An outreach program of Humanity+ International Non-profit Educational Organization
Original Author: Ben Hyink Editors: Natasha Vita-More Curt Tigges Josh Call

Version 3.0 July 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Introduction to the H+SN ......................................................................................................... 1 A. The Mission of the H+SN .......................................................................................... 1 B. Transhumanist Declaration ...................................................................................... 1 C. Purpose of this Document........................................................................................ 2 D. top three priorities .................................................................................................. 3 E. H+SN Recognition of Humanity + Policy................................................................... 4 F. Coordination of H+SN .............................................................................................. 4 II. Transhumanism in The University ........................................................................................... 5 III. Incorporating a Campus Group............................................................................................... 7 A. Defining and Working Documents ............................................................................ 7 B. Advisors ................................................................................................................... 8 C. Recruiting Initial Leadership & Membership ............................................................ 9 D. Cultivating New Leaders ........................................................................................ 12 IV. Academic Working Groups ................................................................................................... 13 A. Scheduling ............................................................................................................. 14 B. Meeting Presentations ........................................................................................... 15 C. Established Meeting Groups ................................................................................... 15 V. Running Your Group .............................................................................................................. 17 A. Discussion Meetings (Keeping the Group Active) ................................................... 17 B. Group Meeting Protocol ......................................................................................... 23 C. Planning Meetings .................................................................................................. 24 D. Presentations ......................................................................................................... 24 E. Projects ................................................................................................................. 24 VI. Creating Campus Events ...................................................................................................... 26 A. Speeches................................................................................................................ 26 B. Panel Discussions ................................................................................................... 27 C. Debates ................................................................................................................. 28 D. Summits and Conferences ..................................................................................... 28 VII. Advertising and Publicity .................................................................................................... 29 A. Flyers ..................................................................................................................... 29 B. Chalk ..................................................................................................................... 30 C. Posters ................................................................................................................... 30 D. Press Releases ....................................................................................................... 30 VIII. Growing and Sustaining Your Group .................................................................................. 31 A. Online Presence and Technology Tools ................................................................. 31 B. Publications and Media .......................................................................................... 32 C. Letters to the Editor and Columns ........................................................................ 32 D. Interviews .............................................................................................................. 33 E. Information Tables ................................................................................................ 33 F. Fundraising ............................................................................................................ 35 G. Networking ............................................................................................................ 36 H. Miscellaneous Activities ......................................................................................... 37 IX. Organizational Strategies (further reading) ........................................................................ 41 A. Internships ............................................................................................................. 41 B. Annual JBS Haldane Award for Best Undergraduate Transhumanist Paper ............ 41 C. Places for Graduate Students to Pursue Graduate Studies in Bioethics ................. 42 Attachment: A Student Club Constitution (Template of Last Resort)



The Humanity+ Student Network is an international coalition of independent student organizations dedicated to promoting discussion of transhumanist issues and technologies. In addition, the H+SN and its member groups seek to provide opportunities for students to become involved in university-level work, research, and development exploring the promises and perils of emerging technologies and the future direction of humanity. The purpose of the H+SN is to provide assistance and support for those seeking to create their own transhumanist student organizations and to facilitate collaboration between its member groups, providing necessary network-level tools to foster this collaboration.



The Transhumanist Declaration has been adopted by Humanity+ as a statement of transhumanist positions and concerns regarding the development and use of human enhancement technologies. As such, the H+SN also recognizes and supports this document. When we refer to transhumanist issues, concerns, and so forth, we are usually referring to things related to the points of the Transhumanist Declaration. Humanity stands to be profoundly affected by science and technology in the future. We envision the possibility of broadening human potential by overcoming aging, cognitive shortcomings, involuntary suffering, and our confinement to planet Earth. 1. We believe that humanity’s potential is still mostly unrealized. There are possible scenarios that lead to wonderful and exceedingly worthwhile enhanced human conditions. 2. We recognize that humanity faces serious risks, especially from the misuse of new technologies. There are possible realistic scenarios that lead to the loss of most, or even all, of what we hold valuable. Some of these scenarios are drastic, others are subtle. Although all progress is change, not all change is progress. 3. Research effort needs to be invested into understanding these prospects. We need to carefully deliberate how best to reduce risks and expedite beneficial applications. We also need forums where people can constructively discuss what should be done, and a social order where responsible decisions can be implemented. -1-

4. Reduction of existential risks, and development of means for the preservation of life and health, the alleviations of grave suffering, and the improvement of human foresight and wisdom should be pursued as urgent priorities, and heavily funded. 5. Policy making ought to be guided by responsible and inclusive moral vision, taking seriously both opportunities and risks, respecting autonomy and individual rights, and showing solidarity with and concern for the interests and dignity of all people around the globe. We must also consider our moral responsibilities towards generations that will exist in the future. 6. We advocate the well-being of all sentience, including humans, non-human animals, and any future artificial intellects, modified life forms, or other intelligences to which technological and scientific advances may give rise. 7. We favor allowing individual’s wide personal choice over how they enable their lives. This includes use of techniques that may be developed to assist memory, concentration, and mental energy; life extension therapies; reproductive choice technologies; cryonics procedures; and many other possible human modification and enhancement technologies. The Transhumanist Declaration was originally crafted in 1998 by an international group of authors in alphabetical order by first name: Alexander Chislenko, Anders Sandberg, Arjen Kamphuis, Bernie Staring, Bill Fantegrossi, Darren Reynolds, David Pearce, Dean Otter, Doug Bailey, Eugene Leitl, Gustavo Alves, Holger Wagner, Kathryn Aegis, Keith Elis, Lee Daniel Crocker, Max More, Mikhail Sverdlov, Natasha Vita-More, Nick Bostrom, Ralf Fletcher, Shane Spaulding Thom Quinn, Tom Morrow This Transhumanist Declaration has been modified over the years by several authors and organizations. The Transhumanist Declaration was adopted by Humanity+.



The purpose of this guide is to assist you in starting and maintaining your own transhumanist campus group, as well as in your efforts to increase student awareness of transhumanist-related issues and technologies. We understand that creating a student organization can seem like a daunting task, but this guide will provide you with advice and materials that should make this process easier. Keep in mind that every university has its own policies and processes for student groups. Furthermore, the shape and character of your student group will be determined largely by the members you have. Also keep in mind that other members of the organization will always be happy to provide you with further assistance and advice as needed.




In order to help accomplish the mission of the H+SN and its parent organization, Humanity+, you should focus your efforts on the three tasks outlined below. You can find more on each of these in other sections of the document. Create a H+SN affiliated campus club focused on transhumanism The most important thing you can do as a student advocate is to create a H+SN affiliated campus club focused on transhumanism or some aspect of it, e.g. life extension (see “Academic Working Group”). A club provides a space for discussion and the engendering of ideas. It will also provide you with volunteers who can help organize events (especially those with speakers). Establishing and running a club will assist you and the other members in their career progress, both by giving them things to add to their resumes and by facilitating their progress in involvement with things connected to their career interests. Promote discussion and awareness of topics related to transhumanism University campuses are rich grounds for creating rich discussion, cultivating interest, promoting critical thinking, and producing productive research on transhumanist topics. There are three primary ways you can accomplish this. First, holding regular meetings will allow interested students a place to discuss topics they are interested in (see Academic Working Group). Universities bring together intelligent students with diverse interests that can lead to incredibly dynamic and productive discussions. Second, you can bring in speakers whose work relates to transhumanist concerns to your campus, usually in parts of larger events or in collaboration with university departments. Speaker events spread awareness of and interest in concerns raised by emerging technologies. Often you can secure an honorarium (a payment) for your speaker via your college, which covers your speaker’s travel expenses and supplements his or her income. Third, you can provide university wide-activities, such as forums, debates, or conferences, which allow for widespread participation and exchange among students and professors. Becoming actively involved in academic, scientific, and technical communities to promote the influence of transhumanist philosophies and concerns within your fields Involvement in various professional communities in this way is important both to the progress of transhumanism and to the future careers of H+SN’s members. To the extent possible, members (especially officers) should be encouraged to bring the influence of transhumanist ideas and concerns into their selected fields of study (and later, on their professions). This is possible in a wide range of fields, especially those focusing on research, innovation, and critical thought.




H+SN follows the positions and policies articulated by Humanity+. H+SN does not have any minimum statement or codified values above and beyond those articulated by Humanity+ in the Transhumanist Declaration. For greater elaboration on transhumanist issues and ideas, we suggest people refer to the F.A.Q. section of the Humanity + website:



At present, H+SN operates with minimal transnational coordination and representation. This may change in the future, if and when capable individuals contact Humanity+ inquiring how they might assist in coordinating and representing the program. If you are interested in such a role, first gain experience organizing campus events and an officially recognized group on your campus. While gaining coordinative abilities assisting others in bringing events to their campus and running discussion meetings on behalf of the movement (and maybe also IT technical skills), hone your advocacy skills in speaking, interviewing, and writing. Serving as a H+SN coordination and advocacy leader could position you well for a related career.


It is important to keep in mind that, while Transhumanism may be a relatively new movement, there are many academic and intellectual domains in which thinkers are having similar or related discussions, or are otherwise addressing issues relevant to transhumanism. Below is a list of some areas where it may be particularly productive to join the discussion, with a few examples of work people have been doing. This list is in no way comprehensive; it only serves as an example of the scope and depth of the discussion as it now stands.

Science and Technology Studies o Science and Technology Studies (sometimes called ―Science, Technology, and Society‖) is an interdisciplinary field that brings together humanists interested in how science and technology function in (and as a) society. o Bruno Latour is one of the leading figures for the field. He has written books on the way social forces are essential in the practice of science and is known for ―Actor-Network Theory,‖ in which he suggests that even our technologies ought to be considered actors in our society (Science in Action). Critical Theory and Posthumanism o ―Critical Theory‖ is a term applied, usually in English and History department, for theoretical ideas that are helpful for analyzing cultural objects. Many of these ideas are extremely helpful for looking at transhumanist related topics. o For instance, the work of Teilhard de Chardin has often been cited as the conceptual predecessor of transhumanism. More recently, work of Gilles Delueze and Felix Guattari provide some interesting frameworks for rethinking a technological world. o Currently, transhumanism is usually mentioned in discussions about posthumanism, which has become popular among scholars of literature and cultural studies. Many leading posthumanist theorists, such as Katherine Hayles, have been outspoken critics of transhumanism but, for the most part, the two are more related than they are opposed. Other theorists of note include Donna Haraway (Cyborg Manifesto) and Cary Wolfe (What is Posthumanism?) Rhetoric of Science and Technology o Studies in the rhetoric of science look at the way that scientists communicate, the way this directs the process of science, and the relationship this communication has with public conceptions of science. o Studies in the rhetoric of technology look at how people view, understand, and talk about technology and how this relates to various social, cultural, and political practices. o For example, the work of Richard Doyle (Pennsylvania State University) examines how our conception of ―life‖ has shifted throughout the last century into what he calls the ―post-vital,‖ in which life is conceived as information. He also does work on the rhetoric of cryogenics, artificial life, and mind-alteration. -5-

Media Studies o Scholars in media studies look at the way the new medias of computers, the Internet, cell phones, and other devices are changing the way we communicate, interact, and understand the world. o Some scholars look at how this is affecting the democratic process. Cultural Anthropology/Sociology o Sherry Turkle of MIT has authored a number of books on the subject of the effects that computers have had on both society and individual’s minds. As we develop ways of linking our minds ever more closely with our computers, research of this type will become increasingly more important. Bioethics o In their books, authors John Harris and Greg Stock (among others) provide a number of arguments in favor of biological enhancements. Harris argues that such enhancements are a moral imperative, and Stock argues that they are culturally and economically inevitable. o Francis Fukuyama argues vehemently against transhumanism in his book, Our Posthuman Future, in which he attempts to make the case that enhancement will lead to the loss of what makes human life meaningful. Science Policy: focuses on issues related to the regulation of technological risk and the funding priorities for the many federal and state level science and technology initiatives. o More generally, risk management and communication has attracted a great deal of scholarship from a variety of fields. For example, Cass Sunstein’s Laws of Fear examines risk from a psychological perspective which has implications for technology policy o Many schools have centers that are highly interested in science policy issues. For example, Arizona State has a Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes. Bioart and Architecture o Bioart is a field that pushes the boundaries of both art and biology, challenging us to see life as art and art as a form of life. One outspoken bioartist is Adam Zaretsky. o Some scholars, such as Natasha Vita-More, are working on the changing conceptions of beauty, bodies, and aesthetics. o Architects like Francois Roche have begun pushing the boundaries of architecture in order to explore what might be considered a transhumanist vision of space. Philosophy and Religion o Human enhancement is not restricted solely to those with a materialist viewpoint. A religious group called the Mormon Transhumanist Association professes the belief that technology is the means by which God will enable humans to live in a happy paradisaical state.

The Transhumanist Student Network would like to provide students with opportunities to join and further these conversations while they are in an academic setting.


To be officially incorporated as a club on most campuses a group needs to have one or two documents specifying (1) what the group defines itself as representing and (2) how it will conduct its (mostly internal) business (elections, officer responsibilities, etc.). When these are separated documents they are sometimes called “defining documents” (e.g. a constitution) and “working documents” (e.g. bylaws). Think of them as your group’s tickets to reserve rooms for the campus events you want to host. As a club founder, you probably will need to adapt or create such documents to serve your group and keep the campus bureaucracy happy (either the student activities department or the student government). Our advice: first, ask your student activities department or student government for an electronic template for the defining and working documents that they accept. If they only have a printed copy, then try to write your documents such that they conform to the model in all non-specific aspects. If they don’t have any model, ask them what aspects (e.g. campus policies, format, non-negotiable officer positions) are essential to getting your documents accepted by the powers that be on campus. Then ask the group most similar to the one you want to create if you can use their documents as a template. Make your documents conform to the campus model as much as possible to ensure your efforts won’t be stalled over petty squabbles over minutia. Someone in authority might not like what they think your group represents – unusual but plausible, especially in a student government on a campus with a socially conservative streak – so leave no excuses to deny your group approval. To provide you with extra assistance, we have added a model constitution from a group that existed at Northwestern University (see the last pages of this document). However, again, we strongly recommend you create your documents to conform as closely as possible to your campus’s approved model, so adapt those documents rather than ours. The second most important consideration in creating your documents is the group name. You want a name that clearly identifies what your group represents so people can recognize it yet is not going to turn people off. Of course, you can use the word ―Transhumanist(s)‖ in your name and just socialize people to it. Or you can take a more public relations-tailored approach and call yourself ―Humanity+ at _Institution Name_.‖ You also could focus on a specific aspect of transhumanism, such as ―Life Extension,‖ but might want to mention related ideas (e.g. transhumanism) in your defining document to keep the club open to networking with institutions focused on related ideas. ―Futurist Club‖ is a bit vague, but obvious and related. ―Sci-fi/Fantasy Club‖ might be fun but is a little unrepresentative of real emerging tech. A related ―Humanist‖ club also could do transhumanist events, but you may find it hard to keep the group’s focus on -7-

transhumanist-related topics, or even include them at all. H+SN and Humanity+ reserve the right to deny affiliation with clubs that identify with or promote unacceptable things, e.g. racism. Third in importance are the officer positions you create. Start with the non-negotiable positions at your campus (e.g. President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer) and include additional useful positions that you can fill as you gain willing contributors among your group membership.



It is important to try to find and persuade the best possible candidates to serve as your advisor(s). If you can find someone who will serve in a more active capacity than in name to sign official forms, consider yourself very fortunate. If not, take whoever you can find with gratitude, as he or she is at least lending you his or her name and support. To find the best advisors or at least ones who will accept you, look in departments related to significant emerging technologies and thought about such technologies, especially in the sciences and humanities. Some of the disciplines likeliest to have a faculty member who would sponsor a transhumanist-themed club include philosophy, economics, sociology, art, business, biotechnology, biology, any of the subjects covered by interdisciplinary cognitive science (psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, philosophy of mind, anthropology, linguistics, education and learning sciences), information technology, computer science, nanotechnology, physics, any science professors and any liberal arts professors in committees on social theory or other relevant topics including history. The U.S. Government funds research at the convergence of nanotech-biotech-info tech-cog science (the NBIC convergence initiative – dealing with ―converging technologies to improve human performance‖), so try to contact anyone on your campus who may be receiving such funding as they will probably not shy away from associating themselves with a transhumanist club. Be sure to ask your prospective advisors if they would be interested in creating an academic-focused working group that might host events through their department, as long as you would be interested in leading such a group. That might appeal to them more than a general club even though it might require a bit more intellectual work. On some campuses staff members can serve as advisors as well as faculty, so keep them in mind as well if you can’t find willing faculty members. It is ideal to have more than one advisor as a back-up sponsor. The best way to go about asking faculty to be your advisor is to start with professors you or your initial officers know who might support your group’s theme. Ask them in person. Next, do a keyword search on Google with your college’s name and transhumanist-related words to see if any faculty member’s names pop up (also try your college’s website). Ask those people in person. Then, write a brief, informative, friendly E-mail to the faculty of one of the abovementioned departments describing the basic theme of your group in ways they can readily understand and asking if any of them would be willing to serve as an advisor to your club. Mention that you have minimal workload expectations. Also, suggest the idea of creating an academic working group if that is of interest to an advisor, as long as you would be willing to do -8-

the extra work of leading one (that might attract someone who wouldn’t be interested in a traditional student club). Change the E-mail title and heading for each department you ask (use the member’s individual public E-mail addresses). If you have asked members of every department and no one sent a positive response, ask classified staff. If no one on your campus is willing to sponsor your group, save yourself the aggravation of being unable to effectively advertise your group and host events and instead join a related club or organization with your friends and use it to deliver transhumanist presentations, serve in a leadership position (which is good experience and good for your resume) and possibly even bring a transhumanist-related speaker to your campus. However active your advisor(s) is, remember that the student leaders of the club (especially the President) bear ultimate responsibility for practically everything related to it and ought to shoulder as most of the load of the work related to the club. Keep your advisor happy and show your appreciation for everything they do.



The first place to look for initial officers for your group is among your friends on campus. Some advantages of adding friends to your officer roster is that you already get along with them, they probably agree with you on the general purpose and form of the club you want to create, and although most work will fall on the Founder and President, they usually can be expected to pull their own weight (unless they agree ―in name only,‖ which is better than nothing and a bare minimum necessity). A disadvantage to including only friends among the officers is that without conscious effort to overcome it your collective leadership may be a little insular and have trouble making others feel included, especially people earlier in their college experience who might carry on the club existence after you graduate. Try to be open to including people from among your initial recruits in leadership positions, as you should try to give everyone willing some formal officer role to empower them and create a stronger sense of belonging in your group than in other groups. Another disadvantage of only including close friends in officer positions is that if you think alike in many ways, you may share the same ―blind spots‖ and be unaware of important problems, as well as possibly lack as diverse an array of capabilities to effectively solve some problems your group faces. Whenever you have the luxury of time, try to gather the perspectives and ideas of others in your group, non-leaders included, before deciding on a course of action. Once you have officers, or in the process of collecting officers, you will need to do initial "outreach" to attract members to your group. Building your membership is hardest early on but that also is the most critical time to build it. First, create a website and E-mail list. This will allow people to access information about your group 24/7 online and enable you to target all your club announcements to the most receptive audience first (descriptions of public events and weekly discussion topics). On your website main -9-

page create a brief description of the who, what, why, and how (who and what your group represents, its purpose and how it aims to accomplish it), when and where (regular meeting place and time), and ―so what?‖ (why people should join). You should summarize what your group represents in a brief introductory sentence or phrase (e.g. ―Humanity+ at College Name is a club that explores the potential of emerging technologies to expand the capabilities of human beings.‖). In the past Yahoo! Groups has worked very well as an organizing list with a "search-able" URL and brief group description field. You might want to set one up initially even if you only use it temporarily before switching to a school listserve and more professional website (assuming those are not readily available). You will need to set up a Yahoo! profile to be an effective group owner and moderator. Again, immediately ask all your friends, and ask them to ask friends in their network, if any of them would like to be members of your group, even if they aren't interested in serving as an officer. Try to collect as many names and E-mail addresses as possible as early as possible for your group list. A crowd helps attract a crowd but five or fewer members on a Yahoo! group list (where your group number is visible) will tend to look ―lonely.‖ Pass around several paper "information sign-up sheets" you and your officers carry with you everywhere that have a column for names and a column for E-mails. At the top add your name and E-mail so people can contact you. You then can add the E-mails you collect to your announcement list (separate from any campus discussion list you may set up) so that those receptive people will always have access to meeting and event information. They can tell you if and when they want to be removed from the list (in which case it always is good to E-mail something like "Sorry to see you go, please let me know if there is anything about the group we could improve" to gather potentially useful information). Get your website and its linked announcement list to become linked from the campus website (usually in the "student activities" / "clubs and organizations" section) as soon as possible so that you collect new members online. At least get your group's contact information posted there. At this point you and your officers should reach agreement on a (discussion/planning) meeting day and time that you all can attend which should be convenient for most people on campus. If it isn't an academic working group, that generally means it will take place on a weekday in the late afternoon or evening after most classes are out (at commuter campuses the best time may be at lunch or in the early afternoon). Once you have found a good time, try to stick with it all year, at least for general discussion meetings. Start with the best location you can find but be open to moving to a better one once you become officially recognized by your college and can reserve a room. Read the sections of this guide on running meetings before you host your first meeting. Now advertise your group, its website, and its meeting time/day/location like crazy. If your campus allows you to post fliers with that information (and an attractive, eye-catching picture) before you have official approval as a recognized club, do so. If not, you might be able to get - 10 -

around the limitation initially by writing out that information in chalk in several heavily trafficked areas, if your campus allows "chalking" (be considerate and do it where the rain will wash it away). Posters also would be nice, but are most likely to require approval. If you have a faculty adviser - or any faculty members who seemed receptive to your group proposal - ask them if they would be willing to make an announcement about your group's existence, website and meeting day/time/place at the end of their classes. If you are lucky, some faculty members may announce your group to their classes once every academic term. An alternative way of doing this is for you to be invited to speak to one or more class for a minute (usually at the end of the class), like a candidate for a student political office. It has the advantage of introducing you in person (with your info sign-up sheets!) but of course you can't personally attend many classes. Also ask leaders of related clubs and organizations on campus if you can deliver a brief announcement of the formation of your club and its meeting time and place. You won’t get new leaders from other clubs, generally, but you may get new members or at least people on your announcement list who may attend your events, as well as mention the group to people in their friend networks. As soon as you have the opportunity (usually after getting official recognition as a campus group) start staffing information tables with your information sign-up sheets (always), materials printed out from relevant websites, and a list of possible discussion and event topics. If you have relevant books or materials sent by Humanity+ and related organizations, include those on your information table for people to look at or take with them (especially any fliers, pamphlets, buttons, stickers, or pens). Try to have at least two people staffing the information table at all times to avoid looking lonely. Information tables are especially important at student activities fairs at the start of the year (and sometimes the start of each academic period) as well as at the events you hold. Finally, after all the above efforts are underway, and either before or after your group becomes officially recognized, you might consider writing an editorial to the campus newspaper announcing the creation of your group and commenting intelligently on any relevant activities or events on your campus (e.g. things favorably related to what your group represents; or if you are very careful, some things opposed to what your group represents - but try to stay positive to attract people). If and when you feel prepared for the challenge, you also could appear on a transhumanist-friendly college radio program (which may reach a receptive audience), but unless the program theme dovetails well with the focus of your group you may not attract many members through it. You also may want to wait until your group is better established to appear on live radio in order to be able to reference more things you (as a leader) have done and your group has done.

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Notice all active members who will be on campus at least the following year and try to give them officer responsibilities before another campus group recruits them into its officer core. Start new leaders on non-critical tasks and gradually work up to critical ones that train them to run the group. Try to persuade at least a president and ideally people for the other critical officer positions to take over the year before you and the other officers graduate so that you are available to counsel (not direct) the new leaders. Retaining the same advisor(s) can be very helpful in this process if they take an active role. Usually groups fall apart after the founder graduates but if you manage to pull off a successful transition your group can continue bringing events to your campus and holding discussion meetings that attract a core network after you have moved on to your career or to another campus. Balance support and helpful advice with space for new leaders to make (hopefully non-critical) mistakes they can learn from, always praise them publically for good work, and never embarrass or chastise them in front of other members. The goal should be to help them feel empowered and develop a strong sense of ownership of the group – which applies to all active members but especially new leaders.

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Some campus groups, like the Stanford Transhumanist Association, choose to operate as a working group. The aim of the working group is to spread awareness of transhumanist

ideas while researching and analyzing the topics in an academic format.

STA founder and President Michael Yin Jin, who with co-leader Yonah Berwaldt brought the second SIAI Singularity Summit to Stanford University (2006):

―I have two, not mutually exclusive, suggestions for organizing one: 1) The first and more structured way is to plan a class. At Stanford for instance, there is a student-initiated course option. 2) The second way is to directly organize public lectures on transhumanist topics. Here there is not much of a sense of who are club members unless the lectures have a returning audience (even if it tends to be a small group). [See the section on information tables.] In the second case, a working group should build as large a returning audience as possible. It should also maintain a smaller planning committee, which should become a sort of group within a group. This planning group will have the really dedicated members, usually transhumanists. In addition to the planning committee, there should be a group of geographically distributed volunteers for handling flyering for instance. Some ideas I have for working group activities are: 1) Panel discussions - Easiest thing here would be to get local professors. This is a good way to get in a lot of audience participation. 2) Big name speakers - Piggybacking is very effective and cuts costs. If the speaker is already in the area for another conference, they probably would speak for a student group at low prices. If the speaker is a transhumanist, he or she might do it for free! [*Of course, you should always try to collect an honorarium (a payment) for your speaker– through either departments, the student activities office, or other sources.] 3) Authors - Coordinating with the campus bookstore can help.

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4) Debates - When done well they are very effective. It takes some skill to find the right pairings and getting the speakers to clash effectively. Probably for more experienced event planners. In general, I think collaboration really helps, especially for new groups. Reach out to humanist groups, student think tanks (like Roosevelt Institution), and science magazines especially.‖
Remember, if you want your group to last, be sure to advertise effectively! Similar considerations apply in establishing a working group as in founding a club, so be sure to read the sections on organizing a general club. Some differences you might encounter in working groups: More academic orientation (which, depending on your temperament, may not be unwelcome). A good working group is intellectually challenging. While this beats a truly lame general meeting any day, realize that it also demands extra preparation time and leader discipline.  Expect a more disciplined schedule with more adviser influence to ensure quality presentation content.  Possibly a smaller active member size. Ten people plus an adviser is very healthy, but remember you need to find and bring in ―newbies‖ to compensate for the students who are graduating.  A working group may be a long-term commitment for several professors and researchers, so it will be a greater commitment than a club, but hopefully compensated by a greater return in focused, serious discussion. If the topics are of interest to the professors, they may be more excited about the opportunity to engage in serious exploration with committed students and interested colleagues.



Meeting every two weeks makes sense for a working group – it gives people time to read materials and prepare PowerPoint slides for the next topic. Remember, the student organizers (and to a lesser extent the adviser) have to come up with reading materials. Find the best time for the advisers and officers and stick to it the whole year (make adjustments only if absolutely necessary). Have your first meeting within the first or second week of the autumn quarter – after having an info-sign up table present at the new student activities day [with a list requesting names and E-mails – see information tables].

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In a single academic period, you will only meet four times, maybe even three. When taking on a large topic, like ―fundamentals of evolutionary psychology,‖ you may need two meetings to cover what you want to discuss.



Every meeting should cover a certain subject and someone should give a presentation (typically PowerPoint presentations – which can be posted on your website) on that subject before open discussion. Try to give everyone who wants the opportunity to give a presentation, but insist they prepare far in advance and ask the person to be ready or nearly so by the meeting two weeks before – you really don’t want a meeting to fall apart on you (members may lose interest in your group). You can choose the length of the presentations and discussions, but it is suggested the presentations not last much longer than 10 minutes – 20 at the absolute maximum. Official discussion and debate can ensue for the next 40-50 minutes. If people want to carry on conversations over a meal, or on your web list, they have that option, but you can usually only reserve a room space for a limited time. Lastly, do try to make meetings fun in addition to being informative and thought provoking. We encourage you to make use of the materials compiled by the STA (with attribution):



You can join the discussion on the SoCal DIYBIO Google Groups. Website is located at This group was inspired by the DIY science and the Hackerspace movement. (2) OPENMANUFACTURING GROUPS.

You can join the Open Manufacturing group at Google Groups at (3) H+ LAB: HUMAN ENHANCEMENT GROUP.

H+ Lab discussed human enhancement technology of new media art, design and science as methods for expanding human capabilities. Technologies discussed are Nanomedicine,

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Biotechnology, AGI, and neuroscience. Practice areas include DIYBio hackers. You can join Hplus-human-enhancement-lab at

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Regular meetings for discussion of ideas are the social glue that holds most groups together, even when the group is primarily focused on something other than intellectual dialog, like political activism. Group discussions give members the chance to share their own perspectives on ideas and events with a receptive audience. They also generate intellectual bonds between members, in addition to any other bonding activities a group may facilitate (e.g. nights out, parties, road trips, retreats). Discussion meetings are vital to attracting and retaining new members and persuading some to take on officer roles, whether you are just starting your club or annually regenerating your membership and appealing to uncommitted freshmen to participate in your club more than others. Good discussion meetings help you maintain an active group and get people to assist in promoting and staffing events. For most groups, one discussion meeting per week is optimal to maintaining an active membership and discouraging active members from devoting their scarce time resources to serving as officers for other clubs instead of yours (most people can only hold at most two officer positions at a time in separate clubs or organizations, and one gets more of their attention than the other). If the school year is nine months long, minus breaks and finals weeks, that should result in around thirty weekly one-hour discussion meetings per year (unless you are running an ―academic working group‖ that meets monthly or bi-weekly – see the earlier section under that title). To repeat critical paragraph from the group formation section, at the start of each year or at the formation of your club, you and your officers should reach agreement on a discussion meeting day and time that you all can attend which should be convenient for most people on campus. If it isn't an academic working group, that generally means it will take place on a weekday in the late afternoon or evening after most classes are out (at commuter campuses the best time may be at lunch or in the early afternoon). Once you have found a good time, try to stick with it all year, at least for general discussion meetings. Start with the best location you can find but be open to moving to a better one once you become officially recognized by your college and can reserve a room. If your group is not an academic working group you don’t need to worry much about rigorous preparation for every discussion, just do a little research to have information pertinent to some of your open-ended discussion questions. However, you should try to make every discussion focused on a specific topic with some relevant questions for the group to explore. Try to make the topics reasonable thin slices of the broad transhumanist theme, or specific topics in a particular area of transhumanism, so that you have plenty of material to last throughout the year. Few things kill a campus group capable of hosting events faster than having a few completely unstructured discussions where all attendees briefly talk about everything of greatest - 17 -

interest to them on the general theme of the club and then run out of topics they want to discuss. Budget your group members’ topics of greatest interest over the course of whole year and address each topic in depth. That doesn’t mean people aren’t allowed to touch on their topics of greatest interest in meetings devoted to a different topic, but it should be understood that most dialog should be on the topic reserved for that particular discussion meeting, at least until all the group questions have been addressed and everyone feels satisfied that they have expressed their thoughts on the matter. If discussion veers far off track you (as a leader) should gently remind everyone of the topic of the meeting and ask them to wrap up their comments on the tangent and get back to it. The best way to determine topics is for the group leader(s) (it should be assumed that the club President will do the work even, or rather especially, when no one else does) to start the group or start the school term with several specific discussion topics and associated questions to ponder to last a number of meetings (eight or more narrowly defined topics is a healthy start). The meeting topic and discussion questions should be posted on the group list at the start of each week to attract anyone who is interested in the topic. To find sources from which you can generate questions, just do a Google search on the topic terms (or base the discussion on an article). At the first meeting, gather specific proposals for future meetings from the attendees. Ask whether any of the proposers would be willing to develop open-ended questions for their favored discussion topic and what their preferred date for the discussion would be (one they can commit to attending). Try to involve everyone who shows interest, especially freshmen and officers. If you think a topic may be unappealing or offensive take a vote at the meeting on whether or not to accept it, maybe with modification. There are no ―sacred cows‖ – idols offlimits to questioning and critique – so take advantage of the opportunity to examine biases and justifications from all sides of an issue or debate and see whether the topic might be helpfully reframed or reinterpreted. The President or VP usually moderates the discussion regardless of who develops the questions for the sake of quality control (just try to give everyone a fair chance to speak without monopolizing the discussion). Since you will obtain the topic questions by the beginning of the week of a discussion, you should be able to stick to the discussion you advertise on your list even if the person who proposed it can’t attend. Of course, you always have the discussion topics you created to fall back on (having a spare presentation ready also wouldn’t be a bad idea in an academic working group, if that can be managed). Sharing the discussion stage with all active members creates a sense of ownership of the group, which translates into deeper investment in its success and willingness to help with the workload. Last, save a list of all your discussion topics with your questions and sources. The following year you or the next leader can use some of them if there is interest in covering them again (maybe with different questions) or borrow sources for a different set of talks. After a couple years it should be much easier to generate discussion meeting topics. Here some examples of discussion topics and questions to begin creating before the start of the semester (a long versions, your ones can be shorter):

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Morphological Freedom Morphological freedom means "the ability to alter bodily form at will through technologies such as surgery, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, uploading". (Max More 1993) Does anyone disagree that humans, transhumans, posthumans and newly developed persons ought to have the right to modify his/her body, cognition, perceptions and senses through the beneficial and ethical use of technology?  Does anyone disagree with Anders Sandberg’s flow chart of the sources of justification for morphological freedom? How might you change it?  Does morphological freedom threaten diversity or will it enhance it? Are More’s and Sandberg’s unique arguments that cultural diversity and widespread availability will overcome threats to diversity?  Is morphological freedom as a negative right (generally, others can’t prevent it but they don’t need to support it) also an effective protection against coercive biomedical policies?  Are the freedom to transform one’s morphology and bodily self-ownership supra-political ―natural rights‖ or historically contingent conventions that may be undermined by a new convention of morphological freedom as a natural right? Would viewing it as a natural right privilege some constituencies over others and if so how?  Does mere emphasis on medical intervention threaten acceptance of diversity (e.g. bias powers that be to pressure consent to remedial or augmentative therapies)? Is the separation of a baseline health standard for everyone and privatized augmented health standards for those with means a fair, or fair enough, system?  What kinds of consent are under duress? What is insufficient information? What conditions make for full consent? How plausible is it that under-informed consent under duress would ―underwrite authoritarian moralists with unprecedented technological powers at their disposal who would impose their parochial perspectives on a planetary scale‖ and why? Sources: Wiki: (See cognitive, physical, and psychological transformation sections) Max More: Technological Self-Transformation: Expanding Personal Extropy Anders Sandburg: Morphological Freedom: Why We not just Want it, but Need it Abolitionism – “an ethical ideology based upon a perceived obligation to use technology to eliminate involuntary suffering in all sentient life” [1]  Thoughts on this description? ―Abolitionists promote a rational/scientific approach towards minimizing suffering and maximizing happiness as the ethical directive for humanity. Abolitionists believe that biotechnology can and should be used to eradicate suffering and make us better humans. We believe life and suffering are not inseparable instead, we see suffering as an undesirable quirk of organisms evolved by natural - 19 

selection. The neurological pathways of suffering have evolved because they served the inclusive fitness of our genes in the ancestral environment. Although, at present, suffering can be useful to us, as well as to our genes, we do not think this will always need to be the case.‖  There currently is functional value to suffering, e.g. physical harm prevention or harm minimization, social cohesion via shame or shared emotions in grief over a loss, arguably even benefits from very cognitive suffering like boredom that redirects attention in potentially more productive ways. Try to add more examples to that list and then try to imagine how the functions might be fulfilled without the experience of suffering, recognizing the utility of having physiological, emotional (apparently necessary for motivation based on research), and cognitive features of a mind.  Buddhists claim that suffering is at root caused by desire, and by snuffing out the flame of desire one can cease suffering. That is a cognitive-emotional approach without technological intervention to change pain-related physiology (and create different automatic physical harm avoidance mechanisms). Will we never be free of suffering as long as we have desires, up to and including the desire to continue living indefinitely? Can we imagine a functioning world without desire, or at least many kinds of desire? Would the total absence of desire potentially result in absence of perceived value, in nihilism? Can we accomplish worthwhile things if we have no perceived basis for worth? What about transhumanist projects? Or have we gotten on the wrong track in this discussion, and why? Maybe the philosopher David Pierce is right when he said on Facebook, ―IMO we should aim to maximize the cosmic abundance of subjectively valuable states. Heaven really is more valuable than Hell.‖  What empirical research and current or near-horizon technologies does anyone know of related to abolitionism?  Is there any intrinsic value to suffering? If so, what might it be and how do we make the distinction between valuable forms and forms that are not valuable? If not, why not, and why do many people think otherwise (and how does their thinking err)? Source: [1] The Abolitionist Society (archived from the original site 2006-11-04, Wikipedia) The Abolitionist Society: Toward the abolition of suffering through science Article: “True Transhumanism” by Max More Any thoughts on the following comments More wrote? ―Critics’ misconceptions are legion, but here I will focus on those found in Ihde’s paper. I declare that:  Transhumanism is about continual improvement, not perfection or paradise.  Transhumanism is about improving nature’s mindless “design”, not guaranteeing perfect technological solutions.  Transhumanism is about morphological freedom, not mechanizing the body.  Transhumanism is about trying to shape fundamentally better futures, not predicting specific futures. - 20 -

Transhumanism is about critical rationalism, not omniscient reason. Can you think of any prospective technologies discussed in futurist circles that seem like they may forever remain fantasy? What are they and why (e.g. perhaps some hard-takeoff perspectives on the singularity)? What technologies are considered fantasy by most people but seem to contradict no physical laws (e.g. cryonics)? What would be the obstacles to overcome in order to make them work and when would you guess such obstacles might be surmounted?  How would you conceive ―extropias‖ of continual improvement to differ from ―utopias‖ of static perfection in format and implementation? How might order be maintained in the former case, as capacities are radically enhanced and older forms of control may become ineffective and perhaps less desirable because they are less needed (but why and how)?  ―Technology-in-use can differ drastically from technology-as-designed.‖ The example given is the start of the Internet as a tool for particle physicists at the start of the 1990s. How might we improve our abilities to foresee negative outcomes of technological development as well as positive ones, as More mentions? What seems feasible with general forecasting as opposed to pinpoint prediction?  Can someone research and explain the methods More discusses toward the end of the paper for analyzing the future with different levels of uncertainty? Let me know if you will. (E.g., net present value; scenario planning, game theory, decision-tree real-options valuation; system dynamics models; and at the highest level of uncertainly, analogies and reference cases along with resilient strategies and designs) Source: Max More: True Transhumanism (Global Spiral – February, 2009) Article: “Bringing Arts/Science and Design into the discussion of Transhumanism” by Natasha Vita-More  Why would designers be compelled to enhance human physiology? Is there potential for human enhancement projects in gaming, virtual reality, biological art and wearable technologies?  How could human enhancement influence and/or impact traditional notions of the classical human form?  Are ancient myths responsible for the narratives, which foster interest in immortality in the films and literature?  Katherine N. Hayles wrote about posthumans as disembodied humans. Is she right or wrong? How does her view differ from the transhumanist perspective on the posthuman as an upload or whole brain emulation?  How does the transhuman differ from the cyborg? Donna Haraway’s vision of the cyborg is far from Manfred Clynes vision of the cyborg. Is there a correlation between Clynes vision and the transhumanist vision of the future human?  Design is the ―process of taking something from its existing state and moving it to a preferred state.‖ By this definition, how is design important to transhumanism?

 

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Personal identity and continuity (Parfit) are issues of prolonging personhood. How will human identity continue over time in an enhanced body or non-body?  How are Computer-generated works, including robotics, AI, and virtuality, as well as biological arts in altering cell structures, signifying the developing artistic field of human enhancement? Source; Natasha Vita-More: Bringing Arts/Sciences and Design into the Discussion of Transhumanism (Global Spiral – February 2009). Natasha Vita-More: Bringing Arts/Sciences and Design into the Discussion of Transhumanism (H+ Transhumanism and Its Critics. (Eds.) William Grassie and Gregory Hansell. Metanexus Publishing. 2010). Article: “Problems of Transhumanism: Liberal Democracy vs. Technocratic Absolutism” by James Hughes  Can the transhumanist movement accomplish more toward achieving its aims by winning over powerful elites rather than winning popular support? Clearly that would depend on what aims one’s (legitimate) version of transhumanism happened to be and how well those might be served or undermined by routes that bypassed winning popular support – which even if it is central arguably would be a very long, expensive, time- and effortconsuming process. But do we risk losing much more by neglecting the struggle to win popular support for transhumanist aims? Is not an all-or-nothing question? What general values and heuristics (or even methods of ethical calculus) come into play when judging the relative merits of an elite vs. a popular approach to realizing much of the transhumanist agenda?  Is the designation of ―libertarian transhumanist‖ (as contrasted with ―democratic transhumanist‖) a fair one? Self-identifications may differ from that, so a different emphasis could be ―market-primacy‖ and ―political-primacy‖ transhumanists. Both libertarian and democratic transhumanists (and most transhumanists) would be considered ―civil libertarians‖ and they favor the market of ideas over legislation when it comes to social values. Of course, a singleton of one sort or another might not respect civil liberties and primacy of a market of ideas.  Could there ever be a compelling justification for a non-democratic order (e.g. Coherent Extrapolated Volition if the likely alternative is species extermination by ―unfriendly‖ superintelligent artificial general intelligence). What do you think about the SIAI CEV proposal? What about a singleton world government? What if it was a representative democracy? Might there ever be a viable post-scarcity anarchist model sustained by distributed manufacturing and mutualist currencies?  Are the premises for arguments on behalf of liberal democracy for the foreseeable future that Hughes mentions compelling ones relative to the arguments for various kinds of technocracy or absence of representative democracy? What is your perspective about the relevance of technoprogressivism in relation to the radical technological changes being considered? Could it become obsolete, and if so how? Or are arguments to that effect merely expressions of already present conservative (or totalitarian, or market- 22 -

fundamentalist) politics that make use of technological change (often unconsciously) as a convenient excuse to crush political freedoms and fair representation of people’s perceived needs and wants? Source: James Hughes: Problems of Transhumanism: Liberal Democracy vs. Technocratic Absolutism (Ethical Technology – January 23, 2010) “Transhumanist Roadmap” (Discussion 1 of a Series) by Bryan Bishop  Enter ―technical‖ discussion. Source:



Pre-meeting discussion questions are a starting point for dialog, something that prepares the minds of some of your participants before the meeting, something that you can turn to in lulls the conversation, and something that helps your discussion cover much of the topic instead of fixating on a specific component (or the views of one or two participants, yourself included). Try to see that everyone gets a chance to comment and welcome new questions in the midst of the discussion. The pre-meeting questions list should be very helpful to your group but there is no law that you must cover all of the questions in the available time of approximately an hour or slightly longer or that all participants must have looked at the source articles. Leave people wanting more, or let them follow up on a group discussion list (separate from your announcement list). The most important thing is to try to see that everyone enjoys the discussion because if it isn’t fun most people won’t want to do it. Holding occasional joint discussions with another group are a way to advertise your group to members of a related club or attract outside attention (e.g. campus media) if the club you share a discussion with advocates a very different position on some important topic. A good format for a compatible group is to just form one large group moderated by the Presidents for the discussion of that day’s topic to suggest co-identification among members. Shared identification can be useful if your club wants to build a small coalition behind specific political advocacy, e.g. for rights of the deceased in your state to cryogenically preserve their bodies, and your club should touch on all major points of agreement with its potential coalition partner. In the case of a joint discussion with a group advocating things that diverge from those your group advocates, the best format is to have two well-spoken advocates from each club engage in a brief formal presentation and debate (giving each speaker equal time) then open up the discussion to audience questions and comments. In either case, your group is educating people outside of it about its positions and justifications but while the first type is a bonding exercise the second is mostly for (hopefully good-natured and respectful) intellectual entertainment. See the section on debates if you are holding one. - 23 -



The easiest and best way to organize most planning meetings is to (very briefly) summarize topics that need to be addressed at the start of the discussion meeting and then return to those topics at the close of the formal discussion (after about an hour –leaving people wanting more). The advantage of taking care of most club business this way is that it is transparent to the active membership and it is easier to recruit active members to contribute to their own club’s promotional and event-related needs. If you think that more business needs to be handled than can be added on to the discussion meeting, e.g. planning detailed preparations for a big event, bias toward holding a task-focused ―special committee meeting‖ of officers and willing active members at a time mutually convenient for all or at least most (the President or VP always should be in attendance) instead of splitting off the officers alone, as you will get more people involved in leadership of the club that way, and thereby more assistance (especially by potential officers). Buying food like a pizza and soda for the group to consume during a planning meeting can make the activity more enjoyable and increase the committee’s stamina, if necessary (but if it’s not made fun, no one will want to do it).



In regular meetings a presentation is a more labor-intensive variation on the usual club discussion. Alternatively, you might give a presentation at a one-day summit or weekend conference. We don’t have advice to impart on the topic at this time, but search for and make use of online tutorials on the subject of ―speech tips‖ and ―power point tips.‖



Beyond holding meetings and public events, your club can have a positive impact on campus or in the surrounding community through group projects. There are a wide array of projects a student group can take on, and some projects are ambitious enough to be turned into ongoing programs or even things like physical labs. For any really ambitious or long-term project it is wise to attempt to try to find leaders among long-term residents of the campus (e.g. advisors) and among residents of the surrounding community. Project management can become very complex and highly adaptive to feedback, but what follows are a few simple heuristics to help guide any project, especially for people who never have organized a project before.

(1) S.M.A.R.T. Goals. There are a number of words employed to fill this acronym (see the Wikipedia article), but some of the most useful are Specific, Measurable, Attainable (Action-oriented), Relevant (Realistic), and Time-bound (Timely). After generating ideas without - 24 -

criticism, ask whether the goal served by any possible project, and the goals of subcomponents of a chosen project, meet the criteria of SMART goals. If they don't, you can try to salvage them by modifying your goals and project, e.g. narrow its scope or create measurable standards of success, or you can drop the goal or project in favor of a more actionable one.

(2) S.P.A.R.K.!. It is helpful in starting any project to take account of the project's necessary Size, Procedures, Accountability, Resources, and Knowledge. What scale is needed and what can you support? What procedures do you need to establish to see the project through – possibly under different leadership over time? Who is accountable for what? What resources do you have and what resources do you need to have to see the project through (including how you will get the required resources)? Finally, what knowledge is needed for the project to be completed and where can you find it or who possesses it?

(3) Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Finally, general stages of development of projects, programs, and organizations can be summed up as ―forming, storming, norming, and performing.‖ The forming stage requires creating the organizing structures and networks from which the project or organization will emerge, including initial plans or defining and operating documents, itineraries of resources needed and plans to acquire them (or get the money to acquire them), and the group of project collaborators or organization co-founders committed to realizing their vision. The storming stage possibly is the most labor-intensive stage in which organization founders aggressively promote their group and start conducting group business and project leaders acquire resources for their projects and do the work of actualizing their ideas. The norming stage is when group business (and promotion) becomes routinized and projects turn into ongoing programs if they don't end upon the attainment of a given set of objectives. The goal should be to create an organization or program that can be run by successors to the founders (keeping records for institutional memory is a good practice to assist new leaders and team members). The performing stage is the long-term progress and fluctuating performance of an organization or program in which cycles of forming, storming, and norming take place. The last stage is concerned with maintaining and improving relevant programs and organizations.

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In addition to informing people about perspectives associated with your group’s themes, speeches and similar events are a campus group’s primary means of outreach – attracting people from outside the group to it. You should try to create at least one significant event on your campus per academic term (at least two per year if at all possible). Always have an information table at your events and mention it in the introduction to your speaker(s) (if a speaker has a book, CD, or DVD, you also can mention you are selling it at your information table; try to coordinate with the campus bookstore to carry a speaker’s book as well). The critical component of any information table is the information sign-up sheets (see Recruiting Initial Leadership and Membership), which helps induce people to become group meeting attendees and potentially group members. Additionally, include printed material from relevant websites, a list of possible discussion and event topics, and any relevant books or materials sent by Humanity+ and related information and items to sell or give away (fliers, pamphlets, buttons, stickers, or pens). Always try to staff an information table with at least two people, which can make the group look more populous and attractive.



Beyond especially large group discussions, the simplest large-scale events are single speeches. If your advisor or another professor at your college is willing to deliver a speech relevant to your group’s themes, that could cut down considerably on the costs associated with travel and lodging (regardless, always try to secure an honorarium or payment for the speech from your school). Generally though, unless the professor or local area speaker is famous or well known and loved on campus, you can expect a small turn-out for such events (a larger turnout might be expected of a panel discussion involving several campus professors). A speech given by a student can only be expected to attract an audience the size of a regular discussion meeting or two, unless it is part of a larger event. Beyond professors on your campus or capable speakers in the local transhumanist group in your city, you should consider higher-profile people who can speak to a theme of interest. The best speech topics are provocative and controversial as those are most likely to attract the attention of people outside your group including media. Use your preferred topic themes to narrow down your list of prospective speakers, then contact speakers starting with the one you are most interested in bringing to your campus. Tell the speaker what theme(s) you would like to hear and ask her what topics she has prepared or could have prepared by a given date. Hopefully, you can find a mutually agreeable topic – try to be open to a different one than you originally intended. Now you need to make arrangements with your speaker and campus bureaucracy (most likely your student activities department or student government). Ask what the procedure is to bring a speaker to campus and initiate the process as early as possible; it may take three months to - 26 -

negotiate the speaker’s honorarium (and possibly flight and accommodations) and any other event-related grants, get bureaucratic approval for expenses, and reserve the space you want – and then you need a couple weeks to promote it. Stay in touch with the speaker throughout the process and be sure to ask her whether she wants anything additional about two weeks prior to the event. Generally, you will bring a speaker to campus through your club (or as a joint venture with another club, splitting the expense and workload – especially helpful if the event has outof-pocket costs) but you also may bring a speaker to campus through an academic department, especially if you run an academic working group. In the latter case, much of the arrangements with campus bureaucracy may be handled by your faculty advisor. Some speakers have public relations professionals you will need to work with to host the event. Allow them to take the lead and try to meet their requests. Also, be sure to thank them by their company name at the event (you might also include their business cards on the information table), as that is an opportunity for them to promote their services. Also, it often is cheaper for you to ―piggyback‖ big-name speakers at your engagement when they already are speaking at a nearby location. Some transhumanist speakers may even appear for free, but always try to secure an honorarium regardless of such willingness. Choose an event location that is on or near campus and has all the features needed, e.g. hopefully adequate but not excessive seating capacity, which could make it look like there is no audience, along with required media presentation tools like projection screens. Never hold an event breaks, finals week, midterms, or campus celebration weeks due to low expected turnout. The evening is the best time to hold events, starting after people are out of work and school and have eaten but ending before they need to go to bed (e.g. starting 6:30 to 8:00, ending 7:30 to 9:30). Try to keep the event free to attendees and get money from other sources. Have your faculty advisor or your President or Vice President deliver the speaker introduction. Ask the speaker at least a couple weeks beforehand how they want to be introduced, getting all relevant credentials, books they have authored, etc. At the end of the speech announce there will be 10, 15, or 20 minutes for questions and answers. At the end of that time announce there will be time for a last question and then thank the speaker for coming to your campus.



Panel Discussions involve more than two speakers sharing a stage and answering questions from a moderator, adding additional comments where appropriate. To minimize booking hassles it would be easiest to persuade campus professors to take part in addressing some controversial, provocative issue. Try to gather people with distinct sets of views on the topic, as conflicting (informed) opinions make for a more entertaining event. Pick a professional discussion moderator who can balance speaking time for the discussants impartially, whether or not she is personally biased on any of the issues addressed. Consider asking your club advisor to moderate - 27 -

(you might decide to allow the moderator to express opinions as long as she is fair to those with differing ones). Panel discussions are a good opportunity to encourage audience participation in asking questions of the panel and making comments.



Debates can be a bit complicated to arrange because in addition to booking two qualified debaters you need to get mutual agreement on the topic and question(s) as well as the format and rules, and you need to effectively match the speakers by skill and experience (at least your favored side should be as capable and prepared as the other, but it is no fun for the audience to watch a straw man opponent get defeated; typically, local professors are outmatched by professional debaters). Other campus outreach organizations have whole kits on setting up and managing debates, as well as lists of debaters and subjects they are prepared to debate. Maybe we will have that too someday. For now, don’t jump into a debate format before you have experience coordinating speeches and take any guidance you can get from experienced debaters on how to set up a successful event.



A one-day summit or a weekend conference is a significant undertaking, but with support from the major organization it serves, former conference organizers in such organization’s network, and locally based organizations or groups, as well as, if it can be arranged, one or more academic department at your institution (generally, you will need at least one faculty member to coordinate that), they are feasible to host (and they make an excellent utilization of your academic institution while you are attending it). You will need at least one and possibly more event spaces, dining and lodging for attendees, and possibly compensation for big-name speakers (and again, you may need to work with their public relations professionals). It would be wise to make such an event the exclusive focus of an academic term, aside from discussion and planning meetings to avoid over-burdening your group leaders. You should try to make the event free for students who help organize and staff it, as well as for any early volunteers who do the same. The event also should be free for any of its speakers. Needless to say, conferences are an excellent opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and garner major media coverage.

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Advertising events is best undertaken as a group activity, as you can reach more people in less time that way. While one person (often the President) will create and possibly print the flyers, all active group members should be encouraged to help distribute the advertising materials. The labor can be made more fun by working across the campus as a group to hit most of the advertising locations and then meeting somewhere afterward as a reward for the work.



Flyers are the primary format for advertising campus events you host as well as your group’s website and its regular discussion meeting time and location. Although you can type a flyer in Word, Microsoft Publisher will make it easier for you to add or create graphics. Print a provocative title, very concise (1-2 sentence) description that makes a short appeal for why someone should want to attend, and answer the questions who, what, when, where, how much (emphasize if it is free), all in a large, bold font that ideally can be read five feet away. Insert one or two graphics to make your flyer stand out from the rest on bulletin boards or use other tricks (e.g. make part of the flyer have a black background and white font, if you can afford the ink). It is a good idea to print your club’s web address, regular meeting time and place, and group contact info in smaller letters at the bottom of the flyer. Generally, it also is a good idea to print your flyers on brightly colored paper if you can afford it, as they are going to end up in the trash anyway, but you might opt for plain white paper if you know you can collect all the flyers to recycle them. Your campus may require that all flyers display a special stamp of approval marked on an original you submit and then copy. In such a case your club probably needs to be formally incorporated and recognized by your school before you can post any flyers. Post flyers about events a month ahead of time and then repost flyers two weeks to a week ahead of time. A relatively cheap version of flyers for rapid and widespread dissemination (by hand, taped on the backs of auditorium chairs, etc.) is “flyerlets” or handbills taking up an area one-fourth of a page. In Publisher or Word you should create a page with the same content in the same format appearing in each of the four quadrants of the page. You may not have space to add a graphic and your text will need to be smaller. To keep costs down you can use plain white paper. Just neatly cut your pages along the quadrant edges and you will have four times the number of advertisements relative to the cost of flyers. With permission, you can attach such flyerlets to the backs of every third chair in the auditorium you will be using so that people who take classes there will know when the event will be held. From two days before to the day of the event you and other willing group members should pass out the flyerlets to people on campus in high foot traffic areas during passing periods or times when the area is heavily populated. Be sure to target areas where the students you reach will be most likely to be interested, e.g. a science center for a science lecture, and most likely to participate in student activities, e.g. by the student activities office, and generally near the venue location, as people there will know how - 29 -

to find it. Other desirable locations you may have permission for flyer include the cafeterias, part of the library, and academic department bulletin boards.



Chalk, white or brightly colored, is a tool you can employ to draw attention to your event name, speaker, location, time and date (some campuses do not allow chalk, check first). It is much easier for you or grounds keeper crews to clean up than flyers taped to the ground. Be sure to use chalk in areas that will be washed by the rain so that a grounds crew does not need to hose it down. An advantage of using chalk is that you can make your letters much larger than would fit on a single flyer. Again, seek out high traffic areas to create your minimalist chalk messages. Chalk your messages at least two weeks prior to the date of the event, and if it rains re-chalk once the ground is dry.



Posters also allow you to print letters larger than would fit in a flyer but it may be hard for you to locate an area where you can post your poster. The same general principles apply as applied to flyers. One place where posters may be deemed appropriate is in dormitory windows, but they may be hard to read from the street. If your club occupies a designated area of a building, set a poster up there.



Issuing a press release is a good idea for big, significant events. Send it to various newspapers and other media outlets, including campus media. Don’t issue press releases for minor events. In the release, offer concise, relevant information to answer the general questions what, when, where, why, how, and ―so what?‖ (why should it matter to the public?) regarding the event. Include your E-mail, phone number, group website address, and a concise description of your group. At least two weeks before the event try to send an E-mail copy and a ―physical copy‖ of your press release to the appropriate editor address. Call and E-mail each media outlet close to the event date to ask if they are covering it. These links offer templates for press releases: <> <>

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Critical things your club needs are a website to maintain an online presence and an announcement list people can join from the website (either directly or via a link). A website will offer people access to your group information any time as well as enable people to add themselves to your announcement list. If you initially lack the know-how and resources to create a website and announcement list, create a Yahoo! Group, which is free and user friendly (you will need to create a Yahoo! account first to own and manage it – save all the initial set-up information including your first secret question and answer in case your E-mail account gets hacked and your password changed and you want your account back). In that case, try to get at least five members (and as many as possible) when you set it up as the group number is visible to non-members and a very low number will turn people off. Another benefit of Yahoo! Groups is that you can create a brief, searchable URL. On your website main page (or in your Yahoo! Group description field) create a brief description of the who, what, why, and how (who and what your group represents, its purpose and how it aims to accomplish it), when and where (regular meeting place and time), and ―so what?‖ (why people should join). Summarize most of this in a concise introductory sentence (e.g. ―Humanity+ at College Name is a club that explores the potential of emerging technologies to expand the capabilities of human beings.‖). As soon as you are able, get your website linked from the student clubs and organizations section of your school’s website so that students can stumble across it when looking for clubs to join. At least get your group’s contact information and description posted there if your school’s website does not post links to student group websites. Creating a membership discussion list is optional, but make sure that your main discussions take place at the live discussion meetings or your formally incorporated club may devolve into a chat list as no one has anything they want to discuss at meetings. One thing a membership list is good for (especially the format of a Yahoo! Group members list) is serving as an aide to active member tracking. Include a feature that allows list members to quietly leave the list (i.e. without announcing it to everyone) that informs the moderator when they leave (this is built into the Yahoo! Groups system). It is a good practice to send all leaving members a brief, standard E-mail message saying ―Sorry to see you go. Please let us know if there is something our group could do to improve.‖ That practice can collect valuable information on what may be making some members dissatisfied with your group.

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Contributions to publications and other media are an excellent way to spread awareness and improve understanding of transhumanism. However, generally, the most effective and sustainable way to engage in such activity is on an individual basis rather than as a club. Unless your club is established for two years with at least fifteen active members, don’t try to start a publication on your campus, as that takes a lot of work on a frequent basis and a moderate amount of money if you are producing printed copies. An optimally productive approach would be to write something specifically for a publication already on campus (see ―Columns and Letters to the Editor‖) or a non-local student publication and then also submit it to H+ Magazine, any number of blogs, and IEET’s Journal of Evolution and Technology (JET). If you briefly undertake an intensive media project as a group such as a video or radio program – which would be an especially good idea if you attend an institution that emphasizes the arts or communications – you might reduce the number of public events you handle to a small one that term (they are your primary outreach tool and you have to sustain outreach continuously, especially near the start of the year), but keep hosting discussion meetings and take advantage of information tabling opportunities.



Submitting letters to the editor is one of the most effective efforts an activist can make on behalf of a cause, especially considering that it is a free activity that requires little time. For advice on this subject, see the article, ―Tips On Writing Letters to the Editor (and Getting Them Published)‖ by Richard Lake, Senior Editor, DrugSense ( If you write well you might consider writing a column for a campus publication such as the main student newspaper or a student magazine. Although you probably would have to work for the paper or magazine to get a regular column every week, you can see if they would offer you room in a guest column for a brief article that you most want to see published (it’s easiest to get your article selected if it somehow addresses a topic recently discussed in the publication). If you succeed in getting a column published, submit it to the Humanity + Magazine and IEET’s Ethical Technology blog for republication. For advice on column writing see the articles in under the heading ―Creating, Selling and Syndicating a Column‖ in the ―Freelancer’s World‖ section of ( may also want to purchase the book, You Can Write a Column (You Can Write It!) by Monica McCabe-Cardoza.

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If you want to improve your writing skills, the following are some sources you might consult. For developing your style read William Zinsser’s, On Writing Well and Michael Harvey’s, The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing. To sharpen your rhetorical skill read, A Rulebook for Arguments by Anthony Weston. A wonderful guide for effective writing on science topics is, The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science by Scott L. Montgomery.



In addition to producing your own content, you or one of your club members may be asked to give an interview. You always can decline to be interviewed and decline to comment but you can’t take back what you say once you express yourself. Therefore, it is important if you give an interview that you understand the questions, articulate your thoughts, communicate clearly, and stick close to the primary messages and talking points you want to share when possible. You should prepare your primary messages and talking points before the interview, and see if the interviewer will tell you what it will cover (or some of what it will cover) so you can better tailor your preparation. Interviewing by E-mail message or chat generally allows you to compose your thoughts more carefully and craft your messages to state exactly what you want them to state, no more and no less. If you are an introvert, you probably will heavily favor this approach, but you should prepare for and get some practice delivering extemporaneous interviews as well. That is especially important if you want to take on a professional advocacy role. Radio interviews often are live and under absolute time constraints that favor succinct speech that captures your initial reactions. Very long pauses are considered ―dead air‖ and should be avoided, but if necessary take a moment to collect your thoughts before you speak. Television has the same time pressures as radio or worse plus you should try to limit the bias that viewers form against you based on your appearance. Documentary film can be a bit more forgiving in that there is some flexibility in the editing process and a longer attention span, but you have to assume that anything being filmed may be used in the final cut.



Information tables are so important that they already have been discussed twice in this document. As soon as you have official recognition you should set up an information table at all your events (arrange for a table to use or invest in and bring your own) and at student activities fairs that educate students about the groups on campus they can join. Find out when and where the student activities fairs are held and be sure to register your group for it far ahead of time – there usually will be at least one at the start of the school year and possibly at the start of each academic term. - 33 -

The essential item for any information table is several information sign-up sheets. At the top of your copies type your group name, group website address and information E-mail list address, and perhaps your club president’s name and E-mail address. You also might type ―Add your E-mail to our announcement list.‖ Have a column marked ―Names,‖ a column marked ―E-mails,‖ and a short column at the right for ―Phone Numbers (optional).‖ (Why not collect that information? It may come in handy if the person becomes an active member or networks with you.) Create numbered lines for people to enter their information on to keep your list neat and as legible as possible (you should have about 25 lines per sheet). Print out or copy sheets in excess of your immediate needs. You might add the name and E-mail of one or two officers in pen so that people don’t feel like they are the first to enter their information. Have your own pens ready for people to use in case they don’t have one on them. Use the resultant announcement Email list to periodically inform people of your event information and all the topics of your upcoming discussion meetings. Keep it separate from your E-mail discussion list if you set up one (though you can advertise that list and how to sign up for it at the bottom of every announcement E-mail). Always add the addresses to your ―bcc‖ field to protect list-member’s privacy. You and your officers should carry around an information sign-up sheet in your backpacks in case you chat with someone you think might be interested in your group. In addition to information sign-up sheets, cover your table with materials sent to you by Humanity+ and other transhumanist-related organizations, including pamphlets, event fliers (including old ones), and any transhumanist-themed books you happen to possess. Promotional buttons, stickers, or pens can be given away. If you don’t have such materials, or in addition to them, stock your table with print-outs of transhumanist organization website main pages and description pages. Always try to staff an information table with at least two members at a time. Staffing a table with one person makes your group look small and ―lonely‖ and if the person needs to go to the bathroom or leave for any reason you risk leaving your materials unattended or forcing the person to pack away and unpack all the materials. If a speaker has a book, CD, or DVD to sell, you will need a separate table and a closely monitored cash box from your student activities for student finances office (make arrangements for the cashbox and the people handling it far ahead of time). Try to staff this table with two people who are comfortable making change. Be sure to thank everyone who volunteers at your events and reward them with outings or other social events (see ―Socials‖ under ―Miscellaneous Activities‖). If you do a baked goods sale (assuming someone in your group can bake), take up half your table or more with the baked goods, arrange for your cash box, and have some identifying promotional materials and information sign-up sheets on hand. - 34 -



Your campus group probably will need some money to function, especially if you are bringing events to your campus, a primary objective of creating a student club. The more money your club has, the more capability it will have to do interesting things that have a positive impact on your campus and your movement. While the club President and any members she can persuade to pitch in can cover very small expenses (especially when a club is forming), it is feasible to eliminate such needs with good fundraising practices. First, utilize student activities funds as much as possible. Part of everyone’s tuition goes to fund the student activities office or the student government. That money is designated for campus clubs to use in hosting events through the school as well as to support an active, diverse extracurricular culture that enriches student life by offering various opportunities including gaining practical leadership experience. Your club has every right to it. What better way to spend it than advancing the cause you created your club to serve or sharing the ideas your club was formed to explore? Colleges often will pay honoraria for speakers and group travel costs to conferences and other events (especially if they are held within your geographical region, however the school defines that). Ask your student activities liaison or student government representative what expenditures may be covered and how to go about requesting (and meriting) them. Be sure to highlight all your club’s accomplishments to the budgeters and explain how it is enriching the campus every year. Next, take the initiative to make your existence known to all major institutions that might provide you with support in some form, including outreach materials to advertise the institution that you can add to your information tables. Especially if you show the institutions how you are advancing their interests on campus, they may assist you where student activities funds fall short of meeting your needs. Build your relationship over time and use any help they offer to host events and keep your club active for as long as possible. Sell people on your group based on its accomplishments or potential (especially for serving their goals) rather than merely beg for money. Always show your gratitude in practical ways that advance the institution’s interests on campus as well as with personal touches like cards. The next step down from institutions is to appeal to individual donors for support. That is a challenging task, especially if you are appealing to more than a few individuals with means who live near your campus or advocate a cause you represent. It requires strong salesmanship skills, mature group coordination, careful accounting, and thoughtful follow-up. If you undertake such a project, be sure you can explain where the money is going (and guarantee that) and keep the donors regularly apprised of the happenings in your club so that they donate in following years. Every new President and VP will need to develop their own relationship with the donors, and given that you can’t guarantee the club will be around in future years it seems well advised to earmark all such donations for near-term expenses. If your club fold for any reason before that year’s money is spent on worthy projects, you should try to return everyone’s money or some - 35 -

portion of it, which again requires careful accounting and coordination of records. Such a show of responsibility will help you stay in the donor’s good graces, which could be very helpful in the future depending on what transhumanist projects you undertake. The same consideration applies to organizational donations, of course. In case your group fails in the future, make preparations to fail gracefully with minimal confusion about who gets what remaining resources (e.g. you should try to arrange with a local transhumanist organization, or library, or campus bookstore to accept the collection of transhumanist-themed books your club accumulates if and when your club dissolves). Beyond targeted donors you can appeal to a general audience through a can clearly marked ―donations‖ on your information tables and through small fundraising projects like baked goods sales or small amounts of paid work on behalf of your club. Only if your club is large and highly active should you consider a small membership fee, otherwise that would be a disincentive for people to participate. Even then, you should only create the membership fee if you need money for little things that no other form of fundraising can cover (a contingency fee of sorts). Generally, there is little reason to charge a membership fee. A reasonable charge would be something like $5 per member, per academic term. More than that easily becomes a disincentive you would need to work against. Likewise, attendance fees to your events should be eliminated if possible or minimized if they prove necessary, especially for students. At a speech, more than $5 for student admission seems unreasonable and even that amount probably would reduce the number of speech attendees. If you are hosting a single-day summit or a weekend conference, try to bring the cost to students (and campus faculty and staff) down as low as possible, and offer exemptions for a limited number of event volunteers as well as all speakers. Be an advocate for the interests of the audiences you most want to reach through your events.

One advantage of starting or leading a campus club is that it can raise your profile in the movement, at least among people who are paying attention to campus groups. Those people can help introduce you to significant figures connected to the movement who aren’t paying attention to campus groups. Movements and communities need new leadership to remain relevant to future generations and survive. In addition to attending conferences many speakers will ―friend‖ you on Facebook or other social networking sites and if they get to know you well enough they may link to you on LinkedIn. Take the initiative in forming and building relationships that may help you pursue a productive and rewarding career – who you know is as important as what you know in the business world and also is important in academia. There are many opportunities for people with virtually any college degree, including many specifically targeting young people (especially for those with well developed advocacy skills, and a science, technology, engineering, or math [―STEM‖] background often puts you further ahead if it isn’t a prerequisite for a role). - 36 -

In addition to business cards, an updated resume and cover letter, and a LinkedIn profile, you can set yourself apart with a career field targeted ―handbill.‖ A handbill is a very concise, single-sheet document that summarizes essential information about you that people can scan quicker than a resume. On the far left hand side list the following fields and then fill them in: Name, E-mail, Home/Cell Phone, Salary or wages (e.g. enter ―Negotiable‖), Location (you might add ―I am willing to relocate‖), Recent Positions (include relevant non-profit/volunteer roles), Accomplishments, Education / Skills. The last three sections will take up the most space on your handbill. A technique for collecting advice on gaining a position and fulfilling a role similar to the one you are seeking is to ask one or more person in such a position if they would be willing to chat with you for ten or fifteen minutes at her convenience about what they do – a brief advising session. Come up with a set of good questions before you ask so that you can do the advising session right away if the individual prefers. Prepare as well as you would for an interview. If you impress your adviser as a capable prospect, she may feel an investment in your success, and might later be willing to write you a recommendation based on your previous accomplishments and initial impressions of your potential. At the end of the advising session, thank your adviser for her time and say, ―If there ever is anything I can do for you, let me know‖ (mean it and back your words with deeds, as long as you’re not asked to do anything unethical, illegal, or beyond your capabilities). Some people excel at soft people skills – remembering names and personal information, expressing themselves diplomatically, actively listening to others to gain deep and accurate understanding, persuading others to see situations from a different perspective... Those qualities generally can be reduced to making everyone feel important and valued. Soft people skills are especially important in people-oriented careers (e.g. many types of entrepreneur, politics, media, public relations) and in management, especially at or near the top of hierarchies.



(1) Activism and Demonstrations. Be very careful what causes you associate your group with as supporting an unpopular cause could harm the reputation of your club on campus, dramatically impairing your club’s ability to influence public opinion in a favorable way. Moreover, if the cause you advocate is considered ―untranshumanist‖ (e.g. doctrines of racial superiority or inferiority, coercive eugenics, totalitarianism) by Humanity+ or other organizations, that would be grounds for disaffiliation and repudiation. As a precautionary measure, H+SN may eventually develop something like a minimum statement all affiliated clubs need to abide by, including categories of agendas that are not tolerated among affiliated clubs. Beyond the agendas you take up, bear in mind that unwise tactics can undermine a broader strategy. Learn from the strategies (e.g. campaign themes) of activist clubs on campus who - 37 -

handle activism with success and pull off tactical demonstrations that support their strategies, but focus on the small minority ones centered on a worldview or ideology rather than something inborn like gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Often the success of an activist group relates more to the mainstream (or mainstream subculture) nature of its causes – e.g. renewable energy, human rights, polices promoting peace – than to any particular strategic framing of an issue or tactics to change a component of your institution. With that in mind, when deciding on an activist agenda to pursue, consider foremost in any activist undertaking what are core principles of your movement and ―mainstream causes‖ within your movement. Consider next whether such a cause is within the mainstream sociopolitical or intellectual discourse – something people outside of your movement can recognize and which many have formed opinions on, e.g. stem cell research. If the cause is mainstream, and you have a specific target policy or institution in mind that you would like to see changed (or see such a target being identified by other campus groups), seek a coalition with the groups that share your perspective and values. Your club will probably be too small to effect significant changes on campus on its own short of hiring a civil liberties lawyer. If your cause is not well known in the broader campus community, for the time being you might want to concentrate on educating the public about it (up to and including a hosting a summit or conference on the topic) rather than agitating for changes related to the cause. Finally, a phrase of caution borrowed from the Overcoming Bias blog: ―politics is a mind-killer.‖ People make predictable errors in judgment and behave irrationally when thinking about or engaging in politics or related activity, such as politically oriented activism. Guard against such biases in your own mind and behavior by learning about them and other features of cognitive psychology. Take the high road when trying to persuade people of the merits of your positions and focus primarily on your intellectual arguments, as those will have the most lasting impact and are most valuable to humanity. Just bear in mind that people will judge you and your agenda (often unconsciously) based on non-intellectual metrics, so try to avoid giving offense in that realm.

(2) Socials. If your club is kept highly productive, churning out excellent public events and hosting interesting discussion meetings, your membership – especially your officers – may be at risk of ―burn-out‖ or fatigue and loss of motivation to work. Occasional social activities to relax and have fun can help lighten the perceived burden of the extracurricular workload and inspire a renewed commitment to the club’s success. Socials are an activity in which, in moderation, you can tap into extra money from nonearmarked student activities funds and non-earmarked donations as well as money raised through independent fundraising activities such as bake sales or work done on behalf of the club (if you don’t have any extra money, pay out of pocket). The money is spent to maintain a healthy balance of work and play in the club officer’s lives while building group cohesion as well as to persuade new members to become more actively involved. - 38 -

Some ideas for socials include:
    

―nights out‖ on your campus town doing anything of interest to the group daytrips to events or locations in your campus town or natural areas interclub activities, especially with groups in a coalition with yours gatherings with the local transhumanist group in the city beyond your campus activities with one or more academic department associated with your group

If there will be time after an event before people need to go to sleep, some club members or advisors are free and can pay for themselves, and you have sufficient money to cover the speaker’s meal, you should consider inviting the speaker out to eat at a good local restaurant ahead of time (make reservations). That would be a great opportunity to get to know your speaker better and add her to your network of personal acquaintances. Who knows, such a connection could result in a career opportunity down the road. (3) Road Trips. A road trip is a bit like an extended version of a social, done on a weekend or a break. The same funding considerations apply. You can get the most out of a road trip when you are traveling to a destination for a specific purpose, especially if the purpose is attending a transhumanist-themed event. Sometimes student activities offices will finance travel to events while they will not fund socials. Event organizers sometimes will make student admission available for free or at reduced rates. Relevant considerations for a road trip (or travel by bus, train, plane, or boat) include your budget finances relative to the costs of available means of transportation – considering all costs associated with each including hotel expenses, the distance to transverse, the kind of transportation you will need at your destination (some events are spread over locations not within walking distance in areas that lack public transport), your preferred travel route, and your ecological footprint (e.g. using public transportation or carpooling to minimize it). Make all travel arrangements such as hotel reservations far in advance of your trip and seek discounts wherever they are practical. (4) Service. While your events and advocacy could be considered a service to your fellow students and campus community, your club may want to engage in extra work that serves the public interest. Such work can come in many varieties. The most important feature of service is that it augments and synergizes with other efforts of your club, chiefly by offering accomplishments you can highlight in your advocacy. A traditional version would be to engage in some labor or do some fundraising for what is widely recognized as a good cause that in turn raises the profile of your group. That kind of effort has the most pay-off for your group if it is associated with some mainstream cause your group advocates, such as stem cell research.

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A non-traditional version of service that probably won’t help you much with mainstream appeal but will endear you to one or more organization in your movement is to take on some activity as a club that assists the organization(s) beyond hosting events. It would be easiest to engage in such efforts as individual contributors, but if your club is sufficiently well organized and ―healthy‖ enough, you might be able to produce something useful as a group. Ideas for such efforts include: (a) helping to reduce existential risks and global catastrophic risks through academic activities including research, (b) contributing to a blog, magazine, journal – especially in ways that can be republished on your campus, (c) temporarily helping with coordinative activities of think-tanks or other organizations (e.g. establishing an internship program or creating a student outreach web page with relevant resources), (d) working with residents in a nearby city to establish a self-sustaining DIY biotech lab, (e) temporarily helping to coordinate or conduct research or development relevant to indefinite life extension, (f) working with transhumanist-themed companies on projects of interest. (5) Obtaining Support from the Broader Movement. This topic has been addressed elsewhere in this document, but the best way to obtain assistance from major organizations in your movement is to provide assistance to them in some useful way. Ask their representatives what you might be able to do to help them, including but not limited to hosting events. Likewise, think about how organizations can usefully assist your group, especially supplying promotional materials and possibly earmarked donations. Some organizations besides Humanity+ that you might contact include listed in alphabetical order:
             

Betterhumans DIYbio Foresight Institute (Nanotechnology) Future of Humanity Institute H+ Lab Humanity + Magazine Immortality Institute Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Less Wrong (a community devoted to the art of human rationality) Methuselah Foundation SENS Foundation (Strategies for Engineering Negligible Senescence) Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence Singularity University Transhumanist Arts — Design Science Culture

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Internships are becoming increasingly important, especially for anyone who plans to work outside of academia. Regardless of one’s ultimate careers, they provide valuable experience in different lines of work and their inclusion to one’s resume can open doors. Keeping your GPA up is also important, but internship experience can be decisive in admittance to grad programs and your general career options. If you want to keep graduate school open as an option, you should maintain a 3.5 GPA or better. Otherwise, 3.0 and above is a good GPA (U.S. standards – others may be different), assuming you are doing internships. We encourage students to strive for academic achievement and practical experience in career/volunteer paths.



The Haldane award is given to the student paper that best advances transhumanist thought, analysis or applications. Ask what the current E-mail address is to submit complete papers and the deadline of consideration for the Haldane award this year. Eligibility criteria: 1. authors must be students enrolled at a high school, college or university, who have not received their baccalaureate degree by January 1, of the current year 2. authors must be members in good standing of Humanity+ The award ceremony is held during the annual Humanity+ conference (date and venue to be announced). Attendance at the conference is not a criteria for eligibility for the award, but we encourage those who can attend to submit their papers for consideration as conference presentations. The awardee will receive $250, and the paper will be considered for publication in the Journal of Evolution and Technology. For more information:

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Occasionally transhumanist students ask us what professors, departments or programs are interested in or conducive to research on transhumanism. Since transhumanism is quite interdisciplinary, the answer is that many people in academe are interested in or sympathetic to one aspect or another of the transhumanist agenda, if not to ―transhumanism.‖ For instance, departments of computer science are very tolerant of investigations of artificial intelligence and neuroprosthetics, while many departments of biological sciences would be congenial for research on aging mechanisms or cognitive function. Although scientists are often anxious not to be perceived as ―kooky‖ or as advocating pseudoscience, there is probably much less resistance or hostility to someone having transhumanist views in the natural sciences than in the social sciences and humanities. Even the transhumanist pursuing a graduate degree in engineering or the information or biological sciences, however, will eventually want to engage with their school’s bioethicists, philosophers and health policy scholars. There, the reception to ―transhumanism,‖ or even discussion of ―human enhancement,‖ can often be dismissive. Here are some of our initial thoughts about where to find scholars and programs in bioethics and philosophy that are supportive of transhumanist enquiries, even if they aren’t explicitly transhumanist. Of course, transhumanists can also learn a lot in programs that are hostile to transhumanism, so long as the scholars are talking about the issues and willing to support student work in the topic. There is no school or department I know of in which transhumanists are the majority. You might as well find the rare scholar(s) with some sympathies for transhumanism to work with since you will be able to find bioconservative critics without much effort. IN THE UNITED STATES Center for Bioethics & Dept of Medical Ethics University of Pennsylvania Arthur Caplan is probably the leading U.S. bioethicist, and is relatively open to human enhancement for a bioethicist. His large, prominent program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia is central to American bioethics. Interdisciplinary Bioethics Project Yale University - 42 - Yale University has a very active set of bioethics working groups, many of which are of interest to transhumanists, all of which are tolerant of transhumanists, and one of which is the Ethics and Technology group, led by transhumanist Bonnie Kaplan and with James Hughes, the WTA Director, as a participant. Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society University of California Los Angeles The transhumanist Gregory Stock, author of Redesigning Humans, runs this program at UCLA. Write to Dr. Stock to find out what kind of research possibilities you might have under its auspices. Department of Bioethics Case Western Reserve University This is a large collection of influential bioethicists, among them Maxwell Mehlman, author of a book on human enhancement; Eric T. Juengst, who has written extensively and relatively sympathetically about human enhancement; Stuart Youngner, one of the leading scholars of brain death and personhood; and Dena Davis, a leading scholar of genetic and reproductive technology. Department of Philosophy University of Alabama Greg Pence is one of the leading transhumanist-inclined bioethicists. He has written in defense of reproductive cloning and human enhancement. Department of Philosophy Brown University Dan Brock, at Brown, is a very prestigious bioethicist, and co-author of the very important transhumanist-leaning text From Chance to Choice. Department of Population and Int. Health Harvard School of Public Health Daniel Wikler and Norman Daniels are very prestigious bioethicists at Harvard, and co-authors of the very important transhumanist-leaning text From Chance to Choice. Center for Human Values Princeton University Peter Singer - 43 - Peter Singer is one of the most influential philosophers among transhumanists, and he is a defender of access to human enhancement (among many other controversial views.) He also teaches half-time in Australia. At Princeton he is part of their Center for Human Values. UNITED KINGDOM Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics Oxford University Nick Bostrom, Anders Sandberg and transhumanist-sympathizing bioethicist Julian Savulescu are in the Uehiro Ethics center at Oxford University. This is the place for transhumanist philosophy, if you can get there. Centre for Social Ethics and Policy University of Manchester John Harris, a transhumanist-inclined bioethicist who wrote the pioneering pro-enhancement Superman and Wonderwoman and the more recent defense of reproductive cloning On Cloning, runs this Centre. CANADA Centre for Bioethics University of Toronto This center has been pursuing great and exciting stuff, from a generally pro-tech point of view, under director Peter Singer (who is not the Australian/Princeton Peter Singer). They have some transhumanists among their students and associates. Department of Philosophy Dalhousie University Jason Scott Robert and Francoise Baylis are transhumanist-inclined bioethicists who teach in the philosophy program at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. AUSTRALIA Centre for Bioethics Monash University Russell Blackford - 44 -

Russell Blackford is a transhumanist-sympathizing philosopher, and a Fellow of the IEET, who lectures in Monash’s bioethics program while he is finishing a doctorate on human enhancement.

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An outreach program of Humanity+ International Non-profit Educational Organization

Version 3.0 July 2011

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Attachment A
A Student Club Constitution (Template of Last Resort) The following group was established at N.U. between 2003 and 2005. Ask for an electronic template of a constitution format that is approved at your college.

New Humanists
Northwestern University

PREAMBLE We, the members of the New Humanists of Northwestern, hereby establish this constitution to outline the goals, regulations, details, and by-laws of the New Humanists student organization. New Humanists shall serve as cultural student organization for Humanists and Transhumanists at Northwestern University. Be it hereby known that the New Humanists intend to abide by the established policies of Northwestern University and promote a civil atmosphere. ARTICLE 1: NAME The full title of this group is ―New Humanists‖ (abbreviated as ―NH‖). We call ourselves ―New‖ because we are dedicated to an open, rational assessment of new ideas and perspectives, including topics involving the ethical use of emerging technologies for the betterment of life. We call ourselves ―Humanists‖ because we are part of the historical tradition of Humanism, which seeks to apply science, reason and free inquiry in all areas of human endeavor and promote compassionate treatment toward others. We identify with the Transhumanist movement in advocating the application of science and technology to improve human intellectual, emotional, and physical capacities and to overcome limitations of the human condition including disability, disease, aging, and involuntary death. ARTICLE 2: MEMBERSHIP -Section 1

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NH does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, national origin or status as a veteran. -Section 2 Full membership in NH shall be open to all undergraduate NU students, and all others shall be associate members. Full members must have attended at least two of the last four meetings prior to a vote. Only full members are eligible to vote. -Section 3 Anyone may attend discussions, meetings, activities, events, and members may withdraw their memberships on a voluntary basis. No dues are required at this time. ARTICLE 3: OFFICERS and ADVISORS Officers shall be enrolled full-time as undergraduate students of Northwestern University. 1.) Presidential duties (required): a. Moderating, scheduling, and ensuring the quality of meetings; b. Acting as the primary spokesperson; c. Setting up events w/ VP and Treasurer; d. Working with the Center for Student Involvement, the ASG, and other supportive groups and individuals (community outreach); e. Acting as Secretary in the officer’s absence f. Acting as Social Chair in the officer’s absence. g. Informing NH members about area events. 2.) Vice Presidential duties: a. General planning and coordination for NH events & activities; b. Perform the duties of the president when necessary or requested; c. Acting as Treasurer in the officer’s absence; and, d. Acting as Secretary in the officer’s absence. 3.) Secretary a. a. b. c. duties: Preparing Meetings and Taking Minutes; Handling membership Building and maintaining Internet sites and message boards; Counting secret ballots with a randomly chosen member.

4.) Treasurer duties (required): d. Financial affairs of NH, namely account management and fundraising. 5.) Social Chair duties: a. Promotion (flyers) direction, student outreach.

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On any non-amendment-related club decision necessitating a vote, all full members present at a meeting shall decide by majority vote.

The ADVISORS shall: 1) 2) 3) 4) Be an NU faculty or staff member – until such time as B-status is attained; Sign off on documents as the advisor of NH; Be welcome at meetings, discussions and events of NH; Advise the officers on fulfilling objectives when asked for suggestions.

ELECTIONS Officers are elected by secret ballot of all official NU student members of NH who are in good judicial standing and present at the election meeting. Elections are held in November, and terms of office are for one year starting the day after the elections. There is no re-election limit. Any full member of the NH is eligible to serve.
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The election begins with a vote for the President and continues through the other positions in the order in which they are listed above. Defeated candidates may continue to run for the subsequent positions.

ARTICLE 4: REMOVAL OF OFFICERS Officers may be removed if the members feel that the officer is not performing her/his duties at a level that best upholds the constitution of NH. Complaints must be submitted to the advisors in writing. Petitioning members must then consult with their advisors and their student activities liaison to ensure a fair removal process is enacted.

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After hearing a plea of guilt or innocence to the charges by the officer in question, and an explanation for actions taken, a 2/3rds majority vote of full members of NH present at a meeting is required to remove an officer. If a position is left vacant for any reason, the present NH members should elect a new officer at the next meeting. If necessary, the President may appoint a member of the organization to fill the office until an election can take place

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The President reserves the right to reschedule the time and day of meetings to meet the needs of most active members. A topic of general interest that relates to NH should be discussed at each meeting, which should nearly weekly during the academic year when classes are in session. Everyone’s input and ideas are welcome.

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One person has the floor at a time. Refrain from personal attacks.

The President shall chair brief business meetings following discussions. Roberts Rules of Order, employed through the informal small board rules unless greater formality is deemed necessary, shall govern and arbitrate disputes in procedure. Quorum shall be called; minutes of the last meeting read and amended; officer reports presented; old business covered; new business addressed; and the meeting shall be called to a close. Quorum shall consist of at least two officers, and one must either be the President or VP. Full members are included in votes regarding elections, removal of officers (*see Article 4), and any decisions for which the President or VP acting in such capacity deems the guidance of full members proper (the majority prevails).

ARTICLE 6: AMENDMENTS Any official member of the organization may propose amendments to the NH constitution. Amendments will be read aloud by an officer, and debates may take place in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order. ANYONE may participate in the debate, but only NU students who are NH members before the gathering may vote. Amendments are passed by a 2/3rds majority vote of the NU student members of the NH present at the meeting (including officers). Voting is by secret ballot.

All amendments to the constitution must be approved by the ASG Executive Vice President before they are considered valid.

ARTICLE 7: ORGANIZATIONAL IDENTITY First site and message board:

Officers may affiliate the club with organizations of their choosing, if a motion is passed by a 2/3rds officer vote and the ASG Exec. V.P. (see Article 6: Amendments).

Affiliations: 1.) Transhumanist Student Network (TSN) and the World Transhumanist Association (WTA) [now Humanity+] 2.) Chicago Transhumanist Chapter (CTC) 3.) CFI-OnCampus of the Center for Inquiry (CFI) 4.) Secular Student Alliance 5.) International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization (IHEYO) 6.) Center for Inquiry-Chicago 7.) Ethical Humanist Society of Greater Chicagoland 8.) Humanists of West Suburban Chicagoland

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