01 December 2010

Erika Wagner ~ MIT Astro Alum, X-Prize Lab Head

Delightful to have MIT alumna and X-Prize Lab executive director Erika Wagner join me on MaximizingProgress.tv! Like so many of us, Erika's childhood dream was to be an astronaut -- only she never grew out of it! This appears to be generational too, since 2.5 year old daughter Sally delights in playing the "Blast Off" game with mom and dad Wagner;-) After undergrad studies in biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt, Erika came for grad studies in the Man-Vehicle Lab at MIT working with Larry Young, Dava Newman and other key aero/astro faculty. While running the Mars Gravity Biosatellite project, she connected with amazing MIT alumnus astropreneur Peter Diamandis and they launched the MIT X-Prize Lab to have leading thinkers work together with MIT students to explore areas ripe for breakthroughs catalyzed by strategic prize-based philanthropy. Very cool stuff! I've participated in several of their classes, including my favorite on Ocean X-Prizes! FYI, here's an overview summary of the X-Prize approach -- Making the Impossible Possible...

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