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Future Scenarios: how long can we plan ahead?

Plenary / Panel
english language


Director, Future of Humanity Institute; Director, Progamme on the Impacts of Future Technology; Professor, Oxford Martin School & Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford
Right Livelihood Award Laureate; Executive Director, ETC Group, Ottawa
President Emeritus, Jacobs University Bremen Chair


Director, Future of Humanity Institute; Director, Progamme on the Impacts of Future Technology; Professor, Oxford Martin School & Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford

 Nick Bostrom is Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University and founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute and of the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology within the Oxford Martin School. He is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias (Routledge, 2002 and 2010), Global Catastrophic Risks (ed., OUP, 2008 and 2011), and Human Enhancement (ed., OUP, 2009), and has a forthcoming book on Superintelligence. He previously taught at Yale, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the British Academy. Bostrom has a background in physics, computational neuroscience, and mathematical logic as well as philosophy.
 He is best known for his work in five areas: (i) the concept of existential risk; (ii) the simulation argument; (iii) anthropics (developing the first mathematically explicit theory of observation selection effects);
 (iv) transhumanism, including related issues in bioethics and on consequences of future technologies; and (v) foundations and practical implications of consequentialism (e.g., Astronomical Waste, Infinite Ethics, Technological Revolutions). He is currently working on a book on the possibility of an intelligence explosion and on the existential risks and strategic issues related to the prospect of machine superintelligence.
 In 2009, he was awarded the Eugene R. Gannon Award (one person selected annually worldwide from the fields of philosophy, mathematics, the arts and other humanities, and the natural sciences). He has been listed in the FP 100 Global Thinkers list, the Foreign Policy Magazine's list of the world's top 100 minds. His writings have been translated into more than 21 languages, and there have been some 80 translations or reprints of his works. He has done more than 470 interviews for TV, film, radio, and print media, and he has addressed academic and popular audiences around the world.


Right Livelihood Award Laureate; Executive Director, ETC Group, Ottawa

 Pat Mooney, a Canadian, is the co-founder and executive director of ETC group -- an international civil society organization headquartered in Canada with offices in Ethiopia, Mexico, Philippines and USA. ETC group has consultative status with ECOSOC, FAO, UNCTAD, UNEP, UNFCCC, IPCC and the UN Biodiversity Convention. Since 1977, ETC group has focused on the role of new technologies on the lives and livelihoods of marginalized peoples around the world. Pat Mooney has almost half a century of experience working in international civil society, first addressing aid and development issues and then focusing on food, agriculture and commodity trade. He received The Right Livelihood Award (the "Alternative Nobel Prize") in the Swedish Parliament in 1985 and the Pearson Peace Prize from Canada's Governor General in 1998. He has also received the American "Giraffe Award" given to people "who stick their necks out."
 The author or co-author of several books on the politics of biotechnology and biodiversity, Pat Mooney is widely regarded as an authority on issues of global governance, corporate concentration, and intellectual property monopoly. Although much of ETC's work continues to emphasize plant genetic resources and agricultural biodiversity, the work expanded in the early 1980s to include biotechnology. In the late 1990s, the work expanded further to encompass a succession of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology, geoengineering, and new developments in genomics and neurosciences.
 Currently, the organization is closely involved in preparations for this year's Rio+20 Conference. Mooney and ETC group contribute their experience in helping to reform the UN/FAO Committee on World Food Security which is now a model of intergovernmental and multi-agency collaboration on food issues and includes a novel and highly successful interactive relationship between governments, civil society and UN secretariats. ETC group is proposing the UN CFS model for any new institutional initiatives that may arise from the Rio +20 process. Based upon Mr. Mooney s and ETC s experience, the organization is also advancing proposals for the development of a UN Office for Technology Assessment or another technology assessment facility within the UN system that might ultimately evolve into an International Convention for the Evaluation of New Technologies (ICENT).

Dr. Joachim TREUSCH

President Emeritus, Jacobs University Bremen

1970 Professur in Frankfurt
1971 Lehrstuhl für Theoretische Physik in Dortmund
1984-1986 Präsident der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft
seit 1987 Vorstandsmitglied der Kernforschungsanlage Jülich (KFA)
1993-1997 Vorsitzender der Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren
1995-1996 Präsident der Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte
1990-2006 Vorsitzender des Vorstands der Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
1999-2003 Vorsitzender des Deutschen Verbandes Technisch-Wissenschaftlicher Vereine
2000-2006 Vorsitzender des Lenkungsausschusses "Wissenschaft im Dialog"
2006-2012 Präsident der Jacobs University Bremen

Technology Forum

show timetable


10:00 - 12:30Technology Brunch hosted by Standortagentur TirolSocial
13:00 - 13:10Welcome statementPlenary
13:10 - 13:30Opening of the Alpbach Technology Forum 2012Plenary
13:30 - 14:15Opening SpeechesPlenary
14:15 - 15:05Powering the FuturePlenary
15:25 - 16:55Global Earth Research - Research for the Future of the Globe in cooperation with the Helmholtz Association of German Research CentersPlenary
16:55 - 17:45The Fight against Cancer - Breakthroughs and ExpectationsPlenary
20:00 - 21:30The global Competition for Production and Research - who will determine the Future?Plenary
21:30 - 23:30Career Lounge - Evening event with a buffet dinner for students, graduate scientists and young professionals, hosted by the organisers of the Alpbach Technology Forum and Siemens AG ÖsterreichSocial
21:30 - 23:30Evening Reception hosted by Forschung AustriaSocial


09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Science and Technology for Young PeopleBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 01: Key Technologies - a Future for Europe's YouthBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 02: Ambient Assisted LivingBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 03: Smart City - Human beings at the Focus of AttentionBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 04: Demographics and Human Resources as an Opportunity for InnovationBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 05: The Location of future Production Sites - Decision Criteria, Opportunities and RisksBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 06: Supporting Careers in ScienceBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 07: Key Elements of successful Innovation CulturesBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 08: Learning through innovative Education NetworksBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 09: Wanted: young, technologically savvy, curiousBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 10: Smart Governance for smart SpecialisationBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 11: Medical technology: challenges and opportunitiesBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 12: Cyber-security as a critical factory of stabilityBreakout
09:00 - 15:30Working Group 13: Modern Technologies and their Role in Democratic ProcessesBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Children's University Alpbach - Science and Technology for KidsBreakout
09:45 - 15:00Special Event: RTI Internationalisation in Austria and the EUBreakout
16:00 - 17:15Individualisation - the Basis for Education and InnovationPlenary
17:30 - 19:30Pathways to the Nobel Prize - Laureates in Conversation with Austrian Junior Scientists in cooperation with the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake ConstancePlenary


09:00 - 10:30Emerging Technologies that will change our Lives - a Selection of EU "Flagship Projects"Plenary
10:45 - 12:00Future Scenarios: how long can we plan ahead?Plenary
12:00 - 13:05The physics of footballPlenary
13:05 - 13:15Closing StatementPlenary
13:20 - 14:00Snack ReceptionSocial