I have recently posted some thoughts on which movements and political parties would make good partners for Social Futurism, and at the same time have been thinking about the relationship between SF and the Transhumanist movement. We have already made clear that Transhumanist ideas are compatible with but not compulsory within SF, but recent developments have brought my own Transhumanist leanings to the fore.
Those developments include the creation of the Transhumanist Party in the US, and similar stirrings in the UK, reminding me of my own role in co-founding the UK Transhumanist Association ten years ago. I had a good chat with David Wood (whose own work on behalf of London Futurists and Humanity+ UK has been sterling) about all these things and more this morning, and we came to some conclusions. Below I offer a few thoughts that comprise a course of action for organized Transhumanism and Social Futurism in the UK, and beyond into continental Europe. David and I are agreed on the general outline of this course of action, but unsurprisingly there are many details to be worked out. We need your help to make these things happen.
Of course, other people may disagree with our suggestions and plans, and may choose to do things in different ways. That’s their prerogative. We’ve simply decided to take a bold step forward because Transhumanist activism in the UK is currently not organized in any serious way, and so there is no official decision-making body we can offer our ideas to. We can simply offer them to the Transhumanist community as a whole, move forward ourselves, and see what happens.
So without further ado, here are our six steps toward developing organized and political Transhumanism in the UK and Europe. If you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions, please do offer them via the comments below or wherever you saw the link to this blog posted.
1. A re-launch for Humanity+ UK and the UK Transhumanist Association
We will soon be officially re-launching Humanity+ UK, using both that name and as an alternative option its earlier name (“UK Transhumanist Association”). How this organization will be structured and operate is still an open question, but at this stage we can say that people who choose to get involved now will have an opportunity to help determine such things. The organization never ceased to exist, but it has certainly been quiet, and we feel that the time has come to bring it back to life and use it to promote Transhumanist ideas and values in the UK.
2. Humanity+ UK events as a stream within London Futurists
Humanity+ UK is already closely identified with the London Futurists meetup group, thanks to the dedication and leadership of David Wood. Rather than set up an entirely new group to organize Humanity+ UK events, at this stage at least we feel it would be more efficient to make H+UK events a “stream” organized by London Futurists.
3. Relationships with Humanity+ (global) and European Transhumanist groups
The global Humanity+ organization is in the process of planning its own next phase, and the relationship between it and UKH+ has always been something of an open question. At this stage, we intend to enquire with Humanity+ what kind of relationship with UKH+ it would like to have, and we will do everything we can to encourage a fruitful collaborative relationship.
Regardless of how those discussions proceed, we will also seek to further develop existing relationships with Transhumanist groups of different types across Europe. A network of mutual support and cooperation can only be good for European Transhumanist groups, and also for Humanity+ (global) to the extent that it is involved.
4. The Transhumanist Party in Europe
The Transhumanist Party has been formed in the US, and has begun the process of drawing attention to our values and attempting to form a naturally Transhumanist political philosophy. A Facebook group has been created to pursue the idea of a UK Transhumanist Party, and we think that such a political vehicle would be a natural counterpart to a revived UKH+.
To take things a step further, we envisage the emergence of a European “umbrella” party, and so have also created a Facebook group where we can begin discussions toward the creation of such a thing. We hope that this will be the start of a new movement – political Transhumanism in Europe – and that it will naturally encourage exploration of related political philosophies (e.g. Technoprogressivism / Social Futurism) and movements (e.g. Political Transhumanism in the US).
5. Affiliation with Social Futurist / Technoprogressive networks
As mentioned above, we feel that Transhumanism in the UK & Europe must at least consider its relationship with relevant political philosophies, so we will seek constructive working relationships between UKH+, the Transhumanist Party in the UK & Europe, and the Institute for Social Futurism (ISF). The ISF operates as a Think Tank, working to propagate Social Futurist ideas and influence via multiple political parties and other types of organization. There are a number of political parties in the UK & Europe which we consider to be potentially compatible with SF philosophy, but a party with a particular focus on Transhumanist ideas and values could be a strong ally in the coming decades.
6. Voicing Transhumanist opinions before the UK elections in May 2015
Last but far from least, we have identified an initial course of action for the re-launched Humanity+ UK and these other, associated groups. David Wood has explained in further detail via the UK Transhumanist Party FB group, but the short version is that we’ll be encouraging people in the UK to write to their MPs, expressing strong concern for support of science and technology funding, before the national election due in May 2015. We are yet to discuss exactly how we hope to facilitate and guide such messages, and hope that you will consider joining the conversation.