Keynote Luncheon

Featuring Ramez Naam, author of The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet and technology leader of Microsoft software we all use every day

"Innovating Our Way Past Global Crisis"

Ramez NaamHumanity is at the peak of its accomplishments and well-being. But we also face the largest challenges we’ve ever seen: climate change, finite fossil fuels, disappearing fish and forests, dwindling freshwater supplies, and the pressures of meeting the needs of billions rising out of poverty. Against these challenges of a finite planet, our most powerful resource is our ability to innovate to produce new solutions, to replace physical resources that have been depleted, and to multiply the power and effectiveness of the physical resources that remain. To tap into our ability to innovate, however, we must make key changes.

In a whirlwind tour, Ramez Naam dives into the challenges that face us, how we’ve overcome similar challenges in the past, and the steps we have to take now to maximize our odds of coming out of the twenty-first century richer and better off than when we entered it.

Ramez Naam is a computer scientist and author. He’s the H.G. Wells Award–winning author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement . His first novel, Nexus—a story about a nanotechnology that links minds and the struggle to control it—was published in December 2012. Ramez spent 13 years at Microsoft, where he led teams working on e-mail, Web browsing, Internet search, and artificial intelligence. His most recent nonfiction book, on accelerating innovation to overcome environmental and natural resource challenges, is The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet (University Press of New England, March 2013), Seattle, Washington, USA

In this video, he discusses the future in honor of the recently concluded Istanbul Future Day!