This weekend I was at the Singularity Summit in San Francisco. On Sunday I gave a talk called The Digital Biome – Re-Engineering Life on Earth to Survive and Thrive in the 21st Century. (Follow the link to see the slides on SlideShare.)
The basic thrust of the talk is that we’re facing very real and pressing threats to the environment and human civilization – Climate Change, Peak Oil, Ocean Acidification, Species Loss, Fresh Water Depletion, etc…
…and that at the same time, the exponential progress in biology gives us the potential capability to take advantage of capabilities of nature – in some cases re-engineering nature – to overcome those problems.
It’s a fine line to walk sort of talk. I wanted to get across to the crowd at the Singularity Summit (some of whom are tremendously more optimistic than even I am) that we have real problems. But I also see a tremendous potential in biotechnology to address these problems, and the fundamental limits of growth on the planet are still orders of magnitude beyond where we’re at.
It seems to have gone well. A number of people came up to tell me they really liked it, and more than one person called it the best talk of the summit.
Take a look and tell me what you think.