Consultants

Transpolitica’s Consultants, Writers, and Researchers

David Wood

DWDavid Wood has spent 25 years envisioning, architecting, designing, implementing, and avidly using smart mobile devices. As one of the pioneers of the smartphone industry, he co-founded Symbian, the creator of the world’s first successful smartphone operating system, and served on the leadership teams of Psion Software and Symbian from 1996-2009. At different times, his executive responsibilities included software development, technical consulting, developer evangelism, partnering and ecosystem management, and research and innovation.

From 2010 to 2013, David was Technology Planning Lead (CTO) of Accenture Mobility. He also co-led Accenture’s “Mobility Health” business initiative. He now acts as independent futurist, consultant, and writer, at Delta Wisdom.

As chair of London Futurists, David has organized regular meetings in London since March 2008 on futurist, transhumanist, technoprogressive, and singularitarian topics. Membership of London Futurists now approaches 6,000.

In November 2005 David received an honorary Doctorate in Science (D.Sc.) from the University of Westminster, in recognition of his services to the smartphone industry. T3 magazine included him in 2009 in their list of the “100 most influential people in technology”. In 2010 he featured in the world’s first Augmented Reality CV.

David became a Board Director of Humanity+ in November 2013. He was lead editor of the volume “Anticipating 2025: A guide to the radical changes that may lie ahead, whether or not we’re ready”, published in June 2014. His own book “Smartphones and beyond: lessons from the remarkable rise and fall of Symbian” was published in September 2014, and has been described as “One of the most candid and revealing books a technology executive has ever written”. He is a Fellow of the IEET.

David became Executive Director of Transpolitica in January 2015.

Alexander Karran

AKAlexander Karran became, in May 2015, the first candidate to run for election in a UK general election with a purely technoprogressive transhumanist agenda. This was in the seat of Liverpool Walton.

Alexander has a broad academic background, holding a PhD in Psychology  (focused on bio-cybernetic loops and physiological computing), a Masters degree in Computer Network Security (focused on cyber-security and digital forensic analysis) and an undergraduate degree in computer science.

Alexanders’s research for Transpolitica has included:

Alexander is a public speaker who advocates for longevity science, artificial intelligence in education and governance, and the wise application of technology to the problems faced by modern society. He is also a keen follower of current trends in accelerating technologies and their potential to transform human behaviour.

Alexander is currently an academic at Manchester Metropolitan University, giving lectures on data science, cyber-security policy, future trends in cyber-security and digital forensics and programming.

Julian Snape

JSJulian Snape was one of the early co-founders of Transhumanism in the UK in the late 1990’s with ExtroBritannia, giving talks on Transhumanism and other related subjects at Conway Hall. He then became a co-founder of the UK Transhumanist Association at the start of the 2000’s.

Julian’s professional career began in the fields of Sales, Marketing and PR with Apple Computers, and Sales, Marketing, PR, and Operations with a major games company. He then became the IT Manager of a large educational books group.

He gained his Cert Ed (FE) while teaching IT and is now completing a Transhumanist themed Natural Sciences BSc (Hons) with the Open University. He retains a professional interest in educational methods and MOOCs.

Julian’s Futurist and Transhumanist interests include nanotechnology, life extension, 3d printing, robots and system automation along with the necessary Basic Income Guarantee initiative to cope with the ensuing unemployment – or rather liberation from jobs of drudgery.

He lives in Norfolk (UK) in the company of three 3d printers.

George Pór

GPGeorge Pór is a Visiting Professor at the Management Center Innsbruck. His academic posts have included London School of Economics, INSEAD, University of Amsterdam, UC Berkeley, California Institute of Integral Studies, Université de Paris, and University of Lund (Sweden).

George served as the Chief Architect of the International Society for Systems Sciences’ Collective Intelligence Initiative, and has been an advisor to the Integral City collective.

Besides being the Founder and Senior Consultant of CommunityIntelligence Ltd, George is also a Fellow of Future Considerations, an award-winning organisational transformation agency. His clients included Campus de Excelencia Internacional Cataluña Sur, Climate and Development Knowledge Network, European Commission, European Investment Bank, Ford Motor Co., Greenpeace, Intel, Shell, UN Development Programme, World Wildlife Foundation, and numerous other organisations around the world.

George has been publishing the Blog of Collective Intelligence since 2003, has written over 100 papers and articles on related subjects in 6 languages, and contributed chapters to several books.

George has been a futurist and observer of the extropian/transhumanist ecosystem since the mid-80s. He pioneered such theoretical and methodological frameworks, as knowledge ecology, knowledge gardening, innovation architecture, Chaordic Chat, shared mindfulness and collective sentience. His current research interests include: learning in and by complex adaptive social system, learning regions and society, (global-scale) collective intelligence and wisdom, evolutionary guidance systems, global brain studies, global solution networks, collective sentience, and the emergence of higher “we-spaces.” He lives on the edge because, as he likes to say, if one doesn’t live on the edge one takes up too much space.

Alberto Rizzoli

ARAlberto Rizzoli has a degree in management from Cass Business School and a background in finance, media, and education technology. He grew up in a political scene in Italy and was interested in futurist ideas since an early age.

Alberto is the co-founder and business director of a 3D printing ed-tech startup aiming to bring a 3D printer to every British school so that tomorrow’s generations become familiar with technology at an early age, and are never intimidated by it. The program was presented at the Houses of Parliament before British MPs as part of the national efforts to modernise primary and secondary education.

Before that, he worked in Google, working with the company’s clients in the Italian finance industry, and in corporate finance in London. He also has experience in campaigning for both the European and Italian parliament.

He is now building a data donation platform for the anonymous sharing of our energy and health data with the aim of promoting bottom-up transparency. Alberto is interested in bringing forward the conversation on universal basic income, longevity, and the opportunities in 3D printing.

Sally Morem

SMAs an essayist, Sally Moren has been fascinated by and has written about a wide variety of subjects, including science, science fiction, the future, politics, philosophy, and Transhumanism.

Sally is an advisory board member of Lifeboat Foundation and has recently been elected to the board of the New Chorale of Southwest Florida.

Sally has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine/Studio Arts from Southwest Minnesota State University,

She winters in Bonita Springs, Florida and summers in Nisswa, Minnesota, a splendid situation. Much better than the other way around.

José Cordeiro

JCJosé Luis Cordeiro describes himself as a world citizen in our small planet in a big unknown universe. He was born in Latin America, from European parents, was educated in Europe and North America, and has worked extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. He has studied, visited and worked in over 130 countries in 5 continents.

José studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA, where he received his Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) and Master of Science (M.Sc.) degrees in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor in Economics and Languages. He later studied International Economics and Comparative Politics at Georgetown University in Washington, USA, and then obtained his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France. During his studies, José worked with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna, Austria, and with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC, USA. He started his doctoral degree at MIT, which he continued later in Tokyo, Japan, and finally received his PhD at Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB) in Caracas, Venezuela.

Following his graduation, José worked as an engineer in petroleum exploration for the French company Schlumberger. For several years, he served as an advisor for many of the major oil companies in the world, including Agip, BP, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, PDVSA, Pemex, Petrobras, Repsol, Shell and Total. Later, in Paris, he initiated his relation with the international consulting company Booz-Allen & Hamilton, where he specialized in the areas of strategy, finance and restructuring. In Latin America, he has served as an advisor for some of the most important regional corporations and has taken part in the transformation and privatization of a number of oil companies in the continent. His experience and studies in monetary policy, currency boards, dollarization and monetary unions have taken him to participate in several monetary changes in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

At present, he is chair of the Venezuelan Node of the Millennium Project, Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE – JETRO) in Tokyo, Japan, and Founding Faculty and Energy Advisor at Singularity University(SU) in NASA Ames Research Park, Silicon Valley, California, USA. He is also an independent consultant, writer, researcher, professor and “tireless traveler”. He has lectured as an Invited Professor at several major institutions, from MIT in the USA and Sophia University (上智大学) in Japan to the Institute for Higher Studies in Administration (IESA) and the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), where he created the first formal courses of Futures Studies (“Prospectiva”) and the Austrian School of Economics in Venezuela.

José is founder and president emeritus of the World Future Society Venezuela Chapter (Sociedad Mundial del Futuro Venezuela); director of the Single Global Currency Association (SGCA) and the Lifeboat Foundation; cofounder of the Venezuelan Transhumanist Association and of the Internet Society (ISOC, Venezuela Chapter); board advisor to the Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF) and Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN); member of the Academic Committee of the Center for the Dissemination of Economic Knowledge (CEDICE), the Foresight Education and Research Network (FERN), the World Future Society (WFS) and the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF); expert member of the TechCast Project and ShapingTomorrow; former director of the World Transhumanist Association (WTA, now Humanity+), the Extropy Institute (ExI), the Club of Rome (Venezuela Chapter, where he was active promoting classical liberal ideas and the idea of “World Opportunitique” beyond “World Problematique” and “World Resolutique”) and of the Association of Venezuelan Exporters (AVEX), where he participated in the original negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). He has also been advisor to the Venezuelan Business Association (AVE) and other companies and international organizations.

Roland Schiefer

RSRoland was born in Austria and earned an MSc in biophysics from the Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany and a PhD from the Medical School at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He now lives in the UK.

His work and his philosophical interests always returned to the boundary between humans and their tools. This included, for example, the development of decompression tables for deep-sea divers at the German Institute for Aerospace Medicine, the development of an energy supply planning tool that considered emissions and relevant legal aspects at the Pestel Institute in Hanover, Germany, a large-scale study on the effect of temperature on the mental performance of schoolchildren at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa and numerous publications on thermal physiology. He later worked as electronic commerce consultant and co-founder and director of an internet-based education company.

Roland’s special interest concerns technologies that can change who we are and how we want to live together. His book “All In The Mind” speculates how we could manage the transition towards a stable social system in which citizens are free to choose their personalities and their emotional responses to experiences.

Roland’s recent considerations concern the opportunities and threats of artificial intelligence tools, smart systems that most of us will soon use most of the time and that will change our social and political order.

René Milan

RMF 2014-12-21 CRené has been a psychedelic transhumanist for forty years and a member of WTA (now Humanity+) for fifteen.  He has worked as a clinical psychologist and transpersonal psychotherapist for twenty five years and as a computer programmer and technical analyst for thirty.

René lived for many years in germany, catalunya, the u.s., japan, the u.k and currently in Jerez de la Frontera in andalucia and for shorter periods in ireland, netherlands, belgium, france, switzerland and angola.  Having no allegiance to any country he has great hopes for the EU as the only serious attempt to overcome the nation state concept.

He subscribes to the CMT that states: “It is ethical and desirable to improve the human condition through technology”, but sees the CMT as firmly rooted in the values of the Enlightenment. He puts great emphasis on the fact that technologies enabling mental development have been available for millennia but are still recognised by too few, and sees the necessity of integrating them with those technologies that are largely still emerging.

Recent Posts

Championing the Future

What are the most important issues that deserve full attention, during the campaigns leading up to the UK General Election on 8th June?

GE_2017

Should this election be dominated by the single issue of “Brexit”? That’s the issue given prominence by Prime Minister Theresa May as she called this snap election.

The Prime Minister wants the votes in GE2017 to deliver her a clearer power base, and therefore a stronger negotiating position with the other countries of the EU during what is anticipated to be a difficult set of discussions over the next two years.

In brief, the three main political parties in England and Wales (to set aside for the moment the special conditions that apply in both Scotland and Northern Ireland) have Brexit positions as follows:

  • The Conservatives have committed to a decisive break with the EU – leaving the single market and the customs union – and in the event of a failure of negotiations, with no framework relationship at all with the EU
  • The Conservative are also committed to giving, via the “Great Repeal Bill”, UK government ministers ongoing discretionary power over thousands of legal decisions which previously required either EU or UK parliamentary review
  • Labour have also committed to following through with a break from the EU, but don’t support “Brexit at any cost”; instead they advocate “Brexit with social justice”
  • Labour demand that the final negotiated terms will be put to the UK parliament for verification, though they have not clarified what they want to happen if Parliament rejects these terms (that is, whether the UK might in that case seek to retain its membership in what could be a reformed EU)
  • The LibDems are pushing for the UK to remain in the single market and the customs union
  • The LibDems also champion the ability of the UK Parliament to vote, at the end of the negotiations with the EU, for the UK to remain inside the EU after all, in case it has become clearer by that time what costs and drawbacks an exit will incur, and that many the presumed benefits of separation are illusory.

But should the GE2017 decision be decided entirely by views about Brexit?

That question hinges, in the first instance, on how seriously you view the consequences of a “wrong” Brexit outcome. Both sides of the Brexit debate contain people who see the matter as having fundamental importance:

  • Passionate Leave supporters highlight what they see as impending crises within the EU zone. The Euro is about to fail, they say. The EU operates opaquely, with no transparency. It increasingly lacks democratic support for its empire-building aims. Better for the UK to be as far away as possible from this forthcoming major train wreck. So long as it remains constrained by EU processes, the UK will be unable to adopt the policies needed for its own best future prospects
  • Passionate Remain supporters, on the other hand, forecast what will be a “Titanic” outcome of Brexit, to refer to an unfortunate choice of words from Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary – words turned into a scathing black comedy video by Comedy Central UK

However, I’m drawn to the observation made by sustainability advocate David Bent at a recent London Futurists event:

If you’re worried about leaving the European Union… I worry more about leaving the safe zone for civilisation on our global planet

Slide 31

David was referring to the prospects of forthcoming runaway climate change: the departure of the Earth from the “Holocene era” to an “Anthropocene era”. See from around 13-18 minutes into this recording of the event:
.

The bigger issues

Climate change is an example of the category of “existential issues” – issues that might radically alter the well-being of human existence on planet Earth, well within many of our lifetimes.

These issues include existential threats but also existential opportunities. What they have in common is that, unless we give them sufficient attention in advance, our room for manoeuvre may rapidly diminish. It may become too late to head off an existential threat (such as runaway climate change), or too late to take hold of an existential opportunity (such as investing vigorously in next-generation green technologies).

In all these cases, we may end up realising, too late, that we had been concentrating on lesser matters – matters that appeared urgent – and lost sight of the truly important ones. Too much debate over the swings and roundabouts mechanics of Brexit, for example, may lead us to forget about the actions needed in many other areas of forthcoming radical change. Too much focus on the present-day rough-and-tumble may prevent us from championing the future.

That’s why Transpolitica urges serious attention, in the run-up to GE2017, to a number of potential existential issues. We need politicians who will commit to devoting significant energies to developing practical plans to enable the following:

  1. Next generation green technologies, including those for better storage and transmission of clean energy
  2. Healthcare solutions that address the causes of ill-health and disease, rather than just trying to patch people up after the onset of chronic illness – these solutions include regenerative medicine and other rejuvenation therapies, to be made available and affordable to every citizen
  3. Radical solutions, as a subset of the previous case, for the growing crisis of mental ill-health, including dementia, as well as depression
  4. Transitioning society away from one in which we live to work (with the aim of near full employment) to one in which we live to flourish (with the aim of near full unemployment) – this transition may become especially pressing, with the rapid onset of technological unemployment and technological under-employment in the wake of robots, AI, and other automation
  5. Foreseeing and forestalling the risks to societal well-being from widespread surveillance (by both corporations and governments), and from pervasive online infrastructures that are increasingly vulnerable to security flaws and other errors in software implementation (including powerful AI algorithms that operate with unexpected biases)
  6. Mechanisms for better debates on political topics – debates freed from distortions such as fake news, deliberately misleading statements, overly powerful press barons, deceptive intentions being kept hidden, and the flaws of the “first past the post” election system
  7. Mechanisms for effective international collaboration, that supersede and/or improve upon the existing troubled operations of the UN, the IMF, and more local organisations such as the EU.

The last of these issues takes us full circle. Proper solutions to the big issues of the near-future depend upon a healthy international environment. If you think that the UK leaving the EU will significantly impact, for better or for worse, the UK’s ability to address the other big issues, then maybe you would be correct, after all, to prioritise the Brexit issue in the GE2017 campaign.

But only if we keep these other issues in mind too.

Footnote

Some of the themes covered above are likely to feature in the London Futurists event happening on 29th April, “Who can save Humanity from Superintelligence”, addressed by Tony Czarnecki, Managing Partner of Sustensis.

Here’s an extract from the description of that event:

The presentation will cover four overlapping crises Humanity faces today – crises in the domains of politics, economics, society, and existential risk. The presentation will also provide a vision of a possible solution, with a reformed European Union becoming the core of a new supranational organization having the best chance to tackle these problems.

The world faces a series of existential risks. When combined, the chance of one of these risks materializing in just 20 years is at least 5%. We already had one such “near miss” that could have annihilated the entire civilization. That was the Cuban crisis in October 1962, which almost started a global nuclear war…

Additionally, mainly due to the advancement in technology, the world is changing at almost an exponential pace. That means that change, not just in technology but also in political or social domains, which might previously have taken a decade to produce a significant effect, can now happen in just a year or two. No wonder that people, even in the most developed countries, cannot absorb the pace of change that happens simultaneously in so many domains of our lives. That’s why emotions have overtaken reason.

People are voting in various elections and referenda against the status quo, not really knowing what the problem is, even less what could be the solution. Even if some politicians know what the overall, usually unpleasant solutions could be, they are unlikely to share that with their own electorate because they would be deselected in the next election. The vicious circle continues but at an increasingly faster pace…

Anyone wanting to improve the situation faces three problems:

  1. Existential risks require fast action, while the world’s organisations act very slowly
  2. People want more freedom and more control, while we need to give up some of our freedoms and national sovereignty for the greater good of civilisation and humanity
  3. Most people can’t see beyond tomorrow and act emotionally, while we need to see the big picture and act rationally.

Therefore, anybody that sees the need for the world to take urgent action faces a formidable task of proposing pragmatic, fast and very radical changes in the ways the world is governed.

For more details of this event – and to RSVP to attend what will surely be a lively discussion – click here.

  1. Technology is eating politics Leave a reply
  2. Transpolitica 2016 – The questions asked 1 Reply
  3. Transpolitica 2016 – The best questions Leave a reply
  4. Transpolitica 2016 – Previews Leave a reply
  5. Project for a Progressive Ethics 13 Replies
  6. Transpolitica 2016 – Schedule Leave a reply
  7. Transpolitica 2016 – call for submissions Leave a reply
  8. Flawed humanity, flawed politics Leave a reply
  9. Anticipating better democracy Leave a reply