Previously: Telling Stories of the Future with 100 Year Starship (from SXSW Interactive 2013).
Update: Read Kit’s Storify of Tweets from Thursday at the Symposium
Is there hope for the future? 100 Year Starship thinks so, if we look to the stars.
Starting today and lasting through Sunday, the 100 Year Starship Symposium in Houston, Texas brings some of the most optimistic minds together at the Hyatt Regency under the guidance of Starship’s director, astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison. This year’s theme is “Pathway to the Stars, Footprints on Earth.”
The space race of the 20th-century, while driven by nationalistic, warlike competition between superpowers, brought about massive innovations in science, technology and culture that still impact our lives. The 100 Year Starship exists to reignite that fire for discovery by challenging the whole world to send humanity to the stars within the next hundred years.
Though 100YSS began with seed money from DARPA, and has ongoing support from NASA, the project is now an independent, non-governmental initiative. Not just science and engineering, the goal is to engage all aspects of human achievement from storytelling to medicine to fashion with the goal of uplifting our species. Every innovation necessary to take us on a lengthy interstellar voyage — from improvements in agriculture to a better understanding of human communication and psychology over long voyages — could benefit terrestrial society. For example, an ongoing project to develop injectable gels that promote bone growth would not only alleviate problems of bone density in space, but also benefit the health of the elderly on Earth.
After traveling in the past year to SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas, a European Union conference on global collaboration in Brussels, and an African Union STEM-building conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this gathering is an opportunity for leading experts to share ideas and inspiration with the public.
Some highlights from this upcoming symposium:
- A special performance from multimedia musician and artist Kenji Williams, creator of Bella Gaia.
- A keynote speech by Bernie Fanaroff, PhD., director of the Square Kilometer Array, the world’s largest radio telescope under construction in South Africa.
- A panel discussion on fiction and storytelling led by Mary Doria Russell, biological anthropologist and author of The Sparrow.
- Presentations by Jill Tarter, Ph.D., co-founder of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, and astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi, PhD., a TED Fellow.