2014 Annual Report of the Mormon Transhumanist Association



The Mormon Transhumanist Association has released its 2014 annual report. The report includes a message from Association president Lincoln Cannon, an overview of Association leadership, a timeline and summary of Association accomplishments in 2014, and some of the latest demographic information about members of the Association. Special thanks to Association CIO Nathan Hadfield for compiling the report, and to all members of the Association that contributed to our growth and accomplishments in 2014.

View the 2014 Annual Report of the Mormon Transhumanist Association

Association Leadership Performance Review 2014

In the interest of ongoing transparency, the Board of Directors of the Mormon Transhumanist Association is pleased to release the following leadership performance review. Each member of the Board independently evaluated the performance of the Board as a whole and the performance of CEO Lincoln Cannon, who is appointed by the Board to manage the Association. Secretary of the Board, Dorothy Deasy, gathered and compiled the evaluations into a single review, which follows.


Board of Director’s Performance Review

The Board of Directors of the Mormon Transhumanist Association is generally performing its function well. It is comprised of intelligent and compassionate people, who provide good counsel to management on request. It consists of independent, creative, mostly academically-trained thinkers who are able to work together respectfully and articulately toward a consensus on vision, strategy, and policy. There is a diversity of perspectives, including gender, faiths, and sexual orientations, while being able to achieve a unity of directional vision. The Board performs its functions efficiently, with the ability to respectfully and productively disagree, bringing cohesive leadership to the Association.

This past year, the organization restructured roles, delegating task completion to domain managers. This shifted the focus of the board to be strategic rather than tactical, relieving some time-pressure burdens. The Board is still feeling its way through the transition to produce improved strategic output. This past year the Board established a Humanitarian Projects committee (led by Hank Pellissier and Roger Hansen), developed a policy for moderating discussion forums, worked on guidelines for partnering with other religious transhumanist organizations, began work on a website refresh, and organized an annual conference with strong keynote speakers.

A key goal for the Board moving forward is to bring clarity and commitment to the strategy-setting role. The Board needs to consider more objective ways of defining and measuring its performance and improvement over time. Another key objective is to better involve and mentor other members of the Association in activities so as to develop leadership for the future.

The Board meets on a monthly basis. Most Board members attend board meetings regularly. (There are periods of time when scheduling conflicts arise, resulting in some occasional or partial attendance, but we have fairly consistently achieved the quorum required by the constitution.) Meetings are always well organized and focused, and action items are always noted and followed up on until they are completed or reprioritized. The Board adheres closely to the rules and guidelines established by the constitution to ensure fairness, transparency, and fidelity to the stated goals of the Association.

The requirements of the Board are flexible enough to be satisfied by the part-time involvement of each member, without financial compensation. The Board has done a good job of crafting and supporting Association initiatives on a voluntary basis.


CEO’s Performance Review

Lincoln Cannon is both an inspiring leader and an organized manager. He leads by sharing a vision and then taking practical and consistent steps to carry it out. Lincoln balances near-term goals with ones that are more long-term and speculative. He has a talent for "thinking big" and recognizing the broader implications of current trends. Lincoln excels at thought leadership. He has a gift for articulating complex ideas in ways that are inspiring and easy to understand. He is the public face of the Association and the driving force behind its continued existence, leadership, vision, and passion.

Lincoln leads by example. He is open and encourages divergent points of view. He is comfortable with ambiguity and nuance. He strives to move people beyond “black and white” thinking. As the Association is best served by finding common ground between potentially antagonistic world views, this element of Lincoln's perspective is valuable for the Association. He attempts to weave a middle way through all conflicts.

As some of the speculative issues related to transhumanism begin to materialize in society, Lincoln may be increasingly challenged to navigate Directors’ viewpoints on ethical issues.

Some highlights of his leadership include:

  • Beginning an effort to identify management partners/successors
  • Continued effort to separate strategic role of directors from implementation role of managers
  • Ensuring Directors have meaningful responsibilities for which they can be accountable
  • Reaching out to prominent leaders of complementary organizations
  • Public outreach and publication/presentation to non-Association audiences
  • He is the public face of the Association and the driving force behind its continued existence leadership, vision, and passion

Lincoln’s key strengths include:

  • Vision
  • Organization
  • Articulate
  • Inspirational
  • A “bridge builder”, able to facilitate relationship
  • Patience
  • Encouragement
  • Strategic, “Big Picture” and long-view perspectives

Ralph Merkle, Transhumanist Technologist, to Keynote at 2015 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association



Transhumanist technologist Ralph Merkle will be a keynote speaker at the 2015 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association on 3 April at the Salt Lake City Public Library.

Ralph is a computer scientist. He is one of the inventors of public key cryptography, the inventor of cryptographic hashing, and more recently a researcher and speaker on molecular nanotechnology and cryonics. Ralph was the manager of compiler development at Elxsi from 1980. In 1988, he became a research scientist at Xerox PARC. In 1999 he became a nanotechnology theorist for Zyvex. In 2003 he became a Distinguished Professor at Georgia Tech, where he led the Georgia Tech Information Security Center. In 2006 he returned to the Bay Area, where he has been a senior research fellow at IMM, a faculty member at Singularity University, and a board member of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. He was awarded the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal in 2010.

Register for the 2015 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association today!

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