Humanity+, the world’s leading nonprofit organization advocating the ethical use of technology to expand human capabilities, today announced its first conference in partnership with Parsons The New School for Design, a leading art and design school in New York City dedicated to the advancement of design thinking and education. Transhumanism Meets Design explores the role of design in transcending and transforming human potential, and will take place at The New School May 14–15, 2011. This groundbreaking conference features lectures and panels that bring together and explore the nexus of emerging technology, transdisciplinary design, culture, media theory, and biotechnology.
Transhumanism aims to elevate the human condition. Design is a process for problem solving. At Transhumanism Meets Design, these two domains will join forces as leading transhumanists, cyberneticists, life extensionists, singularity advocates, artificial intelligence experts, human enhancement specialists, inventors, ethicists, and philosophers gather to explore human futures, ask questions, construct ideas, and peer over the edge into the unknown.
“Translating this narrative calls for a transdisciplinarity that brings emerging technologies and creative insights to the forefront. Transhumanist aesthetics pioneers how we will design our existence and future identity,” said Natasha Vita-More, vice chair of Humanity+, who co-chairs the conference with Ed Keller, associate dean of Distributed Learning and Technology at Parsons. “We live in an era of unprecedented interest in design,” said Keller. “Recognizing that the body could be the next frontier, we are challenging designers to use the research tools developed to enhance products to engage and extend the human body.”
Featured speakers include Howard Bloom, author of Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, and Vivian Rosenthal, cofounder of New York–based Tronic Studio. Also speaking are artificial intelligence researcher Ben Goertzel, chair of Humanity+; Natasha Vita-More, artist and theorist of transhumanism; strategic philosopher Max More, CEO of Alcor Life Extension Foundation; and neuroscientist Anders Sandberg, a James Martin Research Fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University.