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Annual Chancellor's Lecture 2019

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St Anne's Cathedral

Donegall Street

Belfast

BT1 2HB

United Kingdom

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‘The future isn’t what it used to be’


Every institution and social process in the modern world is the end-product of some innovation that happened in history. This is why the present is different from the past, but why did those innovations occur in the first place? Why do we so often encourage innovation, when we know its effects will almost always be unexpected and disruptive?

Is there a technique such as that illustrated by Burke’s interdisciplinary ‘Knowledge Web,’ with which help us better prepare for innovation and the change it will likely bring? Could we use new tools like Big Data and predictive analytics to second-guess our future? Or do the probable effects of present on-going research in nanotechnology and computing render any such exercise futile?

What’s coming down the road looks to be an entirelyunprecedented, new kind of future, different from anything that has ever happened before. Thanks to an innovation that will trigger the most fundamental social change since we left the caves. When that happens, about 40 years from now, how will we handle it?

This lecture is open to everyone.

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Location

St Anne's Cathedral

Donegall Street

Belfast

BT1 2HB

United Kingdom

View Map

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