It is a couple of years since an X-Prize Foundation team came to visit us at SustainAbility’s London offices, but I already knew of them through magazines like Wired and Fast Company – and have since kept a fairly close eye on their doings. Still, they were brought forcefully back to mind when Alejandro (Litovsky) and I met people from Concordia 21 at Richard Branson’s HQ in Hammersmith a few months back – the walls were blazoned with an evolutionary tree beginning with Homo volans and topping out with SpaceShipOne (see above). See also July 6 entry here. Branson is now helping to fund further work through Virgin Galactic, with a typically saucy picture of their Eve launch vehicle (or ‘Mothership’, with the Virgin maiden often said to represent Branson’s mother) shown below. A short, hyperlinked update on the latest Prizes developed by the X-Prize Foundation can be found here. Among other things, it talks about the $35 million fare paid by Cirque du Soleil billionaire Guy Laliberte for an almost-out-of-this-world experience, flying to the limits of Earth’s atmosphere. Given Laliberte’s origins as a social entrepreneur, there’s a neat set of connections here somewhere, but I’ll work on them later.