H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco visits MIT
Addresses environmental issues and MIT-Monaco partnership for energy educationCAMBRIDGE — H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco returned to MIT today to speak to students and faculty about environmental and energy issues as part of a growing collaboration between MIT and Monaco supported in part by the Monegasque association FUTURUM, to develop the next generation of leaders in energy.
At an event hosted by MIT President Susan Hockfield, the Prince showed his new feature film Antarctica 2009: A Continent in a State of Alert, based on his 17-day trek to meet researchers and learn about the scientific projects being conducted in Antarctica. The Prince’s journey to Antarctica was in response to an invitation by the scientific community to, "bring Antarctic science to the public eye." The film highlights Antarctic as a bellwether for climate change.
The Prince’s visit, organized by FUTURUM, was in advance of a major MIT energy conference to be held in Monaco in September 2010. The conference will be held in conjunction with the world premiere at the Monte-Carlo Opera of Death and the Powers, a groundbreaking opera composed and produced by MIT Professor Tod Machover. This exciting new work — developed at the MIT Media Lab with sponsorship from FUTURUM — uses specially designed technology including a chorus of robots, a Musical Chandelier, and a set that expressively “comes alive,” to explore what we leave behind for the world and our loved ones, as told through an eccentric patriarch, Simon Powers (who “downloads” himself into The System), and his family and friends (http://powers.media.mit.edu or http://opera.media.mit.edu/projects/deathandthepowers/).
This was a follow up trip by Prince Albert, whose first-time visit to the MIT campus in October 2009 when he visited Professor Tod Machover at the MIT Media Lab, and the labs of Professors Daniela Rus and Russ Tedrake.
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation was established in 2006 by Prince Albert to continue the Principality of Monaco’s legacy of environmental stewardship and its commitment to conserve and preserve the world’s natural environment and resources. The Foundation supports sustainable and ethical projects especially in the Mediterranean Basin, the Polar regions and the least developed countries. Its focus is on three main challenges: climate change and developing renewable energies; combating the loss of biodiversity; and water management and fighting desertification. The Foundation has extended its international outreach by opening chapters in Europe (France, Switzerland, the UK, Italy and Germany), in Canada and, in 2008, the United States of America. Since its inception 130 projects have benefited from Foundation grants totalling $22 million. For more information, please visit www.pa2f.org.