Today, SCI FI launched its Visionaries For Tomorrow Awards at TED@PalmSprings 2009 to honor the next generation of visionaries. Presented by Visions For Tomorrow (VFT), SCI FI’s pro-social campaign to create a more optimistic future, the awards honor seven of todays most forward-thinking, socially minded individuals. Their work advances green building, gaming, alternative energy, media, computer technology, and solutions for clean water. Each of this year’s inaugural honorees will receive a yearlong media fellowship with SCI FI to help further their project. A special luncheon and panel presentation moderated by Peter Hirshberg, a Silicon Valley executive, entrepreneur and marketing specialist, is being held in their honor at The Riviera Resort & Spa in Palm Springs.
“The TED Conference is a place where today’s greatest minds can connect, learn, and inspire their colleagues to transform the world in which we live,” said Dave Howe, SCI FI President. “Working with this group of young innovators allows SCI FI’s Visions For Tomorrow campaign to continue its mission to positively impact the future.”
The 2009 Visionaries For Tomorrow honorees are:
Bristol Baughan (Los Angeles, CA)
Co-Founder, Reason Pictures/GOOD Magazine
In September 2004, Bristol Baughan co-founded GOOD Magazine and Reason Pictures to create content and a platform for “people who give a damn.” A positive force for social activism, GOOD Magazine donates all of its subscription fees to charity. Currently, she is executive producing the official Untitled Barack Obama Documentary with actor Edward Norton. Acquired by HBO and Sony Pictures, the film is set to release in summer 2009.
Majora Carter (Bronx, NY)
Founder, Sustainable South Bronx
In 2001, Majora Carter founded Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), a non-profit created to address land-use, energy, transportation, water and waste policy, and education to advance the environmental and economic rebirth of the place she called home. SSBx was one of the nation’s first urban green-collar training and placement systems. She is currently president of The Majora Carter Group, LLC. Her green economic consulting firm works to resolve environmental issues in urban communities throughout the country.
Emily Cummins (Yorkshire, UK)
Creator, Solar Evaporation Refrigerator
Emily Cummins is the award-winning creator of the solar evaporation refrigerator. Made from sustainable materials, it enables developing countries to refrigerate medicines and food without electricity. The 19 year-old is currently a business student at Leeds University (UK) and was recently named the 2008 Ultimate Save-The-Planet-Pioneer at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards in the UK.
Scott Harrison (New York, NY)
Founder, Charity: Water
After making his living as an event promoter in NYC for 10 years, a trip to the shores of West Africa changed Scott Harrison’s life forever. Witnessing the water conditions in villages throughout Liberia first hand inspired him to find a way to provide clean water to its residents. By selling bottled water, he is able to raise the funds necessary to dig wells and create water systems for clean water. He has raised more than $7 million in just two years.
Jensine Larsen (Portland, OR)
Founder, WorldPulse Magazine
After many years as a freelance journalist reporting on indigenous movements and ethnic cleansing in South America and Southeast Asia, Jensine, at age 28, was inspired to start a magazine covering world issues from a female perspective. As a young woman, she thrived on discussing local, national and international politics, she dreamed of a media source that would broadcast the thriving but neglected voices of women and youth around the world. WorldPulse Magazine is the culmination of that dream.
Kellee Santiago (Los Angeles, CA)
At thatgamecompany (TGC), Santiago is working to create video games that communicate different emotional experiences that are radically different from those currently on the video game market. Using psychological theory, experimental design and state-of-the-art advances, Santiago and her team of talented engineers, artists, and media programmers are creating gaming experiences that appeal to traditional gamers as well as to new, untapped audiences.
Desney Tan (Redmond, WA)
Researcher, Visualization and Interaction Area
Desney is using algorithms to sort through and make sense of electroencephalography (EEG) data in the hope of turning electrodes into meaningful input devices for computers, as common as the mouse and keyboard. The payoff, he says, will be technology that improves productivity in the workplace, enhances video-game play, and simplifies interactions with computers.
As part of the yearlong media fellowship with SCI FI, the visionaries receive:
-Full access to the TED@PalmSprings 2009 Conference with travel and accommodations
-A profile on visionsfortomorrow.net with the ability to provide quarterly updates on their project’s progress
-Featured status as a blogger on howyoucansavetheworld.com, a web destination for remarkable ideas from today’s most sought-after thought leaders powered by Visions for Tomorrow
To be eligible for consideration, each visionary must currently be working on a big idea that has the potential to result in major change. They must be active in their community on behalf of the project and be able to participate in the yearlong media fellowship with SCI FI. Members of the Visions For Tomorrow advisory board and SCI FI staff vetted all candidates.
SCI FI’s Visions For Tomorrow is a multi-platform pro-social campaign using the power of science fiction to inspire individuals, organizations, corporations and policymakers to meet the growing challenges of the future and advance the idea that individuals can affect positive change. Guided by an advisory board of 19 of the world’s most relevant visionaries and innovators in science, technology, design, journalism, film, television, business, government and future studies, the campaign utilizes public service announcements, educational curricula, and an interactive Web site (www.visionsfortomorrow.net) to impact the future.
SCI FI Channel is a television network where “what if” is what’s on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site (www.scifi.com) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 95 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.