About the community
What will it mean to be human a hundred years from now, and how can this catalyze our thoughts and actions in the present?
The ASU Future of Being Human community is committed to activating, growing, and convening, a unique multi-sector community of visionaries, thought-leaders, and future-builders, who are inspired by what it might mean to be human a hundred years from now, and how this in turn catalyzes our ideas and actions in the present.
Over the past 100 years, our collective capacity to imagine and influence the future has evolved faster than at any previous point in human history. Yet we have barely begun to scratch the surface of what is possible.
Over the coming 100 years we will experience vastly greater leaps in our ability to design and change the future through advanced technologies, and these in turn will have a profound impact on what it means to be human.
As we stand on the brink of what may be one of the most transformative eras in human history, the Future of Being Human community brings together a visionary community of thinkers and future-builders who are inspired by what it might mean to be human a hundred years from now, and how this in turn catalyzes their ideas and actions in the present.
A radically changing technological landscape
A hundred years ago, DNA hadn’t been discovered, scientists were just beginning to unravel the underlying atomic structure of the physical world, and the idea of a digital domain or even a “metaverse” wasn’t even on the map. Yet in just a few short decades we have made discoveries, developed ideas, and implemented capabilities, that have changed the world we live in and the communities we are part of more profoundly than at any other point in human history.
Strip away our science and technology though, together with the infrastructures that we rely on and the social and economic systems that guide and define our lives, and we are not much different as a species to our early ancestors.
However, this is poised to change in profound ways over the next 100 years. The more we learn to work with the fundamental building blocks or “base code” of the world we inhabit—the biological code of DNA, the atoms and molecules that make up the materials around us, and the digital ones and zeros that underpin everything from the internet and augmented reality to artificial intelligence—the closer we get to making a break with our evolutionary heritage. Add to this the interconnected shifts we are seeing in social institutions, norms, and behaviors, and all the indications are that we are teetering on a precipice of transformational change that could fundamentally alter the essence of what it means to be human.
The growing need for bold ideas and visionary insights
As we collectively approach this transition point, there is a growing need for bold ideas and visionary insights that transcend the constraints of conventionality and empower a new wave of thought leaders to be part of building a vibrant future that benefits all of humanity. This, though, this will require a “catalyst of the intellect and imagination” that leads to new insights that profoundly impact how people see the future and their relationship with it.
To be effective, such a catalyst will need to be grounded in a unique environment of creative and transformative thinking and ideas. Creating and nurturing such an environment is precisely the role that the ASU Future of Being Human community is intended to play.
The Future of Being Human community is built around a community of visionary thinkers and future-builders from diverse backgrounds and interests, all of whom are inspired by what it might mean to be human a hundred years from now in a technologically advanced future, and how this catalyzes their ideas and actions in the present.
Together it represents a unique and ambitious initiative focused on stimulating the formation and testing of radical new ideas that are intellectually enriching and societally empowering, and that are driven by an exploration of what it might mean to be human in the future. It is deeply grounded in thought leadership, knowledge mobilization, and societal impact. It is underpinned by a philosophy of awe, wonder, curiosity, and boundary-transcending imagination. In contrast, it is unbounded by conventional disciplines and outmoded concepts of what constitutes an expert or an “educated” person. It is driven by a growing need to understand how to successfully navigate advanced technology transitions. And it embraces novel and creative thinking while bringing rigor to discussion and debate.
An audacious mandate
The community’s mandate is broad and audacious, and revels in the interstitial spaces between areas of expertise and insight where some of the most exciting ideas and possibilities often reside.
The Future of Being Human community will encompass participants that include students, academics, creative thinkers, and non-academic partners. It will value intellectual creativity and vision and will not be constrained by conventional ideas of academic success. For student members, their involvement will be the equivalent of an “intellectual study abroad” where, rather than being transformed through exploring new physical places and culture, they will be transformed through exploring novel intellectual spaces and culture while engaging with visionary thinkers.
Convening the creators of tomorrow
The community’s primary mode of operation is to act as a convener, enabler, and catalyst, for inspiring and transformative conversations, and to create multiple spaces and opportunities for robust and stimulating engagement. These include, but are far from limited to, meet-ups, pop-up discussions, imagination challenges, mentorship, transformative educational experiences, retreats, signature events, and many more.
We are actively seeking to connect with bold and audacious thinkers who are passionate about exploring the future of being human with us. If you’re interested in staying in touch, or getting more involved with the community, please check out the link below.