Foundation For The Future
Sesh Velamoor, a native of Hyderabad, India, is the Executive Director of Foundation For the Future, located in Bellevue, Washington (Seattle Metropolitan Area).
In this capacity he is responsible for all facets of the organization and management of the Foundation. He also routinely speaks and publishes articles on various aspects of the long-term future in local, national, and international journals and forums.
Through his role at the Foundation For the Future, Mr. Velamoor is associated with a teaching program at Peking University called Newrite, which is a new system of speed writing.
Peking University, located in Beijing, China, is is colloquially known in Chinese as Beida. It is a major research university and is ranked as one of the best universities in China. In addition to its academics, Peking University is especially renowned for the beauty of its traditional Chinese architecture on its campus grounds. The Stanford Center is located at Peking University. The Foundation For the Future is closely connected with Stanford University.
In addition to his role as Executive Director of Foundation For the Future, Mr. Velamoor is CEO of Strain Systems Inc. (formerly Kistler Sensors Inc.), a Bellevue-based company which provides inventory monitoring and process control for storage tanks and silos. (Editor’s note: Strain Systems, Inc. will be featured on BellevueCN.com in the near future.)
He previously held the position of President at Kistler-Morse Corporation in Bothell, WA, a manufacturer of industrial instrumentation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, and has master’s degrees in industrial engineering and business administration. Mr. Velamoor has more than 30 years’ experience in management at top levels of industrial corporations.
Q. Why was Foundation For the Future established?
A. Foundation For the Future was established in 1996 by its benefactor, Walter P. Kistler. Mr. Kistler is a prolific inventor and business leader in the U.S. aerospace industry. He holds patents on more than 50 inventions in the scientific and industrial instrument field.
Mr. Kistler formed Kistler Instruments Corporation, which became a world leader in the development of quartz sensors, in 1957. In 1970, Mr. Kistler co-founded Kistler-Morse Corporation in Seattle, to design and manufacture scientific instruments.
In 1985, Mr. Kistler became the first investor, and eventually a Director of SPACEHAB, Inc., an entrepreneurial company that has since developed the world’s first commercial space research laboratories aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle. He created Rocketplane Kistler, Inc. (alternatively Kistler Aerospace Corporation) in 1993. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors guiding each of these companies over the decades.
Mr. Kistler created Foundation For the Future to support research in genetics and other scientific disciplines. After many years of observation that humanity, Mr. Kistler concluded that humanity was headed in directions that he felt would lead to its demise. The foundation is dedicated to scientific and visionary deliberation. It draws out the best thinking from many of the world’s best thinkers and scientists about causes and remediation of pertinent global issues.
Q. What are the key functions of the Foundation?
A. As a think-tank organization, Foundation For the Future has a history of sponsoring and conducting face-to-face forums that bring together scholars from different fields of learning, different worldviews, and different countries. The scholars address issues facing humanity into the long-term future, in the belief that not only the right questions but the best answers will emerge through open discussions. The result is a wealth of expertise and perspective on the important factors that may impact the future.
Foundation For the Future presently functions as a grant-making institution, following 14 years (1998–2011) of seminar/workshop/lecture/awards programs to promote an understanding of the factors in the social, genetic, biological, medical, psychological, physiological, cultural, technological, and ecological fields that may have an impact on human life during coming millennia. Proceedings, executive summaries, newsletters, and videos capturing the output from these activities are free to the public at www.futurefoundation.org.
Q. What major challenges has the Foundation faced?
A. A major challenge was how to get scholar experts from all over the world to come together and not only present their own knowledge and experience forthrightly, but also to listen and learn from the knowledge and experience of others, even from fields quite different from their own. Foundation For the Future developed a seminar process that effectively resolved this challenge.
Q. What characteristics make this approach special?
A. First, the Foundation maintains impartiality; it is not a proponent of any particular course of action, thus encouraging all viewpoints to feel welcome in the discussion.
Second, participant rosters are composed to be as multidisciplinary as possible, with differing worldviews and cultural backgrounds represented, thus facilitating discussions that encompass (as much as possible) the knowledge of the planet.
Third, the Foundation For the Future seminar process not only promotes an atmosphere of scholar willingness to listen to other viewpoints, but also actuates the face-to-face interaction that leads to convergence of ideas and breakthrough.
Q. Do you see opportunities to expand the Foundation’s mission to China or other parts of Asia?
A. Yes. Foundation For the Future’s main interests, emerging through years of discussion with some of the best minds on the planet, are sustainability, population, genetics, climate change, water, and energy. We would be happy to cooperate with whoever in China is interested in these issues for the future of the planet.
Q. What projects are underway that will help further these opportunities?
A. Foundation For the Future recently established a relationship with Peking University Foundation for the promotion of Newrite, a new system of writing developed by Walter Kistler, already being taught successfully in India.
Q. What is your long-term goal?
A. Among the hundreds of scholars who have participated in Foundation For the Future seminars and workshops are dozens of individuals from China and other Asian countries. The potential of where interaction between Foundation For the Future and organizations in China could lead is as broad as wherever knowledge can take humanity.
Our long-term goal remains the same as our mission statement: to increase and diffuse knowledge concerning the long-term future of humanity.