Dr. Adriana Marais
Dr. Adriana Marais believes that living on more than one planet is an essential aspect of becoming a more advanced society, and that current rapid technological development makes our expansion beyond Earth possible. However, the industry behind this development is having an impact on our planet’s environment. Many humans are already living in extreme conditions, and this is predicted to increase. To survive, whether here on Earth, or off-world on the Moon, Mars and beyond, we will need to use technology to manage our resources wisely. To thrive, we need to embrace what it is that makes us human: Adriana believes this is our ability to imagine a world beyond our present reality. Adriana explains how the voyage to Mars will evolve Earth, and how, through re-awakening the dreamer in each of us, we can create a #ProudlyHuman future, whatever planet we are on
Adriana is the Founder of Proudly Human, pioneering new frontiers in research and technology for a sustainable future on Earth, above and beyond. She has recently visited the Antarctic interior and the Oman desert on location scouts for Proudly Human’s Off-World Project. The Project is a series of off-world settlement simulation experiments, demonstrating off-grid capabilities from life-support to communication systems, as well as community spirit, in the most extreme environments on Earth.
Adriana is a Director at the Foundation for Space Development, an initiative of which is Africa2Moon – Africa’s first mission to the Moon – to inspire the youth of developing nations, in particular Africa, to “Reach for the Stars” through education and science.
She is also a member of the South African Government Ministerial Task Team on the 4th Industrial Revolution, Faculty at the Singularity University and Duke Corporate Education, and an astronaut candidate with the Mars One Project.
Previously, Adriana was Head of Innovation at SAP Africa between 2017 and 2019. Her career began in academia, and she holds an MSc (summa cum laude) in quantum cryptography and a PhD in quantum biology. Her award-winning post-doctoral research focused on quantum effects in photosynthesis as well as the origins of prebiotic molecules and life itself. She is currently pursuing a second PhD in team dynamics in isolated, confined and extreme environments at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.