Keynote - Braden Allenby

Title: Weaponized Narrative and the Fall of Democracy

Abstract: A number of long-term trends, many reflecting the emergence of new information and artificial intelligence technologies, are undermining the social and political stability, and fundamental institutions, of Western democracies such as the United States. While some of the shorter term emerging challenges are being recognized and addressed, the longer term implications for democratic forms of government are neither recognized, nor well understood. This talk will identity a number of emerging potential challenges to democratic norms and institutions, and suggest several potential responses.

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Biography: Brad Allenby is President’s Professor of Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering, and of Law; Lincoln Professor of Technology and Ethics; Senior Sustainability Scientist; and co-chair of the Weaponized Narrative Initiative of the Center for the Future of War, at Arizona State University.  He moved to ASU from his previous position as the Environment, Health and Safety Vice President for AT&T in 2004.  Dr. Allenby received his BA from Yale University, his JD and MA (economics) from the University of Virginia, and his MS and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from Rutgers University.  He is past President of the International Society for Industrial Ecology and ex-Chair of the AAAS Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy.  He is an AAAS Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures & Commerce, and has been a U. S. Naval Academy Stockdale Fellow (2009-2010), an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow (2007-2009), and a Templeton Research Fellow (2008-2009). He served as Director for Energy and Environmental Systems at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1995-1997), and the J. Herbert Holloman Fellow at the National Academy of Engineering (1991-1992).  His areas of expertise include emerging technologies, especially in the military and security domains; Design for Environment; industrial ecology; sustainable engineering; and earth systems engineering and management.  In 2008 he was the Carnegie Foundation Arizona Professor of the Year.  His latest books are Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Engineering (co-authored with Tom Graedel in 2009), The Techno-Human Condition (co-authored with Dan Sarewitz in 2011), The Theory and Practice of Sustainable Engineering (2012), The Applied Ethics of Emerging Military and Security Technologies (an edited volume released by Ashgate Press in 2015), Future Conflict and Emerging Technologies (2016), Weaponized Narrative: The New Battlespace (co-edited with Joel Garreau, released in 2017), and Moral Injury: Towards an International Perspective (co-edited with Tom Frame and Andrea Ellner, 2017).