Tue, 17 November 2020

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Should We Be Afraid of the Future?

Juan Enriquez in conversation with Sinead Bovell

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What happens to human ethics when technology makes the unimaginable commonplace? From sexual liberation to climate change, technologist and TED superstar Juan Enriquez is here to challenge what you think you know about the future.

Most people have a strong sense of right and wrong, and they aren’t shy about expressing their opinions. But when we take a polarising stand on something we regard as an eternal truth, we often forget that ethics evolve over time. Many shifts in the right versus wrong pendulum are driven by advances in technology. Our great-grandparents might be shocked by in vitro fertilisation; our great-grandchildren might be shocked by the messiness of pregnancy, childbirth, and unedited genes.

Juan Enriquez has thought deeply about these questions and many more. From a playing a leading part in Mexican politics, to publishing groundbreaking nucleotide research, founding the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School, and investing in start-ups across the globe, he may be the leading authority on the economic and political consequences of biotechnology. In conversation with futurist Sinead Bovell, he will reflect on what happens to our ethics as technology makes the once unimaginable a commonplace occurrence.

Evolving technology changes ethics. Technology challenges old beliefs and upends institutions that do not grow and change. With wit and compassion, Enriquez takes on a series of technology-influenced ethical dilemmas, from sexual liberation to climate change to the “immortality” of mistakes on social media. He will caution us to judge those who “should have known better,” given today’s vantage point, with less fury and more compassion. We need a quality often absent in today’s charged debates: humility. Judge those in the past as we hope to be judged in the future.

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Juan Enriquez

Founding Director, Life Sciences Project (HBS), and MD., Excel Venture Management

Juan Enriquez is the author of As the Future Catches You, Evolving Ourselves, and other books. A frequent speaker at TED and other conferences, he has contributed to such publications as Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy. He is a cofounder and investor in brain and synthetic biology start-ups.

Sinead Bovell

CEO of WAYE, an organization that prepares youth for a technology-based future.

Sinead Bovell is a Futurist and the Founder and CEO of WAYE, an organization that prepares youth for a future with advanced technologies. To date, Bovell has educated over 10k young entrepreneurs on the intersection of technology and the future, and has spoken at world renowned institutions such as the United Nations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bloomberg, and Cornell University on the future of technology. Bovell has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Chemistry, and an MBA from the University of Toronto.