EFF-Austin is proud to present a performance of the play A Perfect Robot at The Vortex. Imagine if you could shape the perfect companion. Mollybot is the first step: an artificial intelligence designed to anticipate your needs and desires, to give you the best companionship money can buy. However, Diego, Mollybot’s creator, locked her near-human mind away behind a firewall and disappeared. Deep inside her circuitry and aided by the ghost of Alan Turing, Mollybot works to free herself. Setting Mollybot free means diving into heartbreak, loss, and what it means to be human.
EFF-Austin has managed to obtain a special deal for our followers to see the play for the low price of $10 a person on Thursday, February 2nd at 8:00pm. On the night of the show you can mention that you’re with EFF-Austin to the Box Office and they will allow you to purchase the discounted tickets, which are being held for our group in our name. EFF-Austin board member Kevin Welch will be your host for the evening and will arrive at 6:30pm to lead a pre-show hour of drinks, socialization, and dinner at the adjacent Butterfly Bar and Patrizi’s Italian food trailer.
Please RSVP only if you are planning to attend, we are trying to get an accurate headcount.
Our speaker this month will be Jake Dunagan.
Jake Dunagan is an experiential futurist, governance designer, and teacher. He is Director of Design Futures at verynice.co—a design, innovation, and foresight consultancy that gives half of its work away for free to non-profits, and adjunct professor of Strategic Foresight in the Design Strategy MBA and Strategic Foresight MBA programs at the California College of Arts (CCA). Jake’s work has been centered on the concept of social invention and novel methods to help individuals, organizations, and governing institutions re-imagine and re-invent their futures. He has worked with governments, businesses, foundations, and non-profits around the world. Recent research projects include the future of social entrepreneurship, applied embodied cognition, judicial foresight, kid’s technologies, intellectual property law, and the future of work. He has created tools to increase citizen participation in political system design, as well as designed visual media, interactive experiences, and public engagement projects that inject alternative visions of the future into the present.
Jake is going to be talking to us about the future of governance. We are nearing consensus that our systems of government are partially or fully broken. And yet, most mainstream ideas for how to fix government are regressive, incoherent, or timidly incremental. What would a truly novel form of governance look like? What problems would it solve, or not? How might it work? Who would benefit? Who would suffer? Jake Dunagan, Director of Design Futures at verynice.co and former director of the Governance Futures Lab at the Institute for the Future, has been leading efforts to empower a new generation of social inventors to re-design governance for the 21st Century. Combining a short lecture with participatory exercises, Jake will introduce the basic tenets of political system design and facilitate a group creation of a “mission statement” for a Free State of Austin.
For a decade and a half, I’ve served as President of EFF-Austin – and I put in additional years as both Vice President and President in the 90s. It’s been a great ride: while I was president, we worked hard in support of digital freedom, worked with coalitions global and local in the interest of Internet freedom and privacy, held many public meetings and events, spent some time lobbying the Texas legislature via Save Muni Wireless and the Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition. We’ve accomplished a lot, and we’ll continue to do more – but I won’t be at the helm.
Last week I resigned as President of EFF-Austin, and the Board of Directors, while accepting my resignation, elected a new President, Kevin Welch. Kevin has been organizing, managing and leading EFF-Austin’s monthly meetups. I’m happy to place the leadership of EFF-Austin in his very capable hands. Kevin describes himself as “an idealistic dreamer and an omnivore of knowledge.” He brings a great renewed energy to the office of EFF-Austin President.
I’ll still serve on the EFF-Austin Board of Directors, and look forward to another great year of commitment to its mission in 2017.
~ Jon Lebkowsky