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Future Thinking

X-prize: Competition for radical change

How do you bring about radical breakthroughs in science and technology that will benefit humanity?

Dr Peter Diamandis, chairman of the X-Prize Foundation, believes the answer is cash and competition.

His organisation designs and manages grand contests that offer large cash prizes to the winner.  

The first one – the Ansari X-Prize – challenged teams to build spacecraft capable of carrying three people into space  two times within two weeks. It was won in 2004, kick starting the fledgling private space tourism industry.

Since then the X Prize has broadened its wings to push the boundaries of science in medicine, education and the environment.

Dr Diamandis tells BBC Future about his vision of the future and what he sees as the opportunities presented by exponentially-growing technology.

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