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 ideas festival, open-source citizen science platform, 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 this, our first planet. 

Past InterPlanetary Events


  • The first InterPlanetary panel discussion asked: What will it take to become an InterPlanetary civilization? SFI President David Krakauer, SFI Distinguished Professor Geoffrey West, SETI artist-in-residence Dario Robleto, Digital Domain Films, Inc. Founder and CGI pioneer Scott Ross, SFI Miller Omega Fellow and critically acclaimed science-fiction author Neal Stephenson, science journalist and HI-SEAS Mars simulation participant Kate Greene, Westworld and InterStellar screenwriter, producer and director Jonah Nolan, and astronomer/astrophysicist and lead investigator of the DEEP2 survey Sandra Moore-Faber gathered at The Lensic Performing Arts Center to discuss. (July 18, 2017)
  • The October InterPlanetary Series explored the universe through film, art, creativity, and discussion in a series of special events in downtown Santa Fe, featuring: Geoffrey West, Manfred Laubichler, DA Wallach, Sander Van der Leeuw, Chris Kempes, Jeffrey Ernstoff, Rob Schwimmer, and David Krakauer. (October 13-17, 2017).
  • The inaugural InterPlanetary Festival (Codename: GENESIS) drew space enthusiasts from around the world for a celebration of complexity and human ingenuity. Each day, 4,800 participants enjoyed panel discussions, live music, games, and other festival events. Videos of panel discussion are available through the Santa Fe Institute's YouTube channel and through the InterPlanetary Festival website. (June 7-8, 2018)
  • The second InterPlanetary Festival (Codename: STARDUST) celebrated the astounding acheivements humanity has already accomplished in it's pursuit to explore and understand the universe writ large. Videos of those panel discussions are likewise available through the Santa Fe Institute's YouTube channel and through the InterPlanetary Festival website. (June 14-16, 2019).

The InterPlanetary Project is part of The Miller Omega Program at the Santa Fe Institute.