Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

Stanford Existential Risks Conference 2022

Presented by the Stanford, Cambridge, and Swiss Existential Risks Initiatives

Event Details:

Saturday, February 26, 2022 - Sunday, February 27, 2022

Humanity faces its most dangerous century yet.

SERI (Stanford Existential Risks Initiative) is hosting a virtual conference bringing together the academic community around mitigating existential and global catastrophic risks — large-scale threats which could permanently curtail humanity’s future potential. The conference is scheduled for the weekend of February 26-27, 2022, with programming planned on online platforms from 9AM - 6PM PDT (UTC-8) each day.
Join leading academics for 1:1 networking, exclusive panels/discussions, talks and Q&As, and more.


Video recordings from the Stanford Existential Risks Conference 2022

Together, we can work to reduce existential risks.

Event audience
This conference is aimed primarily at faculty, graduate students, and professionals working in existential-risk related fields. We will also reserve spots for others (e.g. undergraduates) who demonstrate significant familiarity/interest in issues related to existential risks.

The application form is here and should only take a few minutes to fill out. Accepted attendees will receive a registration link to the live event at a later date. The conference is entirely free of charge and will take place virtually.

Invite your colleagues
If you know someone who is a good fit for this event, please invite them to apply. We’re particularly keen to reach other academics, professionals, and highly engaged students interested in careers and research relating to existential risks.

Key goals of the conference

Creating connections: among potential collaborators, funders and grantees, employers and employees, mentors and mentees, and others.

Creating common understanding: of the importance and magnitude of existential risks, of longtermism — making safeguarding the long-term future an academic and ethical priority, and of the existing field of existential risk mitigation.

Creating opportunities: for further engagement through research, careers and internships, collaborations, grants and funding, and more.

Conference Topics

The conference will be comprised of events discussing existential risks that threaten the future of humanity as well as methods of addressing these risks. Topics include:

  • Engineered/global pandemics and risks from synthetic biology
  • Risks from advanced artificial intelligence and alignment proposals
  • Nuclear winter and catastrophic risks from nuclear weapons
  • Extreme climate change and solutions (geo-engineering, policy, etc.)
  • ​​​​​​​Governance, regulation, and deployment of transformative technologies
  • Existential risk field-building, education, careers, research + funding opportunities, and more!

Conference Tools

We will be using to simulate a virtual conference space, where you can walk around and mingle with other attendees. The Gather space will be open from the start of the conference through several hours past the end. We will also be hosting various social events on Gather, including discussion sessions, trivia, and the Fermi estimate competition.

Here are some tips to make the most out of your virtual experience:

  • In large conversations, please make sure you mute yourself if you are not talking!

  • Find other attendees with similar interests in the cause-area discussion rooms for AI, Nuclear, Bio, and Climate/Environment.

  • Utilize private spaces for extended conversations without accidental interruptions from passers-by.

  • You can freely join or leave group conversations, but do be respectful if people are having one-on-one conversations.

  • Find specific attendees using the panel on the left, and use the “Locate on Map” feature.

  • Take a break and play some board games in the lounge.

  • Explore the entire space — there are some cool hidden areas to discover!

Absolutely no inappropriate behavior, including harassment or discrimination of any kind, will be tolerated. If you have a concern or would like to report another user, please contact us directly via a direct message on Slack or an email to Please note also that this space is only for admitted attendees of the conference, and is not open to the public.

It’s difficult to incorporate an engaging social element into a virtual conference, but we are optimistic about Gather — and we hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its functionality. We shall work through technical difficulties as a community. We are looking forward to meeting you virtually!

For further help including instructional videos, please visit our tutorial page:


Saturday, February 26, 2022

  • -

    Navigating the Most Important Century

    Holden Karnofsky

    Co-founder and co-CEO at Open Philanthropy Project, Author of “The Most Important Century” Series on

  • -

    Writing The Ministry for the Future

    Kim Stanley Robinson

    Science fiction novelist, author of The Ministry for the Future

  • -

    Dealing with Dual Use: how do we know which biology projects might be misused?

    Tessa Alexanian

    Safety & Security Program Officer at iGEM Foundation

    Dan Greene

    Postdoctoral researcher and fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (Stanford)

  • -

    Fireside Chat on Staying Motivated as a Longtermist, and Working at 80,000 Hours

    Michelle Hutchinson

  • -

    Guarding Against Pandemics, and Effective X-Risk Lobbying

    Gabe Bankman-Fried

    Founder and Director of Guarding Against Pandemics

  • -

    Networking + Break

  • -

    Fireside Chat on the Alignment Research Center and Eliciting Latent Knowledge

    Paul Christiano

    Founder of the Alignment Research Center, formerly ran language model alignment team at OpenAI

  • -

    Practical approaches to addressing global catastrophic risk

    Seth Baum

    Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute

  • -

    Fireside Chat with the President of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

    Joan Rohlfing

    President and Chief Operating Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

  • -


  • -

    Fireside Chat on Existential Risk and the India-Pakistan Nuclear Dynamic

    Debak Das

    Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC)

  • -

    Fireside Chat with Sam Bankman-Fried on large-scale projects, philanthropy, and policy for existential risk mitigation

    Sam Bankman-Fried

    Founder and CEO of crypto-currency exchange FTX and the philanthropic FTX Foundation

  • -

    Improving China-Western Coordination on AI safety

    Kwan Yee Ng

    Research Analyst at Concordia Consulting

Sunday, February 27, 2022

  • -

    The structure of climate risk and its implications for high-impact climate philanthropy

    Johannes Ackva

    Climate Change and Energy Policy Researcher at Founders Pledge

  • -

    Q&A about 80,000 Hours Career Advising

    Habiba Islam

    Advisor at 80,000 Hours; former Senior Administrator at the Global Priorities Institute and the Future of Humanity Institute

  • -

    The Case for Working on Tech Risk in the US Policy World

    Remco Zwetsloot

    Trustee Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

  • -

    Fireside Chat on Longtermist Movement Building

    Claire Zabel

    Program Officer for Global Catastrophic Risks at Open Philanthropy

  • -

    Managing Risks in Life Science Research

    Megan Palmer

    Executive Director of Bio Policy & Leadership Initiatives and Adjunct Professor, Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University

    Daniel Greene

    Postdoctoral researcher and fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (Stanford)

  • -

    Redwood Research Q&A

    Buck Shlegeris

  • -

    Career Fair + Networking Break

  • -

    Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control and Artificial Intelligence - A Modern Approach

    Stuart Russell

    Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley; Author of Human Compatible and Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

  • -

    A Global Nucleic Acid Observatory for Biodefense and Planetary Health

    Anjali Gopal

    Ending Bioweapons Fellow at The Council on Strategic Risks

  • -

    Reducing Nuclear Risks in the 21st Century: Field Needs and Career Opportunities

    Carl Robichaud

    Advisor to Longview Philanthropy. Formerly Program Officer in International Peace and Security for the Carnegie Corporation

  • -

    Climate breakdown, its uniqueness, and the need for a mature collapsology

    Peter Kalmus

    Climare Scientist and Author

  • -

    Fireside Chat on Timelines for Transformative AI, and Language Model Alignment

    Ajeya Cotra

    Senior Research Analyst at Open Philanthropy

  • -

    Nuclear Winter: Environmental Risks from Nuclear War

    Brian Toon

    Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado - Boulder

  • -

    Reducing Nuclear Risks in the 21st Century: Field Needs and Career Opportunities

    Jenny Xiao

    Weatherhead Fellow in International Relations - Columbia University

  • -

    We need engineers, computer scientists, and physical scientists to mitigate biorisk

    Kevin Esvelt

    Assistant professor at MIT Media Lab; Director of the Sculpting Evolution Group

  • -

    Closing Session

    Paul Edwards

    William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation. Director, Program in Science, Technology & Society

    Steve Luby

    Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Health Research and Policy. Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute and Freeman Spogli Institute

Explore More Events

No events at this time. Please check back later.