EPIIC Archives

1995 20/20 Visions of the Future

Strategists and physicists, "cyberians" and geneticists, philosophers and physicians, astronomers and historians, engineers and environmentalists, game theorists and ethnicists gathered at this multidisciplinary symposium to consider trends in: artificial intelligence, astronomy, communications, demographics, development, the environment, genetics, the global economy, global governance, human rights, international security, medicine, migration, pandemics, population, technology, urbanization, virtual reality, weapons proliferations and beyond. The experts probed possible scenarios and alternative visions of the near future to consider which ones are most promising or most threatening in their implications.

Where on the continuum between utopian visions which imagine a neo-biological civilization of co-evolving humans and machines and dystopic visions of increasing global anarchy will the world be in 25 years? How will changes in the intersection of science, technology and international politics influence the future of the international system? What are the implications for sovereignty of such "borderless" issues as migrations flows, economic refugees, pollution, and human rights? How accurate are the projections of population growth, resource scarcity, environmental degradation, and global warming? What will be the nature of economic interdependence in 2020? What new burdens will be placed on global social equity? What constitutes a sustainable future for the globe?

What are the scientific, ethical, legal and social implications of new technologies? How will advances in information technologies affect the global structure of communications, of diplomacy, of economics, of education, of privacy? What is the future of infectious diseases, pandemics, and other public health issues? What will be the relationship between bioengineering and the preservation of biodiversity? What will evolve from the convergence of psychology, nanotechnology, neuroscience, and computer science? Will we get any closer to understanding the origins and fate of our universe? How are these concerns reflected and understood in popular culture?

This symposium marked the 10th Anniversary of EPIIC.