Television

CNN Intl’s new initiative looks at technological innovations of the future

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MUMBAI: With a view to offering a broad picture on how technological changes of the future will affect people's personal and professional lives, news broadcaster CNN International is launching CNN Future Summit. This is a forum that brings together prominent personalities in an interactive process to explore how innovation and technology will shape our lives in years to come.

This is a two-year multi-media programme aims at stimulating global discussion on new developments in medicine and health, communications, the environment and new habitat, and the implications of these changes for the future of mankind.

CNN International senior VP Rena Golden says, “CNN Future Summit demonstrates our commitment to preparing viewers for the events of the future by providing insights into the issues that affect our world today. In addition, this initiative is set to engage our viewers in global dialogue and will prove as significant in inspiring people’s vision for the future.”

The centerpiece of the initiative will be four televised roundtable discussions to be held in Singapore, hosted by CNN anchor Michael Holmes. Each roundtable focusses on one area of technology that is shaping the future. A nominating committee of respected experts will select a panel of global leaders in a specific field to discuss the promises, challenges and controversies sparked by their innovations.

The initiative also provides a dedicated website, featuring interviews with the visionaries, profiles of the nominating committee, and details of the issues discussed. Viewers are encouraged to participate in the discussions through the website, offering their thoughts and insights, suggesting potential panelists and issues to be debated.

The first topic of this global dialogue is Of Man And Machine. With genetic engineering, stem cell research, robotics and cybernetics offering the promise of dramatically reshaping the human machine, this program will explore the impact of these developments on societies around the world.

Through the dedicated website: http://cnn.com/futuresummit, viewers around the world will be able to explore the views of the remarkable list of leading scientists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, futurists, authors, and journalists. Among them: Dr. Alan Colman, one of the team that cloned Dolly the sheep; astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and Ray Kurzweil, futurist/inventor/author. (A complete list of the nominating committee and their profiles can be found on this website)

Highlighting the focus of the CNN Future Summit, Professor Balasubramanian, currently the director of research at the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation, in Hyderabad, India and also a member of the CNN Future Summit Committee, said, "The role of scientists as interpreters to society about advances in stem cell therapy, genetics and such is vital. Dialog between us and ethicists, religious leaders and sociologists must occur in periodic intervals. That is the only way."

A final list of panelists will be named in mid-May. They will gather in Singapore for the roundtable to be aired on CNN International on 15 June.

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