directly via PayPal or find other options — crypto, wire, check — on our donations & membership page. We will reach out to you with your invitation to the gathering upon the receipt of the donation.
Join us as Patron or Sponsor: you support the project generation of our private groups to develop approaches for solving foundational problems in biotechnology and health, molecular nanotechnology, and decentralized computing by the end of 2021. If you are interested in joining the program, learning how to become a Patron or Sponsor of the group, or setting a Prize money for project areas, please contact [email protected].
We hope that with your support we can grow the impact of our regular projects, by accelerating a new round of fellows, funding high-risk, high-reward projects in biotechnology & health, molecular nanotechnology, and decentralized computing, and increase the reach of our outreach efforts to onboard promising STEM talent into ambitious projects for our a beneficial long-term future