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International thinkers, humanists and Nobel Laureates discuss the world 100 years from now

On December 4th and 5th, a celebrated group of international thinkers, scientists, humanists and innovators met at the Champalimaud Foundation to speculate on life in the next century.

  1. 7.12.2015

    Held at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, 'The Unknown, 100 years from now: A voyage of discovery' brought together a unique group of speakers including the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, as well as Nobel Prize winners, Shirin Ebadi, Robert Horvitz and Sydney Brenner.

    Planetary colonisation, 3D live-organ printing, intelligent machines, and a cure for cancer. These were among the concepts discussed at the Champalimaud Foundation as world-renowned intellectuals and innovators cast their thoughts into a future few can imagine. Keynote speaker, Sir Tim Berners-Lee wondered when “we will get off this planet”, a thought echoed by the University of Cambridge’s Gerry Gilmore. Neuroscientist António Damásio spoke of his belief in the improved capacity of new medical approaches to treat currently incurable disease, while Nobel Laureate, Robert Horvitz stated his conviction that cancer will be curable or even preventable by 2115.

    Discussions on the future of technological innovations were no less ambitious with Microsoft’s Padmasree Warrior, Oxford University’s Luciano Floridi, C-PET’s Nigel Cameron and author Helga Nowotny all predicting sweeping changes as advances in virtual reality, robotics and Artificial Intelligence change the way we live. And as stressed by Manuel Castells, current technological trends may also have the power to radically change the way we participate in and understand democracy in the years to come 

    Central to any discussion on society must be a consideration of human values and rights, and the conference’s final discussion panel on ‘freedom, knowledge and values’ comprised some of the world’s foremost and respected voices in this area. Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, former President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, and author and futurist, Ziauddin Sardar, cast their thoughts over the next century of human development.

    Together, this illustrious group of speakers joined 400 participants at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown for a voyage of discovery to the year 2115. Only time will tell if their predictions will be borne out. But for now, the audience are left with much food for thought from the unique insights of an exceptional group of speakers.

    All presentations will be available to watch on our Youtube channel shortly.

     Conference Leader, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (far right) with Shirin Ebadi, Ziauddin Sardar and Jorge Sampaio

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