The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation honors three 2015 winners of the Arthur C. Clarke Awards

October 28, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., today honored the 2015 winners of the Arthur C. Clarke Awards. Three annual awards were presented.

In the category of Innovator, the Foundation selected Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb and O3b, for pioneering new approaches wyler_inviteto satellite communications. In 2012, Wyler founded OneWeb with the mission of enabling Internet access for everyone. Initial satellites in the low-earth orbiting constellation envisioned by Wyler are slated for launch beginning in 2018. In 2007, Wyler founded O3b Networks, Ltd. O3b raised approximately $1.3 billion to design and build a satellite constellation to provide fiber quality backhaul for telecom operators in the most remote markets around the world. Today, O3b has launched 12 satellites. The system provides the highest capacity and lowest latency combination of any satellites built to date. Wyler’s innovative work continues with OneWeb.

atwood_inviteFor Imagination in Service to Society, the Foundation honored Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, and environmental activist. Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction, but is best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. In September her most recent novel, The Heart Goes Last, was published. Her latest book of short stories is called Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014). Her 2013 novel, MaddAddam, is the final volume in a three-book series that began with the Man-Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003) and continued with The Year of the Flood (2009). The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short fiction) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, a collection of non-fiction essays appeared in 2011. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth was adapted for the screen in 2012. Ms. Atwood’s work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian.

For Lifetime Achievement, the Foundation recognized Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, site of famed technological skunkworks_invite-blueachievements and breakthroughs including pivotal aerospace milestones, for decades of imaginative technology and energy engineering. The Foundation selected Skunk Works for their recent breakthroughs in the development of nuclear fusion as a reliable source of energy. For more than 70 years, the Skunk Works has existed to create revolutionary aircraft and technologies that push the boundaries of what is possible. Among its iconic designs are the XP-80 Shooting Star, the U-2 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft, and the SR-71 Blackbird.

The “Arthur C. Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award” recognizes “an individual, a group or an entity that exemplifies the values and accomplishments of Sir Arthur’s life. The award honors substantial and enduring contributions that relate the sciences and arts in meeting the challenges of contemporary life and the needs of tomorrow.” Past Clarke Lifetime Achievement winners are U.S. government and national space industry leader the Hon. Norman Augustine, former Eutelsat CEO Giuliano Berretta, theoretical physicist and mathematician Dr. Freeman Dyson, professor and technical consultant Fred Ordway III, Google Chief Evangelist Vinton G. Cerf, inventor and futurist Raymond Kurzweil, CBS Evening News anchorman Walter Cronkite, science fiction writer Ben Bova; former Matra Marconi Space board chairman Claude Goumy; retired Space Systems Loral chairman Robert Berry; and Santiago Astrain, the first Intelsat director general.

Clarke Innovator winners include Skybox Imaging, for groundbreaking space imaging which has embraced small satellite technology, Mark Dankberg, co-founder, chairman and CEO of ViaSat, Hughes Network Systems CEO Pradman Kaul, SpaceX founder and entrepreneur Elon Musk, Cornell University professor and Mars Rover program team leader Steven Squyres, Bigelow Aerospace’s Robert Bigelow, for leading the way for private sector entrepreneurs willing to advance space exploration and activity with minimum reliance on government programs, Dr. Brad Edwards, for leading in the design of a space elevator to move cargo to the Clarke Orbit from the Earth’s surface, and D.K. Sachdev and Dr. S. Joseph Campanella, for designing and implementing the world’s first audio broadcasting (Worldspace) satellite.

The Arthur C. Clarke Imagination in Service to Society Award was created in 2012. Last year’s winner was noted author and futurist Larry Niven. In 2013, Ursula Le Guin, author of science fiction and fantasy Works for adults and children, was honored. Sir Ken Robinson, PhD, was selected by the Foundation as its first-ever Imagination honoree. An internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation, Sir Ken works with governments in Europe, Asia, and the United States, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations.

The 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Awards were presented before an invited audience at Lockheed Martin Global Vision Center in Arlington, Virginia, on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.

For information, contact Foundation Secretary Scott Chase at scottchase@verizon.net or 301-879-1613.

The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation was established in 1983 in Washington, D.C., as part of World Communications Year celebrations at the United Nations, an international event sponsored by the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The Foundation was created to recognize and promote the extraordinary contributions of Arthur C. Clarke to the world, and to promote the use of space and telecommunications technology for the benefit of humankind. The Foundation is dedicated to building on Sir Arthur Clarke’s multidisciplinary and inspiring legacy. The Foundation draws its inspiration and activities from Sir Arthur’s wide range of visionary, creative and constructive imagination.