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Jul 05, 2017  Keynote speaker

Astronaut and technology entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari signs on as a keynote speaker.

Be the change you want to see in the world
When Anousheh Ansari was a little girl growing up in Iran, she dreamed of travelling to the stars. It was a dream that to most would have seemed impossible. And yet, Anousheh never gave up on that dream. It was her passion and she dedicated herself to it, becoming the world’s first female private space explorer, the first Iranian astronaut, and an inspiration to millions around the world.

Now she brings that passion and dedication to Prodea Systems, a technology company she co-founded. And at Telstra Vantage™ 2017, Anousheh will take to the Main Stage to inspire you to reimagine what’s possible and to show you that even the most impossible dreams can come true. 

The astronaut
On September 18, 2006, Anousheh Ansari captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer. 

The entrepreneur
Anousheh is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems, a company that promises to unleash the power of the internet to all consumers and simplify the digital living experience. Prior to founding Prodea Systems, Anousheh served as co-founder, CEO and chairman of Telecom Technologies, Inc, which successfully merged with Sonus Networks Inc. in 2000.  

The philanthropist
To help drive commercialisation of the space industry, Anousheh and her family provided title sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize. It’s a $10 million cash award for the first non-governmental organisation to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks.

Her journey
Anousheh immigrated to the United States as a teenager who did not speak English. She earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, followed by a master’s degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University. She has an honorary doctorate from the International Space University. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in astronomy from Swinburne University.

Anousheh is a member of the X Prize Foundation’s Vision Circle, as well as its Board of Trustees. She is a life member in the Association of Space Explorers and on the advisory board of the Teacher’s in Space project. She has received multiple honours, including the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, the Working Woman’s National Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, George Mason University’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, George Washington University’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Southwest Region. While under her leadership, Telecom Technologies earned recognition as one of Inc. magazine’s 500 fastest-growing companies and Deloitte & Touche’s Fast 500 technology companies.

She currently works to enable social entrepreneurs to bring about radical change globally, with organisations such as X Prize, ASHOKA and the PARSA Community Foundation.

The future
She believes the key to a better future for humankind is in the hands of our young generation, and it is up to us to provide them with the right tools through education and by acting as good role models. Through it all, Anousheh continues to quote Gandhi, one of her personal heroes, who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”


Don’t miss the inspirational Anousheh Ansari at Telstra Vantage™ 2017.

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