2006 Los Angeles Future Salons

January February March April May June July August September October November December

January 20, 2006
Alex Lightman on Geoffrey Moore; Jason Brancazio on Mind Manager

Friday January 20th, 8:00 - 10:30pm, Ackerman Hall, Room 2408, UCLA. Salon info, parking, etc.: http://ucla.accelerating.org/

Hi Futurists,

This meeting is the FIFTH ANNIVERSARY of LA Future Salon. It's hard to believe that time has flown so fast!

Bring your articles and gadgets to share during the first half hour!
We will again beg a UCLA student to be our Chief Surfer, so we can get realtime Google input for our wide-ranging discussion topics.
We will again arrange tables and chairs in a Round Table layout to maximize getting to know each other.

Main Speaker: Alex Lightman (8:30pm)

Title: Dealing With Innovation: A Presentation on Geoffrey Moore's Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of their Evolution, 2005

Abstract: LA's own Alex Lightman (http://www.alexlightman.com), business futurist, author (Brave New Unwired World, 2002) and innovator in 3D web, wearable and wireless computing, IPv6, and public company business models, will present a visual summary of Geoffrey Moore's latest book on innovation in the modern deregulated, globalized, and hyperconnected world.

Moore analyzes business innovation at every phase of the industry lifecycle (new, growing, mature, and declining markets) by differentiating in four critical innovation zones: Product Leadership, Customer Intimacy, Operational Excellence, and continual Category Renewal. His case examples show how large companies can successfully combat the risk-reduction mentality and internal inertia that causes them to slide into poor performance, as has occurred to so many of our Fortune 500 firms in recent years.

Moore is a leader in understanding and managing innovation in the high technology market sector. He is the author of five bestselling business books:
Crossing the Chasm:Marketing High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers, 1991
Inside the Tornado: Strategies for Surviving Hypergrowth Markets, 1995
The Gorilla Game: Picking Winners in High Technology, 1999
Living on the Fault Line: Managing for Shareholder Value in Any Economy, 2002, and now,
Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of their Evolution, 2005

Moore's concluding remarks in Darwin show his conviction that there is a progressive trend to evolution, and that one constant we can expect is continually accelerating market change: "That's what evolution is all about, a continual raising of the bar. It's how countries raise their standard of living. It's why new companies get formed every year. It's why each of us must learn new skills throughout our careers. We may get tired, but we are not likely to get bored. Mostly we just have to perform. Welcome to the race."

Some great words to take to heart! We hope you can join us for this stimulating presentation, to be followed by an extended Q&A discussion led by Alex.

Second Speaker: Jason Brancazio (9:40pm)

Title: Mind Manager 6 Demo

Abstract: Jason will take us through a 20 minute demo of Mind Manager 6 (http://www.mindjet.com/us/ ), a powerful and affordable ($230 for the Basic single user) software tool for visualizing and managing digital information.

He'll overview the program's features and show how he uses it in the context of his work (he has no affiliation with Mind Jet, makers of this product). In particular, he will show how the program can be used to structure persuasive arguments and support critical thinking. Bring your questions and don't miss this fascinating demo!

As usual, those interested will walk down to Westwood Village at 10:45pm for some culinary experiences and more conversation on our fascinating world.

February 17, 2006
No Meeting

March 17, 2006
Permalink: http://ucla.accelerating.org/email/0603hoffman

Main Speaker: Dr. Donald Hoffman (9:00-10:00+pm)

Title: Perception, Evolution, and the Mind-Body Problem

Abstract: Despite substantial efforts by many researchers, we still have no scientific theory of how brain activity can create, or be, conscious experience. This is remarkable, since we have a large body of correlations between brain activity and consciousness, correlations normally assumed to entail that brain activity creates conscious experience. Here I explore a converse solution to the mind-body problem: these correlations arise because consciousness creates brain activity, and indeed creates all objects and properties of the physical world. Conscious realism states that the objective world consists of conscious agents and their experiences; these can be mathematically modeled and empirically explored in the normal scientific manner. I develop these ideas in the context of a wide variety of intriguing visual illusions, and discuss how these ideas might influence the future of research in the cognitive and physical sciences.

Bio: Donald D. Hoffman is a professor of Cognitive Science at UC Irvine, with joint appointments in Philosophy, Logic and Philosophy of Science, and Information and Computer Science. He received his B.A. from UCLA in Quantitative Psychology and his PhD from MIT in Computational Psychology. He has published more than 60 professional articles and is author of the book Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See, 2000. His research received an Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Troland Research Award from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

More: http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/%7Eddhoff/ConsciousRealism2.pdf. See also Dr. Hoffman's answer to the 2006 Edge.org question: "What is Your Dangerous Idea?" http://edge.org

Demo Speaker: Dave Blackburn (8:30-9:00pm)

Endorphin 2.5 Demo: Artificially Intelligent Character Animation Software!

Book Review:
Ron Freshman
Review and Discussion of
The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture
, John Battelle, 2005

Audience Participation Request:
As always, please bring your latest web printouts, articles, magazines, books, DVDs, investment tips, resources, and cool gadgets to briefly introduce and circulate around the room during the salon.

Those interested will walk to Noodle Planet in Westwood at 10:30pm for food, drinks, and more discussion.

April 26, 2006
Wednesday, April 26th, 8:00-10:30pm, Ackerman Student Union, Room 201A&B, UCLA
See Directions and Parking for the easiest way to get to ASU.

Article, Resource, and Gadget Sharing (8:00-8:20pm)

Bring your latest interesting web articles, DVDs, resources, and gadgets to intro at the beginning and to circulate during the salon.

First Speaker: Barnabas Takacs (8:20-9pm)
Founder and President of Digital Elite Inc; Director, Virtual Human Interface Group, SZTAKI, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Title: Snow Crash: Virtual Reality Goes Real!

Abstract: Virtual reality is making a comeback. After years of silence a new generation of low-cost devices, such as head-mounted displays, data gloves and biofeedback sensors, have become commercially available. This innovation is fueled primarily by the quest for ever-increasing realism needed in computer games. However, unlike in previous decades VR devices will now be able to penetrate the consumer market and may form the technological foundation needed to deliver new kinds of services in the home.

VR today delivers near-photo-realistic experiences at a price point cheaper than a plasma TV or a laptop computer, and immersive gaming is only one of those experiences. To meet the demands of new application areas, emerging delivery systems must not only be able to recreate reality, but to analyze, transmit, and reanimate events related to expressions and emotions of the users as well.

A broad range of novel applications, among them Cyber Care, Virtual Training and Social Therapy will benefit from this new wave of opportunities. My presentation will also consider Virtual Humans, Panoramic Broadcast and other deployed real-life innovations that are shaping our online future. As our increasingly realistic avatars (virtual representations of the self) roam Virtual Communities they extend the realm of everyday life into a domain of the virtually unknown.

Bio: Dr. Takács is the Founder/President of Digital Elite Inc (www.DigitalElite.net), a Los Angeles-based company specialized in developing a high performance portable virtual reality and digital human animation platform called the Virtual Human Interface (VHI). The VHI forms the foundation of a large variety of novel real-time applications where a new generation of input/output devices, digital environments and virtual humans create an interactive experience. Examples include virtual reality therapy, clinical rehabilitation, ambient intelligence, interactive information kiosks as well as classical applications such as pre-vis for film, game, and location-based entertainment. He has published over 60 technical papers is the Director of the Virtual Human Interface Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Hungary (www.sztaki.hu/department/VHIG).

Second Speaker: Dr. Skip Rizzo (9:05-10:15pm)
Research Scientist, USC Institute for Creative Technologies; Director, USC IMSC's Haptics and Virtual Environment Lab; Faculty, USC School of Gerontology

Title: Virtual Reality Applications for Clinical Assessment, Therapy and Rehabilitation

Abstract: After an early period of inflated expectations and limited delivery, Virtual Reality (VR) technology has emerged as a viable tool for clinical assessment, therapy and rehabilitation applications. Virtual reality integrates real time computer graphics, body tracking devices, visual displays, and other sensory input devices to immerse a participant in a computer generated virtual environment (VE) that changes in a natural way with head and body motion. The capacity of VR technology to create controllable, dynamic, interactive three-dimensional stimulus environments, within which behavioral responding can be recorded and measured, offers clinical assessment and intervention options that are not available using traditional methods. Much like an aircraft simulator serves to test and train piloting ability under a variety of controlled conditions, VEs have been developed to present simulations that target human cognitive and functional processes that are relevant for assessment, therapy and rehabilitative purposes. As well, VR technology provides assets that will continue to advance the scientific study of normal psychological, cognitive and motor processes.

VR applications are now being developed and tested which focus on component cognitive processes including: attention, executive functions, memory, and spatial abilities. Additionally, a wide variety of VEs have been developed to address psychological conditions (e.g., anxiety disorders), pain management, addictive behaviors and motor impairments (i.e. reaching, grasping and gait). Functional VE training scenarios have also been designed to test and teach instrumental activities of daily living such as street-crossing, automobile driving, meal preparation, supermarket shopping, use of public transportation, and wheelchair navigation. These initiatives have formed a foundation of work that provides support for the feasibility and potential value of further development of VR applications for clinical and research questions. This talk will briefly present an overview of VR applications that have been developed at USC in the areas of assessment/rehabilitation with the elderly, children with ADHD, and adults with traumatic brain injury and stroke. Applications will also be presented that were developed for pain distraction in children undergoing routine medical procedures, adults with social phobia and anger management problems, and for exposure therapy for PTSD in returning Iraq War veterans. The value of a multidisciplinary approach for the design and implementation of VR will be emphasized with examples spanning the fields of rehabilitation, psychology, neuroscience, physical therapy, occupational therapy, special education and social work.

For examples of new VR applications, see USC IMSC's virtual reality Rehab Haptics System for rehabilitation of stroke patients. For another, see USC ICT's new virtual reality PTSD Assessment and Treatment System for returning Iraqi war veterans.

Dr. Rizzo may bring some VR equipment to demonstrate as well. His presentation slides (be warned: a 221 megabyte download!) may be found at the LA SIGGRAPH website: http://la.siggraph.org/html/events/documents/USC-ICT-siggraph-2006.ppt. This is a great local group to join for monthly meetings on the computer graphics industry and technology.

Bio: Albert “Skip” Rizzo received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He is a Research Scientist at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies and has a faculty appointment with the USC School of Gerontology. Dr. Rizzo conducts research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems and 3D User Interface devices and interaction methods targeting the assessment and training/rehabilitation of spatial abilities, attention, memory, executive function and various motor abilities.

His VR research interests include applications that use 360 Degree Panoramic video for exposure therapy (social phobia), and role-playing applications (anger management, etc.). He has recently used this technology to capture news scenes for future multimedia journalism applications. He is also investigating the use of VR for pain distraction at LA Children’s Hospital and is currently designing game-based physical rehabilitation VR scenarios for the elderly and persons with CNS impairments. He has created a graduate course at USC entitled, “Human Factors and Integrated Media Systems”. In the area of Gerontology, Dr. Rizzo has served as the program director of the USC Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and is the creator of the Memory Enhancement Seminars for Seniors (MESS) program, an 8-week series of seminars at the USC School of Gerontology designed to assist older persons in learning the skills for memory maintenance and enhancement.

Join us for these stimulating presentations and Q&A. Those interested will walk to Noodle Planet in Westwood Village at 10:30pm for more conversation and food. Hope to see you there!

May 14, 2006
No Meeting

June 11, 2006
Lunch, Discussion, Jim Underdown on The Future of Inquiry, Coffee, Dinner and a Movie!

This Sunday, June 11th, Student Union, Ackerman 2408, UCLA
See Directions and Parking for the easiest way to get to Ackerman.

Noon-1pm: Lunch Updates, First Floor Ackerman
What have you been doing these last two months? What are you working on this month? If you can, come for small group personal updates and strategy brainstorming with fellow futurists who want to help you achieve your goals. A few of us will be at the dining tables on First Floor Ackerman. Come early, get some food or drink and join us.

1pm-4pm: Future Salon, Ackerman 2408
Article, Resource, and Gadget Sharing (1pm-1:45pm)
Bring your interesting articles, books, magazines, web printouts, DVD's, photos, art, tools, tips, resources, gadgets, etc. to intro at the beginning and to circulate during the salon.

Round Table Discussion (1:45pm-2:30pm)
Troy Gardner
will lead a discussion on Sourcing (Outsourcing, Insourcing, Crowdsourcing, etc.) and the power of knowing who to collaborate with for what purpose.
Alvis Brigis will lead a discussion on the Future of Reality Television. He’s writing a book on the topic, and will preview some creative scripts you haven’t seen yet in reality TV, but will soon.
Like to discuss, review, or demo something? Tell johnsmart{at}accelerating.org and we’ll add you to the lineup.

Special Guest Speaker (2:30pm-4pm)
Jim Underdown, Executive Director, Center for Inquiry West

Title: The Future of Inquiry

Abstract: Scientific skepticism, also known as skeptical inquiry, is a learning paradigm that promotes the application of reason and empiricism to any and all ideas and claims. A method of inquiry more than a position, its aim is to advance greater rationality- and evidence-based thought and behavior in individuals and society at large.

The Center for Inquiry is an international organization that has been promoting skeptical inquiry for decades. Their oldest affiliate organization is CSICOP (Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), founded in 1976. You may also be familiar with their Council for Secular Humanism and CSH's magazine, Free Inquiry. Center for Inquiry West, CFI's West Coast branch, has recently moved into beautiful new offices in Hollywood, including a library and a 300-seat amphitheatre.

Jim Underdown has graciously agreed to come out to talk to us about The Future of Inquiry. He'll give us a brief history of CFI, some of the battles it has fought to improve social inquiry and bring scientific scrutiny to "extraordinary claims" and the challenges and choices ahead, both for CFI and for society at large. He'll also bring literature on CFI West's activities, including its new monthly salon, Cafe Inquiry. The last 45 minutes will be reserved for extensive Q&A with Jim, so bring your scintillating mind and your questions and topics for skeptical discussion!

4-6pm: Futurist Hangout, Kerckhoff Coffee House
Interested in one-on-one discussion? Join us at Kerckhoff after the Salon for a coffee and small group conversation.

6-9pm: Dinner and a Movie
If you are up for making an evening of it, a few of us will be walking down to the Village at 6pm for dinner and a movie. We'll buy our tickets first, then walk to a good place to eat.

My vote is Thank You For Smoking, apparently a funny (and sad!) satire about the twisted world of big PR and lobbying, by newcomer Jason Reitman. It stars Aaron Eckhart as a spinmeister for Big Tobacco. Smoking is playing at the Mann Festival 1, 10887 Lindbrook Ave, 7:30pm-9pm. Those of you who can't attend the salon may still want to join us for dinner and the movie, its supposed to be great.

July 16, 2006
Who Killed the Electric Car? followed by Wally Rippel of AeroVironment!

12:00 noon: Matinee showing of Who Killed the Electric Car? at the NuWilshire,
1314 Wilshire Blvd at Euclid, Santa Monica (10 blocks East of 3rd Street Promenade)
Advance tickets available online at Moviefone. Or buy them onsite. This amazing and enlightening movie is over at 1:40pm. See my article, Driving Toward an Electric Future, for more on the bright future of PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles), mentioned at the end of the film.

1:50pm, Grab a bite with your futurist friends at Baja Fresh,
720 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica (6 blocks West of NuWilshire)
At 2:20pm we'll head over to UCLA.

2:45-5:00pm, LA Future Salon at UCLA, Kerckhoff 131
See Directions and Parking to get to Kerckhoff 131 (first building East of the Student Union).

Article, Resource, and Tool Sharing (2:45-3:15pm)
Bring your interesting articles, books, magazines, web printouts, DVD's, photos, art, tools, tips, resources, gadgets, etc. to intro at the beginning and to circulate during the salon. Are you itching to discuss, review, or demo something? Tell johnsmart{at}accelerating.org and we'll list you here, or just show up and share around the table as time permits.

Special Guest Speaker, Wally Rippel ("Ri-pell"), AeroVironment (3:15pm-5pm)
Wally Rippel is Principal Power Electronics Engineer in the Energy Technology Center at AeroVironment, and member of the EV1 R&D Team. Interviewed in Who Killed the Electric Car?, his comments are among the most illuminating in the film.

Title: Who's Reviving the Electric Car? Making What's Left into What's Right

Abstract: Each second, our planet receives 49 billion kilowatt-hours worth of energy in the form of sunlight. During the last three hundred million years, about eighteen hours worth of this energy has been stored within the Earth's crust in the form of oil. Half of that energy has now been used and the remaining half will be depleted within two decades. In that 97% of transportation is powered by oil, we now face the engineering challenge of providing an alternative. While natural gas and coal are options, the issue of global warming may prevent the use of these fuels where sequestration is not possible. Nuclear energy is not an option for automotive applications. What's left is what may be right – wind and solar – provided energy storage can be economically achieved. [Ed note: wind, nuclear, and solar are options for the electric grid of course, even if they aren't for automobiles themselves.]

Bio: Wally Rippel has been the Principal Power Electronics Engineer at AeroVironment (R&D) since 1992, where he has invented a variety of things including an integrated charger-inverter for electric and hybrid applications, and designed an advanced hub motor for electric vehicles. Rippel has a B.S. in Physics from Caltech and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. Previously he has worked as a part time consultant for AeroVironment, where he helped write the proposal for the Impact EV project and worked on the Impact’s induction motor and power electronics after AeroVironment received a contract from GM. Rippel has received thirteen New Technology Awards from NASA, has been published over twenty times and holds twenty three US patents. He is now writing a book on transportation futures, titled Making What's Left into What's Right.

AeroVironment of Monrovia, CA is one of the most inspiring and innovative engineering companies in the world. Founded in 1971 by physicist and engineer Dr. Paul MacCready, AV has always been about "doing more with much less." AV has had a series of world firsts in engineering innovation, beginning with the human-powered Gossamer Condor airplane in 1977 (winner of the Kremer Prize), and including the Sunraycer solar-powered car in 1987, the General Motors Impact (EV1) in 1989 (the first modern electric car), the Helios high altitude UAV in 2001 (world record holder), the Raven rucksack portable small UAV (thousands deployed in Iraq) in 2005, and the PosiCharge high-amperage electric quick charger in 2005 (currently deployed in the electric machinery fleets of Fortune 500s).

The last 45 minutes will be reserved for extensive Q&A with Wally, so bring your scintillating mind, your questions about EV and PHEV technology and what you can do to accelerate the future of transportation!

August 13, 2006
Exponential Change (Powers of 10), Coffee/Dinner
This Sunday, June 11th, Student Union, Kerckhoff 131/133, UCLA
See Directions and Parking for the easiest way to get to Kerckhoff.
Come catch up with your fellow futurists on a sunny Sunday afternoon at UCLA!

This Sunday's Itinerary:
1-2pm: Article, Resource, and Gadget Sharing.

Bring your interesting articles, books, magazines, web printouts, DVD's, photos, art, tools, tips, resources, gadgets, etc. to intro at the beginning and to circulate during the salon.
2:00pm: Introduction to Exponential Change

2:15- 2:20pm: Movie Showing - Charles and Ray Eames "Powers of Ten" - Synopsis: A influential scientific film essay. A set of pictures of two picnickers in a park, with the area of each frame one-tenth the size of the one before. Starting from a view of the entire known universe, the camera gradually zooms in until we are viewing the subatomic particles on a man's hand. Immediately following will be a draft of the film and a short Simpson's parody of the same.
2:20pm -2:40pm Patricia Manney will give some background about the husband and wife team Eames, the designers of the film (and important designers for the era) and some information about the Power Of Ten's creation. In addition she's bringing some of her books of their other work to peruse.
About Patricia (PJ) Manney (http://www.pj-manny.com). Manney has written and/or developed television pilots as an executive producer and partner in Uncharted Entertainment for CBS, Fox, UPN, ABC Family, Comedy Central, Discovery and PAX. Manney, who began writing on Hercules – The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, is currently working on a techno-thriller novel about human enhancement and also writes non-fiction on futurist themes. But she’s also a 20th Century design nut, having been raised by fine and decorative arts nuts. Her first word after “Mama” and “Dada” was “antiques.” That’s the God’s-honest truth and that’s why she’s speaking about the Eames today.
2:45-3:30pm Troy Gardner will given an overview from a cognitive perspective on why exponential change is so challenging to grasp. In our world of exponential change, problems and solutions in our lives and the world at large are also exponentially changing, and can't be handled with conventional linear thinking, so what do we do? Following, Troy will lead discussion on these subjects.
Troy Gardner (http://www.troygardner.com) is an entreprenuer, philosopher, and innovator in the human computer interaction space. He is also is a performance artist, leveraging exponential technology. Like to discuss, review, or demo something? Tell troy.gardner @ yahoo.com and we'll add you to the lineup.
4-6pm: Futurist Hangout, Kerckhoff Coffee House
Interested in one-on-one discussion? Join us at Kerckhoff after the Salon for a coffee and small group conversation.

September 17, 2006
Intro to Independent Documentaries: The People's First Salvo in the War for Media Democracy
A group of fantastic new independent DVD documentaries have debuted in the last few years, the first serious attempts to break the headlock our media monopoly has put on the American citizen's view of herself and the larger world. In combination with the democratizing power of cheap digital video production, distribution companies like First Run Features are providing public access for independent filmmakers. The result is our first major crop of highly intelligent, fact-based independent video analyses of social and political life. We may still be a decade or two away from the average kid having easy access to large quantities of this kind of uncontrolled educational empowerment, but we can subsidize its emergence by aggressively supporting independent media. Did you know companies like Google Video now pass along an unprecedented 75% of the fees received for downloaded video content directly to the (independent) producer? These kind of business models make intelligent film production more affordable than ever. When we become digital activists and learn how to find, play, and and pay for this content over the web, the world gets inexorably smarter, more pluralistic and eventually, more democratic. Through the many small actions we take to improve the truthfulness and quality of our digital world, I believe we are building a cage so strong, so fast, and so intelligent that by mid-century even the powerful plutocrats will no longer be able to wriggle out of it... Disagree? Let's talk about it!

Film Showing and Discussion: Vietnam Storyteller (12:40pm-1:30pm)
Stephen Vittoria of Street Legal Cinema/Deep Image produced this amazing 7 minute piece, available as an extra on Vittoria's equally excellent DVD, One Bright Shining Moment, 2006. It summarizes the thoughts of a broad range of military experts commenting on the Vietnam war. I found both its idea density and Vittoria's strength of opinion and persuasiveness amazing.

Just imagine a world ten years from now where anyone can easily collect, share, tag, and comment on these kind of brief, brilliant, hard-hitting videos whenever they want. Kids able to watch quality independent shorts like this on their cellphones, rather than the latest big media fluff. That would lead to a lot more diversity in opinions among our citizenry, but also to a much more enlightened, motiviated, and activist population. We cannot get an unbiased education, but, as Buckminster Fuller said, we can get a truly multi-biased one, where everyone becomes an interdisciplinarian, knowing the best arguments of all camps and the data behind them, and making it easier than ever to find that special set of positive sum policy solutions that provide the greatest good for the greatest number, while minimizing the bad for everyone.

Film Showing and Discussion: Why We Fight (1:30pm-4pm)
Eugene Jarecki's 98 minute masterpiece, Why We Fight, 2006, explores the political, economic, and social forces and choices behind America's relentless fifty-five year military buildup since the end of World War II. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

The U.S. spends more of its annual discretionary budget on defense than all other sectors of our economy combined. Unlike most science and technology research, and through no fault of any single individual, most of this spending must be a highly inefficient black hole that enriches a few at the top of the "Military Industrial Complex" but produces scant benefits for our citizens or the world at large.

Come find out how we got to where we are today, and the many challenges ahead as we all look for pathways to security without militarization in coming years. Look to Europe, and I believe you can see the inevitable postmilitary, postagression future that our domestic power elite will resist as long as they can. Disagree? Come watch the film and lets talk about it!

October 8, 2006
Academic Futures, Youth, and Cosmic Futures
Dr. Bruce Cordell, Dean of Natural Sciences, Fullerton College and Director, Center for the Future
Abstract: The Center for the Future was established at Fullerton College in 2005 to bring a new level of foresight awareness to faculty development, student life, and community outreach. I will begin my talk by discussing some of the models, hopes, and challenges of building a futures organization in a California community college setting, and look forward to your input.

The second part of my talk will have a more cosmic dimension to it. Like many people, our students are interested in their future relationship with the cosmos, and find the prospect of extraterrestrial intelligence especially riveting. No less a mind than British astronomer royal Martin Rees has written that resolving the question of intelligent life in our Galaxy is “the key exploratory question of the next 50 years.”

We will take a new look at the prospects for intelligent extraterrestrials (ETs) in the context of an updated Fermi Paradox, which states that if high-tech civilizations ever existed in our Galaxy, their emissaries should have already arrived here. The potential for resolving this mystery – using new technologies, some being explored by the SETI Institute – and its possible subsequent impact on near-term, international human space exploration will also be discussed.

Bio: Dr. Bruce Cordell was formerly program manager of Lunar/Mars advanced programs with General Dynamics, Space Systems Division in San Diego, where he worked closely with NASA on plans for human missions to the Moon and Mars, space resources, and space transportation. A planetary scientist, his MS and PhD are from UCLA and the University of Arizona, respectively. Currently, he is Dean of Natural Sciences at Fullerton College, in Fullerton, CA. Bruce can be reached at bcordell@fullcoll.edu

Exploring the Design Frontier: The Fantastic Future of Off-World Tourism (2:30pm-3:50pm)
John Spencer, Founder and President, Space Tourism Society and Author, Space Tourism: Do You Want to Go?, 2004

Abstract: Just last month Anousheh Ansari successfully landed in the Kazakhstan steppes after an eight-day visit to the International Space Station (ISS). On 18 Sep 2006, she became the first female space tourist, as well as the first Iranian, the first female Muslim, and the first person to blog from space (read Anuosheh's blog for details!).

Asked what she hoped to achieve on her spaceflight, Ansari said, "I hope to inspire everyone—especially young people, women, and young girls all over the world, and in Middle Eastern countries that do not provide women with the same opportunities as men—to not give up their dreams and to pursue them...It may seem impossible to them at times. But I believe they can realize their dreams if they keep it in their hearts, nurture it, and look for opportunities and make those opportunities happen."

We will discuss new developments and recent achievements in the rapidly growing field of space tourism, including efforts in sub-orbital tourism, some of the companies involved in the suborbital vehicle programs, and promising plans on the horizon. We'll consider NASA and its role in space tourism, the private sector, inflatable structures vs. external tanks, and lots more. Central will be the concept of "the Design Frontier", and the present and future of the space experience. Your comments, questions, and feedback throughout will be greatly appreciated.

Bio: John Spencer is a space architect who has built a career that spans the design and development professions. He is a pioneer in what he calls "The Design Frontier." He creates, designs, and develops his own space tourism-, Lunar/Mars-, and future-themed immersive simulation and attraction projects, while serving as a conceptual designer for some of the world’s largest corporations. He has been a proponent of space tourism using the cruise ship industry model since the early 1980s. He is the founder and president of the nonprofit Space Tourism Society (www.SpaceTourismSociety.org) and is considered a founding father of the Space Tourism Industry. He is also the author, with Karen L. Rugg, of the first book on space tourism published in the United States titled, Space Tourism: Do You Want to Go? (2004).

John has won two awards from NASA for his architectural designs for the International Space Station and created the first interior designs on the SpaceHab Module which has flown into orbit over a dozen times. As a real estate developer and master planner, he coined the term "Experience Park" in the early eighties. Some of his original concepts and designs include "The Science Fiction Hall of Fame" for the Queen Mary site, the first "Star Trek" theme park, and the "FuturePort Park." His 1982 "Space Resort" design and development project matured into the "Space World" theme park that opened in Japan in 1991. He is a widely quoted commentator on the growing space tourism industry. John can be reached at JSSDesign@aol.com.

November 12, 2006
Meeting at BarCamp LA #2!

December 10, 2006
Meeting at Nolan Bushnell's uWink Media Bistro in Woodland Hills!

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