Futurist. Adventurer

Based: Cape Town

“We, humanity, face the greatest challenges and opportunities we have ever faced. Mars is within reach, while on Earth our life-support system is under threat. Whether living under coronavirus quarantine, in an informal settlement, an overcrowded city or a base on the Moon or Mars, our basic needs are the same: including shelter, power, water, food and communication to keep in touch with each other. Sadly, billions of us already live without adequate access to these resources, and that was before the toll of the pandemic and coming climate change. To survive, whether here on Earth or Off-World, we will need to use technology to manage our resources wisely. To live with pride, we need to embrace what it is that makes us human. At the heart of our humanity are our aspirations, our ability to imagine a world beyond our present reality. The voyage to Mars will evolve our thinking on Earth, and through reawakening the dreamer in each of us, we can create a #ProudlyHuman future, whatever planet we are on.”

– Dr Adriana Marais, theoretical physicist, technologist and aspiring extraterrestrial

Adriana is the Founder of Proudly Human, pioneering new frontiers in research and technology for a future in harmony with each other and the environment, on Earth, Mars 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 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 positively impact lives in Africa through space technology. 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 postdoctoral 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 extreme environments at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business.