Exponential Technologies and Values – A Tale of Chickens and Eggs – Talk by Dr. Lennart Brand

On Tuesday 14th July, Oxford10 was joined by Dr. Lennart Brand (D.Phil., St. John’s College, 2004), Managing Director of the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin, for a live virtual talk on the subject of “Exponential Technologies and Values – A Tale of Chickens and Eggs”. Dr. Brand’s talk pivoted upon the notion that as we move into an era of exponential technological development, including the continued progression of AI, ethical standards that were once considered inviolable may no longer be fit for purpose. By maintaining an openness to and awareness of a newly emerging ethical paradigm, we may be in a better position to respond to the certain influx of changes ahead. In just 30 minutes Dr. Brand’s discussion touched on subjects ranging from self-driving cars to eugenics, and on writers as diverse as 18th century historian Oswald Spengler and the contemporary science fiction author Leif Randt.

Dr. Brand’s talk was followed by a stimulating Q&A session in which members explored further ways the discussion impinged on ethical issues in society. We’d like to thank Dr. Brand for sharing his valuable time with us, and for providing all of us with a thought-provoking thesis, inspiring many more questions for consideration.

Linkedin: https://de.linkedin.com/in/lennart-brand-b77b5581

Talk: Exponential Technologies and Values – A Tale of Chickens and Eggs – 14 Jul 2020

A talk by Dr. Lennart Brand on Exponential Technologies and Values – A Tale of Chickens and Eggs. Tue, 14 Jul 2020, 18:00 BST

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Are the premises from which we approach the subject of exponential technological development still appropriate, or are we moving into a completely new dimension that also requires new moral concepts? The Liberal Arts are a useful means of doing this – provided that they discuss values not as a starting point but as a possible outcome of the debate. In other words, provided that they facilitate academic debate in an objective and open manner.

About the author
Lennart is Managing Director of the Leadership Excellence Institute Zeppelin. The Institute – which is affiliated with Zeppelin University, a private German university near Lake Constance – is one of Germany’s foremost leadership-research institutions, collaborating with major players in business, politics, and civil society. Before his current position, Lennart held a variety of managerial responsibilities in academia, focusing on technology transfer, entrepreneurship, development, and international strategy. Lennart started his career in the industry before taking up his D.Phil. in Modern Languages at Oxford (St. John’s) in 2004. A few years ago he initiated the OUS Lake Constance chapter which covers a large area across Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
Linkedin: https://de.linkedin.com/in/lennart-brand-b77b5581

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Using Maths to Clean-up our Oceans – a talk by Dr. Tom Crawford – 4th August 2020

Where does river water go when it enters the ocean? Rivers are the major source of pollution in the oceans and if we are to clean them up, we first need to know where the majority of the pollution is concentrated. By creating a mathematical model for river outflows – verified by laboratory experiments and fieldwork -– the goal is to be able to predict which areas are most susceptible to pollution from rivers and thus coordinate clean-up operations as effectively as possible.

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Oxford Entrepreneurs Network – UK Chapter Launch

Our sister alumni society Oxford Entrepreneurs Network is launching its UK Chapter on Monday 22nd June 2020 at 5pm BST.

Agenda includes:

  • Introduction to OEN and OEUK from Paula Skokowski
  • VC Insights: “What to look for in an Investor” Phoebe Arkell will be discussing fundraising and pitching during COVID-19 as well as what startups should look for when bringing in a new investor.
  • Startup Pitch by Aran Bates EO and Co-Founder of Hydrologiq

The Speakers
Paula Skokowski is the Chief Marketing Officer of Incognia and a Manager at the Oxford Angel Fund. She is on the Executive Board of the Oxford Entrepreneurs Network.
James Khan is a Director & Global Architecture Lead of UBS Investment Bank Research. He is the President of Oxford10 and part of the Committee of the OEUK Chapter.
Phoebe Arkell is a Principal at Rooks Nest Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in London. She has previously worked in innovation, consultancy, and operations.
Aran Bates is CEO and Co-Founder of Hydrologiq, a company helping to provide off-grid electricity powered by hydrogen. He previously founded his own digital start-up, launched new ventures inside of existing multinational businesses, and advised some of the world’s largest corporates on Innovation Excellence.

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Talk: A Dark Abyss or the Sunlit Uplands of New Opportunity? 8 Sep 2020

Join us for a talk by Jonathan Black – Director, Careers Service & Internship Office, University of Oxford on September 8th 2020 at 6pm.

What does the future hold for new and recent graduates? Are all the old career plans unusable or can everyone carry on with minor adjustments? Where to place the bets for future success and how to prepare for the new world?

In this talk, Jonathan Black, Director of the University Careers Service and author of the regular Dear Jonathan column in the Financial Times, will consider the landscape before us, place some bets on the future, reveal how employers assess candidates, and suggest ways that recent graduates and benefit from the pandemic-driven upheaval. There’ll be ample chance for questions.

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About the Speaker:

Jonathan Black has been Director of the Careers Service at Oxford University since 2008 after a broad career including in blue-chip management consultancy, international academic publishing, and co-founding a successful medical publishing start-up. 

In his current role at the Careers Service, Jonathan coaches students one-to-one with careers advice, runs workshops and seminars for groups of undergraduates and postgraduates, trains colleagues, and devises new and innovative programmes that provide hands-on experiences for students. He works with senior academics to explore how the Careers Service can support academic work, presents at seminars and conferences in the UK, Europe, Australia, South Africa, and the USA, and runs research programmes on what is required in order to secure a graduate-level job.

Jonathan writes the fortnightly, ‘Dear Jonathan’ column[1] for readers’ careers questions in the Financial Times, and produced three short careers videos for the FT in July 2018 and anchored six 10-minute FT/YouTube careers videos[2] launched in April 2019. His recent book, ‘How to find the Career you’ve always wanted’[3] was described by Baroness Gillian Shephard as, ‘One of the most practical and comprehensible career guides ever produced.’

Outside the Careers Service, Jonathan is Chair of the Oxford Hub charity promoting social enterprise and volunteering for students across Oxfordshire, is a Governor of Queen Anne’s School, Caversham, and member of the Oxford Alumni Society Board.


[1] https://www.ft.com/jonathan-black

[2] FT Career Starters (part of FT Schools) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjdvCHWVtE4&list=PLqIpf04KBv61XrP8rtadMl5YpVxZt7Wkc 

[3] Little, Brown 978-1-4721-4369-3

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