Skip to content

David S Kong


Is a synthetic biologist, bio designer, community organizer, musician, and photographer based in Lexington, MA. He is the Director of the MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative. His research explores the multidisciplinary domains of synthetic biology, biological design and art, collective intelligence and movement building, and STEAM learning. Dr. Kong is also exploring the intersections and interfaces of science and spirituality, intuition and the intellect, and ancient future technology. His work as a designer spans the technical, social, and relational dimensions of communing and creating with the living world.

Participates in:

*Programming subject to change.


«Ancient Future Technology»

We are at a critical moment in human history, where modern civilization’s socioeconomic, scientific, and technological paradigms are contributing to both societal alienation and polarization and an increasingly inhospitable planet for humanity and rapid planetary biodiversity loss. In this talk, Dr. Kong will explore ways of combining and integrating ancient and traditional values, philosophies, and practices, from indigenous land management and traditional Chinese medicine, with cutting edge future technologies like synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. Such ‘Ancient Future Technologies’ can connect culture and spiritual practice with advanced tools and technologies, but remain rooted in mutualistic and reciprocal relationships with the living world. He will also discuss the tensions and interfaces between science and spirituality, and how their integration and harmonization may provide guidance in the challenging years ahead.


“Ancient Future Technology Extended”

In this one hour session, Dr. Kong will engage with community members in a discussion on concepts from his talk on Ancient Future Technology. Participants will be expected to engage and be active in conversation, co-envisioning, and co-designing alternate possible futures that can combine ancient and future practices and technologies.