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A presentation given by a distinguished individual on a topic of interest to the field of general semantics

The Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture Series

AKML Speakers

Since 1952, the Institute of General Semantics has sponsored the annual Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture (AKML), a presentation given by a distinguished individual on a topic of interest to the field of general semantics.  View Archive | Upcoming Lecture Series


In 1952, two years after founder Alfred Korzbyski’s sudden death, Institute of General Semantics Director M. Kendig initiated an annual program to remember Korzybski and celebrate the continuation of his goals for human development and progress.

This program became known as the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture Series, or “AKML.” Kendig viewed this series as a means not only to remember Korzybski, but also to celebrate the contributions of those whose work is scientifically oriented and promotes what Korzybski termed “time-binding,” the unique human ability to build on the achievements of others through the use of symbols and languages.


An impressive lineup of speakers has added significant prestige to the AKML, which over the years has featured prominent authors, scientists, psychologists, educators, and individuals from varied backgrounds.

A few of the more recognizable names include Abraham Maslow, Buckminster Fuller, Albert Ellis, Steve Allen, Leonard Shlain, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Lou Marinoff, Ellen Langer, J. Allan Hobson, Robert Carneiro, James Van Allen, Karl H. Pribram, Deborah Tannen, Sherry Turkle, and others.

Upcoming events

    • 16 Oct 2023
    • 6:00 PM
    • Zoom

    The sixth installment in our 2023 lecture series will feature IGS President Lance Strate. Please join us on Monday, October 16th at 6:00 PM EDT for 

    So You Want to Change the World?

    A Hitchhiker's Guide to Subversive Thinking

    This talk speaks to the often expressed desire to get more out of life than a paycheck, the desire to have a positive impact on the world and make things better. While it is entirely possible to act without thinking in ways that lead to significant shifts and disruptions, such outcomes are often tragic, because the consequences of change can be unpredictable, and every benefit unavoidably has its cost. Approaching change with humility and a sense of the comedic requires a degree of consciousness and mindfulness, and in this regard general semantics and media ecology can help to provide some suggestions for the kind of subversive thinking that we are in need of. 

    Lance Strate is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City, the President of the Institute of General Semantics, and the the author of 10 books, including On the Binding Biases of Time and Other Essays on General Semantics and Media Ecology (2011), Amazing Ourselves to Death: Neil Postman's Brave New World Revisited (2014), Media Ecology: An Approach to Understanding the Human Condition (2017), Diatribal Writes of Passage in a World of Wintertextuality (2020), Concerning Communication: Epic Quests and Lyric Excursions in the Human Life World (2022), and First Letter of My Alphabet (2023). He is co-editor of several anthologies, including Korzybski and... (2012), and Taking Up McLuhan's Cause: Perspectives on Media and Formal Causality (2017). He delivered the 2018 Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture, received the Media Ecology Association's 2018 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book and their 2013 Walter J. Ong Award for Career Achievement in Scholarship, the Eastern Communication Association's 2019 Distinguished Research Fellow Award, the New York State Communication Association's 2019 Neil Postman Mentor Award and their 1998 John F. Wilson Fellow Award for exceptional scholarship, leadership, and dedication to the field of communication, the Global Listening Centre’s 2020 Outstanding Research Award, and the 2022 J. Talbot Winchell Award for Service from the Institute of General Semantics.

    The lecture will be held via Zoom. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Registrants will receive the Zoom link in advance of the lecture.  

    • 27 Oct 2023
    • 29 Oct 2023
    • The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park S, New York, NY 10003

    Registration is for 

    In-Person Attendance ONLY

    All IGS Members in Good Standing Will Receive Instructions on How to Livestream the Event Online Prior to the AKML

    The 71st Annual 

    Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture

    October 27th, 2023

    Co-Sponsored by the New York Society for General Semantics

    the International Bateson Institute

    the Media Ecology Association

    the Tomkins Institute

    and the 404 Festival of Art and Technology


    Lera Boroditsky

    Dr. Lera Boroditsky is a Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California San Diego. She previously served on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Stanford University, and as editor in chief of Frontiers in Cultural Psychology. Her research is on the relationships between mind, world and language (or how humans get so smart). Her TED talk on how language shapes thinking has been viewed more than 19 million times. Boroditsky has been named one of 25 visionaries changing the world by the Utne Reader, and is also a Searle Scholar, a McDonnell scholar, recipient of a National Science Foundation Career award and an American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientist lecturer. She once used the Indonesian exclusive "we" correctly before breakfast and was proud of herself about it all day.

    Dr. Boroditsky's lecture is entitled:

    Language and Cognition

    Language allows a myriad ways to construe and describe everything from basic physical features of the world like colors and shapes to complex societal issues like crime or immigration. Professor Boroditsky will review the ways in which both the languages we speak, and the particular constructions we are exposed to within those languages, shape the ways we think. Linguistic frames create pathways for thinking, making some elements of an issue seem obvious while obscuring others. Her lecture will highlight some powerful ways that language shapes thinking, showing that sometimes a single word imbedded in a narrative can covertly shape the way we construe situations and reason about events.

    The AKML will be followed by our

    Non-Aristotelian Perspectives

    Ecological Approaches

    and the



    October 28th-29th, 2023

    Send inquiries regarding participation


    by September 15th

    We welcome papers and proposals that fit the symposium theme of Non-Aristotelian Perspectives, Ecological Approaches, and the Anthropocene, or that otherwise relate to the topics of general semantics, linguistics and semiotics, media ecology, communication and culture, science and the empirical  method, epistemology and phenomenology, cybernetics and systems theory, technology and society, art and perception, cognition and consciousness, evolution and emergence, health and human potential, etc.

    The lecture, dinner, and symposium are being held at the historic Players Club in Gramercy Park, Manhattan. 

    Registration is free for IGS members and their guests, but all attendees must be registered in advance in order to gain admittance to the club. More information regarding the dinner and symposium schedule will be made available at a later date.

    Please note that as an historic 18th century landmark, the site is not handicap accessible. Dress code is business casual and is strictly enforced, including no sneakers, shorts, ripped jeans, t-shirts).

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