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

About Us

Meeting Schedule

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Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings

The Futurists Special Interest Group (SIG) Meets every Saturday, except on holiday week ends.

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

July 30 - Resiting the Coming Robot Revolution

Resisting the Robot Revolution
Writer, television producer, and open records activist Matt Ehling will
present a contrarian perspective on the prospects for a future of
technological complexity, artificial intelligence, and autonomous
machines. His presentation is based on articles he has written for the
on-line news magazine Minnpost.

Presenter - Matt Eling
Matt Ehling works in the television and communication industry, and has
produced nationally broadcast PBS documentaries, including "Intent:
Searching For Meaning In The Constitution."

As a volunteer, Matt is involved in advocacy around government
transparency issues.  He serves on the boards of two non-profits that deal
with government information, including the Minnesota Coalition on
Government Information.  He has testified before the Minnesota Legislature
on public records policy, and has been involved in several Freedom of
Information Act lawsuits against federal government agencies.

Matt has received Upper Midwest Regional Emmys for his television work,
and was the 2012 recipient of the Finnegan Freedom of Information Award.

You do not want to miss this one

July 23 - “DARPA Advanced Technologies: Projecting Positive Future Consequences”

Presenter: George Kubik, PhD (Anticipatory Futures, LLC)

Abstract: Technologies are not neutral! Technological developments make some developmental paths and outcomes more likely than others. Often however, the paths are limited only by imagination. And too often, they are dominated by dystopian visions of the future.

Join us this Saturday as we use a positive lens to examine a range of future possibilities presented by 25 emerging technologies sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The technologies will range from automatic language translation projects to projects involving high-energy lasers, flying trucks, robotic pack animals, and increased optical awareness. While just scratching the surface of the possibilities presented by these projects, we will project and examine a wide-range of possible positive consequences and beneficial future outcomes encouraged by these DARPA projects. Join with us this Saturday as we examine this exciting subject!

16 July - Future of the Millinnial Generation


The millennials are considered the Hero generation, much like the GI generation born in the early 1900s. The battle fought then was twofold, the depression and World War Two. Unknown to day is what battle the millennials will fight: the unequal wealth distribution, the terrorists, the depletion of earth's natural resources, climate change, the coming age of automation or something that is yet unrecognized. Or, is the Generation repitition theory akin to astrology. Either way it appears the Millennial generation is inheriting a crazy world

In this SIG will discuss the millennials and how they feel about the coming the future that they face.

Who should attend? The individuals most affected are Generation X and the Millennial generation plus their children (already here in ten years they will already be having children). It won't bother us old timers, we will be long gone. So the people who we would like to see at this meeting are GenX and the Millennials.

Presenters Brian K Toren and Hank Lederer

9 July - TBD

2 July - No meeting, holiday weekend


Past Meetings