Colonizing Mars Contest for National University Students Launched by the Venezuela Node of The Millennium Project

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On January 29, 2014, at the Wayra Academy in Caracas, Venezuela will be launched a contest among university students to think about how to colonize Mars

“Sowing the Future"

“Sowing the Future” colonizing Mars contest

serious thinking about manned and unmanned travel includes considering collaboration between humans, robots and other artificial intelligence

Going to Mars has been the dream of many people for ages and might soon become a reality. National governments of several countries (including China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, and the USA) and private initiatives (such as MarsOne, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic) have plans for both manned and unmanned trips to Mars in the 2020s and 2030s.

To bring this spirit of space exploration to Venezuela, the Venezuela Node of The Millennium Project and the Venezuela Chapter of the World Future Society are launching a nationwide contest for university students to consider ideas for going to and colonizing Mars. The details of this prize called “Sowing the Future”, in memory of the famous Venezuelan intellectual Arturo Uslar Pietri, will be announced at the Wayra Academy in Caracas, on January 29, 2014.

José Luis Cordeiro, representing both The Millennium Project and the World Future Society, will explain the details of this competition, which will include scholarships to travel to the 2014 annual meeting of the World Future Society in Orlando, Florida, where the students will meet some of the famous futurists in the world, including experts who have worked in the Apollo missions. The winners might also go to EPCOT Center and the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, where they can experience more of the future technologies. Gustavo Reyes, Executive Director of Wayra in Venezuela, says that “it is important to help young people to dream, and to dream big. Small dreams do not take people anywhere, but big dreams can take you to Mars, and beyond”.

Besides the prize announcements, José Luis Cordeiro will also present the Global Futures Intelligence System developed by The Millennium Project, and the Spanish version of the latest best-seller by Ray Kurzweil, "How to Create a Mind," whose preface he has written. Cordeiro explains that “serious thinking about manned and unmanned travel includes considering collaboration between humans, robots and other artificial intelligence. It is important to keep in mind possible outcomes like HAL in '2001: A Space Odyssey'."

The Millennium Project is a global participatory think tank connecting 50 Nodes around the world that identify important challenges in their regions, and initiate and conduct futures-related special research, workshops, symposiums, and advanced training. Its mission is to improve thinking about the future and make it available through a variety of media for feedback to accumulate wisdom about the future for better decisions today. It produces the annual "State of the Future" reports, the "Futures Research Methodology" series, the Global Futures Intelligence System (GFIS), and special studies. The forthcoming 2013-2014 State of the Future will be available by the end of January 2014.

The World Future Society is a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, founded in 1966. The society investigates how social, economic and technological developments are shaping the future. It seeks to help individuals, organizations, and communities to observe, understand and respond to social change appropriately and investigates the effects of applying anticipatory thinking to society. The Society has over 20,000 members in more than 80 countries, including many national and international members, like Sociedad Mundial del Futuro Venezuela.

Wayra is a startup accelerator owned by Telefónica, the fifth-largest mobile network provider in the world that operates globally in Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia. Wayra first launched in Latin America and Spain in 2011 and there are now 14 Wayra academies in 12 countries in Europe and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Spain, United Kingdom, United States and Venezuela). Companies accepted into the Wayra program receive funding of up to €40,000 plus office space and mentoring. Wayra is probably the largest technological startup ecosystem in the world after having received over 20,000 business proposals.

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Jerome Glenn

Jose Cordeiro
Sociedad Mundial del Futuro Venezuela
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