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About the Foresight Institute

Facilitating communication among brilliant minds

Bringing brilliant minds together - 1:03  Foresight's approach to technical workshops.
Published on Sep 30, 2016. Watch on YouTube
When we design an event, we sit down and think about, Who are brilliant people in their fields, and who should they talk to that they are not talking to yet?

Mission — Promoting Transformative Technologies

Foresight Institute is a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on transformative future technologies. Founded in 1986 on a vision of coming revolutions in technology that will bring both great opportunities and great dangers, and including ideas of how to prepare for these technologies, its mission is to discover and promote the upsides, and help avoid the dangers, of nanotechnology, AI, biotech, and similar life-changing developments.

Foresight is the primary force pushing for the kind of nanotechnology that will truly transform our future, from medicine to the environment to space settlement. This advanced form of nanotechnology has been variously called atomically precise manufacturing (APM), productive nanosystems, molecular manufacturing, or molecular nanotechnology, and should be distinguished from the bulk of current efforts in nanotechnology, which are focused on materials science and simple nanodevices. We follow and advocate the development of current nanotechnology and its application to pressing current needs, but our primary effort is to bring the vision and goal of developing advanced nanotechnology, or APM, to new audiences, including inspiring young researchers.

About Foresight's founding vision … (and how it has guided Foresight's efforts for three decades)

Thirty Years of Nanotechnology and Foresight … Securing a future worth having by advancing understanding of emerging revolutionary technologies

Foresight's mission is to:

  • speed development of nanotechnology and other key fundamental technologies,
  • promote beneficial uses of these revolutionary technologies, and
  • reduce misuse and accidents potentially associated with them.

Foresight Activities

In 1986 Foresight was founded on a vision of the emerging field of nanotechnology in which current capabilities in nanotechnology lead eventually to fabrication of complex products with atom-by-atom control of the manufacturing process. This ultimate development of nanotechnology, sometimes termed molecular manufacturing but now more often termed APM (atomically precise manufacturing), was first described by Richard Feynman in 1959 in a visionary talk "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom." Foresight has worked to educate the public, researchers, and policy makers about Feynman's vision—what advanced nanotechnology would be like, and what it could do. We ground these expectations in the current achievements and applications of nanotechnology, consider how to move from current nanotechnology to advanced nanotechnology, and how to capture the opportunities and avoid the risks of the ultimate manufacturing technology.

Foresight Activities include:

Christine Peterson introduces the Foresight Institute

From Breakthrough Philanthropy, an evening catalyzing radical advances in technology to address humanity's greatest challenges, Dec 7th, 2010, in San Francisco:

List of all Thiel Foundation event videos

"The Foresight Institute"

A 30-slide overview presented in April 2010 (18.3 MB PDF file) addresses Foresight's history, vision, programs, and accomplishments.

Partners and Sponsors

Foresight works with a wide variety of organizations as partners, sponsors and corporate members. Through Foresight, these organizations reach our members and those visiting our Web site with their message, receive their choice of Foresight publications and information feeds, take advantage of discounts on many goods and services, are invited to special gatherings and events and and receive valuable introductory gifts. For more information on becoming a corporate member, click here. Click below to see our past or current partners, sponsors and corporate members.

Contact Information

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Palo Alto, CA 94306
Voice: 650.289.0860
Fax: 650.289.0863

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