outdoors convention center full of people and technology exhibits, 1930s Worlds Fair, in a sunny light environment in a retro-futurist style, fresh neutral tones, pastel colors, optimistic feel --ar 16:9 Job ID: f1a11fe0-df6e-416a-854f-a7eb579ef5e2
The Roots of Progress Institute

Progress Conference 2024

Toward Abundant Futures

A two-day event to connect people & ideas in the progress movement

October 18–19, 2024  •  Berkeley, California

Meet great people • Catalyze new projects • Share ideas • Be energized & inspired

The progress movement has grown a lot in the last few years. We now have progress journals, think tanks, and fellowships. The progress idea has spread and evolved into the “abundance agenda”, “techno-optimism”, “supply-side progressivism”, “American dynamism”. All of us want to see more scientific, technological, and economic progress for the good of humanity, and envision a bold, ambitious, flourishing future.

What we haven't had so far is a regular gathering of the community. Let’s get together in Berkeley this fall!

In partnership with:

Sponsored by:

Sponsors: Contact us to support the progress community!

Sponsorships are available at levels from $5K–$25K. Sponsor keynotes, a speaker track, book signings, fellows attending the event, or food/fun at the event.

Depending on the sponsorship level, you’ll get access to:

  • VIP reception ticket(s)
  • Conference ticket(s)
  • Branding at the event, from lanyards to book plates
  • A room at the venue

Progress Conference 2024: Sponsorship Opportunities

Email progress-conference@rootsofprogress.org for details or to set up a call with Heike Larson, RPI’s Vice President of Programs, to discuss sponsorships.

Show details

The speakers

Top thinkers and doers in the 
progress community

Authors, founders, journalists, technologists, academics, nonprofit leaders

Our speakers all are inspired to create an ambitious, technologically advanced future—yet they may disagree (sometimes vehemently) about how we get there. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, from academics to company founders to investors, from journalists to YouTubers. They’ll provide thoughtful perspectives about all kinds of ways we can make progress happen—from meta-science to policy reform, from space to AI to biotech to defense and nuclear energy and more.

Keynote Speakers

Patrick Collison


Tyler Cowen

Mercatus Center

Jason Crawford

Roots of Progress Institute

Steven Pinker

Harvard University

More Speakers

John Burn-Murdoch

The Financial Times

Emily Chamlee-Wright

Institute for Humane Studies

Saloni Dattani

Our World in Data & Works in Progress

Julia DeWahl

Antares Industries

Eli Dourado

Abundance Institute

Casey Handmer

Terraform Industries

Chad Jones

Stanford University

Bret Kugelmass

Last Energy

Niko McCarty

Asimov Press

Johan Norberg

Author, Open & Progress

Scott Phoenix

Fifty Years

Virginia Postrel

Author, The Future and Its Enemies

Kanjun Qiu


Ben Reinhardt

Speculative Technologies

Blake Scholl

Boom Supersonic

Alec Stapp

Institute for Progress

Chandler Tuttle

Freethink/Big Think

Marian Tupy


Caleb Watney

Institute for Progress

Talks will align roughly to four tracks, which together cover the core of the progress movement:

  1. The big idea of human progress: history, philosophy, economics, and future visions
  2. Policy for progress: changes to laws and regulatory environments that remove barriers to progress or actively support it, at the federal, state & city level
  3. Technology for progress: making progress happen through technology and new ventures, from atoms to bits
  4. Storytelling and media for a culture of progress: shifting the public narrative from fatalism and defeatism to agency and ambition, through writing, podcasting, fiction, TV and movies

The attendees

200+ thinkers, builders, policy makers, storytellers, and students

Spend two days hanging out with others in our community and help shape the progress movement into a cultural force.

Whether you identify as a supply-side or abundance progressive, e/acc or EA, whether you come at progress from a classical liberal background or study meta-science, advocate for broad YIMBY or American Dynamism—you are invited to meet each other, share ideas in unconference sessions, and leave energized.

As an event invitee, you’ll join people from a wide range of backgrounds:

  • Key academics and public intellectuals in the progress movement
  • Leaders of progress-related organizations, from science to policy
  • Founders and engineers working on solving the world’s biggest problems and building an ambitious future, from space to nanotech, from AI to deep tech
  • Cultural leaders, from science fiction authors to YouTubers to Hollywood producers and script writers
  • The Roots of Progress fellows and other up-and-coming progress intellectuals
  • Supporters of the progress movement (including the conference sponsors)

Attendance is by invitation only. We want to maintain a high bar on participant relevance & engagement to ensure a great experience for everyone. 

We received over 300 applications for about 25 open invitation spots; the open application period closed on July 15th. If you applied to attend, we'll be in touch by August 15th. 

The venue

An inviting Berkeley campus perfect 
for mingling and engaging in deep conversations

This gathering is all about connecting interesting people so ideas can flow and new projects can be cooked up. Our venue, the Lighthaven Campus in Berkeley, is perfect for this. It’s a cluster of old homes with a wide range of lounge areas that invite conversation, several living-room and larger areas to hold sessions of up to 60 people, and a garden with many places to sit and chat or walk around. Plenary sessions will happen in the garden auditorium, or be held in a large session space & livestreamed to smaller spaces.

VIP & Speaker reception venue

The Institute, Salesforce Tower

Our invitation-only pre-event reception on Thursday evenings, for speakers and VIPs, takes place in the skies above San Francisco, on one of the top floors of the Salesforce Tower. This venue offers a small-group presentation room and a cafe where we will mingle over appetizers and desert and explore progress ideas over dinner.  



The program

Two days of intellectual exploration, inspiration & interaction

We aim to make this event a highlight of your year.

Attend talks on topics from tech to policy to culture, build relationships with new people as you hang out on cozy sofas or enjoy the sun in the garden, sign up to run an unconference session and find others who share your interests and passions, or pitch your ideas to those who could help make your dreams a reality.

Agenda and flow

Buy your ticket now or 

apply to attend! 

  • If you have received an invitation, check your email for the link to purchase a ticket.
  • Not on our invitation list (yet)? Our open application process was open through July 15th. We will make decisions and share who out of over 300 applicants will be invited to attend by August 15th. 
Scholarship tickets and financial support

We want every qualified person to be able to attend, so we’re keeping costs low. Regular tickets are $300, and cover food and beverage costs during the two days. Participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging; limited scholarships and waived ticket fees are available. 

If you received an invitation to attend and need financial support,
 email us and let us know: (1) what level of support you need (free ticket, travel stipend, lodging support), (2) why we should support you, and (3) whether you’re willing to volunteer at the conference.

Questions? Email us: progress-conference@rootsofprogress.org.

Recommended event hotel

A limited block of rooms is available at the Hilton DoubleTree at the Berkeley Marina. 15 minutes by Uber/Lyft or 40 min by bus from the venue and right on the Bay, this hotel is both convenient and nice.

Reserve your room while our special rate of $159 per room, per night is available. The rate is available for any nights between October 16–20. Block expires on August 15, and only a limited number of rooms are available at this rate.

Progress Conference reservation link



There is no parking on site, and parking in the neighborhood streets is limited. We recommend either Ride Share services or taking public transport: Ashby BART is 0.9 miles from Lighthaven and Downtown Berkeley BART 1.2 miles.

How do I get to Lighthaven?

Once you purchase your ticket, you'll be able to see the exact address on the Luma registration page & we'll email it to you. Lighthaven is just south of downtown Berkeley/UC Berkeley. 

There is no parking on site, and parking in the neighborhood streets is limited. We recommend either Ride Share services or taking public transport: Ashby BART is 0.9 miles from Lighthaven and Downtown Berkeley BART 1.2 miles, a nice walk past UC Berkeley and through residential neighborhoods.

If you drive, you can park at the Telegraph Channing Parking Garage (15 min walk). from campus). 

What is the dress code?

The dress code is nice casual. Make sure to bring layers: some of the events, including keynotes and fireside chats, will be in the outdoor auditorium, weather permitting. Plus, we’ll be hanging out in the nice outdoor spaces late on Friday night. Bring fleece or down layers to stay comfy as you chat!

Is there wifi at the venue? 

Yes: Lighthaven offers a strong wifi throughout the venue, indoors and outside. There are also extension cords galore, so you can recharge your devices.

What options are there to lower cost?  Can you help me find a roommate?

We don't want cost preventing people from attending the event. If you need financial support, please complete the open application here. There's a section that asks for what kind of financial support you need, and a "what else?" question where you can provide additional info to help us decide on the level of support we can provide. 

Later this summer, we'll invite all registered attendees to private Slack channels, including one on travel & logistics, where you can post to find roommates.

General attendance 


How do I find out who else is attending?

We’ll put together an attendee directory this summer. You’ll receive a link to a survey, where you can share your interests, goals for the conference, topics you’d like to discuss, etc. We’ll pull all that together into a searchable database to help you discover people you want to make sure you meet at the conference.

What are your terms & conditions or code of conduct?

Yes, we have some basic terms and conditions, which include general waivers, photo and video policies, and code of conduct around sharing what you learn at the event. You'll need to agree to these terms and conditions when you register for the event. 

How can I connect with other attendees?

Join the Progress Studies Slack! We’re setting up dedicated channels for the conference, so people can chat with each other and we can share quick updates with everyone.

What is your cancellation policy?

Tickets are non-refundable; the ticket price only covers a part of the cost of putting on this conference. If you must cancel and would like your money back, rather than donating it to our organization and supporting the conference, email us at progress-conference@rootsofprogress.org