The year was 1999, and Steven Spielberg was preparing to turn Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Minority Report” into a $100 million action movie starring Tom Cruise. There was just one problem: The story was set in the undated future, and the director had no idea what that future should look like. He wanted the world of the movie to be different from our own, but he also wanted to avoid the exaggerated and often dystopian speculation that plagued most science fiction.
Instead, he wanted his film to be a realistic depiction of how things might actually look in 50 years. So Spielberg convened an ad hoc think tank: He invited a small group of the foremost thinkers in science and technology, along with a handful of people involved with the movie, to hang out for a weekend and talk about the future....
To mark the 10th anniversary of Minority Report‘s June 21 release, Wired spoke to more than a dozen people who were at the so-called “idea summit” that delved deep into the future. As participant Joel Garreau recalls, “I don’t think many of us knew what the fuck we were getting ourselves into.”