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Home > Press > Ninth Annual International TransVision 2007 Conference Kicks off in Chicago with Keynote Speakers William Shatner, Ed Begley Jr., Peter Diamandis, an


Internationally acclaimed Futurists, Innovators, Scientists, and Celebrities Address How Emerging Technologies Empower us to Solve Grand Challenges Facing Humanity

Ninth Annual International TransVision 2007 Conference Kicks off in Chicago with Keynote Speakers William Shatner, Ed Begley Jr., Peter Diamandis, an

Chicago, IL | Posted on July 18th, 2007

The World Transhumanist Association (WTA) is kicking off its ninth annual TransVision conference, a leading international gathering of science, technology and policy leaders, with an opening night reception, holding this year's event at Chicago's Fairmont Hotel from July 23 - 26, 2007. This year's theme is "Transhumanity Saving Humanity: Inner Space to Outer Space," with keynotes by internationally renowned visionaries William Shatner, Emmy award winning actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., X Prize Foundation chairman and founder Peter Diamandis, inventor, author and futurist Ray Kurzweil, and acclaimed longevity scientist Aubrey de Grey. Bill Kurtis of A&E is guest Master of Ceremonies.

The opening night reception is on July 23 from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., the conference sessions are on July 24 - 26, and the Gala awards dinner will be held on Thursday, July 26 from 8:30 p.m. - 12:00 midnight.

Registration is $675 for general admission and $175 for students. The Gala awards dinner reception is $125. All events are at the Fairmont Hotel, 200 North Columbus Drive Chicago, Illinois. To book hotel rooms, call (312) 565-8000 or fax (312) 856-1032. To register for TransVision2007, visit .

Speakers will address how emerging technologies give our societies the ability to solve grand challenges facing humanity, including energy, global health, pollution, and the ethics of human enhancement, with three days of intensive briefings by some of the most influential futurists, innovators, scientists, and celebrities from the U.S. and around the globe.

Keynote speaker William Shatner will tell how "How William Shatner Changed the World," showing how many of the gadgets used in the original Star Trek television series inspired and foreshadowed some of today's technological marvels such as cell phones and virtual reality. William Shatner produced and starred in How William Shatner Changed the World, a documentary that aired on the History Channel, based on his book, I'm Working on That.

Dr. Peter Diamandis' talk is "The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it Yourself" on how he turned impossible dreams into reality. He created a global space university, flew the first private tourist to the International Space Station, developed a $10 million prize to launch the personal spaceflight revolution, and invented the Rocket Racing League. Dr. Diamandis established X PRIZE to revolutionize health care, create cars that exceed 100 mpg, address poverty and even cancer.

Ray Kurzweil is discussing "The Coming Merger of Human and Machine: the Radical Expansion of Human Longevity and Intelligence."

Aubrey de Grey is addressing "The Mythical Merits of Mealy-Mouthed Messaging," where even a modest degree of success in postponing aging would have a huge impact on quality of life in the industrialized world.

Confirmed presenters include Philip Rosedale, founder of Linden Labs/Second Life; Marvin Minsky, famed AI guru; Martine Rothblatt, founder, Terasem Movement; Max More, Chair, Extropy Institute; Natasha Vita-More, President, Extropy Institute; Nick Bostrom, Director of the Oxford Future of Humanity Institute; James Hughes, Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies; Sky Marsen, Ph.D., Semiotics Expert, Linguistics and Cognitive Science, University of London; Ron Bailey, Science Correspondent, Reason Magazine; Tanya Jones, COO, Alcor Foundation; Dr. Ralph Merkle, Nanotechnology Visionary; Dr. Ben Goertzel, AI Visionary; cosmology author James Gardner; and Dr. Patrick Hopkins, Professor and Author. Other noted speakers include George Dvorsky, Michael Ekstract, Jerome Glenn, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ed Lantz, Michael LaTorra, Anders Sandberg, Tihamer Toth-Fejel, Philippe Van Nedervelde, Shannon Vyff, Michael Weiner, Kenji Williams, and Eliezer Yudkowsky.

Among the questions to be addressed:

- How can we solve our three biggest risks: death, planetary extinction, and inability to live full lives?

- How much money should we spend on postponing aging?

- Mass marketers can now target you and everywhere you go. Is that good?

- Peter Diamandis says we can revolutionize health care, address poverty, and cure cancer. Is he right?

- Will the "New Green" clash with or support transhumanist goals of human enhancement?

- James Gardner believes we live in an "almost spookily bio-friendly" intelligent universe where we will some day create baby universes. Is this possible?

- What is the future of artificial intelligence and when will machines be smarter than us?

- What implantable medical devices are being developed and when will they be so powerful, safe and cheap that they will eliminate diseases and disabilities?

- When neurological enhancements can create believable simulated worlds like Second Life in your own brain, where and who are "you"?

- Would you store the essence of your self in digital mindfiles that can be revived in the future via cyberconsciousness mindware so future scientists could bring "you" back via cybernetic consciousness or cellular/nanobio regeneration? Dr. Martine Rothblatt will explain how.

- Will digital codes replace DNA?

- Would you like to become a posthuman (a future being whose capacities radically exceed those of humans)?


* Tuesday, July 24, 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.: Inner Space: Transforming Ourselves -- Aging, Life Extension, Nanotech, Nanomedicine, Bionics, Biotech, Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, Cryonics
* Wednesday, July 25, 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.: Meta Space: Transforming Humanity -- Environment, Global Warming, Sustainable Housing, Alternative Energy, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Virtual Reality
* Thursday, July 26, 8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.: Outer Space: Beyond the Planet -- Future Humans, Colonizing Outer Space, Space Tourism, Future Civilizations
* Thursday, July 26: 8:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.: Gala Awards Dinner Reception; H.G. Wells Award Given to Ray Kurzweil
* Friday, July 27: TransVision2007 Attendees To Experience Zero-G Weightless Flight With Visionaries Ray Kurzweil And Peter Diamandis; July 27 Flight Will Raise Funds for X PRIZE Foundation

At the Gala awards dinner On Thursday, July 26, inventor, author and futurist Ray Kurzweil is being awarded the prestigious H.G. Wells Award, honoring Ray for outstanding technical contributions made to humanity. As one of the leading inventors of our time, Ray was the principal developer of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray Kurzweil has written five books, four of them national best sellers. His latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.

On Friday, July 27, TransVision 2007 is hosting a weightless flight with Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G, ). Notable visionaries Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, along with conference attendees, will experience the amazing zero-gravity flight -- the only commercial opportunity on Earth for individuals to experience true "weightlessness" without going to space.

They can fly like Superman, flip like an Olympic gymnast and enjoy ten times more hang-time than the world's best basketball player. The flights also will benefit the X PRIZE Foundation, an educational nonprofit prize institute created to foster radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. These special flights are priced at $5,000 per seat and can be booked when registering for TransVision 2007.


About World Transhumanist Association
The World Transhumanist Association is an international nonprofit membership organization that advocates the ethical use of technology to expand human capacities. It supports the development of and access to new technologies that enable everyone to enjoy better minds, better bodies, and better lives.

For more information, please click here

For TransVision 2007
Emanuela Cariolagian

Copyright © Business Wire 2007

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