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Stanford Existential Risks Conference, April 20-22, 2023

From Global Catastrophes to Existential Risks: Intersections, Reinforcements, and Cascades

Sponsored by:
Stanford Existential Risks Initiative
The Center for International Security and Cooperation

Event Details:

Thursday, April 20, 2023 - Saturday, April 22, 2023


Stanford University
United States

Schedule of Events

Our 3rd annual Stanford Existential Risks Conference aims to take stock of global catastrophic and existential risk studies. A special focus of this year's meeting will be risk intersections, reinforcements, and cascades: how one risk may amplify (or diminish) another, and how multiple risks interact to create new concerns that may be larger than the sum of their parts. The conference will also feature discussions of the ethics of radical longtermism. 

The meeting will take place in a hybrid format. It begins with a welcome dinner on April 20 for in-person participants. All of April 21 will be in-person, with all events broadcast online for remote participants. The morning of April 22 will feature remote presentations and participation, available to the in-person audience as well. For the remainder of April 22, we will close with in-person (and remotely available) events.


Sign-Up Details

  • Sign-up deadlines:
    • In-person sign-ups are now closed!
    • April 14, 2023 for online attendance (virtual)
  • This event will be free for all attendees, both in-person and virtual.
  • Sign-ups will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • While the event is free to attend, in-person attendees will be responsible for their own transportation and lodging.  See the section below titled “Travel and Logistics” for information on hotel and parking options.

Sign-up Process

For in-person attendees, sign-up submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Our goal is to ensure a diverse audience of people from many backgrounds, both within and outside Stanford. We aim to inform interested individuals of a decision within three weeks of submitting a sign-up request. Due to space limitations, we will be offering a waitlist. We will inform waitlist members of new available spots as soon as they open up. In the event your sign-up request is not accepted for in-person attendance, you will automatically be considered for enrollment for virtual attendance as we have a much larger capacity for virtual attendees this year. 

For virtual attendees, we aim to announce decisions in mid-March.

Keynote Speakers

We're pleased to announce our keynote speakers:

President and Chief Operating Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

Joan Rohlfing is NTI’s president and chief operating officer. She provides overall leadership and guidance on NTI’s strategic priorities and direction, catalyzes new project activities and innovation work streams and is responsible for managing NTI’s day-to-day operations.

Rohlfing became president and chief operating officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) in January 2010, after nine years as NTI’s senior vice president for programs and operations. She is responsible for managing all NTI programs and operations.

Research Associate at Cambridge University's Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

Luke looks at the past (civilization collapses) and future (climate change and emerging technologies) to guide policy in the present. He is an honourary lecturer in environmental policy at the Australian National University (ANU), holds a PhD in international relations from the ANU and was previously a senior economist at Vivid Economics.

(Virtual Keynote) Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University

Daniel H. Deudney is Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. He has published extensively on international theory, world political theory and contemporary global/planetary issues (environment, space, and nuclear). He has also written extensively with G. John Ikenberry on the liberal international order and the end of the Cold War. His book, Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory from the Polis to the Global Village (Princeton, 2007) received the Book of the Decade Award (2000-2009) from the International Studies Association. His most recent book is Dark Skies: Space Expansionism, Planetary Geopolitics and the Ends of Humanity (Oxford, 2020). His current book project is Home Rules: Planetary Earth, Machine Civilization and Republican Worlds Orders.

Faculty Co-Director of the Stanford Existential Risks Initiative

Paul N. Edwards is William J. Perry Fellow in International Security and Senior Research Scholar at CISAC, as well as Professor of Information and History at the University of Michigan. At Stanford, his teaching includes courses in the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies and the Program in Science, Technology & Society. His research focuses on the history, politics, and culture of knowledge and information infrastructures. He focuses especially on environmental security (e.g. climate change, Anthropocene risks, and nuclear winter).  

Faculty Co-Director of the Stanford Existential Risks Initiative

Dr. Luby studied philosophy and earned a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Creighton University. He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas and completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Rochester-Strong Memorial Hospital. He studied epidemiology and preventive medicine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Luby's previous positions include directing the Centre for Communicable Diseases at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 2004 - 2012, conducting research and teaching epidemiology at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan from 1993 - 1998, and working as an epidemiologist in the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An additional 40+ speakers and panelists will present papers covering a wide variety of topics surrounding existential risk. 

Travel and Logistics

SERI is unable to cover travel expenses for in-person attendees. Additionally, we are unable to sponsor US visas for out-of-country attendees. In the event that travel expenses or visa acquisition are prohibitive, we encourage you to attend the conference virtually.

SERI has reserved a group of parking spaces near the event facility. The option to reserve a space will be available upon your acceptance to attend in-person.

Food & Dining
SERI will provide meals, snacks, and refreshments throughout the conference, beginning with the opening reception on April 20th and concluding with a cocktail reception on Saturday, April 22nd.  All meals will include vegan and gluten-free options. Upon acceptance to attend in-person, you'll be able to submit further dietary restrictions.

Stanford University is committed to ensuring its facilities, programs, and services are accessible to everyone. If you need disability-related accommodation or wheelchair access, please contact:
Stanford Diversity & Access Office
For fastest response, email:
Phone: (650) 725-0326

Getting Here

For general information about transportation to campus, visit the Stanford Transportation website.

San Francisco International (SFO) is approximately 25 miles north and San Jose International (SJC) approximately 20 miles south of Stanford. Both airports offer public transport, shuttle, and hire car options that will get you here. Oakland International (OAK) is also an option but is further from campus and can be more difficult to travel to/from using public transport and shuttles.

Public Transportation
BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) provides limited transit service on the San Francisco Peninsula and throughout the East Bay. BART services do not extend past the Millbrae Station. Stanford riders can connect to BART via Caltrain and bus connections at the following stations:

Millbrae – served by Caltrain
Fremont – served by the Line U East Bay Express
Union City – served by the Dumbarton Express

Caltrain connects San Francisco and San Jose (including both airports) with a stop in Palo Alto. Attendees using Caltrain should get off at the Palo Alto station.

Campus Transportation
Marguerite, Stanford's free shuttle service, meets most Caltrain services at the Palo Alto station and can take you to the Stanford Campus. See the Live Shuttle Map


SERI will be using several digital platforms to make this event as interactive and productive as possible. All attendees, both virtual and in-person, will be given access to Swapcard and Both of these platforms allow attendees to connect with other attendees, schedule meet-ups, and easily join virtual discussion spaces. More information and enrollment links will be provided closer to the conference start.

COVID-19 Information

Stanford strongly recommends masking indoors and in crowded outdoor settings.  Masks will be made available to all conference attendees.  If a visitor tests positive for COVID-19, within 10 days of being on site, they must complete the Stanford General COVID-19 Case Reporting Form.

If you have any questions regarding the sign-up process, logistics, or any other matter, please email the SERI conference team at

Schedule of Events