Humanity's Last Stand, with Nicanor Perlas [Fri June 14, 7:30pm, Sat June 15 9a-5pm, Ann Arbor, MI]

The 21st century is the Age of Science and Technology. It is also the Age in which humanity faces a unique and unprecedented challenge. This is the challenge of Artificial Intelligence (AI). If properly developed and aligned with the values of humanity, AI will bring tremendous benefits to society. However, if AI is used inappropriately, it could undermine human civilization and, ultimately, with the emergence of Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI), lead to the extinction of humanity, in as little as 10 to 20 years. Scientists, philosophers and engineers call this latter possibility the “alignment challenge” or "existential risk" of AI. The fate of our future lies literally in our hands.

Who: Nicanor Perlas
What: Friday Evening Lecture and Saturday Full Day Workshop
When: Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 15, 9:00 to 5:00
Where: Lower School, Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor, Newport Road

Who: Ted Roszell
What: Thursday Evening Book Discussion Gathering
When: Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Rudolf Steiner House, 1923 Geddes, Ann Arbor

Dear Friends and Members,

It's true! Nicanor Perlas is coming to Ann Arbor in June. He will deliver an evening public lecture on Friday, June 14, at 7:30 p.m. and he will conduct a full day workshop on Saturday, June 15, from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (with workshop registration beginning at 8:15 a.m.). Both the lecture and the workshop will be at the Lower School of the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor, 2775 Newport Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103. These events are coordinated locally by the Great Lakes Branch of the Anthroposophical Society.

Who is Nicanor Perlas? Perlas is a Filipino who is known throughout the world as an agricultural reformer, an environmentalist, a proponent of the Threefold Social Order, an anthroposophist, a lecturer, and a writer. He has served as a technical adviser to the Philippine Delegation to the United Nations. He is a runner-up for the Nobel peace prize and a former candidate for the presidency of the Philippines. As an anthroposophist, he has achieved recognition in the mainstream comparable to Saul Bellow in the 1980s. Perlas's most recent book is Humanity's Last Stand which is reviewed by Ted Roszell in the current issue of being human, a periodic publication of the Anthroposophical Society in America. A pdf copy of Ted's review is attached. Perlas was a keynote speaker in March in Stuttgart, Germany at a Threefold Conference on the 100th anniversary of the introduction of Threefolding by Rudolf Steiner.

In his latest book, Humanity’s Last Stand: The Challenge of Artificial Intelligence, Nicanor Perlas tackles the existential risk of humanity in the face of Artificial Intelligence and how the rapid development of technology has alarming consequences for our very existence as human beings and as a society. Nicanor's book is an urgent call for individual action towards humanizing technology, collective altruism, and spiritual individuality.

About the Friday Evening Lecture. The Friday evening lecture will start at 7:30 p.m. in the gymnasium of the Lower School building of the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor at 2775 Newport Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103. There is free parking adjoining the School. The lecture will outline the key ideas of Humanity's Last Stand. The admission price for the lecture is $20 ($10 for students) and admission may be purchased at the door on the evening of the lecture. However, if you are attending both the lecture and the workshop, you may pay $50 ($40 for students) at the door on the evening of the lecture and that will entitle you to admission to both events, a saving of $10.

About the Saturday Full Day Workshop. The workshop will continue the lecture themes and further develop the key ideas of Humanity's Last Stand. The workshop will be held in the Lower School building and/or the new Middle School building of the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor at 2775 Newport Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103. Registration for the workshop will open at 8:15 Saturday morning for those who did not register at the Friday evening lecture. The admission price for the workshop alone is $40 ($30 for students). The Saturday schedule is not rigid but a suggested timeline is:

8:15 - 9:00 Registration
9:00 Workshop begins
10:30 Coffee break (provided)
11:00 Workshop resumes
12:00 - 2:00 Lunch on your own
2:00 Workshop resumes
3:30 Coffee break (provided)
3:50 Workshop resumes
5:00 Workshop ends

This timeline will be adjusted so as not to disrupt the creative flow.

About the pricing for the lecture and the workshop. The admission prices have been set to allow Nicanor Perlas to recover a portion of his expenses for his airfare between the Phillipines and the United States, a portion of his airfare on his month long speaking tour of the United States, and a portion of his other out-of-pocket expenses. There is no profit for Nicanor Perlas intended in this pricing and there is no part of the pricing allocated to the Great Lakes Branch.

Copies of Humanity's Last Stand for sale. The Great Lakes Branch is purchasing approximately 40 copies of Humanity's Last Stand at a bulk order discount from Steiner Books. The Branch will be selling the book at the Friday lecture and the Saturday workshop while copies last. The sale price will be at the Branch's cost, approximately $20 per book. The book will also be available for purchase at a book discussion gathering at the Rudolf Steiner House, 1923 Geddes Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the evening of Thursday, June 6, 2019, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The discussion will be facilitated by Ted Roszell. Consider reading the book in advance and joining in the conversation.

Questions? If you have questions or comments, please contact Great Lakes Branch board member Barbara Boeheim ( or 734-709-0107).

Warm Greetings, Great Lakes Branch