Open Positions

Program Lead for Neurotech


The Foresight Institute now has technology interests in the domains of Longevity/Biotech, Molecular Machines/Nanotech, Neurotech/BCI/WBE, Decentralized Computing/Cryptography, and Space. For each domain, we want to know what is the state of the industry and what the next steps are. This process is informed by Foresight’s technical seminars in these domains, independent research, interviews, and crowdsourcing. We will be building graphical tech trees for each domain which will entail crowdsourcing and fundable challenges.

The Neurotech program lead will be in charge of developing a tech tree for brain-related technologies. Brain machine interfaces, neuronal imaging, mental health, and brain therapies are all interests of the group.

4 minute post explaining tech trees:
Hackathon to build app for better crowdsourcing and crowdfunding of trees:

Program leads will also be leading seminars and moderating discussions with domain experts.

Lead Traits

Program leads will act as editors for their technology tree, as well as managing the volunteers interested in helping develop each specific tree.

The most important feature for a program lead is a willingness to listen. The objective is to get the opinions of people on the ground – researchers, investigators, funders, and executives – as to what the reality of the technology situation is. As a program lead, you should have a lot of experience in your field of interest but you will
be dealing with the opinions of hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have just as much experience as you. You will be talking to people managing billions of dollars of infrastructure and technology, who are on the bleeding edge of human technological development. You should be smart enough to realize that the collective knowledge of the industry vastly outweighs that of any one individual.

One source of information for the trees are Foresight’s monthly virtual keynote seminars in the relevant technology domains. You will be moderating these seminars to interview the invited keynote presenters on open questions as well as getting their expert opinion on their portion of the tech tree. Ideally you also have an interest in presenting the results at a workshop to refine the content of the tech tree scaffolds and share meta learnings across domains.

What is the value for you

This is a paid position but the true value of participating in this project will be the connections and information you gain for yourself and share with the community. Leads will gain a deep understanding of their field and the people working on science and technology that will impact their area of interest. While your continued work and dedication would be appreciated, it’s perfectly acceptable for program leads to see this as an opportunity to further their understanding of their respected fields and then find a dream job.

Lead Duties

  • Understand the network of technologies and key people and projects
  • Interview technical experts, including through Foresight’s virtual technology seminars
  • Create easy to understand technology trees in the relevant domain and continuously update them

How to develop the tech tree

Draft an initial scaffold of technologies using LibreOffice, Figma, Miro, Invision or even a pen and paper. Information will come from a diversity of sources – personal expertise, existing tech tree nodes, Foresight keynote seminar content, literature searches, interviews with domain experts, and ultimately wider crowdsourced feedback.
Once an initial scaffold is completed, we will transfer the tree into the Foresight SQL database so it can be dynamically rendered. This allows you to quickly update the tree and keeps it as a living document, so it accurately reflects the current state of the industry. The prototypes of the Longevity tree can be found here:

We will then show the scaffold to domain experts and get feedback, folding in their opinions and improving the accuracy of the tech tree. Tech tree leads will be expected to maintain the tech tree as comments and opinions are submitted through various channels – via email, custom commenting system directly on the tree, or from personal discussions.

Eventually we should have a map of key organizations and technologies associated with intelligent cooperation.

Details & Next steps

  • Depending on your level of experience, your compensation is between $35 – 45/hour.
  • This is a half to full-time contractor role. Your work schedule and location are up to you.
  • You will be part of a diverse, decentralized team, sharing learnings across domains.

For a rough idea of some of the domain that informs the respective tree, see Foresight’s seminar groups:

If you have domain-expertise in any of these areas, and are interested in becoming a tree lead for this area, please email your CV and a relevant description of your background to Aaron King at [email protected].