The Brighter Brains Institute is cosponsoring (with Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology) a conference on October 18, at Humanist Hall, in Oakland. The event will take place on a Sunday from 10:30am- 6:00 pm.

Lunch will be served, Parking is Free and Plentiful, and Admission Prices are Low—only $20 if you purchase before October 1.

Tickets are available via EventBrite HERE

Lineup below:

James Hughes, Phd holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Chicago. He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. He produced Changesurfer Radio and he’s the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. Hughes argues for Democratic Transhumanism,” which asserts that the best possible future is achievable by ensuring that human enhancement is safe, made available to everyone, and respects the right of individuals to control their own bodies. Dr. Hughes is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of Humanity+, the Neuroethics Society, the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities and the Working Group on Ethics and Technology at Yale University. He serves on the State of Connecticut Regenerative Medicine Research Advisory Committee (formerly known as the Stem Cell Research Advisory Board). He has taught bioethics at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, and Trinity College in Connecticut, and he speaks on medical ethics, health care policy and future studies worldwide. His presentation will be Skyped in.

Andrea Kuszewski is an Affiliate Scholar of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology. She lives in San Francisco and works as a researcher and manager with VORTEX Research Group, investigating the neuro-cognitive factors behind human behavior. This includes topics such as creativity, intelligence, sociopathy, and x-altruism. She has published papers on the neuroscience of creativity, intelligence, and the analysis of illegal behavior and the creative rule-breaking process. She has published her writing with Scientific American, Discover Mag, Qualcomm Spark, WIRED UK, and others. Her blog, The Rogue Neuron, addresses a variety of current science topics, but is mainly focused on cognitive neuroscience and psychology.

Andrea’s current research focus is morality and heroism, or extreme altruism (x-altruism). She is investigating not only the altruistic personality, but also how to enhance and encourage these behaviors through early intervention in emotion regulation, cognitive control and resilience training. She will be speaking at this conference on “Neuroscience and Politics.”

Michael Anissimov is a futurist thinker focused on emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics, and Artificial Intelligence. He previously managed Singularity Summit and worked as media director for theMachine Intelligence Research Institute, as well as co-founding the Extreme Futurist Festival. The Singularity Summit has received coverage from Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, the San Francisco Chronicle, award-winning science writer Carl Zimmer, The Verge, and a front page article in TIMEmagazine. Mr. Anissimov emphasizes the need for research into artificial intelligence goal systems to develop “Friendly Artificial Intelligence” for human civilization to successfully navigate the intelligence explosion. He appears in print, on podcasts, in documentaries, public speaking at conferences, and other media to spread this message. He lives in Berkeley, California. He will talk about “Transhumanism and Private Government.

Nicole Sallak Anderson is an Advisory Board member for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology. She is a Computer Science graduate from Purdue University. After graduation, she developed encryption and network security software, which inspired both the storyline and the science behind her transhumanist novel, eHuman Dawn (Story Merchant Press, 2013.) She currently lives with her husband and two teenaged sons on two acres in the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California, where she indulges in a variety of homesteading hobbies, from beekeeping and raising chickens and goats, to gardening, canning, spinning, and knitting. She blogs and speaks on singularity, transhumanism, internet privacy, data manipulation and human consciousness. Follow her at or on Twitter @NSallakAnderson.

David Brin, a scientist and best-selling author whose future-oriented novels include Earth, The Postman, and Hugo Award winners Startide Rising and The Uplift War, is a 2010 Fellow of the IEET. Brin is known as a leading commentator on modern technological, social, and political trends. His nonfiction book The Transparent Society won the Freedom of Speech Award from the American Library Association. Brin’s most recent novel, Kiln People, explores a fictional near future when people use cheap copies of themselves to be in two places at once.The Life Eaters—a graphic novel—explores a chilling alternative outcome of World War II. David’s newest novel – Existence – is now available, published by Tor Books. His presentation will be Skyped in.

Anatoly Karlin – San Francisco-based Russian businessman, writer, thinker, and blogger at, where he blogs “about various esoteric and not so esoteric things: Futurism, human biodiversity and psychometrics, transhumanism, China, Russia, the Arctic, geopolitics, cliodynamics, peak oil, climate change, the paleo lifestyle… What passes for “debate” between Team Left and Team Right in most Western countries is stale, banal, and insipid. Both are bursting at the seams with hamsters. I prefer to deal with objective reality, even if it does put me outside all the mainstream ideological groupings. Anything else would just be dishonest…”

His presentation topic is Great Power Politics in the 21st Century. Here are the key issues:

  • How to measure national power?
  • It is a function of economic, military, and cultural (“soft”) power. Furthermore, both military and cultural power are to a significant extent functions (if lagging ones) of economic power.
  • Economic power is to a large extent a function of productivity, which in turn is a function of human capital
  • A few of the most important trends (e.g. automation, climate change, demographic change)
  • How they will affect the most significant countries/blocs (the US, China, Russia, India, and the EU)
  • I will be making few positive predictions but a lot of negative ones (and this is where I move on to demolishing various myths about Russia and China that generally cloud futurist thinking on geopolitics).

Bryce A. Lynch is a mostly organic entity with a nontrivial number of software augmentations. By day he works as an integration security engineer in the field of financial cryptography. By night he is an open source hacker, blogger who tracks outbreaks of the future (, information security researcher, and social activist. He is a consulting agent of the hacktivist collective Telecomix, with whom he was active as an intelligence analyst and subject matter expert during the Arab Spring. He considers Agent Cameron a close friend. In his spare time he teaches classes on cryptography, operational security, privacy, and anonymity to activists, journalists, and anyone else who asks politely. He is one of the core developers of Project Byzantium, a live distribution of Linux for rapidly and easily setting up wireless mesh networks during emergencies and disaster situations to facilitate communication within the community and first responders.

Anya Petrova – studies Economics, Data Science and Emerging Technology. She is concerned with how the world and society are going to be transformed by AI, which might be will the most profound invention we will ever make. The question of how people will perceive AI through the lens of various cultures and religious beliefs is very controversial; many questions arise. One of the most confusing is – what if we will be able to create AI, yet we will not be aware of this fact? It is possible that the true AI can be achieved not as a black box in a lab, but as an implanted and integrated system within the human brain itself? What if we, humans, will become AI ourselves, even before we achieve a strong AI independent of a human body?

RU Sirius
RU Sirius

RU Sirius – former editor of the popular early ‘90s cyberpunk magazine, Mondo 2000, described by the Washington Post as the “first magazine of the new millennium.” Also editor of Gettingit in the late ‘90’s,H+magazine in 2008-2209, Acceler8or, and presently Steal This Singularity. Author or coauthor of many books, including Mondo 2000: A User’s Guide to the New Edge, Cyberpunk Handbook, How To Mutate & Take Over the World, Design For Dying (with Timothy Leary), 21st Century Revolutionary, The Revolution: Quotations from Party Chairman R.U. Sirius, Counterculture Through The Ages: From Abraham to Acid House, True Mutations: Conversations on the Edge of Science, Technology and Consciousness, and Everybody Must Get Stoned: Rock Stars On Drugs. Sirius’s writing career started in the mid-1980s when he wrote about intelligence-enhancing drugs and nutrients for Omni Newsletter and Whole Earth Review. Since then, he has written on topics ranging from biotechnology to pop music. He has been a Contributing Editor for Wired magazine and a columnist for theSan Francisco Examiner, Wired News, and Artforum International. His articles have appeared in Time,Boing Boing, San Francisco Chronicle, Rolling Stone,Esquire, Village Voice, Esquire Japan and many other publications. He’s lectured internationally about technology and culture, including the keynote address at the Virtual Reality ’95 Conference in Oslo, Norway. He’s appeared in several films including “Conceiving Ada” with Tilda Swinton and Karen Black. His conference topic is: Hybrid Politics: Left, Libertarian, Futurist & Open Source

Zoltan Istvan is a writer, futurist, and philosopher. He is the founder the Transhumanist Party and is its 2016 US Presidential candidate. He writes transhumanist-themed columns for Psychology Today,Vice’s Motherboard and The Huffington Post. He also worked as a reporter for the National Geographic Channel and his writings have appeared in Slate, Outside, The San Francisco Chronicle and websites of Wired UK, Gizmodo, and National Geographic. He is the author of The Transhumanist Wager, a philosophical science fiction novel that was a #1 bestseller in Philosophy on Amazon. Istvan and his ideas have been featured on Fox News Channel‘sStossel show, CNN‘s Inside Man, RT’s television show Desde La Sombra, and the Joe Rogan Experience. He will be Skyped in because he is on tour with The Immortality Bus, on the East Coast promoting his presidential campaign.

Scott Jackisch
Scott Jackisch

SCOTT JACKISCH – is a blogger at the Oakland Futurist, where he reports on conferences, symposiums, and salons. His self-description is: “I live in Oakland, CA with my girlfriend of many years, Gretchen. I grew up outside of Buffalo, NY, and also lived briefly in New Orleans. I have worked with computers since 1999 and am currently exploring a new avocation as a writer. My interest in futurism started in my youth reading the science fiction Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. Later I admired William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, and Verner Vinge, Charles Stross, and Daniel Suarez are some of my present favorite authors. I got into cognitive science after attending Monica Anderson’s AI Meetup, and then Dana Ream’s Cognitive Science Reading Group. I am very interested in enactivism and embodied cognition. I’m an active participant and I host my own Futurist Meetup. Other groups I am part of are Quantified Self and the Long Now. I have also done work with startups and I’m interested in the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial scene.

Jay Cornell is a writer, editor, free lance web developer, and little-known semi-iconoclast. He is the former managing editor of h+ magazine, and the former associate publisher of Gnosismagazine. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Lifeboat Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending humanity from existential risks. Email him, but note that spammers and scammers will be found and consumed by swarms of nanobots. His presentation topic is “Replacing Obsolete Social Technology”

Hank Pellissier is the director of Brighter Brains Institute, Managing Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology, and the producer of nine transhumanist conferences in 2013-2015. He is the author of Invent Utopia Now: Transhumanist Suggestions for the Pre-Singularity Era, and Brighter Brains: 225 ways to elevate or injure IQ. He’s written essays for,, and the World Future Society, plus,, and In the last year he completed 15 “transhumanitarian” projects in The Philippines and Uganda, establishing health clinics, de-worming children, clothing children, feeding children, and supporting orphanages, schools, libraries, and vocational training centers. His conference topic is Recent Separatist Movements: where are we trending?

William Gillis is a theoretical physicist based in Oakland California and a fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society. He’s organized as an anarchist activist for over fifteen years and has written extensively on ethics and technology. He blogs at Human Iterations and he;s a frequent contributor to the Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technology.

Steven Zeiler – Steven is long-time student of monetary economics and a software engineer focused on public, open monetary infrastructure. With Ripple Labs he works full time to build and enable private, market-based money systems. He operates in a voluntary society based on mutual consent in all human interactions, and is a political proponent of libertarian market anarchy, commonly referred to as anarcho-capitalism.