Technology is eating politics

Press release: Transpolitica 2016 conference roundup

Futurists and transhumanists at Transpolitica 2016 highlight how the acceleration of technological change poses widespread opportunities and challenges for politics

2016 has been a momentous year for politics. Will 2017 be a year of retrenchment and consolidation?

That would be unlikely according to participants at Transpolitica 2016, a London Futurists event (London, Birkbeck College, 3 December 2016) which forecast powerful socioeconomic pressures and a rise in political turbulence in the face of the rapid pace of technological change.


Echoing the famous phrase of web software pioneer Marc Andreessen, “Software is eating the world”, the takeaway from Transpolitica 2016 is “Technology is eating politics”.

New technological possibilities urgently demand fresh thinking regarding potential regulations, restrictions, incentives, subsidies, and equality of access.

  • Faster communications via social media, rather than delivering an Internet-enabled “wisdom of crowds”, have been multiplying the spread of fake news that ingeniously but maliciously propagates itself, sowing confusion and fracturing communities into opposing segments that operate within self-reinforcing antagonistic bubbles
  • Rather than a useful discussion taking place between “experts” and the public, suspicion and distrust have increased dramatically, under pressure from change that seems too rapid and chaotic, and which evidently leaves too many people behind
  • Genetic editing, using techniques such as CRISPR, is already eliminating various diseases and enabling “better than well” quality of life, but for some threatens socially destabilising “designer babies for the 1%”
  • Financial pressures from failing healthcare systems could be alleviated following smart investment into anti-aging treatments and rejuvenation therapies that are, however, opposed by certain groups as “unnatural”
  • Principles adapted from open source development can be applied to enable the collaborative creation and public review of new political policies
  • Innovations from civtech and politech are yet to be applied in political governance and the civil service in the way fintech is being applied to the financial sector
  • Driverless cars are poised to significantly cut accident rates and reduce pressures on the environment, but necessitate legislative support and changes in public mindset
  • Automation and AI are predicted to transform many jobs, requiring large-scale retraining and a medium to long term transition to a viable form of universal basic income
  • The advent of the Internet of Things is resulting in surveillance capitalism that uses streams of human-generated data to manipulate consumers as never before
  • Improved algorithms, linked to growing pools of big data, stand ready to usher in a new age of algogracy as an evolution of democracy, potentially sidestepping the perceptual and reasoning biases of voters, though risking the profound subversion of politics by whichever organisations control the algorithms in use
  • Divisions between bioprogressives and bioconservatives will complicate existing political categories, and accelerate a likely realignment of political parties.

David Wood, Executive Director of Transpolitica, commented as follows:

At a time when many people are wearying of political engagement, it’s all the more important to enable a thoughtful, informed discussion about the disruptive role of new technology in politics. What’s most needed is clarity on the way that technology, wisely deployed, can dramatically enhance the quality of life for everyone. This technoprogressive transhumanist vision of sustainable practical abundance can fill the void that is currently driving voters into warring camps.

Alexander Karran, Senior Researcher at Transpolitica, added:

The same set of technologies that threaten manipulation and dehumanisation also have the potential, if mixed in different ways, to provide personalised healthcare, emotional and cognitive support and enhancement, better economic modelling, and comprehensive solutions to deep social problems. But society’s leaders will need the foresight to grasp these possibilities and the agility to turn them into reality.

Notes to editors:

The stated theme of Transpolitica 2016 was “Real world policy changes for a radically better future”. The declared goal of the conference was:

To formulate and review policy recommendations which can become the focus of subsequent cross-party campaigns for legislative changes. In turn, these legislative changes will have the aim to enable better politics, better communities, and better human experience – by allowing society to take good advantage of the remarkable transformational potential of accelerating technologies.

Transpolitica researchers, along with activists in the Transhumanist Party (UK), plan to initiate a number of technoprogressive campaigns in the opening months of 2017.

Recordings of the presentations and discussions from Transpolitica 2016 are in the process of being added to the event website.

Transpolitica is a technoprogressive think tank whose objective is to facilitate better public and political engagement with the social, economic and political opportunities presented by new technologies. It is associated with the H+Pedia project whose purpose is to spread accurate, accessible, non-sensational information about transhumanism among the general public. Transpolitica also works with the UK Transhumanist Party whose aim is grassroots engagement with issues raised by increased use and presence of technology in society as a whole.

London, 8th December 2016

Transpolitica 2016 – The questions asked

This page provides a public record of all the questions or comments submitted electronically via the Glisser tool in response to the presentations at Transpolitica 2016.

(Glisser’s audience engagement software was a big help with the crowd sourcing and prioritisation of questions.)

The number before each question indicates the number of upvotes received by the question.

David Wood, Executive Director, Transpolitica: “What prospects for better politics?”

  • 2: I fear that these suggested solutions might have the opposite effect to the desired and further decrease the need for critical evaluation of information. The solution should be to change the education from fact based to thinking based.
  • 1: The problem with typing text questions is you have to stop focusing on the speaker 😦
  • 0: Following on from this, a rating system for the publications/individuals which would potentially affect their funding, ad’s less likely to be hosted with them.
  • 0: How will these developments affect the job market? Have any studies been on this subject?

Alex Flamant, Notion Capital: “Accelerating the regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles”

  • 3: Have you seen the MIT Moral Machine site on the ethics of autonomous driving technology? Will the public be able to accept the reality of decisions being taken like this?
  • 2: What do you think about self owning cars? (Bitcoin + uber + self driving)
  • 2: In which countries will AV be approved first?
  • 1: To mitigate against public fears how are the companies developing these technologies going to disclose the moral decision making process? When they are currently being secretive and competitive.
  • 1: But most people love driving!
  • 1: What happened in the Tesla crash that resulted in a death?
  • 0: Will cars in their present form be able to be updated to autonomous?
  • 0: Would this not make cars an expense for the rich and turn shared cars into personal busses?
  • 0: What is EU commission doing?
  • 0: From a car-hater: will cities put a total limit to number of cars?
  • 0: Would giving an AV permission to kill humans not potentially open the floodgates re Asimov’s first law of robotics?
  • 0: If economies of scale will network effect and therefore concentration of power, then what does that mean for our politics!
  • 0: On level 4 (full automation) the car would have to make a decision in the potential accident, how do you install ethics into a car when accident is inevitable? Would we need to install something similar to human reasoning? And if so, could it be global or only country specific?
  • 0: Is the huge economic impact not a problem – it seems many jobs from cab drivers to mechanics going out of business, especially if big companies do as you say and share say 200,000 vehicles that they maintain themselves?
  • 0: How should we cope with inevitable loss of job categories (taxi driver, lorry driver, bus driver,…)?

Anna Harrington Morozova, Scientific and Regulatory Director, REGEM Consulting: “Opportunities for changes in governance of biomedical innovations: choosing your battles”

  • 8: What would you say to opening up academic publishing sites to close the public-expert gap
  • 8: Surely a major source of conflict in this area is the vast evidence of amoral behaviour from large corporations?
  • 5: GMO crop companies like Monsanto monopolise seeds and make their seeds stetile to prevent reuse and force farmers to repurchase seeds each year, at premiums. GMO has a lot to offer, but do experts not see the problem it has already caused in the US?
  • 3: Interesting! Isn’t it important to define the main goals of our scientific “battles”. For me, number one is life extension, number two existential risks and number three: happiness. And for you?
  • 3: Are the FDA and other regulators sufficiently up-to-date with innovative new medical tech like personalised medicine?
  • 2: Withdrawing NHS funding for Alzheimer’s disease wasn’t very NICE of them.
  • 1: Pity the public is so badly educated!
  • 1: Experts fail in explaining the uncertainty in their conclusions: do you agree?
  • 1: Did you say you had a magnet? What is that?

Didier Coeurnelle, Co-president of Heales, “Making longevity politically mainstream, or die trying”

  • 6: Why don’t you put more focus on the economic arguments? National healthcare budgets are in crisis worldwide
  • 5: The older generation often struggles to adapt and understand the younger generation, they tend to be more conservative. Wouldn’t longevity stall the innovation?
  • 5: Would we still spend 50% of health care in last 6 months of life when aged 200?
  • 4: Are Aubrey de Grey and Ray Kurzweil aware of Heales and what are points of disagreement, if any, with their views?
  • 4: In the UK over the past few decades, improvements in healthcare have disproportionately extended the life expectancy of the most well-off in society. The life expectancy of the poorest has increased less than the richest. What market or political mechanisms would mean that the poorest benefited first?
  • 3: Would a longer lifespan result in a less efficient lifespan? In other words, what can you accomplish after the age of 80?
  • 3: Why is there a need to extend the lifespan or potentially get closer to immortality? What do you see people filling their spare time with?
  • 2: Given recent political trends in Europe in America, is it better for futurists to engage with the public and politics from the left or from the right?
  • 1: You didn’t mention grass roots activism for life extension?
  • 1: As longevity treatment is still in development, shouldn’t the public prioritise less work and improved access to healthier food, to better improve current life quality?
  • 0: Is our ability to support so many more people progressing at same pace as medical progress?

Alex Pearlman, Science Journalist, Kings College London: “The political future of genetic enhancements”

  • 3: Is ‘genetically better’ always the same as ‘better human’? Evolution is no respecter of species. Perhaps genetically better tends towards species differentiation. Do we have even the beginning of a politics that can address this?
  • 3: Would this not lead to less innovation as people will naturally seek to make their lives easier, and so flow towards these genetic changes. This would remove important perspectives born from experiences of hardship and challenge, and they are a central factor behind innovation.
  • 2: Compared to nuclear/atomic technology would you see human gene tech as deserving of a lesser/same/greater level of regulatory oversight and national/intergovernmental agreement and treaties?
  • 2: Is there a debate in China?
  • 1: Given the impending life extension tech and even the singularity, are genetic engineering technologies really all that significant?
  • 1: Why do you think transhumanism is white/male dominated and how should this be addressed?
  • 0: Why opinion of politicians is so important? If we simply do not want them to be the decision makers in subjects they are not any better experts than any other uneducated member of public, we need seemply push them away handing over the decision making to more capable and educated panel. Give politicians less attention and contribute to rise of expert community input.

José Cordeiro, Founding Energy Advisor/Faculty, Singularity University: “Practical and legal steps towards European cryonics”

  • 6: At present cryonics is nothing but a new belief system about afterlife. And businesses charging believers money to perform the ritual in line with that mythology. Please address how are you different from the older religions
  • 5: If we cure death, how do we decide which of 10 billion people get to live forever?
  • 5: Who pays the ongoing costs to keep clients cryogenically frozen? What if the business runs out of funds?
  • 4: Were the worms frozen alive? Is there a difference between the likelihood of being able to bring someone back if they have already died as opposed to being frozen when alive?
  • 3: Cryonics is essentially freezing a dead body. Reigniting the neurons in a brain may never be possible.
  • 2: When will the technology reach the point to successfully reanimate a cryopreserved human body?
  • 2: Any rejuvenation treatment available today?
  • 2: Why just worms and not mice?
  • 1: If King of Spain is cryogenically preserved, who will be king when he is reanimated?
  • 1: Scientists have for years been freezing worms, simply by putting them in -20 degrees freezer. We have some in the lab and they come back to life in 30 mins. I feel that a lot of facts on that topic are presented subjectively.
  • 1: What are you planning to do with your immortality?

Panel discussion featuring: Timothy Barnes, Founder and Senior Deity, The Rain Gods; Kathryn Corrick, COO; Dan Brown, Director of Meganexus Ltd

  • 11: Do recent events (eg Brexit) show that voters are generally poorly informed and not well-placed to decide on complex issues?
  • 7: How do you ensure the Represent tool does not just become a lobbying tool for particular factions?… ie loaded language add.
  • 6: Digital disruption isn’t ambitious enough. We need to modernise the hundreds of years old ways of policy and law making. Discuss!?
  • 6: Rather than new tech replacing existing ways of working, should we not be asking how the role of government changes in a the age of networked populations?
  • 5: The key issue is how do governments add value to society?
  • 4: Can you comment on the fact that last few years phone numbers and email addresses disappeared from local councel websites. They may be digitilised but became much less accesable or accoubtable. What is the point exactly? Increased convenience for government to hide from public?
  • 1: Rents are cheaper in Berlin! And it will stay in EU
  • 1: Why so much focus on helping offenders when so many non-offenders cannot find jobs?
  • 1: Because the cost of offenders and reoffending is more to government.
  • 1: Does get any feedback from the government and do you have any examples when collected data influenced government decisions?
  • 0: How much AI is behind
  • 0: No! Communication isn’t the problem. The problem is transparency into who says what and why … #trust … There really isn’t a paucity of low barrier comms
  • 0: Could you address the matters of increased transparency with intriduction of digitalisation and the demand for higher level of trust to officials it brings. Would we need different type of governers as a result, these we can trust more.
  • 0: How will represent those outside the online community?
  • 0: Is this really different from 38Degrees or the Govt’s

James Smith, Party Leader, Something New: “Building the world’s first open-source political manifesto”

  • 5: In my understanding OpenSource, in Linux unresolved questions can cascade up and up, until eventually the founder (Linus?) has to give a decision on most intractable. Is that the case here, adn therefore are early adopters / most frequent users most powerful?
  • 3: “massively distributed deliberation” for democracy as labour puts it is a fine ambition. Massive surveillance. Massive data. Massive deliberation. … Needs massive transparency to counter maybe misbehaviour. Discuss!?
  • 3: Couldn’t this same strategy of using github as an interface for seeing diffs over manifesto changes be applied to existing parties? Why is a new party required?
  • 2: Normally open source projects only have a handful of contributors who care enough about the code to get involved in the discussion process. Surely this would break down when you have millions of people who want to have a say?
  • 2: Is it really not a problem for James if he has no info on those Open Source contributors? Am thinking of people adding anonymously info to Wikipedia which benefits themselves and which isn’t based in fact (eg some UK MPs been caught at this!)
  • 1: Why don’t you allow blocked posts into the discussion? Isn’t the whole point of democracy that somebody always will disagree?! How do you ensure objectivity if you only built on what majority agrees on?
  • 1: Could other parties use your tools and systems for their own policy decisions?
  • 1: Why limit at the British level, why not at the world level this new democracy?
  • 1: Who edits the content? How do you control the quality of the material? How about if you don’t agree?
  • 0: Open democracy and “being back hanging” ?
  • 0: Is your ‘exit strategy’ to sell your platform to main parties?
  • 0: Have there been any forks?

Jason Blackstock, Head of Department, UCL STEaPP, “Practical steps towards better public decision-making”

  • 6: How do we solve the problem that large corporates like Facebook are run by small ‘boards’, primarily for profit, which is maximised by creating the echo chambers?
  • 4: Would you applaud the local trials of UBI (e.g in Dutch citites and Finland) as good examples of the experimental approach to politics that you advocate?
  • 1: Challenges faced by policymakers? Or challenges faced by citizens? There is a fundamental difference. Outside in view vs inside out view.
  • 0: I got a remote house with custom built satitation. As we built it I learnt all about sewage functioning and deal with its maintainance. If anything I feel empowered by that knowledge. And this makes me happier. Your statement that bad toilets, or a need to manage it, can make people unhappy got no factual grounds.

Alexander Karran, Senior Researcher, Transpolitica: “Surveillance capitalism: making big data work for all”

  • 5: Instead of storing data on the block chain, why not just encrypt it so it is only visible to those it was intended for, not the platform
  • 3: Our personal data must remain ours. Irrevocably. All “T+C” null and void. By a new Digital Bill of Rights Law. … Then all corporate use is only by temporary loan with power always with the human owner. …
  • 2: Don’t we swap our data for free Facebook?
  • 1: How does your solution deal with the self mirror issue? £10 for my data is not worth my son losing his opportunity to develop?
  • 1: Do we need to start with children’s education and ensuring digital rights are as familiar to young people as their human rights?
  • 0: Block chain is not the panacea. It’s only good for venture capital….

Tony Czarnecki, Managing Partner, Sustensis: “From long-term sustainable growth to the economy of abundance”

  • 7: Why do you say that knowledge doubles each year? Maybe, it is the quantity of data, but I do not think we do double our real knowledge each year (no new quantum theory each year for example).
  • 5: Is your roadmap to shared values and democracy based on “western” assumptions? Does it cope with cultural differences?
  • 3: What is your opinion on redistributing retirement throughout one’s life instead of receiving it in bulk at the end?
  • 2: How will these proposals ever come to pass? I agree that many of these things are needed but are they politically feasible. In what sense of ‘real world’ is this real world?
  • 0: If I understand correctly it is a democratic view restricted to a part of the population with some people having more rights than others (more weight). Do I understand correctly?

Dean Bubley, Founder, Disruptive Analysis: “Technological Unemployment? We can work through it”

  • 2: If 95% of someone’s job can be automated, won’t this mean that many fewer employees are needed?
  • 2: Can you comment on models like Uber which can disrupt existing sectors very quickly – benefitting consumers but at the expense of workers?
  • 1: Don’t the short term employment gaps only exacerbate the unemployment issue in the medium term when automation replaces those jobs (e.g. we train more lorry drivers, only to have to lay larger numbers of them off from 2018)?
  • 1: “Things don’t change overnight” but most people adapt at a _much_ lower pace, if ever. Therefore things do change “overnight”, Don’t they?
  • 1: What’s your opinion about impact different political and economic ideologies could have on how tech unemployment progresses?
  • 0: Paul Mason points to 6 guys with rags doing carwashes where once we had machines. If wages are low, why invest in automation?
  • 0: Is the issue not less about the lack of work and the impact of automation on inequality and on the environmental impact of the level of consumption required to sustain wage growth in an automated world?

Chris Monteiro, Principal contributor, H+Pedia: “Perceptions and projections of futurist political scenarios”

  • 3: Does State Fascism have to be necessarily dystopian? Are we not limiting ourselves categorising like that?
  • 2: What all those sci-fi scenarios get very wrong (hopefully) is that they still show _old_ people in the future. Did we abandon all rejuvenation pursuits?
  • 2: Might VR (Virtual Reality) not give people the chance to choose their own utopia where they can spend at least part of their time?

Final review questions (but there was no time to hold this session)

  • 1: Don’t like term Transhuman!
  • 1: Education is fundamental to the way society’s work. Pity not explicitly covered in otherwise excellent meeting today
  • 0: With 2008 crash most folk are pissed off with the politial establishment. That’s why we have Brexit, Corbyn and Trump. Governments must take on current form of capitalism

Transpolitica 2016 – The best questions

At the Transpolitica 2016 event on 3rd December (preview | schedule | registration), we’ll be trialling a new system for collecting and prioritising audience questions for the speakers.

The system is called Glisser. For each talk at Transpolitica 2016, audience members will be able to visit a page in their web browser and:

  • Type in short questions for the presenter, based on what the presenter has said
  • Selectively upvote the questions raised by other audience members.

Convenient URL shortcodes for each presentation will be made available to the attendees of the conference. These URLs all start as…

Note: Glisser can be used from smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

The event chair will be keeping an eye on the incoming questions, and will prioritise asking the presenter the questions with the most upvotes.

The entire set of questions will be downloaded after the event, and used as the starting point for possible new projects by Transpolitica and/or London Futurists.

In this way, we’ll be “practising what we preach”, and using technology to help identify, highlight, and preserve the best of our collective thinking!

Usage snapshot

Here’s a snapshot envisioning user input as the first main talk is proceeding:


This shows that two questions have been posed so far – one with two upvotes, and the other with just one (so far).

In the browser, you can press the Question Mark icon and type in your question. (Hint: keep it short! And keep it civil…) Feel free to add your name at the end of the question, if you’d like to be publicly identified as the originator of the question.

You can also click on the various ‘Hand’ icons to upvote an existing question.

Press the big “Up arrow” slider to get into a screen where you can alter the order in which the questions are listed:

  • With the most recent questions at the top, or
  • With the most popular questions at the top.

Press the resulting big “Down arrow” slider to get back to the main screen listing.

To move from one presentation to another, enter the new URL shortcode in the browser address bar. (Attendees will be sent the full set of URLs ahead of the event, and these will also be available at the venue.)

You are welcome to trial the system before you arrive at the venue, so you can learn how it works. By all means post some “test questions”, and practice upvoting. Before the event actually starts, the test questions will be purged from the system, so there’s a fresh start once people are listening to what the speakers actually say.

FAQ on using Glisser

Q1: Glisser has lots of other features, beyond audience Q&A. Why aren’t these being used on this occasion?

A1: We’re taking one step at a time!

Q2: Aren’t “old style” spoken questions more authentic and insightful than questions typed into a small browser screen?

A2: Perhaps so. However, this event has a full agenda, with little buffer time. There won’t be an opportunity to pass a microphone around many different people in the audience, to give them all a chance to ask questions, sorry. Instead, with Glisser, there’s a greater opportunity for the best questions from the audience to be heard – where “best” is as judged by the audience as a whole. Moreover, Glisser allows a greater number of questions to be recorded, for future review by speakers.

Q3: Will there be sufficient wireless network bandwidth in the room to cope with 100+ simultaneous users?

A3: Since the event is being held in a basement room, cellular connectivity may be hit-and-miss. Therefore we’re paying the venue to provide wifi access. Details of how to access the wifi are given on the meetup page for the event and will also be availble at the check-in desk at the venue. The organisers ask that attendees refrain from video downloads or uploads over this network, to preserve bandwidth for the Glisser voting functionality. Thanks in advance!

Q4: Why does Glisser ask for an email address when users first visit one of the presentation pages? Will this email address be used for marketing purposes?

A4: No! The email addresses are listed on the admin pages alongside each question, in principle allowing the event organisers to email longer answers to questioners after the event has finished. However, London Futurists and Transpolitica will not be contacting any of the attendees in this way. And Glisser emphasise they won’t be using these email addresses for any purposes of their own.

Q5: Do users need to use a real email address when connecting to the system?

A5: No! If you wish to protect your privacy, by all means invent a fictitious email address when signing in. No two-stage validation takes place.

Q6: Why does Glisser keep warning users that “Changes that you made may not be saved” and ask “Do you want to leave this site”?

A6: Glisser seems to be overly trigger happy with such warnings. Since it seems to save questions to the cloud almost immediately (provided there’s a good network connection), you can mainly ignore these warnings.

Q7: Can users change their mind and downvote a question they have previously upvoted?

A7: That functionality seems not to be available. So exercise some discretion in picking which questions are really your favourites!

Transpolitica 2016 – Previews

This video previews the contents of Transpolitica 2016:

It’s less than four minutes long, but it covers all fifteen of the speakers who are lined up to give TED-style talks over the course of the day.

After you take the time to watch the video, you can register to attend the event by clicking here for the meetup page.

Snapshots from the video

The following pictures are taken from the movie.

Chair’s opening remarks (9.45-10.00)


Regulations, health, and transformation (10.00-12.00)






Politics, tools, and transformation (13:30-15:15)




Society, data, and transformation (15.45-17.30)





More details about the conference

  • To register for this event, see this meetup page
  • For the agenda, and more details about the event, see here.

Transpolitica 2016 – Schedule

Real world policy changes for a radically better future

Note: videos and slides from the various presentations are embedded below.

The schedule for the one-day conference “Transpolitica 2016” – which took place in Central London on Saturday 3rd December – is as follows:


09.15: Doors open

We’ll be in the Clore Management Centre, room B01 (on the basement level), Birkbeck College, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.


The Clore Management Centre is on the opposite site of Torrington Square from the main Birkbeck College building. Torrington Square (which is a pedestrian-only square) is about 10 minutes walk from either Russell Square or Goodge St tube stations. See this map.

To register in advance for this event, see this meetup page.

Note: Tickets for Transpolitica 2016 cost £18. (The entrance fee has been chosen so as to cover the costs of room hire, refreshments, and AV and IT expenditure. Early bird tickets, costing £15, and super early bird tickets, costing £12, are now all sold out.)

09.40: Introductory videos

09.45: Chair’s opening remarks

David Wood, Executive Director, Transpolitica: “What prospects for better politics?” – slides

10.00-12:00: Regulations, health, and transformation

Alex Flamant, Notion Capital: “Accelerating the regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles”

Anna Harrington Morozova, Scientific and Regulatory Director, REGEM Consulting: “Opportunities for changes in governance of biomedical innovations: choosing your battles” – slides

Didier Coeurnelle, Co-president of Heales, “Making longevity politically mainstream, or die trying” – slides

Alex Pearlman, Science Journalist, Kings College London: “The political future of genetic enhancements” – slides

José Cordeiro, Founding Energy Advisor/Faculty, Singularity University: “Practical and legal steps towards European cryonics” – slides

12.00: Break for lunch and networking (lunch is not supplied)

This Google Map lists selected restaurants and coffee shops that are within around 10 minutes walk from the conference venue – providing a wide choice of options for lunch.

13:00: Tea and coffee available, for post-lunch networking

Light refreshments will be available in the entrance foyer outside the meeting room.

13:30-15:10: Politics, tools, and transformation

Timothy Barnes, Founder and Senior Deity, The Rain Gods: “Bringing digital disruption to government”; Kathryn Corrick, COO, “Updating democracy”; Dan Brown, Director of Meganexus Ltd: “ICT tools for computational government”

James Smith, Party Leader, Something New: “Building the world’s first open-source political manifesto” – slides

Jason Blackstock, Head of Department, UCL STEaPP, “Practical steps towards better public decision-making” (this speaker used no slides)

15:10: Break for tea/coffee networking

Light refreshments will be available in the entrance foyer outside the meeting room.

15.40-17.30: Society, data, and transformation

Alexander Karran, Senior Researcher, Transpolitica: “Surveillance capitalism: making big data work for all” – slides

Tony Czarnecki, Managing Partner, Sustensis: “From long-term sustainable growth to the economy of abundance” – slides: as presented; as revised after the talk

Dean Bubley, Founder, Disruptive Analysis: “Technological Unemployment? We can work through it” – slides

Chris Monteiro, Principal contributor, H+Pedia: “Perceptions and projections of futurist political scenarios” – slides

17.30: Room empty

The event will be followed by a chance to continue the discussion in a nearby pub – The Marlborough Arms, 36 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ.

Online discussion

In the spirit of embracing technology to improve collaboration, Transpolitica 2016 will be trialling a tool (Glisser) for online communication during the event. This tool will be used to identify the questions that the audience, as a whole, prioritise as most deserving responses from speakers.

The tool can be accessed using either a cellular (3G/4G) connection or via wifi. For more details, see here.

Wifi details for attendees at this event are as follows:

Wireless network: BBK-Guest
Username: Londonfuturists2
Password: bbP7jW
(This access code is operational only from 09.00-17.30 on 3rd December.)

Registration and preview

To register for this event, see this meetup page.

And see here for a short video preview.

Transpolitica 2016 – call for submissions

Transpolitica plans to hold a one-day conference in central London on Saturday 3rd December 2016 (10am-5pm).

(Update: see here for the latest plans for Transpolitica 2016, and how to register to attend.)

The theme of the conference is “Real world policy changes for a radically better future“.

Transpolitica 2016

The goal of the conference is to formulate and review policy recommendations which could become the focus of subsequent cross-party campaigns for legislative changes. In turn, these legislative changes will have the aim to enable better politics, better communities, and better human experience – by allowing society to take good advantage of the remarkable transformational potential of accelerating technologies.

The conference invites submissions from people interested in presenting TED-style thought leadership presentations at the event. These presentations should last 15-20 minutes and should convey key practical thoughts to stimulate group discussion during a Q&A period after the talk.

Suggested topics include:

  • Transitional steps towards Universal Basic Income
  • Alternative responses to the possibility of Technological Unemployment
  • Legal support for self-experimentation with nootropics
  • The political future of genetic enhancements
  • Policy changes that encourage quicker development of anti-aging therapies
  • Improvements to how finance works
  • Improvements to democracy and decision-making
  • Policy changes regarding surveillance, privacy, and data ownership
  • Support for radical decentralisation: cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and more
  • The role of politics in accelerating science and innovation
  • The role of politics in responding to existential risks
  • Beyond national sovereignty: The evolution of transnational governance

If you’re interested in submitting a proposal to speak, or have any other suggestion about the event, please email the event organisers – the sooner, the better – ideally by 11th September (so that the agenda can be publicised in good time).


  • The date of 3rd December is currently the strong favourite, but might be changed (one week in either direction) if any clashing events become known to the organisers over the next few days
  • Although the event is held in London, speakers are welcome to propose changes to politics happening anywhere in the world
  • The organisers welcome suggestions for logos, graphics, banners, or other publicity material to help spread word about Transpolitica 2016.