This week, 1X57 is heading North by Northwest to Vancouver for the World Future Society‘s annual conference, World Future 2011, to kick off a new phenomenon we’ve co-produced, Futurists:BetaLaunch – an innovation showcase slash tech petting zoo featuring 12 ideas in beta that offer an exciting vision of the future.

Although this is 1X57’s first time to World Future and we’re not really sure what to expect, we’re pretty stoked. Earlier in the year, we were invited as guests of the World Future Society to an exclusive reception and screening of the Ray Kurzweil documentary, Transcendent Man, with uber-futurist Ray Kurzweil himself and the Director/Producer Barry Ptolemy. Hearing Ray speak in person was tantamount to doing mental crack.  He didn’t talk about common DC hot topics like LIvingSocial or big data (not that these are inherently unexciting) but for me, they pale in comparison to contemplating the bigger picture of what life will be like once we can physically achieve immortality or once AI surpasses human intelligence. These are gnarly questions that like it or not, we as a race are moving towards having to answer.

In our adventure, we’re bringing some friends – Tech Cocktail and Disruptathon – who will be adding an additional layer of awesomeness to F:BL. Disruptathon will be providing the platforms and the technology to collect real-time feedback from World Future attendees about each BetaLauncher and Tech Cocktail will be hosting an evening reception that will feature the BetaLaunchers alongside 12 local Vancouver start-ups.

We’re also looking forward to meeting two special guests, Dale Dougherty and Brian Wong. Dale is the co-Founder of O’Reilly Media and editor and publisher of MAKE magazine and will be doing a fireside chat on the maker revolution as a lead-in to the evening Tech Cocktail event. And Vancouver’s own Brian Wong, touted the next Mark Zuckerberg and the youngest entrepreneur to receive VC funding (for his brainchild Kiip) will be joining us on Saturday evening at Tech Cocktail to check out the innovations and start-ups.

Then there’s the content of the conference itself. Steve and I will be joined by our friend, Kirby Plessas, to discuss living content and how open communication and content platforms are molding the future. And there are several talks we’re looking forward to attending, including the Sunday keynote by scientist and Biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Gray on the Prospects for Defeating Aging.

With everything that will be going on, I think I’m most excited about being in an environment that contemplates the future and asks not can we get there, but how – because ultimately that is how the future is made.

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