Anousheh Ansari, CEO XPRIZE.

The amazing work that is being done by XPRIZE to help fix many of the grand challenges facing humanity today.

About this Episode

In this episode CEO of the XPRIZE foundation, Anousheh Ansari shares the amazing work that is being done to help fix many of the grand challenges facing humanity today. Enjoy this fun episode.

View the XPRIZE series here:

Some of our favorite quotes

Anousheh: Imagine, be the change, inspire.

Anousheh: The sentiment of being able to fix something that is broken, and help a billion people, it's powerful.

Anousheh: We found the formula of how to activate, incentivize, excite and inspire people out there and empower them to find solutions and implements solutions. We are just the catalyst for that.

Anousheh: One you understand the problem and what needs to be solved, then finding the solution is easier.

Erik: Even in our failures, we learn.

Anousheh: Youth empowerment and diversity are very important to me. Having been around the world several times and talking to people I know that as adults we are very entrenched in our way of thinking and shifting that way of thinking is difficult. I've also seen how young people are connected. In the age of digital world they are so smart and they know so much more than we do. I felt that we are not giving them the platform and what they need to make the changes that we need to. So youth empowerment has been at the core of my work.

Anousheh: A lot of our jobs may not exist in the future. We need to look at society in general and how we define ourselves. What will give us value and purpose? If we want to value something and work is not the right measure because we aren't doing the work, machines would, then how would we value something we do? Is is our intellectual contribution? Our artistic contribution? We are at an importan t part in history where we need to answer these questions.

Lyn: A lot of people are saying the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Anousheh: We're not going to let it happen.

Anousheh: At the end of the day we want to solve the problems. The only way to solve the problems is to take the solutions and get them to market. Lyn: You're right, because once we have the solution, if nobody has the solution, then we don't have the solutions.

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Anousheh Ansari was named one of the top 50 most influential women by Forbes Magazine.

Richard Branson and Anousheh Ansari at the XPRIZE 10 year anniversary of the Ansari XPRIZE.

Anousheh Ansara and Peter Diamandis at the 2018 Visioneering Event.

Anousheh Ansari accepted an Oscar for "The Salesman," Best Foreign Language Film, on behalf of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi.

Anoushesh Ansari's badge she wore in space.

Mentioned in this Episode

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About Dr. Anousheh Ansari

Anousheh Ansari is CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, the world’s leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges. Ansari, along with her family, sponsored the organization’s first competition, the Ansari XPRIZE, a $10 million competition that ignited a new era for commercial spaceflight. Since then, she has served on XPRIZE’s Board of Directors.

Prior to being named CEO of XPRIZE, Ansari served as the CEO of Prodea Systems, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) technology firm she co-founded in 2006, and continues to serve as the executive chairwoman. She captured headlines around the world when she embarked upon an 11-day space expedition, accomplishing her childhood dream of becoming the first female private space explorer, first astronaut of Iranian descent, first Muslim woman in space, and fourth private explorer to visit space.

Ansari serves on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Future Council and has received numerous honors, including the WEF Young Global Leader, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and STEM Leadership Hall of Fame, among others. She is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and serves on the board of Jabil and Peace First, as well as several other not-for-profit organizations focused on STEM education and youth empowerment.

Ansari also co-founded The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, announced in October 2018 at the Tri Hita Karana (THK) Forum on Sustainable Development in Bali, with a goal of investing $1 billion in women-founded companies by 2020.

She published her memoir, My Dream of Stars, to share her life story as inspiration for young women around the world.

Ansari holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University; and honorary doctorates from George Mason University, Utah Valley University, and International Space University.

(Bio courtesy of

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