San Diego 2049: Radical Economies

February 19, 2019

San Diego 2049: Radical Economies:

With Glen Weyl (Microsoft Research, co-author of Radical Markets), Renee Bowen (GPS Professor and Director, Center on Commerce and Diplomacy), and David Brin (science fiction writer and futurist, author of The Transparent Society)

February 19, 2019


Roth Auditorium, Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine

Free and open to the public; RSVP required


With co-author Eric Posner, Glen Weyl argues for a new way to organize markets in the book Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. They seek to demonstrate why private property is inherently monopolistic; how we would all be better off if private ownership were converted into a public auction for public benefit; how the principle of one person, one vote inhibits democracy; ways to leverage antitrust laws to liberate markets from the grip of institutional investors; and how to create a data labor movement to force digital monopolies to compensate people for their electronic data, among other provocative ideas. 

The School of Global Policy and Strategy, the Center on Commerce and Diplomacy, and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination are pleased to welcome Glen Weyl in conversation about these and other speculative proposals for future economies as part of our yearlong San Diego 2049 program. Joining Weyl on stage is David Brin, the celebrated science fiction writer and futurist who has long explored the future of economic possibility and privacy (The Transparent Society), and Renee Bowen, GPS professor and Director of the Center on Commerce and Diplomacy.

A light reception will follow the event.


E. (Eric) Glen Weyl uses ideas from political economy to develop social technology for widely-shared prosperity and social cooperation. These ideas have inspired a social movement, RadicalxChange, that convenes activists artists, entrepreneurs and researchers using market mechanisms to create a richer and more equal society.  Glen helps catalyze this collaboration as Founder and Chairman of the RadicalxChange Foundation, as he continues his research as Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York City.  He also teaches a course as a Visiting Research Scholar and Lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Renee Bowen is an Associate Professor of Economics at the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) at UC San Diego and Director of the Center on Commerce and Diplomacy. Between 2008 and 2017, Renee was an Assistant Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Renee's research focuses on Political Economy, Microeconomic Theory and International Trade. In her work she applies dynamic game theory to study the behavior of individuals who are constrained by institutions and who have long-term strategic considerations. Her recent work examines the legislative bargaining and policy experimentation. She has been a consultant at the World Bank working on international trade policy for Sub-Saharan Africa, and was an Investment Banking Analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities working with emerging markets.

David Brin's novels have been translated into more than twenty languages, including NY Times Bestsellers and Hugo and other awards. His 1989 thriller, Earth, foreshadowed cyberwarfare, the Web, global warming and Gulf Coast flooding. A 1998 Kevin Costner film was loosely adapted from his novel The Postman. Brin is also a scientist and futurist who appears frequently on television discussing topics as diverse as surveillance technology, astronomy, SETI, nanotechnology, and national defense. His non-fiction book The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? won the 2000 Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association


General parking permits are available for a fee in Parking Lot P384, adjacent to Sanford Consortium. Click here for directions to the Sanford Consortium. For more information about accessible parking on campus, click here.


The School of Global Policy and Strategy is celebrating its 30th anniversary by partnering with the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination to produce San Diego 2049, a series of programs through 2018–19 that will use the imagination and narrative tools of science fiction to stimulate complex thinking about the future and the ways we could shape it through policy, technology, innovation, culture, and social change.

The largest challenges facing life on earth—climate change; the possible emergence of new autonomous, intelligences; the decentralized ability to edit genetic material—are multi-generational, contingent, and uncertain. Choices taken today will have hard-to-foresee consequences; the pace of technological change means that policy choices may struggle to keep up.

If we are to leave the earth in better shape than we found it, successful social choices will require us to imagine distant alternate futures that reflect our best knowledge about how humans behave and evolve socially, politically, and cognitively. Science fiction gives us the needed space for long-range speculation and the complex interactions of technological, political, and social change.

Imagining the future helps us react to unanticipated situations—futures that we did not imagine. This competition and event series foster diverse visions for San Diego in 2049 from UC San Diego graduate students and draws on research by faculty across divisions. By bringing together students, science fiction writers, faculty, policy makers, and industry experts, we aim to foster the kind of multi-modal, boundary-crossing thinking that we need today to anticipate the potential shape of the world thirty years from now.

The San Diego 2049 student competition, open to graduate students from all disciplines at UC San Diego, provides hands-on experience in sophisticated futurist forecasting and science fictional thought experiments to develop robust scenarios, clarify problems, and develop policy solutions in an emergent near-future. Student teams will have the opportunity to learn from science fiction writers and futurists, and be paired with a GPS faculty member for guidance on policy implications. Through workshops and panels, teams will develop their worldbuilding skills. Mini-grants will be available to assist in the creation of their own interventions in these futures, empowering students to take ownership over the complex ways in which our actions in the present influence the shape of the world a generation from now.

For more information, please see the San Diego 2049 website.