Innovation launches 'Shaping the Future Summit'

April 07, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Tuesday’s keynote address on “The Impact of Innovation” by XPRIZE Foundation CEO Dr. Peter H. Diamandis brought to a close the Schreyer Honors College’s inaugural Shaping the Future Summit and introduced the theme for the 2015 Summit.

Diamandis spoke for nearly an hour, giving a fast-paced review of the exponential rise of technology and the advancements on the horizon related to energy, space exploration, health care and more. In addition to the audience April 1 in Eisenhower Auditorium, Diamandis’ address was available through live streaming to students at Penn State campuses and those with World Campus.

“Our goal was to bring someone to campus who could talk to students about the challenges they will be facing in their future roles as leaders in business, industry, academia and society,” said Christian M. M. Brady, dean of the Schreyer Honors College. “Dr. Diamandis’ remarks were thought provoking and offered students a vision of bright possibilities for the future.”

Earlier in the day, Diamandis met with the Penn State Lunar Lion Team, the only university-sponsored team among the 18 competing for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE. A $20 million prize will be awarded to the first team to land a rover on the moon, have it travel a specified distance and beam data back to earth. During Diamandis’ keynote address, he exhorted the audience to financially support the Lunar Lion Team in its quest.

“Technology is not their issue,” he said. “They are building a vehicle that can land on the surface of the moon. There is nothing technically standing in their way. It’s whether this community wants to plant a Penn State flag on the surface of the moon.”

During his visit, Diamandis also attended a lunch with Schreyer Scholars and members of the Presidential Leadership Academy, Penn State faculty and administrators, and community members. He also attended a reception coinciding with the semifinal round of the College of Information Sciences and Technology’s IdeaMaker Challenge with students pitching projects designed to leverage technology to solve a problem.

At the conclusion of Diamandis’ keynote address, Brady unveiled the theme of the 2015 summit: “The Power of Money." The date of the 2015 summit and the keynote speaker will be announced later this year.

A video of Diamandis’ keynote address can be found online. For a year-in-review recap of the 2014 summit, which was sponsored by Life Technologies Inc., and for information about the 2015 summit visit

For more information about the Shaping the Future Summit, contact Beth Kocher-Gormley at 814-863-4582 or at

Last Updated April 07, 2014