As most of you know, I get to travel the world for work. Be it to film for my travel show and tv segments, speaking engagements or working with partners on various projects, no trip is ever the same. And recently I was honored to be a part of a small group of lucky journalists who got to walk in Einstein’s footsteps!
Ok, so not his actual footsteps however, to some degree, his dream footsteps! In partnership with The Einstein Legacy Project and Canadian Friends of Hebrew University, I was able to go on a whirlwind trip and get a sneak peek at some fabulous innovations and events that not only celebrate Einstein but also his future legacy. What with the 100th anniversary of his theory of relativity and founding Hebrew University in Jerusalem, it was the perfect time for these organizations to shed light on it as well as how he has inspired visionaries of our time, and future ones, to keep moving forward in the areas of science, tech, the arts and more.
To celebrate this historic milestone, the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University is embarking on a global project to honor the life and legacy of Albert Einstein and to identify and inspire the next generation of brilliant minds on the planet. The following are the elements of the initiative that I was able to see first hand.
The Einstein Archive and Visitor Centre – Jerusalem
The first and only institution to celebrate the life, history and vision of Albert Einstein. Built around the unique collection of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where Einstein bequeathed his entire personal archive, the archive will be a global attraction dedicated to science and humanitarian ideals.
Not open to the public just yet, the university is home to Einstein’s personal archive. I was fortunate to be able to visit the archive, hold his books, see his documents and even lean on his desk for an afternoon. I also had the honor of meeting the university’s director, who really humanized Einstein by relaying so many wonderful stories about him. Being in the presence of his personal library in the university that he founded and loved so very much was a truly moving experience.
Additionally, I learned so much about the incredible innovation that comes out of Hebrew University. Cherry tomatoes, state of the art desalination and anti-collision technology, just to name a few. Einstein changed our lives so much and his legacy lives on in this institution where the students and faculty honor him every day with their wonderful contributions in science, tech, agriculture, medicine and more.
Inspiring the Future – European Space Agency, Amsterdam
Through their Next Einstein competition, the foundation is working to find and empower the next generation of brilliant minds while affording young people the opportunity to share their ideas on how to make our world a better place.
One of the partners in the Next Einstein Foundation is the European Space Agency, located just outside of Amsterdam. Having just confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, the international team at ESA are working on projects in and around the theory while also assisting with the Next Einstein competition.
The Einstein Legacy Project is committed to finding and supporting the next generation of scientists and brilliant minds on the planet. Through a series of programs and competitions called “The Next Einstein”, people from around the world are offered a platform to share and develop their big idea. Vetted by a distinguished panel of judges, winners of the competition receive bursaries, scholarships, and the necessary support to bring their innovative ideas to fruition.
This February 2017, 10,000 students from 19 schools in rural parts of South Africa competed for the coveted title of “The Next Einstein.” The Einstein Legacy Project has partnered with the European Space Agency to run the program across the Mpumalanga region, working with Hebrew University scientists and education experts to promote science, innovative thinking and intellectual curiosity among the regions youth. The program will be sponsored and coordinated locally by Singita Game Reserves.
Being able to tour and spend time at ESA was mind blowing and an experience I won’t soon forget.
Genius: 100 Visions Of The Future – London
A once-in-a-century publishing event with the world’s greatest minds in fields ranging from science and technology to arts and education sharing their visions for the future in the world’s first 3D-printed book, showcasing the 100 nominated visionaries. Genius will therefore represent a collective vision of humanity, designed by renowned artist Ron Arad and shaped in the likeness of Einstein himself.
The afternoon I got to spend with Ron was terrific. Getting to see is studio, his artwork and to see a prototype of the 3D-printed book was incredible. Einstein would be so proud!
Dinner of the Century – Montreal
A historic event taking place in Montreal, Canada over the weekend of September 9th -10th, 2017, that will bring together some of the greatest minds, innovators and influencers on the planet. The Dinner will celebrate the life and legacy of Albert Einstein, honour the great minds of our day, and inspire a new generation of young Einsteins and creative thinkers. I can’t wait!
As you can see, the Einstein Legacy Project is so much more than honoring the man, his life and his work. Einstein lives on in so many facets of our daily lives and has inspired us all in ways he could never have imagined.
Stay tuned for more in depth coverage of each of the locations I visited, updates on each project and of course, the dinner of the century!