X Prize CEO visiting Penn State, hopes to find innovative solutions to contemporary challenges

mdawson@centredaily.comMarch 27, 2014 

Penn State will host the CEO of The X Prize Foundation for a public talk next week centered on innovation.

Peter Diamandis’ visit is the cornerstone of a first-time event called the “Shaping the Future Summit” that was organized by Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College. Diamandis talk will be at 8 p.m. April 1 at Eisenhower Auditorium, and tickets are free.

The dean of the honors college, Christian Brady, said Diamandis will challenge students to think critically about problems in the hope of seeing challenges of today as solutions for the future.

“Peter believes strongly that for most of our challenges that we face today, we have the resources around us,” said Brady. “We just need to be more innovative. We just need to be more creative.”

Diamandis’ talk will include a question-and-answer session, and he will sign books for Schreyer college students after the talk.

In addition to running The X Prize Foundation, Diamandis is the author of the book “Abundance,” which looks at how factors such as technology and money are converging to solve contemporary problems.

Penn State has a connection with one of the areas of study in the book and with Diamandis’ foundation.

A group of Penn State students is participating in a space competition called the Google Lunar X Prize. The team, called the Lunar Lions, is working to build a robotic spacecraft to land and travel on the moon by the end of 2015.

During his visit, Diamandis will meet with the Lunar Lions team, which is led by Michael Paul, a research and development engineer in the university’s Applied Research Laboratory.

The “Shaping the Future Summit” also has support from Life Technologies Inc., a biotechnology company in Carlsbad, Calif.

For more information on the event, visit http://futuresummit.psu.edu.

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