DAY 1: USC
To participate in the Keynote Conversation and Public Forum on April 21, join us in person at USC Michelson Hall 101 or over YouTube beginning at 1:00 p.m. We’ll also send you the findings of the Workshop. Please register here.
1:00 pm: Keynote, Liam Young
Speculative architect Liam Young will present a storytelling performance, “Planet City and the Return of Global Wilderness.” In “Planet City,” we go on a science fiction safari through an imaginary city for the entire population of the Earth, where 10 billion people surrender the rest of the world to a global scaled wilderness and the return of stolen lands. Nils Gilman, the Berggruen Institute’s VP of Programs, will discuss with him how we might retreat from our vast network of cities and entangled supply chains into one hyper-dense, planet-wide metropolis. See a preview here.
2:00 pm: Public Forum: What Will Life Become?
The Forum will tackle the question of the Workshop — what will life become? — by exploring the futures of life, mind, and outer space. How will biotechnologies, thinking machines, and projects that plan for life beyond Earth inflect the future of humans and human futures? The Forum features the following scholars:
3:30-5:00 pm: Reception
Director, production designer, architect
Liam Young is a speculative architect and director who operates in the spaces between design, fiction, and futures. He is co-founder of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank, exploring the local and global implications of new technologies, and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio that travels on expeditions to chronicle these emerging conditions as they occur on the ground.
Founder of Artists + Machine Intelligence at Google AI
K Allado-McDowell is a writer, speaker, and musician. They are the author, with GPT-3, of the books Pharmako-AI and Amor Cringe, and are co-editor of The Atlas of Anomalous AI. They record and release music under the name Qenric. Allado-McDowell established the Artists + Machine Intelligence program at Google AI. They are a conference speaker, educator and consultant to think-tanks and institutions seeking to align their work with deeper traditions of human understanding.
Professor of Feminist Studies / Director of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, UC Santa Cruz
Neda Atanasoski is Professor Feminist Studies and Director of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She is the author of Humanitarian Violence: The U.S. Deployment of Diversity and Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures (co-authored with Kalindi Vora). Atanasoski has published articles on gender and religion, nationalism and war, human rights and humanitarianism, and race and technology, which have appeared in American Quarterly, Cinema Journal, Catalyst, and The European Journal of Cultural Studies. She is co-editor of the journal Critical Ethnic Studies.
Lisa Ruth Rand
Assistant Professor of History, Caltech
Lisa Ruth Rand is a historian of technology, science, and the environment. Her research interests include space junk, public history, critical discard studies, and extraterrestrial futurism, from the technopolitics of planetary analog habitats to the colonizing role of Republican Motherhood in frontier narratives. Rand held positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, and the Science History Institute. In 2019 she received the University of Pennsylvania’s Emerging Scholars Global Policy Prize and in 2022 will hold a Guggenheim Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Vice Chair of Digital Biology and Medicine, Singularity University
Dr. Tiffany Vora is an educator, writer, research scientist, and entrepreneur. She developed drug discovery technologies at Bristol-Myers Squibb prior to earning her PhD in Molecular Biology at Princeton. Her work involves genomics, systems biology, computational biology, and astrobiology. Dr. Vora designed and supported biology and health research in Mars simulations in extreme environments with the Mars Society, and she conducts similar work with Space Humanity Lab. She taught Bioengineering at Stanford and is currently Faculty and Vice Chair of Medicine and Digital Biology at Singularity University. Dr. Vora has founded organizations focused on science communication and global thought leadership
Claire Isabel Webb
Claire Isabel Webb (Ph.D. History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society, MIT) is a 2022 Berggruen Fellow. An internship at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in 2008 sparked the topic of Webb’s dissertation: Technologies of Perception: Searches for Life Beyond Earth. Informed by her ongoing work with the SETI group Breakthrough Listen at U.C. Berkeley, Webb’s book project historically and ethnographically tracks how scientists have investigated extraterrestrial life forms—both microbes and beings—since the Space Age. She used feminist and decolonize frameworks of analysis to theorize historical and current scientific imaginations of alien life.