[Update] The report from the event is now available.
What was once considered science fiction is becoming a reality at an accelerated pace. What can sci-fi teach us about the future of digital politics? Can it inform better policies? If so, how?
What can sci-fi teach us about digital politics and its future? is part of the series Geneva Digital Talks. With this event, we want bring two very different constituencies together: Sci-fi authors and sci-fi enthusiasts on the one side, and policy makers, diplomats, and international relations professionals dealing with digital politics on the other. What discussions emerge and what lessons can be learned at the intersection of the two? What happens when science fiction and policy meet?
This event will create a safe and fertile place for thought experiments by social scientists, policy makers, and diplomats – inspired by the imagination of sci-fi authors and by the meeting of different professional cultures and mind-sets. It will allow us to take a moment in our busy lives for thinking through technological developments and their impact on the way we work, live, and organise our world.
Sci-fi can be escapist or critical about our potential future, often in reaction to our present reality. It can provide dystopian or utopian visions of what is to come, but also, many alternative universes in between. Which of these universes becomes our reality will depend on our collective human agency, including our digital policy and its governance. Like with the butterfly-effect, the measures that we take, or not take, right now, will steer our common destiny in the direction of one of these potential futures.
Topics and contributors in detail:
In preparation for the event, we have put together a curated reading list. The list serves as inspiration and to extend the discussion. You will find some of the classics written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Philip K Dick, William Gibson, Ursula Le Guin, and Neal Stephenson. You will also find a younger generation of authors including Ted Chiang, Cory Doctorow, and Liu Cixin. We have also included a list of interviews and reflections on sci-fi by authors such as Octavia E Butler, Ursula Le Guin, Donna Haraway, and Ytasha Womack.
15 January | 12:30 – 16:00 CET | Geneva, WMO building, 2nd floor