The First Annual InterPlanetary Festival takes place June 7-8 in the Santa Fe Railyard

Video credit: Fatcake Productions

The InterPlanetary Project seeks to engage with pressing problems of today by imagining the challenges of tomorrow. Mark Twain wrote, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” InterPlanetary seeks to restore focus at a planetary scale. 

What terrestrial challenge could provide greater focus than nourishing and uniting the peoples of the Earth to explore the extrasolar planets? And what great solutions might we find by searching beyond the confines of our earthly troubles? 

To search through outer space we shall need to rise above our inner spaces, the gravest challenges of our time — from reducing disease and economic inequality, to managing finite resources and surviving war — and to take all necessary steps towards a larger, shared goal: an understanding of life’s place in the universe. Because confronting the challenges of space requires braving and solving the complexities of life.

The InterPlanetary Project is equal parts conference/festival, open-source, citizen-science platform, and research program. The first project of its kind to combine celebration with experimentation, and conversation with analysis. InterPlanetary seeks nothing less than a whole-planet project — beyond borders, beyond politics, beyond economics — to activate the collective intelligence of this, our first planet.


The First InterPlanetary Festival

On June 7th and 8th of 2018, the first annual InterPlanetary Festival drew space enthusiasts from around the world for a celebration of human ingenuity. Approximately 4,500 people/day attended festival events in the Railyard District in downtown Santa Fe. In addition to live music, immersive art, games, and an innovation expo, festival-goers enjoyed panel discussions with leading thinkers on topics central to the future of our species.

Video recordings of the panel discussions are available through the Santa Fe Institute's YouTube channel. Additional information about the annual festival can be found on the InterPlanetary Festival website.

If you or your organization would like to be involved in the 2019 InterPlanetary Festival, please contact Caitlin McShea at for more information.

The InterPlanetary Project is a collaboration between the Santa Fe Institute and city-wide partners, including Currents New Media, MAKE Santa Fe, SITE Santa Fe, Jean Cocteau Cinema, Violet Crown Cinema, The Center for Contemporary Arts, The Santa Fe Children's Museum, Creative Santa Fe, The Railyard Community Corporation, The Screen at SFUAD, The Lensic Performing Arts Center, Thornburg Investment Management, Form & Concept Gallery, BioCultura, OTA Contemporary, EVOKE Contemporary, Second Street Brewery, and many others.

SFI President David Krakauer discusses the InterPlanetary Project -


Past InterPlanetary Events
The first event — A panel discussion on July 18, 2017

During the first InterPlanetary event, science fiction authors, scientists, explorers, and artists met for a conversation at the historic Lensic theater in downtown Santa Fe. Panelists discussed issues around the core questions: What will it take to become an InterPlanetary civilization? How should we address the most pressing problems of Earth to tackle a challenge at this scale? What will success mean for future generations? What is holding humanity back and what do we all need to achieve in terms of novel governance, new technologies, shared resources, and global cooperation to achieve this goal?

Watch SFI President David Krakauer, SFI Distinguished Professor Geoffrey West, SETI artist-in-residence Dario Robleto, Digital Domain Films, Inc. Founder and CGI pioneer Scott Ross, SFI Miller Omega Fellow and critically acclaimed science-fiction author Neal Stephenson, science journalist and HI-SEAS Mars simulation participant Kate Greene, Westworld and InterStellar screenwriter, producer and director Jonah Nolan, and astronomer/astrophysicist and lead investigator of the DEEP2 survey Sandra Moore-Faber discuss an InterPlanetary Future here.

The second set of events - The October InterPlanetary Series

Conceptual guided tour through sci-fi soundtracks, city-wide InterPlanetary film festival, an invitation to SITE Santa Fe's Future Shock exhibit, lecture, maker event, and Lensic presentations explore the universe through film, art, creativity, and discussion.

The Santa Fe Institute invites space enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the pressing problems of today by imagining the challenges of tomorrow in a series of city-wide events from October 13 through October 17. These city-wide events are open to all and are part of SFI’s ongoing InterPlanetary Project — a collaboration between the Institute and a diverse set of community partners.
Click here for details about the October Series of InterPlanetary Events