Arthur C. Clarke Award winners exemplify the broad expanse of themes and initiatives undertaken in the name of Sir Arthur, and reflect the continuing growth of the Foundation and its mission.
2016 Arthur C. 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.
2015 Arthur C. Clarke Awards
- Innovator: Greg Wyler, founder of OneWeb and O3b, for pioneering new approaches to satellite communications
- Imagination in Service to Society: Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, and environmental activist
- Lifetime Achievement: Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, site of famed technological achievements and breakthroughs including pivotal aerospace milestones, for decades of imaginative technology and energy engineering
2014 Arthur C. Clarke Awards
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Hon. Norman Augustine, World renowned leader in the U.S. Government and National Space Industry
- Innovator Award: Skybox Imaging, Groundbreaking space imaging leader which has embraced the new, small satellite technology
- Impact of Imagination on Society Award: Larry Niven, Author of Science Fiction and Fantasy Works for adults and children
2013 Arthur C. Clarke Awards
- Innovator Award: Mark Dankberg, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of ViaSat
- Impact of Imagination on Society Award: Ursula Le Guin, Author of Science Fiction and Fantasy Works for adults and children
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Fred Ordway III, Engineer, Professor and Technical Consultant to Stanley Kubrick
2012 Arthur C. Clarke Awards
- Innovator Award: Pradman Kaul, CEO Of Hughes Network Systems, for his sustained leadership in advancing satellite communications.
- Lifetime Achievement: Vinton G. Cerf, widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet.” Cerf is the co-inventor of the architecture and the basic protocols of the Internet.
- 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 “Arthur C. Clarke Innovator’s Award”
This award recognizes initiatives or new inventions that have had recent impact on or hold particular promise for satellite communications and society, and stand as distinguished examples of innovative thinking.
2011: Elon Musk, for his ambitious career-long pursuit of three “important problems” near and dear to the heart of Sir Arthur Clarke – the Internet, clean energy, and space.
2010: S. Pete Worden, for his many decades of leadership in space exploration
2009: Steven Squyres, for pioneering work in the exploration of the planet Mars
2007/2008: Peter Diamandis, for pioneering work in the promotion of personal spaceflight (Cosmos Club)
2006: Robert T. Bigelow, for pioneering development of versatile space habitats (Cosmos Club)
2005: Dr. Brad Edwards, for creating a company and taking the lead in the design of a space elevator that could move cargo to the Clarke Orbit from the Earth’s Surface, 2005 (Cosmos Club)
2003: D.K. Sachdev and Joseph Campanella, for designing and implementing the world’s first audio broadcasting satellite (Kreeger Art Musuem, 2003)
The “Arthur C. Clarke Lifetime Achievement Award”
This 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.
To submit a nomination for either award, please send the Foundation a letter. Please indicate whether the nomination is for the “Innovator’s Award” or the “Lifetime Achievement Award.” The letter should describe in detail the justifications in support of the nomination, and include a curriculum vita for the nominee or the nominees. Each submission should be signed by two nominators.
Nominations are evaluated by an independent selection committee that includes: Takashi Iida, Director General of the Communications Research Lab of Japan; and Conny Kullman, Chairman of Intelsat. The awards are made possible through generous donations from corporations and individuals around the world.
2011: Dr. Freeman Dyson, for his exceptional career across multiple disciplines, including quantum electrodynamics, invention of the Dyson series, his work more than half a century ago in the use of nuclear power for space flight, design work on the TRIGA, a small, inherently safe nuclear reactor used throughout the world in hospitals and universities for the production of isotopes, and other initiatives.
2010: Giuliano Berretta, for his longstanding advocacy of commercial satellite communications.
2009: Ray Kurzweil, for lifetime achievement as an inventor and futurist in computer-based technologies
2007/2008: David W. Thompson, for visionary leadership in creative space systems and missions (Cosmos Club)
2006: Walter Cronkite, for bringing the wonders of space into our lives (Cosmos Club)
2005: Ben Bova, Noted Science Fiction Writer (Cosmos Club)
2004: Claude Goumy, former Chairman of the Board of Marconi-Matra, founder of EADS (Cosmos Club)
2003: Robert Berry, Chairman of the Board, Space Systems, Loral (Kreeger Art Museum)
2002: Santiago Astrain, first Director General of Intelsat (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)