SIR RICHARD BRANSON JOINS SCI FI CHANNEL'S VISIONS FOR TOMORROW ADVISORY BOARD
NEW YORK, NY � March 18, 2008 � SCI FI Channel announced today that Virgin Group's Sir Richard Branson has become a member of the channel's Visions for Tomorrow Advisory Board. Recognizing the rapid pace at which yesterday's science fiction is becoming today's and tomorrow's science fact, SCI FI Channel created their public affairs initiative, Visions for Tomorrow, to positively impact the future.
"SCI FI Channel has organized a group of leaders in science, technology, art, architecture, education and policy to champion a fresh and hopeful outlook on the future through our Visions for Tomorrow public affairs initiative and Richard Branson is a welcomed addition to the already impressive group," said Dave Howe, President, SCI FI Channel. "I believe that Sir Richard's insights and experience as an innovative business leader will be incredibly valuable in helping guide the initiative in years to come."
"It is an honor to join this impressive group of leaders on SCI FI's Visions for Tomorrow Advisory Board," said Sir Richard Branson. "We hope to use science fiction to inspire and empower people to meet the very serious challenges of the future."
Sir Richard Branson is the founder and chairman of Virgin Group. Virgin is one of the world's most recognized and respected brands and has expanded into air and ground travel, telecommunications, financial services, health, space travel and clean energy through more than 200 companies' worldwide, employing approximately 50,000 people in 29 countries. Companies include Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Comics, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Money, Virgin Charter, and Virgin America, the new domestic airline. Virgin USA continues to expand in North America and offer consumers value for money, good quality, innovation, exceptional customer service, fun, and a sense of competitive challenge. In 1999, Richard was awarded a knighthood by the Queen for "services to entrepreneurship."
In an effort to develop new approaches to social and environmental issues through business and social sector partnerships, Richard founded Virgin Unite, the not-for-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. In September 2006, Richard committed that future proceeds to the Virgin Group's transportation interests will be invested into renewable energy initiatives, representing an estimated investment of $3 billion over the next ten years. Richard also announced a $25 million prize for a viable technology that will result in the net removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases. Recently, he joined Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel, and Desmond Tutu to form The Elders, a group of independent leaders that will seek sustainable solutions to global humanitarian issues. In December 2007, Richard was recognized by UNCA as Citizen of the Year.
Branson joins a distinguished board that includes: editor-in-chief of WIRED, Chris Anderson; world-renowned architect Peter Calthorpe; Institute professor at MIT, former director of the CIA, former deputy secretary of the Department of Defense, and former undersecretary of the Department of Energy, Dr. John M. Deutch; Internet guru and noted analyst in emerging technologies and emerging markets, Ester Dyson; cultural revolution correspondent of The Washington Post, Joel Garreau; president of USA and SCI FI Channel, Bonnie Hammer; former NASA astronaut, Dr. Jeff Hoffman; former NASA astronaut and the first woman of color in space, Dr. Mae Jemison; renowned theoretical physicist, Dr. Michio Kaku; inventor of the Segway human transporter Dean Kamen; President Clinton's White House science advisor and Malcolm Gillis University Professor at Rice University, Dr. Neal Lane; two-time Oscar nominated actress and star of SCI FI's Battlestar Galactica, Mary McDonnell, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, John Podesta; leading designer Karim Rashid; co-founder and chairman of the Global Business Network, Peter Schwartz; scientist, founder and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute, Dr. J. Craig Venter; leading futurist; practitioner of social, technological, political, and economic intelligence-gathering, Edie Weiner; and star the upcoming feature films Charlie Bartlett and J.J. Abrams Star Trek (2009), actor Anton Yelchin.
SCI FI's Visions For Tomorrow is a multi-platform, pro-social campaign using the power of science fiction to inspire individuals, organizations, corporations and policymakers to meet the growing challenges of the future and advance the idea that individuals can affect positive change. Guided by an advisory board of 19 of the world's most relevant visionaries and innovators in science, technology, design, journalism, film, television, business, government and future studies, the campaign utilizes public service announcements, educational curricula, and an interactive website (www.visionsfortomorrow.net) to impact the future.
SCI FI Channel is a television network where "what if" is what's on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site (www.scifi.com) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 93 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.