Bootstrap Institute logo Doug Engelbart's
   Colloquium at Stanford
An In-Depth Look at "The Unfinished Revolution"

Christine L. Peterson
President of Foresight Institute. 1.*

Christine Peterson is president of Foresight Institute, a non-profit organization working to maximize the benefits and minimize the drawbacks of coming technologies. 2

By writing, lecturing, briefing the press, and organizing conferences on powerful emerging technologies, Chris serves as an interface between technologists and the broader public, including business and policymakers. Specific areas of focus include: 3

Nanotechnology. - Chris organizes the Foresight Conferences on Molecular Nanotechnology, the primary conference series on this topic. She was founding editor of Foresight Update, the leading newsletter since 1987. With husband K. Eric Drexler and partner Gayle Pergamit, Chris coauthored "Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution" (1991, Morrow), known as "the nanotechnology book to give your mom." 3A

Open Source. - Foresight supports making software more reliable and secure through Open Source development. Chris coined the term "Open Source software" to communicate these benefits to a wider user base, and now works to increase cooperation within the OSS community itself. 3B

Hypertext and the Web. - To improve societal decision-making processes on complex technological issues, Chris served as software development manager for Foresight's Open Source software project CritSuite, a free public service enabling annotation of any web text. 3C

Group Process. - Chris and co-author Gayle Pergamit wrote "Leaping the Abyss: Putting Group Genius to Work" in an effort to bring the highly effective DesignShop process for group achievement to the attention of organizations working to meet complex challenges. 3D

Space Development. - Prior to nanotechnology, Chris cut her activist teeth working to promote space development as an approach to solving environmental problems. 3E

In her talks and essays, Chris specializes in making difficult technological concepts understandable and in lowering the stress of grappling with rapid technological change. She tries to use clear explanations, straightforward logic, analogies, and a bit of humor to help audiences and readers get comfortable with thinking about technologies radically different from those we use today. 4

Both within Foresight and externally, she advises individuals and companies - from start-ups to the Fortune 100 - on strategies for success in an environment of rapid technological change. To further the interest areas listed above, she provides referrals, networking, and strategy advice to individuals and organizations working in these endeavors. 5

Her current book project focuses on openness as a key component of success in complex self-organizing systems ranging from software to businesses to - ideally - governments and supra-governmental organizations. 6

Originally educated at MIT as a molecule gnurd (S.B. chemistry), Chris is now proud to be regarded as an honorary software gnurd (and Slashdot addict) who influences complex organic systems through programming in the natural language called English. 7

Her best-known quote is "If you're looking ahead long-term, and what you see looks like science fiction, it might be wrong. But if it doesn't look like science fiction, it's definitely wrong." 8

Christine Peterson
Foresight Institute
PO Box 61058
Palo Alto, CA 94306 USA
tel +1 (650) 917 1122
fax +1 (650) 917 1123
email 9




Above space serves to put hyperlinked targets at the top of the window
Copyright 2000 Bootstrap Institute. All rights reserved.