2013 conferences
Net Futures

Ginormous Systems

Atoms Matter
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Atoms Matter
July 9–10, 2013
Vienna, Austria

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field trip
July 11, 2013

Tour information

Library Selection
Radical Abundance: How a Revolution
in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization
by K. Eric Drexler

Conference schedule
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Topics include:
• Materials that matter
• Soft hardware
• Smart urban technologies
• Tissue engineering
• Repurposing GPS
• Eco (operating) systems
• Reimagining solar technology
• Improved battery life

conference overview
We are made of atoms; we eat atoms. We propel ourselves around, in, and with atoms. Our sustenance and actual wealth derive from atoms and our ability to grow them, shape them, dig them up, conserve them, burn them, and fund their manipulation. Some atoms are in diminishing supply, and the way in which we discard atoms is beginning to render our world less habitable. We can no longer use 20th-century methods for manufacturing, transportation, food production, water provisioning, and financing the enterprises of the physical world. To change, we'll need to better leverage our mastery of bits to make better (use of) atoms.

For the past 30 years, we've been focused on the technologies and economies of bits. Now, with the Internet becoming a global nervous system, we're witnessing the birth of an entirely new ecosystem, one that's connecting us to our machines and natural systems. Operating and sensing systems are helping us manage entire bioregions and megacities. However, these systems have staggering scaling and data management challenges and tradeoffs; the power requirements to process such massive systems alone may well trigger their own environmental problems.

The tools we've developed in the Information Age thus far have enabled us to be more efficient and cost-effective with atoms. Going forward, we'll need to do better if we hope to replace factories with printers, fossil fuels with harvested energy, and farmed food with sustainable, microcultivated crops. We'll create hardware that is as configurable as software, rocket boosters than can orbit ten times more weight per joule, energy storage systems big and long-lasting enough to support wind farms and other sustainable forms of energy, methods for producing entirely new materials, and ways to program life itself. This conference is all about harnessing bits to upgrade our physical world. Atoms do matter.

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Partial list of speakers

Mr. Matthew Atwood, President, Algae Systems
Dr. Paula Bramel, Assistant Executive Director, Global Crop Diversity Trust
Ms. Erika DeBenedictis, A "Bit" Shy of Graduation, Department of Computer Science, CalTech
Dr. Adam Dunkels, Founder, Thingsquare
Dr. Erol Gelenbe, Dennis Gabor Professor, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London
Ms. Veronika Haunold, Chief Executive Officer, TINA VIENNA
Dr. Karsten Held, Professor, Institute for Solid State Physics, Vienna University of Technology
Dr. Shani Keysar, Chief Executive Officer, Sol Chip
Dr. Marwan Khraisheh, Dean of Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
Ms. Anne Miglarese, President and Chief Executive Officer, PlanetIQ
Mr. Damon Millar, Partner, BuffaloGrid
Mr. Huw Thomas, Partner, Foster + Partners
Dr. Greg Timms, Deputy Research Director, Intelligent Sensing and Systems Laboratory, CSIRO
Dr. Eben Upton, Founder and Trustee, Raspberry Pi Foundation
Dr. Nynke van den Akker, Researcher, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht

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Conference Schedule
Monday, July 8: 6:30 pm, First Timers Pre-Reception Welcome
7:00 pm, Reception/Dinner (7:30 pm)
Tuesday, July 9: 9:00 am–5:00 pm, Conference Day 1
7:00 pm, Reception/Dinner (7:30 pm)
Wednesday, July 10: 9:00 am–4:00 pm, Conference Day 2
6:30 pm, Dinner
Thursday, July 11: 8:30 am–2:00 pm, Field Trip to Institute of Science
and Technology Vienna

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