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“Future of Humanity: Symposium 2”

Convened October 6–8, 2005 | Hyatt Regency Bellevue, Bellevue, Washington

Summary

The Humanity 3000 bi-decadal Future of Humanity Symposia are intended to be convened in perpetuity, serving as punctuations in the annual Humanity 3000 Program seminar series. The symposia provide for continuous review, assessment, and restatement of issues identified during the previous five years as likely to have a significant impact on the long-term future of humanity. Participants name and discuss the critical issues going forward based on this framework and in view of changes in the subject areas that have been identified as central to the future:

• Science and technology
• Biological and genetic issues specific to human health, behavior, and intelligence
• Globalization and governance
• The planet's environment, resources, population, and climate
• Evolution: past, present, and future
• Space and humans
• Wild cards

In October 2005, 21 scholars from some 20 intellectual and professional disciplines gathered for Symposium 2 to carry forward these important discussions. The three issues judged by these scholars to be the most critical going forward were (1) governance, on local, national, and global levels, as social control, and its ramifications in both political governance and economic governance; (2) maximizing human capabilities, with major subsets in education (appreciation and comprehension of differences, mechanics of critical thinking, managing our education systems, and the role of liberal institutions) and technology with its potential for transforming both organic systems (humans and other biological systems) and inorganic systems (matter), inclusive of a spacefaring future; and (3) security/resilience, in terms of the amount of destructive power being placed in the hands of individuals, groups, and nation-states, as well as environmental issues, pandemics, and natural disasters that may require human resilience on a very large scale.

A PowerPoint presentation (2.8 MB PDF) by Bob Citron, Foundation Executive Director, illustrated through satellite imagery the dramatic changes brought about by human influences on Planet Earth in the quarter-century from the 1970s to 2004.

A highlight of Symposium 2 was the awarding of the sixth Kistler Prize to Dr. Thomas J. Bouchard Jr., Professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Psychology and Director of the Minnesota Center for Twin and Adoption Research.

Proceedings (10.2 MB PDF) of this symposium, including transcripts of all dialogic sessions, are available for download.

Keynote Presentations

“The State of the Future”

Dr. Jerome C. Glenn

American Council for the United Nations University, Millennium Project
Washington, DC USA

“Palm Readers, Stargazers, and Scientists: A Critique of Futurism”

Dr. Richard L. Miller

University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney, NE USA

“Science and Technology Looking Out 25 Generations”

Joseph Coates

Consulting Futurists, Inc.
Washington, DC USA

“The Future of Governance”

Professor Siro Polo Padolecchia

European Institute for Futures Studies
Monte Carlo, MONACO

Participants

Walter T. Anderson
President
World Academy of Art and Science
Kensington, CA USA

Ronald Bailey
Science Correspondent
Reason Magazine
Charlottesville, VA USA

David P. Barash
Professor
University of Washington
Seattle, WA USA

Greg Bear
Author
Lynnwood, WA USA

Camilla Benbow
Dean of Education & Human Development
Peabody College
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN USA

Thomas J. Bouchard Jr.
Professor
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN USA

William H. Calvin
Author and Neurobiologist
University of Washington
Seattle, WA USA

Joseph Coates
Director
Consulting Futurists, Inc.
Washington, DC USA

Jerome C. Glenn
Executive Director
American Council for the United Nations University, Millennium Project
Washington, DC USA

Philip R. Harris
President
Harris International
La Jolla, CA USA

Ralph L. Holloway
Professor
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027

Arthur R. Jensen
Professor Emeritus
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA USA

Donald C. Johanson
Director, Institute of Human Origins
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ USA

Timothy C. Mack
President
World Future Society
Bethesda, MD USA

Richard L. Miller
Professor
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney, NE USA

Graham T.T. Molitor
President
Public Policy Forecasting, Inc.
Fayetteville, PA USA

Ramez Naam
President
APEX NanoTechnologies
Seattle, WA USA

Siro Polo Padolecchia
President
European Institute for Futures Studies
Monte Carlo, MONACO

Vincent Sarich
Professor Emeritus
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA USA

Wendy L. Schultz
Director
Infinite Futures: Foresight Research and Training
Oxford, UNITED KINGDOM

Gregory Stock
President and CEO
Signum Biosciences
Monmouth Junction, NJ USA