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BIOHACKING, CYBERPUNK & HACKER CULTURE
Sat 22nd April (18:00 - 22:00)
RILEY SMITH CONFERENCE HALL, UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

This event will take you through a journey of the past, present and future of CyberPunk, science fiction and popular culture.

In her session “Take a ride in the Cyberpunk Express Train”,  Keren Elazari will take us on a journey through the past, present, and future of hacker and cyberpunk culture. In her talk amongst classics such as “Neuromancer”, “Hackers”, or “The Matrix” – she will be examining how fiction continues to influence the reality of hacker culture today. She will chart the transformation of hackers from cyberpunk protagonists to powerful hacktivists, lone rangers and digital robin hoods who are the unsung heroes of the digital frontier.
Information is the new currency of our digital society, and those who can control it have become powerful actors — whether they choose to be heroes or villains. As she says,
“Hacking has become a superpower that can positively impact millions worldwide – if we learn how to harness it.”

We’ll also look at biohacking. Biohacking is the practical application of Cyberpunk ideas and visions. Inspired by science fiction, an ever-increasing number of people are choosing to have smart tags implanted under their skin. These implantable keys have a multitude of uses: information storage, replacing key fobs and swipe cards to access buildings, memberships and public transportation, as well as unlocking and personalising personal devices and even making payments. But most importantly they are a statement – a declaration of wanting to transcend the baseline human experience by merging with technology.

If you’re brave enough, you’re able at the event to get a live chip implant onstage too.

We’re very fortunate to be bringing international TED talk speakers Keren Elazari and Hannes Sjöblad to the festival for this event.

Keren Elazari is a security researcher, author and strategic analyst. Her independent research work, analysis and writing about emerging security issues has been featured by TED, Scientific American, WIRED, VICE and more.
Keren holds an MA in Security Studies from Tel Aviv University where she is a senior researcher at the Balvatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center, focusing on the complex relationships between hackers, industry and government. In 2014, Keren became the first Israeli woman to speak at the annual TED conference.
Keren’s TED talk about the role of hackers has been viewed by millions, translated to 27 languages and selected for TED’s list of ‘Most Powerful Ideas ‘. She recently co-authored a book called “Women in Tech”, published by Penguin USA in March 2016.

Hannes Sjoblad (twitter: @hsjob) is a biohacker activist who works to radically democratize public access to powerful biotechnologies.
His first test subject is always his own body and his vision is of a future where the human body has fundamentally different capabilities than it does today.


For more information on this event, please click here

Contact Information:
Event Host: Leeds International Festival
To book your place on this event, please click here
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