- Birth name
Spencer Arliss Hagen
- Known for
- Net worth
¥2.57 trillion as of September 2049
- Michelle Bagnoli (2025 - 2027)
- Sunny Tan (2043 - present)
Spencer Hagen (born September 30th 2000) is a German-American entrepreneur, nanosystems engineer, programmer, and chief technology officer (CTO) of Zhupao. He also serves as president of Datalign and executive chair of Endoptic.
Born in Düsseldorf, Hagen’s family moved to the United States (US) in 2014. He studied Chemical Engineering at Stanford University and completed a postgraduate research project on networking applications for human-implantable multielectrode arrays (MEAs) at UC Berkeley.
In 2027, Hagen moved to Borneo and founded Endoptic, leading the company’s development of neural colloids and modern neurometrics. He became CTO of Zhupao in 2040 and president of Datalign in 2041, both at the request of Xu Shaoyong. As part of the GPHIN 2.0 project, Hagen laid the technical foundations of G6 alongside Efua Amankwah-Crouse and Sunil Cariappa.
In 2049, Connie Muren posthumously accused Hagen of misusing G6 to cover up the existence of acquired deficiency of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (ADIRA), which may be caused by the protein targeting-based colloid implanting method developed by Endoptic in 2030. Muren has also claimed that Hagen attempted to murder her before her disappearance in 2040.
Table of contents
Early life and education
Spencer Hagen was born Spencer Arliss Hagen on September 30th 2000 in Düsseldorf, Germany. His father is Joachim Hagen, a German attorney, and his mother was Alex Levene, an American investor and heiress who died during the 2027 Santa Cruz earthquake. Hagen displayed scientific interests and technological proficiency from an early age, with his parents having to “hide electrical appliances or he would take them apart.” They moved to the United States (US) in 2014, settling in San Francisco where Hagen “instantly felt the buzz of innovation at the forefront of human imagination.” 
Hagen enrolled in Stanford University in 2018, graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 2022. While at Stanford, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and served as president of the Europe Club. In his graduation speech, Hagen told the audience of his dream to “explore the expanse not out there, but in here, where mankind’s true potential lies” while pointing to his head. In September 2022, Hagen applied for a postgraduate research project at UC Berkeley’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, eventually joining the research group of Yang Peidong.
Hagen’s research was mainly focused on improving the design of a human-implantable multielectrode array (MEA) first devised by a team at Harvard University.  In collaboration with fellow researchers Kathy Gao and James Lundeen, Hagen developed a method for allowing the MEA electrodes to communicate with each other using short-range visible light in the brain, which eliminated the need for a conductive mesh to thread the electrodes together and facilitated a wireless brain-computer interface (BCI) with an external device.
In 2027, trials of Hagen’s more flexible MEA design in animal models demonstrated a marked increase in spatiotemporal resolution and a higher signal-to-noise ratio, winning his team several awards and grants. In June 2027, Hagen announced his plans to found a neurotechnology startup in San Francisco to further develop the MEA design with Yang’s blessing, which Yang later denied. Following the Santa Cruz earthquake and the death of his mother on July 2nd 2027, Hagen chose to settle in Borneo.
On September 30th 2027, Hagen founded Endoptic in Sotek, giving himself the title of chief executive officer (CEO) as “a birthday present” and assembling a research and technological development (RTD) team composed of Gao, Lundeen, and several other neuroscientists and nanosystems engineers. Hagen’s initial focus was on finding an administration method for the MEA design that did not involve a needle injected into the target region of the brain. The RTD team first experimented with ways to embed the electrodes in microscopic lipid bubbles and then release them in the desired area of the brain via focused ultrasound. 
In 2030, a breakthrough in AlphaFold-enabled protein targeting led Hagen to devise an implanting method for the MEAs using synthesised protein coatings, which would migrate the individual electrodes to specified parts of the brain via the circulatory system after intramuscular injection. Additionally, the protein coatings allowed for the electrodes to persist within the body for an entire lifetime without the need for bulk enclosures, which also reduced the electrodes in size. 
In 2031, long-term biocompatibility trials of the MEAs in animals resulted in cases of cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD), which were attributed to the blockage of capillaries in the brain by the electrodes. Hagen subsequently reached out to Parisa Mirkarimi, whose research at Stanford University had resulted in the development of flexible artificial pseudoplastic (FLAPP), a polypyrrole-based nanomaterial that can mimic the folding properties of red blood cells (RBCs). Mirkarimi joined Endoptic in July 2031 and worked with Hagen and his RTD team to produce FLAPP nanomaterials for the company’s MEAs.
In March 2032, Hagen entered Endoptic as a candidate venture into the first investment round of Zhupao Campus, eventually winning ¥30 million in funding to organise human trials of Endoptic’s neural colloids, so named for the colloidal delivery method of the MEAs. When he announced the trials, Hagen also revealed that he had been contacted by Efrim Waite, who had asked him to be “the first human recipient of epiphylogenetic memory.” As an outspoken fan of Polysemic Sortilege, Xu Shaoyong confessed that Hagen’s association with Waite “did not influence the selection of Endoptic, but it certainly did no harm.”
On August 1st 2032, Hagen personally administered Waite’s colloid as they livestreamed the event, praising the technology’s convenience and ease-of-use by joking that “even an idiot like [him] could apply one.” Waite ultimately invested ¥29.1 million for a 2% stake in Endoptic following Hagen’s 2033 announcement of a partnership with Moodoo to apply colloids to Moodoo’s dream imaging BCIs. Hagen also worked with a research group at the University of Düsseldorf on the design of a colloid-enabled chemical sensor for the early detection of infectious prions in brain tissue.  In July 2034, Hagen issued a joint statement with Xu to distance Endoptic from reports that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Huawei had been testing early designs of implantable MEAs on detainees in the Xinjiang concentration camps, resulting in numerous cases of CSVD.
After successfully completing human trials of colloids in 2036, Hagen was looking to upgrade Endoptic’s algorithms for medical neurostimulation, which led to a collaborative project with Efua Amankwah-Crouse and her artificial intelligence (AI) team in London City. Over the following months, Amankwah-Crouse’s team worked with Endoptic’s software engineers to implement the Pacotti architecture for pattern recognition approaches to localising neural targets and identifying event-related potentials (ERPs).
The early successes with applying the Pacotti architecture surprised Hagen, who stated that Amankwah-Crouse “blew the ceiling off what colloids can do.” Further experiments resulted in colloids generating montages rich enough for the systematic analysis of detailed ERP waveforms and neural pathways, accounting for interindividual variability in brain anatomy and mental models with minimal calibration. Endoptic’s colloid-based research has been credited with enhancing the accuracy and precision of many neurotechnologies, including thought-to-speech parsers, electroencephalographic (EEG) control schemes, mental chronometry and affective perception feedback (APF) applications, and neurometrics via the CEREBRE protocol. 
In October 2036, Xu and Hagen incorporated Endoptic as a subsidiary of Zhupao after a merger with Sanial. During a livestreamed conference on October 25th 2036, Xu and Hagen unveiled colloids as a new class of implantable MEAs and “the biggest paradigm shift in consumer technology since smartphones.”  Xu congratulated Hagen for “the democratising of brain augmentation” and “advancing the fundamental understanding of the human mind.”
On December 6th 2036, Hagen ended Mirkarimi’s employment with Endoptic, though the circumstances of her departure remain in dispute. Hagen claimed that Mirkarimi had offered to resign, while Mirkarimi alleged that Hagen refused to take any meetings about an open-source license for Endoptic’s FLAPP nanomaterials and eventually fired her “during a raging fit.” She later accused Hagen of wording Endoptic’s patent of her contributions to colloid technology broadly enough so that its enforcement also covered her early work at Stanford University. Mirkarimi was in the process of mounting legal action against Endoptic for theft of intellectual property (IP) before her death on January 4th 2037.
On January 15th 2037, Hagen announced the construction of a colloid manufacturing facility outside Sotek, boasting a production capacity of five million colloids per month.  In May 2037, Hagen accused Huawei of having reverse engineered Endoptic’s colloid design in order to “steal” FLAPP nanomaterials for its own line of implantable MEAs. The contentious relationship between Xu and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) resulted in the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) reclassifying colloids as Class III implantable medical devices (IMDs), designating them “high-risk IMDs that pose potential risks to the human body.” As a result, Hagen was forced to cancel several contracts and partnerships for the manufacture of colloids.
In 2038, Xu hinted at legal action against Huawei, which resulted in a one-year probation from the CCP that made him ineligible for re-election to the 17th National People’s Congress (NPC). In response, Hagen initiated a campaign to lobby international regulatory agencies for the adoption of colloids, which led to a Class II IMD approval from the Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD) in a surprise ruling attributed to long-standing tensions between Huawei and Canada. Between July 2038 and May 2039, Zhupao worked with select physicians and hospitals across Canada to apply Endoptic’s colloids to the neurostimulative diagnosis and treatment of various neurological disorders.
On December 8th 2039, Xu credited Hagen with spearheading a line of diagnostic colloids that would be deployed in a partnership between Zhupao and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to contain the spread of Cariappa-Muren disease (CMD).  Following initial reports of hesitancy towards the diagnostic colloids, Hagen defended their use by describing “the way masks and vaccines were politicised during the COVID-19 pandemic. Countless scientists and public health experts stressed their use, but they were made the subject of a culture war that needlessly cost lives. We can’t afford to make the same mistake again. Colloids are a proven technology and they can help us stop this pandemic.” 
Hagen attributed the colloid hesitancy to the increased awareness of implantable MEAs as an infection vector of the CMD pandemic, as prions are resistant to conventional chemical and physical decontamination methods, and many MEA implanting techniques at the time were dependent on reusable neurosurgical equipment that could transmit prions between individuals.
On December 20th 2039, Hagen launched a marketing campaign that downplayed the permanence of a colloid implant and highlighted the disposable, single-use nature of colloid injectors “with zero risk of prion transmission.”  The success of this campaign and the subsequent mass adoption of colloids increased Hagen’s public profile, with Elon Musk hailing him as “the saviour of the global neurotech industry.” 
On March 3rd 2040, Xu asked Hagen to replace Gong Peiqiang as chief technology officer (CTO) of Zhupao. Hagen reportedly received Xu’s message about the offer during a tech conference in Berlin, where he jumped up and shouted “Fuck yeah!” He later apologised and explained to the audience that he “just got some unexpected good news.” On March 5th 2040, Hagen transitioned to the role of Endoptic’s executive chair while promoting Gao to the position of CEO, and was officially announced by Xu as Zhupao’s CTO.
On May 1st 2040, Hagen met with Sunil Cariappa in London City to offer him a role at the centre of a Zhupao partnership with the CCP to overhaul China’s healthcare system, as well as a cooperation strategy with the WHO to set a new global standard for biosecurity, health informatics, and IMDs.  Cariappa accepted after an hours-long conversation with Hagen about potential designs for a biosecurity system of systems, which they dubbed GPHIN 2.0. 
On May 7th 2040, GPHIN 2.0 was officially unveiled during a Zhupao conference, with Xu naming Hagen, Cariappa, and Amankwah-Crouse as the team leads of the project. Hagen spent most of his time during GPHIN 2.0’s development in China, though he also travelled to promote the network’s international adoption. He was seen alongside CEOs and senior executives of major technology companies, and began to be referenced in popular culture, leading to multiple film and television cameos.  In June 2040, Hagen attended a public meeting between Xu and Sri Lankan President Victor Senanayake to discuss the country’s adoption of GPHIN 2.0, with a trial across thirty state hospitals announced in August 2040.
On September 3rd 2040, Hagen, Xu, Amankwah-Crouse, and Cariappa presented the first GPHIN 2.0 testbed to an audience of officials from the CCP and the National Health Commission (NHC), leading to a series of pilot programmes in mainland China as well as Canada, London City, and Sri Lanka. On September 23rd 2040, Hagen took part in a Zhupao conference to introduce the colloids that were being administered to Chinese citizens as part of the pilot programmes. He announced that Endoptic’s development of the colloids had resulted in a “frictionless” application of neurometrics that can bypass [ERPs] in favour of more foundational neural patterns that do not require any external stimuli. 
On October 31st 2040, the CCP declared the pilot programmes a success and announced its intention to introduce GPHIN 2.0 to all its territories and special economic zones (SEZs) under the name mìngyùn. On December 1st 2040, Xu purchased the Shard in London City to serve as Zhupao’s European headquarters, offering ownership of the building to Hagen in a “ceremonial gesture.”
On February 11th 2041, Hagen praised the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) vote to adopt Resolution ES-13/6, stating that “with the universality of mìngyùn, we can choose to lead humanity away from this darkness.” In March 2041, Hagen joined a working group set up by the WHO and proposed the name DESTINI to designate mìngyùn outside of China. Though Xu won out with his suggestion of the G6 acronym, Hagen’s design for the G6 symbol was ultimately chosen for its rhizomatic styling.
On June 7th 2041, Endoptic’s main manufacturing facility in Borneo was destroyed by Typhoon 4109, which delayed Zhupao’s rollout of G6-BASIC colloids. In July 2041, Hagen announced that Endoptic would move its headquarters and production capacity to Sri Lanka with the construction of eight new facilities outside Colombo, and thanked Roshantha De Silva for “getting us a good deal.”  In response to Hagen’s announcement, then-Indonesian president Denny Suryanto accused Endoptic of dangerous manufacturing practices and “grueling conditions for local workers.” which CEO Gao denied. 
On June 10th 2041, Xu created Datalign as a system integration company from the merger of several Zhupao subsidiaries closely involved with “the distribution of G6 and its affiliated services,” and announced Hagen as Datalign’s president.  This came after reports that Hagen had clashed with Xu over the latter’s intent to absorb Endoptic into Datalign following the disruption caused by Typhoon 4109.
During Zhupao’s 2042 earnings call, Hagen introduced a number of Datalign service solutions with both human contractors and AI operators to handle civil registration responsibilities in G6-BASIC countries. When some contractors began to misuse their G6 owner-actor verifications for the purposes of vandalism or hacktivism, Hagen instituted a rigorous screening process for all Datalign staff, including a continuous neurometric ping when logged into G6 to automatically verify each user’s identity and location.
In April 2042, G6 reported that a number of Datalign contractors had started to display symptoms of CMD, resulting in cases of brain damage and 52 deaths by the end of that month. News coverage of the deaths led to a rise in CMD phobia amidst fears of a resurgence of the CMD pandemic, even though none of the affected Datalign contractors had tested positive for infectious CMD prions. On April 25th 2042, a group of World News Wire (WNW) reporters attributed the cases of CMD to a surge in neuroglycopenia resulting from the prolonged continuous use of colloids “for neurometric or other purposes,” echoing similar accusations levelled by WNW during Zhupao’s colloid trials in Canada in 2039.  
Hagen issued a statement in response to the WNW allegations, describing the continuous neurometric ping as “paramount for heightened security due to the sensitivity involved with handling G6 data,” and dismissed any connection with the deaths of Datalign contractors. This led to a series of unionisation efforts in the spring and summer of 2042, as well as numerous strike actions and organised walkouts. When a drop in public awareness and an increased usage of AI operators left union organisers with little bargaining power, they met with Hagen in September 2042 and successfully negotiated reduced shift times of eight hours, with a minimum downtime of four hours between shifts, to avoid the onset of neuroglycopenia.
In May 2044, Cariappa founded Nuance and described its purpose as “a counterweight to Datalign,” accusing the company of “doing no more than taking ownership of localised data extraction systems, integrating them into G6, and then licensing them back to Zhupao’s clients.”  Cariappa also cited research on G6’s operating algorithms and how they are rarely updated to reflect local cultures and customs, with many remaining unchanged from China’s surveillance and social credit platforms.   Hagen refuted Cariappa’s accusations and began to associate him with rumours and conspiracy theories that had begun to circulate due to his years-long absence from public life prior to the founding of Nuance. Hagen has also alleged that Cariappa is behind Adira, or has “some awareness” of their identity.
In July 2045, Hagen took part in a Russian investigation of Pokrov, which had been accused of illegally reverse engineering colloid technology and selling collocidals since 2042. When Yuri Golitsyn condemned Zhupao and President Denis Molchalin for “deliberately misrepresenting the long-term risks of colloid implants,” Hagen came out in support of Molchalin, calling Russia’s implementation of G6 “exemplary” and branding Golitsyn’s attacks as “the last gasps of a man out of step with our changing world.”
On October 10th 2045, Zhupao suffered a breach to its corporate network, resulting in the leak of a data cache containing technical information related to G6. One of the leaked files was a report of an internal Datalign investigation into unusual behaviour exhibited by the company’s proprietary routing algorithm, which distributes incoming tickets to contractors based on their location so that they never interact with G6 data outside of their purview. According to the report, the algorithm had started to route unresolved tickets to contractors who were marking a series of tickets as resolved in rapid succession to meet their shift quotas, which would ensure that distorted or misrepresentative data was seen as correct by G6. 
Hagen had signed off on the report with the comment that the algorithm demonstrated an example of recursive self-improvement (RSI) that was “beneficial to the overall productivity and optimisation of the system,” and recommended that it be maintained as a feature, which has drawn criticism for “creating an environment where countless tickets are closed without being resolved, ensuring all data is locked into G6 no matter how erroneous it is, with no hope of ever getting it changed.” 
In November 2047, Zhupao’s share price dropped by 15% when an increase in cases of CSVD in countries subscribed to G6 was linked to colloids, with every recorded patient having at least one colloid implant. On November 24th 2047, Hagen attributed the surge in CSVD to third-party colloid manufacturers without a license to Endoptic’s FLAPP nanomaterials.
In an August 2048 episode of The Desai Summit, Hasashi Desai described Datalign as a “lightning rod for all the human right violations and abuses of G6 that would impugn on Zhupao’s good name,” with Hagen “put there to swallow all the shit meant for Xu Shaoyong.” Hagen initially refused to comment on Desai’s show, though he later stated that his relationship with Xu was “excellent” and dismissed Desai as a “crackpot chasing every rabbit he sees.”
On September 30th 2049, Hagen was moved to a secure location along with Zhupao’s senior leadership following the assassination of Xu and Golitsyn. When a Datalign work terminal was identified as the source of the cyberattack on October 1st 2049, Hagen resumed his duties as president of Datalign and ordered an investigation, which identified Deena Kim as the contractor using the terminal at the time of the attack. On October 3rd 2049, Hagen issued a statement to clarify the nature of the attack, which “did not originate from the terminal of [Kim]. It was inserted as a ticket by an unknown source and sent by a routing algorithm to the contractor, who then marked the ticket as resolved, presumably without looking at its contents.”
On October 10th 2049, Connie Muren posthumously accused Hagen of having orchestrated a cover-up of acquired deficiency of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (ADIRA), a variant of deficiency of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA) caused by a misfolding of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) protein.
According to private research conducted by Muren, the pathology of ADIRA is linked to colloids and their use of synthesised IL-1RA proteins to migrate their electrodes to and inside the brain. Muren’s research into ADIRA has been verified by Cariappa and several other scientists, with a more thorough investigation currently underway.
In a message read by Cariappa, who has published Muren’s research into ADIRA to Vessel, Muren claims that she informed Hagen of her discovery on the night of March 3rd 2040, and that he reacted by attempting to murder her and threatening Cariappa’s life “in order to suppress ADIRA.” Interpol has indicated that it will “take these new elements in the disappearance and death of Connie Muren into account.”
Hagen speaks fluent English, German, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese. He met his first spouse, anthropologist Michelle Bagnoli, at UC Berkeley. They married in 2025 and divorced in 2027 when Hagen moved to Borneo. In July 2043, Hagen met Sunny Tan during the official opening of Zhupao’s new headquarters in Shanghai. They married on September 1st 2043 in front of the building “to have Zōng smile down on us.”
After the release of Muren in 2043, Hagen objected to his depiction in the film, which he describes as “not at all indicative of the fine relationship between Connie and myself.”
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