Peter Diamandis runs the X Prize Foundation, which offers large cash incentive prizes to inventors who can solve grand challenges like space flight, low-cost mobile medical diagnostics and oil spill cleanup. He is the chair of Singularity University, which teaches executives and grad students about exponentially growing technologies.

Why you should listen

Watch the live onstage debate with Paul Gilding that followed Peter Diamandis' 2012 TEDTalk >>

Peter Diamandis is the founder and chair of the X Prize Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is simply "to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity." By offering a big cash prize for a specific accomplishment, the X Prize stimulates competition and excitement around some of the planet's most important goals. Diamandis is also co-founder and chairman of Singularity University which runs Exponential Technologies Executive and Graduate Student Programs.

Diamandis' background is in space exploration -- before the X Prize, he ran a company that studied low-cost launching technologies and Zero-G which offers the public the chance to train like an astronaut and experience weightlessness. But though the X Prize's first $10 million went to a space-themed challenge, Diamandis' goal now is to extend the prize into health care, social policy, education and many other fields that could use a dose of competitive innovation.

More news and ideas from Peter Diamandis

Taking the next giant leap into space: Peter Diamandis on

September 3, 2008

X Prize founder Peter Diamandis lays out several very good reasons to keep exploring space — and he talks about how, with the help of the X Prize and other incentives, we’re going to do just that. He also talks about the next phase of the X Prize, driving radical breakthroughs in many technologies that […]

Continue reading

Flying Stephen Hawking into zero g: Peter Diamandis on

July 1, 2008

X Prize founder Peter Diamandis talks about how he helped Stephen Hawking fulfill his dream of going to space — by flying together into the upper atmosphere and experiencing weightlessness at zero g. (Recorded February 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 04:01.)   Watch Peter Diamandis’ 2008 talk on, where you can download it, rate […]

Continue reading