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Raya Bidshahri

Raya is the Founder & CEO of Awecademy, an online platform that gives young minds the opportunity to learn, connect and contribute to human progress. She is a writer and regular speaker on the topics of innovative education, the future of work and the effects of exponential technologies on society.

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From This Author


How Technology Is Helping Close the Gender Gap and Empower Women

Gender inequality is not an issue that only affects women. When half of the human population is denied their full potential, the world as a whole is at an enormous disadvantage. Despite an increase...

New Evidence That the World Really Is Getting Better

If you allow your perception of humanity to be shaped by the news, it is easy to lose sight of the narrative of human progress. Struggling democracies, suicide epidemics, climate change, and acts of...

The More People With Purpose, the Better the World Will Be

It almost sounds too cliché to say that in order to live a fulfilling life, each of us must find our purpose. From a very young age, we encourage our youth to identify their...

5 Organizations Using Cool Tech Solutions and Research to Clean Up the Oceans

The Earth is an ocean world. From space, this fact is obvious, whether the planet appears as a bluish dust mote at the edge of the solar system, a bright sapphire star from our...

How Will Merging Minds and Machines Change Our Conscious Experience?

One of the most exciting and frightening outcomes of technological advancement is the potential to merge our minds with machines. If achieved, this would profoundly boost our cognitive capabilities. More importantly, however, it could...

How We Can ‘Robot-Proof’ Education to Better Adapt to Automation

Like millions of other individuals in the workforce, you’re probably wondering if you will one day be replaced by a machine. If you’re a student, you’re probably wondering if your chosen profession will even...

The Power to Upgrade Our Own Biology Is in Sight—But Is Society Ready for Human Enhancement?

Upgrading our biology may sound like science fiction, but attempts to improve humanity actually date back thousands of years. Every day, we enhance ourselves through seemingly mundane activities such as exercising, meditating, or consuming...

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Launch Was a Smashing Success—What’s Next for Space Travel?

Last Tuesday, Elon Musk and the rest of the SpaceX team launched their most powerful rocket yet, leaving the entire world stupefied. The Falcon Heavy carried cargo consisting of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster with...

These Are the Most Exciting Industries and Jobs of the Future

We’ve all read the headlines: the robots are coming, and they will take our jobs. In fact, up to 45 percent of tasks workers perform can be automated using current technology, let alone future forecasts. However,...

Darker Still: Black Mirror’s New Season Envisions Neurotech Gone Wrong

The key difference between science fiction and fantasy is that science fiction is entirely possible because of its grounding in scientific facts, while fantasy is not. This is where Black Mirror is both an...

What Is It That Makes Humans Unique?

If an extraterrestrial civilization were to observe and study our planet from an objective perspective, there is no doubt that among the millions of species on Earth, homo sapiens stands out. This species sits...

Why Intelligent Optimism Is Crucial to Human Progress

There is nothing to be gained from blind optimism. But an optimistic mindset can be grounded in rationality and evidence. It may be hard to believe, but we are living in the most exciting...

Let Me Blow Your Mind: The Importance of Awe in Education

Many people live a life of routine and monotony. But those who seek out wonder, meaning, and intellectual complexity in their lives are found to be happier, healthier, and more motivated. At a fundamental...

How Technology Is Leading Us Into the Imagination Age

In many ways, the future is unpredictable. A report by the World Economic Forum reveals that almost 65 percent of the jobs elementary school students will be doing in the future do not even...

Neuroeducation Will Lead to Big Breakthroughs in Learning

In recent decades we’ve seen the rise of an emerging interdisciplinary field that brings together neuroscientists and educators. As technologies like brain mapping and scanning continue to advance our understanding of the human brain,...

Collective Intelligence Is the Root of Human Progress

Many of us intuitively think about intelligence as an individual trait. As a society, we have a tendency to praise individual game-changers for accomplishments that would not be possible without their teams, often tens...

How Technology Is Transforming the Way We Teach and Learn

Our education system is in need of reform. Most students are not taught to be self-motivated lifelong learners, nor do they come out of the school system with the skills, mindsets, and values required...

How Artists Are Using Tech to Shape the Future

The capacity for creative expression is one of the defining qualities of being human. Our innovative imagination and ability to express it in so many different ways is unparalleled by any other living being. However,...

Will Privacy Survive the Future?

Technological progress has radically transformed our concept of privacy. How we share information and display our identities has changed as we’ve migrated to the digital world. As the Guardian states, “We now carry with us...

5 Mindsets to Bring Positive Change Across Society

To contribute to human progress, it is not enough to be intelligent, resourceful, or well-connected. Those are all factors that play a significant role but aren’t the true driving forces of disruptive innovation. Stimulating...

Why We Should Send All Our Politicians to Space

Our world is far from perfect. While the world has been getting better in many ways, we are also continuously faced with challenges. War, political conflict, and social injustices continue to hinder human progress. All...

Why Education Is the Hardest Sector of the Economy to Automate

We’ve all heard the warning cries: automation will disrupt entire industries and put millions of people out of jobs. In fact, up to 45 percent of existing jobs can be automated using current technology. However,...

These 5 Countries Are Killing It in the Battle Against Climate Change

When it comes to climate change, government leaders and politicians must begin to think beyond their term limits and lifetimes. They must ask themselves not how they can serve their voters, but rather how...

Why XPRIZE Is Asking Writers to Take Us Through a Wormhole to 2037

In a world of accelerating change, educating the public about the implications of technological advancements is extremely important. We can continue to write informative articles and speculate about the kind of future that lies...

7 Critical Skills for the Jobs of the Future

We live in a world of accelerating change. New industries are constantly being born and old ones are becoming obsolete. A report by the World Economic Forum reveals that almost 65 percent of the...

Is Universal Basic Income a Solution to Tech Unemployment?

This spring, the Canadian province of Ontario announced that about 4,000 of its citizens will receive money as part of their “no strings attached” basic income experiment. The goal is to explore how universal...

These 5 Big Tech Trends Are Changing the Way We Learn

Our current education system is not fit for purpose. Student mental health is at an all-time low, and student debt is at an all-time high. Dominated by uninspiring curricula and an over-emphasis on short-term...

This Is the Dawn of Brain Tech, But How Far Can It Go?

What distinguishes Elon Musk’s reputation as an entrepreneur is that any venture he takes on comes from a bold and inspiring vision for the future of our species. Not long ago, Musk announced a...

The Rise of a New Species of Human Being

Today, what survives on Earth can be determined entirely by human beings. We can alter the genetics of almost any life form and potentially design entirely new ones. According to renowned physicist Freeman Dyson,...

Matchmaker, Make Us the Perfect Love Algorithm

We live in a hyper-connected world where communication is almost effortless. And yet, despite abundant connection, we still lack interpersonal fulfillment. The next challenge, then, is not increasing the number of relationships possible, but...

The Cities of the Future Are Smart, Green, Connected Innovation Hubs

Humanity has come a long way since the very first cities began to emerge about ten thousand years ago. Today, places like New York, Tokyo and Dubai are centers of innovation and human progress....

Art in the Age of AI: How Tech Is Redefining Our Creativity

Technology has long been considered a resource-liberating mechanism, granting us better access to resources like information, food and energy. Yet what is often overlooked is the revolutionary impact technology can have on our ability...

5 Reasons This Was an Awesome Year for Space Exploration

On 14 February, 1990, as the spacecraft Voyager 1 was leaving our planetary neighborhood, legendary astronomer and cosmologist, Carl Sagan, suggested that NASA engineers turn it around for one last look at Earth from...

What Happens When Tech Takes Control of Evolution?

Over the span of a few billion years, diversity of life has flourished on Earth through the process of natural selection. Then, not long ago (relatively), human intelligence evolved. For the first time one species,...

Fear of the Dark: Why Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’ Is Great Science Fiction

Legendary science fiction author Isaac Asimov once said, “The core of science fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all.” With its aim to predict and...

How the Disruptive Power of Technology Is Redefining Work

Exponential growth in technology will disrupt entire industries and create new ones. It will revolutionize the workforce as we know it. Many experts are asking the big questions: what jobs will be destroyed? How...

This Is Your Brain on Quantum Computers

Machines enrich and enhance our lives, whether it’s the smartphones that allow us to stay connected or the supercomputers that solve our toughest computational problems. Imagine how much more productive and innovative our world...

If Machines Can Think, Do They Deserve Civil Rights?

Over the past century, we have made massive strides in the rights revolution. These include rights for women, children, the LGBT community, animals, and so much more. Exploring the future, we must ask ourselves:...

How AI Will Redefine Love

Artificial intelligence is beginning to disrupt entire industries from finance to medicine. Yet the most revolutionary application has yet to arrive—and it’s an existential one. As thinking machines become more integrated into our lives, we...

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