Futuristic Philanthropy

December 7, 2010 at 8:36 PM

PayPal magnate and early Facebook backer Peter Thiel has convened a summit at which “he will introduce other wealthy tech figures to nonprofit groups exploring…futuristic… ideas,” reports the San Jose Mercury News. How futuristic?  Things like:

…artificial intelligence, the use of ‘rejuvenation biotechnologies’ to extend human life, and the creation of free-floating communities on the high seas.

The last intended to compete with Rife’s Raft in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, perhaps.

I haven’t heard of Thiel before, but this is interesting:

Thiel is known for contrarian thinking. He recently made headlines by announcing that his foundation will offer fellowships of up to $100,000 for entrepreneurs younger than 20 who want to leave school, at least temporarily, to pursue scientific or technical breakthroughs.

I think that’s a great idea. Who needs credentials when you have a great idea and some financial backing?  It’s not like you can’t go back to school later.

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Entry filed under: Big Donors, Innovation.

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