The Futurists Podcast - Ethical Futures and the Noosphere with PJ Manney

Futurecrafting, PJ Manney -

The Futurists Podcast - Ethical Futures and the Noosphere with PJ Manney

We talk with PJ Manney the author of the bestselling and Philip K. Dick Award nominated Phoenix Horizon trilogy, (R)EVOLUTION, (ID)ENTITY, and (CON)SCIENCE.
She is on the board of directors of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, is the futurist, media consultant and writer/producer for the Human Energy Project,runs The New Mythos Project and is the former chairperson of Humanity Plus (H+).
She worked in motion picture PR at Walt Disney/Touchstone Pictures and wrote as Patricia Manney for the critically acclaimed hit TV shows Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess.
She will get you thinking about the course of Silicon Valley technology bereft of ethical foundations. 


The current paradigm shift caused by technological advancements requires a focus on solving problems and creating better futures, with an emphasis on ethics, storytelling, and empathy in order to address global challenges and create positive outcomes.

Key insights

Importance of storytelling and empathy in shaping the future

  • 📚 "The difference between sci-fi and just pure forecasting is putting yourself in those forecasted scenarios or worlds."
  • 🌍 PJ Manney has been actively involved in the fields of ethics and emerging technology for decades, making her a seasoned practitioner in the industry.
  • 🎥 "It was a lot cheaper to do dystopian worlds than it was. You know um at worlds with abundance and where inequality had been resolved and things like that so um hopefully now with cgi and so forth we will have more representation of these optimistic views of the future."
  • 💡 The Tofflers, Alvin and Heidi, were a team effort and their insights about the future were incredibly accurate.
  • 📚 "I want to posit a world where change is possible." - PJ Manney emphasizes the importance of envisioning a future that allows for positive change and progress.
  • 📚 PJ Manney's research explores the connection between empathy and storytelling, highlighting the importance of stories in creating empathy for others and shaping our ethical perspectives.
  • 🌱 Young people are eager to be a part of constructive and impactful projects like regenerative agriculture, and it's important to showcase these initiatives to inspire them to get involved.

Ethical implications of technological advancements

  • 🌌 The technological advancements we are experiencing have brought about a huge ethical shift in society.
  • 📚 It is crucial to educate and empower individuals from an early age to make decisions about how AI is used, ensuring that they have a say in shaping its impact on society.
  • 📉 The extreme levels of inequality in our society require us to redefine what success looks like on individual, family, community, national, and global levels.
  • 🏛️ "Having as many stakeholders as possible involved in decision need an educated populace." - PJ Manney highlights the significance of including diverse perspectives and an educated society in the decision-making process for shaping a better future.
  • 🌍 The concept of the noosphere, a global brain created by our interconnectedness, highlights the need for new rules and ethics to coexist in this digital age.
  • 🌍 "If we don't start considering everyone as part of a greater whole in an ethical sense, we will continue to face difficulties and amplify problems of tribalism and world pressures." 

Questions to inspire discussion

  • What is the current paradigm shift caused by?

    The current paradigm shift is caused by technological advancements, specifically the internet and virtualization.

  • What is the difference between scenario planning and storytelling in forecasting?

    Scenario planning involves creating possible future scenarios, while storytelling in forecasting combines storytelling techniques with forecasting to create compelling narratives.

  • Who is PJ Manney and what organizations is she involved in?

    PJ Manney is a best-selling author and practitioner in emerging technologies, and she is involved in organizations like the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology.

  • What are the limitations of human space travel?

    Human space travel is dangerous and impractical, leading to a focus on using robots instead. However, some individuals still have a desire to go into space.

  • How can science fiction inspire real futures?

    Science fiction can inspire real futures by presenting both the drama and dilemmas of storytelling, while also providing paths to better futures instead of just dystopias. This can lead to a more optimistic view of the future.

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