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, 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 our first planet: Earth.

SFI President David Krakauer discusses the InterPlanetary Project


The first event — A panel discussion 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 the video. (July 18, 2017 1:44:09)

Read the post, "The Santa Fe Institute's InterPlanetary Project," in WIRED. (June 27, 2017)

Listen to "Science, Imagination, Exploration: SFI's InterPlanetary Project," an interview with Chris Kempes and Brendan Tracey on KSFR public radio. (July 3, 2017)

Read "Out of this World," a feature article in the Santa Fe Reporter. (July 12, 2017)

Image advertising the October 2017 InterPlanetary events in Santa Fe
October 2017 events — Panel Part II, SITE presentation, and city-wide film festival 
  • In anticipation of the city-wide InterPlanetary film festival, Jeffrey Ernstoff will present a performance at The Lensic on Friday, October 13 titled "InterPlanetary Films: How to Keep Score." 
  • Our event partners will host a city-wide InterPlanetary film festival Saturday, October 14. The Jean Cocteau Cinema, SITE Santa Fe, and the Violet Crown will play new and classic sci-fi films. Film titles and show times will be published on the cinemas' websites.
  • October 15, InterPlanetary participants can attend SITE Santa Fe's Future Shock exhibit, and Distinguished Professor Geoffrey West will give an InterPlanetary talk in the space of the Future Shock exhibit. West will be available to sign copies of his book before and after the talk.
  • October 16, MAKE Santa Fe invites participants to create InterPlanetary artifacts in an InterPlanetary Space-Craft event.
  • The event series will conclude October 17 with a community lecture at The Lensic Performing Arts Center. External Professor Manfred Laubichler will lead a panel discussion on "The Past, Present, and Future of the Anthropocene." Historians, biologists, earth scientists, and artists will explore the unprecedented epoch in our planet's history, characterized by human activity.
2018 and beyond — Annual InterPlanetary Festival

In June of 2018, the first annual InterPlanetary Festival will draw space enthusiasts from around the world for a two-day celebration of human ingenuity. The festival will transform the Railyard District in downtown Santa Fe with an expo showcasing innovation and technology for space exploration. Concurrent with the expo, participants can enjoy open-air concerts, maker contests, and lectures, and discussions around InterPlanetary topics.

The Jean Cocteau and Violet Crown cinemas will play science fiction films, while the Currents New Media festival will display artwork that ties into the InterPlanetary theme.

Additional information about the scope of the Project here.

The InterPlanetary Project is a collaboration between the Santa Fe Institute and city-wide partners, including Creative Santa Fe.