Minnesota Futurists

Welcome to the
Minnesota Futurists
The First Chapter of  The World Future Society
An Association for the Study of Alternative Futures

Other Minnesota Futurists Internet connections.
The Minnesota Futurists Meetup Page contains meeting schedules and topics
The Minnesota Futurists Blog at our PBWorks Site.


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Brian K Toren
Mnfuturuists Web Page Editor

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October 2016
Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings

The Futurists Special Interest Group (SIG) Meets every Saturday except on holiday weekends

October 29

In Search of Economic Balance - Nobel Conference 2016

Every year starting with 1965 Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter MN has hosted a conference honoring the Nobel prize recipients; with official sanction of the Nobel prize organization in Sweden.

They do this by selecting subjects addressing items of current importance in our lives today. These range from Astrophysics to Addiction to the Origin of Man to this year’s subject was In search of Economic Balance.

Experts from around the world present at this conference. This conference is so prestigious that the presenters do this without pay. The presenters include the heads of various departments at universities leaders in industry, independent experts in various fields, and of course, Nobel prize winners. The 50th anniversary conference Where Does Science Go from Here? included three Nobel prize winners as presenters. I urge anyone interested in participating in two fascinating days to attend this conference

This year’s conference topic was  How to achieve Economic Balance. Six lectures and a panel discussion were on the agenda. Hank Lederer and I attended as we have for many years. We reviewed the presentations and picked the following for this Saturday’s SIG

Deirdre McCloskey, PhD  Professor of economics, history, English, and communication, and an adjunct professor of philosophy and classics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her presentation was on: "How the World Grew Rich: The Liberal Idea, Not Accumulation or Exploitation" In this description, Liberal does not mean what you think it does. See below*

You can view this presentation as well as all the others on YouTube.  Deirdre’s presentation can be seen at:


We will be showing this one hour presentation in full with strategic breaks to discuss major points. But, even if you watch it ahead of the meeting, join us for the discussion. Part of high being at the conference is the discussion of all the ideas to which you are introduced.

Please join us this Saturday and get a taste of what happens every year in St Peter. Join us in St Peter next year on Oct 3 and 4, the conference topic is "Reproductive Technologies"

Brian Toren and Hank Lederer

*Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedoms found in economic liberalism which is also called free market capitalism.





August 27


PART TWO:Recent Notable Futurists @ Aspen Ideas Festival (review and discussion)

Acclaimed futurist Jane McGonigal talks about the changes to our world between now and 2026.  She shows us that thinking about the future is more than an exercise in intellectual curiosity. It’s a practical skill that, as new research reveals, has a direct neurological link to greater creativity, empathy, and optimism.  To Qoute Jane:

"As a game designer and as a futurist I see it asmy job to transport people to worlds that don't exist, to imaginary places. Whether they are a virtual world orwhether they are a world we might live in someday, a world that might come to pass or might not come to pass. And my goal as a game designer and as a
futurist is to make sure that when people leave these imagined worlds that they feel more creative, more optimistic and most importantly, that they feel more confident and certain of their own capability to transform those worlds."

We will open the floor to many debates during and after the presentation.  Bring your critical thinking skills for part two of the Aspen Idea's Festival series.

August 20

Notable Futurists at the Aspen Idea Festival

Let the MN Futurists society open your eye's and fill your mind with wonder and inspiration as we present to you a very vivid, clear and amazing look into our future as explained by some of the best Futurists currently on the lecture circuit.  This years Aspen Idea's Festival had some notable guests.  We will talk about the most exciting revelations and idea's in this action packed presentation about our lives to come.  Not to be Missed!

Presenter Jason Abbot

August 14

The Future of Virtual Reality (VR) is here,

Join us this Saturday and experience VR. Not a $350.00, experience, but rather a $12.95 experience. It does the same the same thing without quite s much impact, but realistic. Then we will have an on going discussion of on the possible futures of this new technology. How does it affect education, our children and grandchildren? What are the political aspects? If everyone is living ina 3D world, who will rune for office. What are the medical impacts? What are the unintended consequences.

Join us try our demonstration (cheap ride in a roller coaster), and then add your expertise to the discussion.

Presenter Brian Toren

August 6

The War On Science

The greatest source of health, wealth and power in the 21st century is in danger of being crushed, according to Shawn Lawrence Otto author of "The War On Science"

Overview of the "The War On Science" at Barnes and Nobel

"Wherever the people are well informed," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government." But what happens when they are not? In every issue of modern society--from climate change to vaccinations, transportation to technology, health care to defense--we are in the midst of an unprecedented expansion of scientific progress and a simultaneous expansion of danger. At the very time we need them most, scientists and the idea of objective knowledge are being bombarded by a vast, well-funded, three-part war on science: the identity politics war on science, the ideological war on science, and the industrial war on science. The result is an unprecedented erosion of thought in Western democracies as voters, policymakers, and justices actively ignore the evidence from science, leaving major policy decisions to be based more on the demands of the most strident voices.

Shawn Otto’s compelling new book investigates the historical, social, philosophical, political, and emotional reasons why evidence-based politics are in decline and authoritarian politics are once again on the rise on both left and right, and provides some compelling solutions to bring us to our collective senses, before it's too late.

Futurist Bill Weir has interviewed the Author on the "Freethinking Forum" TV series. He will be showing this video and discussing the war on science this Saturday. This presentation and discussion will be of interest to scientists and non-scientist alike. To get a preview of the interview go to www.mnfuturists.org and look in the left side panel.

Brian K Toren

Past Meetings