Shapeshifters (Athens, Greece)
Why are we so fascinated by werewolves and other beings that take on the appearance of another? Conference-goers will discuss that and more practical questions like "What problems/issues could arise from such an ability?" Sadly, there won't be a full moon during the conference; otherwise attendees could find out on the spot.
Is the notion that human history is slowly but inevitably marching in a positive direction a viable theory, a useful illusion, or a discredited concept?
3-D Printing: Destiny, Doom, or Dream? (Leiden, The Netherlands)
3-D printing technology may soon enable us to custom-produce everything from auto parts to dress pants. Attendees at this conference will address the potential ethical, legal, economic, and environmental issues that may result. People printing their own guns is already a concern; what about fabricating human organs in your basement?
Comics Forum (Leeds, England)
Long before graphic novels went mainstream, small presses were producing subversive "underground comics" that satirized mainstream values. Their past and future will be explored here. The deep dive into fanzines, the influence of the Internet, and comics as "a platform for speaking the unspeakable" should provide a few Crumbs of wisdom.
Perspectives on Progress (Brisbane, Australia)
Is the notion that human history is slowly but inevitably marching in a positive direction a viable theory, a useful illusion, or a discredited concept? Experts will discuss how the belief in human progress colors our response to scientific and technological change. This one may start out slowly, but trust us, it'll get better.