The World Future Forum is the big annual event of the Secular Policy Institute

Edwina Rogers is emailing people to get them worked up about a thing they can go to. (Tim Hunt will be there, doing standup.) (I kid, I kid.)

Hi [your name here]

You’re invited to the most VIP political gathering in secular history.
The World Future Forum comes October 25-26 to DC.
It’s run by the Secular Policy Institute, the world’s biggest secular coalition and world’s biggest secular think tank.
Network with members of US Congress, big donors, international secular leaders, and top thinkers like emcee Lawrence Krauss, bestselling author and physicist, and keynote Gregory Copley, former US National Security Advisor.
Tickets will sell out quickly! Get yours at

It’s the world’s biggest biggest biggest biggest biggest. Go to it, because it’s biggest biggest. It’s Edwina’s institute and it’s THE BIGGEST.

Let’s check it out.

The World Future Forum is the big annual event of the Secular Policy Institute, the world’s largest secular think tank and world’s largest secular coalition. It draws the most prestigious scholars and scientists together with VIP decision makers from the US Congress and beyond. Open to influential policymakers but also the general public, it’s an unparalleled opportunity for an informed discussion on the critical global issues.

My god she is such a bullshitter. It’s not the world’s biggest anything…and people have been abandoning it because it became clear what a hollow shell it is. And that telltale word “prestigious” – which no one but a marketer would use. It’s a wonder she doesn’t call them luxurious.

Also note the “big annual event” item as if this has been going on for years…and will continue into the future.

Also? There are only two people listed on the program – the ones she mentions in the email, Krauss and Copley. Where are all the prestigious luxurious others? After all, it’s the world’s biggest secular coalition and world’s biggest secular think tank, so it can have its pick of fabulous people. Why aren’t they on the menu?

There is a schedule of events though, so that’s good.

9:00-10:30 am – Future of Earth’s Climate (Ballroom)
How will global warming affect life as we know it? Will climate interventions become commonplace mechanisms to save our planet?

10:30-10:45 am – Break

10:45-12:15 pm – Future of Violence and Terrorism (Ballroom)
How will violence reconfigure earth’s geopolitical borders, boundaries, and relationships? Is civilization heading in the direction of greater or lesser violence over the history of its evolution?

12:15-3:30 pm – Future of Space Exploration
Will humans colonize other planets? Will space travel become commonplace? Will time travel become possible?

3:30 – 4:00 pm – Conclusion

7-9 pm – World Future Forum Conversations & Considerations – The George Washington University Lisner Auditorium
The world’s foremost experts convene to talk about the future of everything. This event is ticketed separately and not included in conference registration.

I guess Laurence Krauss and Gregory Copley will sit on the stage and discuss all those things with each other in front of an enthralled audience from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.? It sounds fabulous but tiring. Worth it to hear about the future of everything though!

Updating to add: I forgot to look at the logistical details.

For hotel reservations, call the Phoenix Park Hotel at 1-877-237-2082 or visit and use Group Code 19849 for group rate of $249.


I suppose the little guest soaps will be wrapped in dollar bills.


  1. psanity says

    I don’t think I can manage to negotiate registration. I’m giggling too hard. “The world’s foremost experts” and “the future of everything” in the same sentence, yet! And “the most VIP gathering” — tee-hee! But can they get the Kardashians, I must ask?

  2. yazikus says

    Alright, with a description like that, this thing better also have the worlds largest, biggest, most influential and prestigious buffet to go along with it.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    Having followed US foreign policy for decades, I felt a little bafflement at not recognizing the name of a “former US National Security Advisor”.

    My search produced an author’s profile for Copley’s Art of Victory book, which describes him as “Historian, author and strategic analyst — and onetime industrialist” and includes encomia by a member of Reagan’s NatSec group, a former Nigerian NatSec advisor, and (tah-dahh!), the late Rep. Sonny Bono.

    Prestigious!!1! – but not up there with Big Thinky Thinkers like Kissinger, Brzezinski, and Rice…

    How could Edwina Rogers and her crack team have gotten mixed up about such a Big Prestigious Person?

  4. Lady Mondegreen says

    The big annual what?

    Ah well, if it’s big and annual I’m sure they’d mention it in the newspaper.

    /Simpsons reference

  5. says

    I am really not sure how I feel about spotting one of those invites in my spam folder (while procrastinating on getting to bed). Google’s algorithms thinks it looks like spam…and so does the research posted above.

  6. latsot says

    So they’re going to solve climate change, terrorism, the colonization of space and time travel. What are they going to do next year?


    And that’s on top of the $295 conference fee.

    It’s not as hilariously expensive as I’d secretly hoped for a one day event, but it’s quite hilariously expensive.

  7. Johnny Vector says


    So they’re going to solve climate change, terrorism, the colonization of space and time travel.

    No, they’re not going to solve anything. They’re going to tell you how it’s going to be.

    How will… Will… How will… Is civilization…

    Every entry in that email is of the form “What will x be like in the future?” Which, presumably, they’ll tell you. Not “What can we do about x?” or “What should we do about x?” Or, heaven forfend, “What are the issues around x?” No, they’re there to tell you how it’s gonna be. Cause they’re so smart and all. Even if I were unfamiliar with the history of that, um, organization (am I even using that word correctly?), this advert would only leave me in a state of No thank you.

  8. latsot says

    @Johnny Vector, 11:

    Yeah, I’ve been to a lot of conferences and as far as I remember exactly none have had sessions with questions as titles. Although I did once read a study that showed that academic papers with questions as titles get cited more often (needless to say, the title of the paper about it was something like “Do papers with questions as titles get cited more often?”)

    Maybe they’re just going to stand at the front and read out those questions to the audience.

  9. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    But I thought Krauss had… ahem… “disassociated” himself from the SPI along with his big-name buddies? Up is down, left is right, I can’t keep it all straight anymore. 😉

  10. kellym says

    Inspired by Pierce R. Butler, I checked, and Gregory Copley is not listed as a former U.S. National Security Advisor on Wikipedia. Strange that such a glaring error would not have been caught by now. I hope Edwina Rogers makes the edit soon!

    Also, Copley’s 2006 The Art of Victory has a prodigious 7 reviews on Amazon and an enviable 3.1 star rating.

    I’m heartbroken I can’t afford to attend the conference. Maybe I could apply for a grant.

  11. latsot says


    Maybe I could apply for a grant.

    Oh, it’s simpler than that. Just declare yourself a Global Thought Leader of Global Thought (Global) and you’ll be put on the programme whether you like it or not.

  12. anthrosciguy says

    I won’t say I’ve never read a right winger who writes well, but the ones who mangle words really take it to excess. I guess I should congratulate her on reaching the goal that apparently every right winger nowadays attempts to reach, her own scam. Merry grifting, Edwina.

  13. johnthedrunkard says

    Lucius Beebe once called Richard Nixon ‘a car wreck on the front lawn of the Republican Party.’

    If I were more awake this morning, I’d try to compose a cognate line about Rogers. How the hell did this person get to be Important in the Thought Leading Field?

  14. latsot says

    There is absolutely no way that this won’t continue to be hilarious until at least October.

    Even the title of the conference is comic genius, even without knowing anything about the history of the Global Awesome Council of Awesome.

    The topics they intend to focus on? Why, they just happen to be things people can say clever-sounding things about without anybody actually committing to doing anything. That’s pretty much the definition of navel-gazing. It reminds me of every character Larry David ever invented.

    The facts that they only seem to have two speakers and that they haven’t thought to schedule any breaks? The Onion writers must be hanging their heads in shame.

    I don’t think there’s enough popcorn in the world.

  15. carlie says

    And that’s on top of the $295 conference fee.
    It’s not as hilariously expensive as I’d secretly hoped for a one day event, but it’s quite hilariously expensive.

    Well, don’t forget that the evening event is separately ticketed. Have to add however much that costs to the total.

  16. latsot says

    Well, don’t forget that the evening event is separately ticketed. Have to add however much that costs to the total.

    Ooh, I wonder if there’ll be one of those events afterwards where you can pay hundreds to thousands of pounds to gaze upon Richard Dawkins.

  17. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Edwina will be bagging the air on stage afterwards and selling it as “Eau De Krauss” for $600 a bag.

  18. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Network with members of US Congress

    Fingers crossed! We invited some, doubt they’ll appear!

    big donors

    You added an “s” there that’s unnecessary.

    international secular leaders

    Except they all quit recently, whoops!

    and top thinkers

    Can I be a top thinker? I promise to pose with my chin resting on my fist and think really, really hard.

  19. Donnie says

    As a DCer, the group rate wasn’t the thing that set me off….it’s seeing Phoenix Park Hotel

    Seriously! The circles that stay there are well, well, well above my pay level.

  20. Donnie says



    You have to keep the riff-raff of skepticism, atheism, and secularism out, dontcha’ know? We have to keep this Big Thinky Thingy setup like a media gala where only seriously serious people attend to rub shoulders with the biggest secularly secular typies

    You know, kind of like TAM but without the riff-raff.

  21. Donnie says

    Ophelia at 27:

    So now I’ll have to look it up…

    In my first tour of DC, back in the 90s, The Phoenix Hotel was a big “meet and greet” of the lobbyist, politicians, etc. I am not sure if it is the same 20 years later. I should qualify, for me, the name still is a powerful name though it has been 20 years since….Regardless, do stop into the Dubliner. You can get a great pour of Guinness by people who know how to pour a proper Guinness, if that is your preference. i will gladly buy the first round…..

  22. Al Dente says

    The Phoenix, like any other hotel with a ballroom or three, will be happy to rent space to anyone who puts a deposit down. Most hotels will give a 10% room discount to conference goers. One thing I notice is there’s a 15 minute break after 10:30 AM but there’s no lunch break. Strikes me as odd.

  23. says

    I was just looking through my email spam bucket and found the email Invite in amongst all the letters I get from Nigerian princes and advertisements for enlarging body parts. I feel so special! Prestigiously biggest global thinky special!

  24. Crimson Clupeidae says

    The event itself is $295! I live close enough I could go, were I so inclined, without needing to get the hotel, but screw that. For a fraction of the price, I’d rather go to a comic con and get several days worth of entertainment!

  25. latsot says

    @Dave W:

    Yeah, don’t feel too special, even I got it.

    It ended up in my spam folder, too. It’s gloatingly fun to imagine everyone else’s filters made the same choice.

  26. says

    @latsot: I was feeling left out, since neither I nor my group were able to demand removal from the biggest world-wide prestigious coalition, since they neglected to include me/us without my/our knowledge in the first place. So the email lets me know I’m a second-tier secularist, at least, and not one of the unnamed and unknown rabble.

    Welcome to the club!

    Anyway, I’m sure a high proportion of gmail users had the email go straight into the bit bucket.

    Another odd bit is that the send date is Jun 15, but it didn’t hit gmail’s servers until June 20.

  27. Johnny Vector says

    I live close enough that I could go too. I really hate the Lisner, because in the back section the rows are so close together that there is literally not room for my knees. Course I don’t expect they’ll fill more than the orchestra section, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Great news, eh?


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