2016 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards
Award for Innovator: Mr. Jeffrey P. Bezos, Amazon.com President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board
Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994. Amazon’s mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. Amazon offers low prices and fast delivery on millions of items, designs and builds the bestselling Kindle hardware, and empowers companies and governments in more than 190 countries around the world with the leading Cloud-computing infrastructure through its Amazon Web Services offering. Bezos is also the founder of aerospace company Blue Origin, which is working to lower the cost and increase the safety of spaceflight so that humans can better continue exploring the solar system. Mr. Bezos graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University in 1986, and was named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year.
Award for Imagination in Service to Society: Mr. Bran Ferren, co-founder and chief executive officer of Applied Minds
One of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Ferren is a master of the arts and sciences. Equal parts artist/designer and scientist/engineer, he is an expert on leveraging curiosity and creativity to inspire innovation. His 2014 TED Talk entitled “To create for the ages, let’s combine art and engineering” has been translated into 24 languages and viewed a million times. Mr. Ferren is Co-founder, Co-chairman, and Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds, a company that for 15 years has provided advanced technology, creative design, and consulting services to both government and commercial clients. Previous to Applied Minds, Ferren held various leadership positions, including President of Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development, Disney’s creative design and engineering division. In his role asPresident, he advised the CEO and senior leadership on emerging technology opportunities and led the development of critical innovations for divisions such as ABC Television. Prior to that, he was president of Associates & Ferren, a company acquired by Disney.
Ferren is a prolific inventor, named on more than 550 domestic and foreign patent applications and more than 220 issued patents. He developed numerous successful technologies, designs, experiences, and innovations used in consumer products, theme parks, television, and film, arena concerts, buildings, aerospace, command centers, exhibits, and motor vehicles.
Award for Lifetime Achievement: The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA has been confounding, amazing, and inspiring us since its formation as an independent United States agency in 1958. Within months of its creation, it began to conduct space missions, both human and robotic, and aeronautics research. Since that time, NASA has provided the U.S. and the world with consistent and imaginative leadership with its exploration of our universe and beyond and its advances in understanding the environmental conditions of our world. It has consistently contributed to the science and technology that benefits our lives on Earth, while seeking to understand what livable vistas might exist beyond. NASA has served as that rare organization that dares to imagine, puts science and technology behind its imaginings, and converts what might have appeared to be science fiction into scientific advancement. What it is currently accomplishing in interplanetary exploration, with the kind of precision that has propelled Juno into Jupiter’s challenging atmosphere, for example, is no doubt only an impressive beginning for understanding the building blocks of the Earth and the universe. NASA is a leader in solar and earth sciences, space astronomy and astrophysics, life sciences and astrobiology, and aeronautics. NASA has for many years also valued improving the conditions of our Earth inhabitants, challenging and motivating children and students to imagine themselves as astronauts, engineers, teachers, and more. NASA has risen above international politics and created peaceful and effective collaborations in space with many nations, as well as with private industry. NASA is an extraordinary example of sustained excellence and accomplishment that touches virtually every part of humanity.
Accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of NASA is Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot, Jr. He became the Agency’s highest ranking civil servant in September 2012, reflecting a distinguished career of more than 30 years. He has served as the director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the Agency’s largest field installation, critical to NASA’s space operations, exploration and science missions. Lightfoot received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1986 from the University of Alabama.