Where: Alsion – Sønderborg, Denmark
June 27, 2014
From 9.30 – 21.30

Please register for the event here

The conference itself is free of charge;
participation incl. lunch & dinner 300.00 DKK

Technology is in the process of fundamentally transforming our society into something we have difficulties imagining. How can we prepare for that? Information technology opened the door for the personal computer, the Internet, digital goods and services, and soon comes the personal fabricator, partly based on 3D printing technology. Nanotechnology is developing novel functional materials for space travel and medical implants, while advances in biotechnology are allowing designer organisms and personalized drugs to be encoded, transferred and printed off the Internet, ultimately empowering us to change ourselves. Artificial intelligence and artificial life are giving rise to smart devices that have the inherent capacity to self-repair, evolve and think on their own – ranging from drones and smart phones to medical diagnostic systems. Technological advances coming together in collective and complementary ways has always been the basis for major transitions in human history. Each epoch is associated with a collective narrative that helps us make sense of our lives, our technology and our society, but our current narrative is severely challenged by the current technology transitions. 

At the conference you will meet:

Lene AndersenLene Andersen, Next Scandinavia
economist, author and philosopher: recently published the book “Globalt Gearskift” (A Global Shifting of Gears) which discusses how we can create stable societies and meaningful communities when new technologies turns everything upside down.



Ulf DahlstenUlf Dahlsten, London School of Economics
economist, former Secretary of State in the Prime Minister’s Office in Sweden, and is currently building a network of politicians and people in finance, which will help develop a set of global rules that can handle the global economy of the future.



Stephan_Engberg__jpgStephan Engberg, Open Business Innovation
entrepreneur and one of Denmark’s leading IT-experts will discuss security, socio-economics and human rights in a digital age. Engberg will explain why our current systems work against the normative objectives and how we should develop our digital infrastructure.



robin3Robin Engelhardt, Copenhagen University
has a background in theoretical biology and literature studies, long time one of Denmark’s leading science journalists. Currently a postdoc at Copenhagen University researching the challenges in interdisciplinary work. He will provide a perspective on science, the press and the public discourse.



kaj grønbækKaj Grønbæk, Århus University
professor in computer science and one of the leading researchers on “the internet of things” and “virtual reality”. Grønbæk will discuss the technological and societal possibilities generated by these technologies.



norman packard2Norman Packard, ProtoLife Inc, USA
inventor and business leader, previous professor in physics, will discuss how the art of engineering is changing and how the old “top-down” approach in engineering has been replaced with a “bottom-up” evolutionary approach when creating new technological products and processes.



steen rasmussenSteen Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark
physics professor at the University of Southern Denmark and external research professor the Santa Fe Institute (USA), a leading scientists in artificial life, will discuss possible societal impacts of the ongoing ground breaking developments in living and intelligent technologies.



Peter RathjePeter Rathje, ProjectZero
economist and leader of the regional sustainable development project making the municipality of Sønderborg a carbon neutral city by 2029. He will explain how using new technology and changing behavior is making it possible to achieve this ambitious development goal and how ProjectZero is a model for global change.



Kristina-Siig2Kristina Siig, University of Southern Denmark
associate professor of law at the University of Southern Denmark specializing in international trade, conflicts resolution and is a member of the Danish Social Liberal Party. She will explain how globalization and new technologies are changing Denmark’s political realities.



Swanson_Randolph220x205Heather Swanson, University of Aarhus
assistant professor in Anthropology will discuss the anthropological aspects of the new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, which is characterized by the massive impacts human activity has come to have on our planet. Get some perspectives on why thinking about this matters for us all.










Sif Stewart-Ferrer, Aarhus University

an anthropology student interested in the cultural and societal implications of new technologies. Biotechnological innovations challenge the human perception of what counts as living, and is also significant in relation to different life forms themselves.

Madeeha Mehmood, University of Southern Denmark
studies business, language and culture and is currently working on a research project about internet security, data protection and human rights. She will talk about the complicated process of retrieving your data from Facebook and Google.

Leif Cocq Rasmussen, University of Southern Denmark/Vermont Law School
is studying Juris Doctor/Masters in International Security and Law and doing research in legal incentive structures, international dispute arbitration and international organizations. He will discuss how big corporations are shaping international law in a reaction to changing technologies and the role of the national state.


Program below (Press to open)











During the 19th century, the industrial revolution automated mass production in factories and a vast transportation infrastructure. In the latter part of the 20th century and the start of current century, the information technology revolution automated personal information processing in computers and the Internet. We believe the next major technological revolution in part will be based on an integration of information processing and material production akin to living organisms and ecosystems seamlessly combining these processes. The technological basis for the current transition has been named the bio-info-nano-cogno convergence (BINC) or more briefly, living technology (LT).

Major transitions in human societies are usually characterized by new tools and new infrastructures, new ways of making a living, changes in trade, new institutions and organizational forms, new local and global power structures as well as a new collective narrative. In this workshop we intend to explore some of the emerging contours in our current transition.

Globalization, mainly powered by information technology, is presenting us with a complex network of interconnected phenomena, including taxation and control issues for global companies, profit from digital products without production, which together with other issues cause the nation state to lose its influence over its own destiny. Transparency and privacy issues are increasingly taking the spotlight, because the new technologies generate new questions about who should have insight in what, and who own or has access to an individual’s data. Do we need to update the Human Rights Declaration, and if we do, how?

The BINC interface will soon enable individuals to design, transmit, produce and recycle most needed material goods as well as personalized medicine within the confines of their home through personal fabrication devices. This poses interesting opportunities for advances in regional sustainability as well as major challenges for current concepts in economy, future employment and ownership of the means of production. How will this impact our democracy and the global power structures?

The new opportunities and challenges we face through the BINC technology convergence require that all components of society engage with these new technologies trends in a responsible manner and work together to develop a free and open society. ISSP (Initiative for Science Society and Policy) is bringing together individuals from vastly different backgrounds of academia, industry, military, civic society and religion to explore the trends and engage in a renaissance style gathering to explore what might happen in our “brave new world”.

This ISSP event is an ESOF 2014 sattelite event – Sign up for ESOF 2014 in Copenhagen (with a discount) here

Article (in Danish) about the workshop and how technology is changing our lives: