Our Germs, Our Future

The human microbiome as a community of self

What are we really? Our bodies aren’t really self-contained machines – they’re more like ecosystems. The recent explosion of research into our body’s microbial universe will change 21st century treatment of metabolic, immune and psycho-emotional disorders. What’s more, it will cast a whole new perspective on our metaphors, cultural assumptions, and the very identity of “self,” as described in this talk by cultural anthropologist Miriam Lueck Avery.


Co-Director of the Health Horizons and Global Food Outlook programs at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, Ca. As an anthropologist, Miriam has an overarching interest in how individual and collective choices make the future. Miriam identifies and evaluates emerging trends and innovations in health and well-being, health care, food, nutrition, and sustainability. She holds a BA in anthropology from UCBerkeley. Follow Miriam on Twitter: @myravery