Explore Welcome. I help others understand, make sense of, and put to good use, rapidly advancing technologies and the mindset necessary to apply them. Scroll to learn more about some of the organizations and initiatives I am associated with. For contact information, a brief biography and photographs, or to connect on social media, please scroll to the end of this page.

With 30 years in Silicon Valley leadership positions at Apple, Adobe, and Autodesk, Jonathan is a creative thinker and respected thought leader on future trends, long-range vision, "moonshot" thinking, and creating a preferred future. He advises start-ups, business leaders, government officials, and academics around the world.

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams

Mission Blue - The Sylvia Earle Alliance - Link

Uniting a global coalition to inspire an upwelling of public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots.

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." Ralph Waldo Emerson

NASA Frontier Development Lab - Link

ESA Frontier Development Lab - Link

Applying Artificial Intelligence to challenges in Space Weather, Lunar Science, Astronaut Health, Earth Observation, Astrobiology, and more.

“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew."Marshall McLuhan

STAC - Space Technology at Cal (University of California, Berkeley) -Link

Passionate scientists pushing the frontier of space research and the space industry.

“This I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.” John Steinbeck

Project Explorer - Link

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." Eleanor Roosevelt

Schmidt Family Foundation - Schmidt Marine - Link

Supporting the development of ocean technologies with compelling conservation and research applications, as well as strong commercialization potential.

“Ocean, n. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man — who has no gills.” Ambrose Bierce

Cansu International - Link

Partnering with the United Nations and Royal Academy of Science International Trust to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) target 6.1 "universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all."

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." Carl Sagan

Marine Conservation Institute - Link

Dedicated to securing permanent, strong protection for the oceans’ most important places – for us and future generations.

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." Wernher von Braun

The SETI Institute - Link

Research to understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe, and to apply the knowledge gained to inspire and guide present and future generations.

"By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity." Robert A. Heinlein

E/V (Exploration Vessel) Discovery

Inspiring and fostering exploration and discovery through innovative marine science programs.

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." Walt Disney

MARS - Link

MARS brings together thought leaders from around the world in Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space Exploration.

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." Martin Luther King, Jr.

eg - Link

EG is the best creative conference in the world.

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

TED - Link

Ideas worth spreading.

"You're never going to kill storytelling, because it's built into the human plan. We come with it." Margaret Atwood

World Building Institute - Link

Storytelling is the most powerful system for the advancement of human capability.

"I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it." Maya Angelou

XPrize - Link

Entrepreneurial citizens of the world, with the right incentives, activated to solve the challenges facing humanity. Individuals. Empowered. Innovative. Motivated.

"There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met." William Butler Yeats

Made In Space - Link

Leveraging the unique properties of the space environment to develop solutions to commercial, industrial, research and defense challenges.

"Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray." Lord Byron

Aquaai - Link

"Thanks to generations of curious, daring, intrepid explorers of the past, we may know enough, soon enough, to chart safe passage for ourselves far into the future." Sylvia A. Earle

OpenROV - Link

Creating powerful new tools for underwater exploration.

"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere." Dr. Seuss

National Geographic Open Explorer- Link

"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" Abraham Lincoln

OCTO23 Technologies - Link

Developing the technology infrastructure necessary for underwater digital communication.

"Wisdom begins in wonder." Socrates

HP Mars Home Planet - Link

Using virtual reality to simulate what a human population of one million could look like on Mars.

"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month." Theodore Roosevelt

Parks & Tech - Link

Bringing together technologists, designers, sustainability specialists, entrepreneurs, businesses, outdoors enthusiasts, and park experts to develop creative solutions that leverage technology to address National Park Service challenges.

"The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others." Robert Baden-Powell

Equality Lab - Link

Working with neuroscientists, social psychologists and technologists using virtual and augmented reality to accelerate the reduction of implicit bias.

"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own." Michelle Obama

The Turkana Basin Institute - AfricanFossils.org - - Link

"Son, Observe the Time and Fly from Evil" Extra points for knowing the location of this one.

The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Foundation - Link

Residents, business owners, and local government coming together to sustain the safety of our community.

"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." Henry David Thoreau

Jazz on the Plazz by Los Gatos Music & Arts - Link

Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to experience the joy of inspiration through creative arts.

"To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity." Douglas Adams

The National Police Foundation - Link

Conducting scientific research, providing technical assistance and critical incident reviews that help police become more effective in their communities.

"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man." Benjamin Franklin

Zero South - Drive Around the World - Link

Inspiring the excitement of adventure and scientific discovery that humanity experienced during the heroic age of exploration. Zero South is zero fossil fuels to the South Pole.

"In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration. " Ansel Adams

The Royal Geographical Society - Link

Supporting geographical research, training, and grants to support field research and scientific expeditions around the world.

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." Robert Louis Stevenson

Explorers Institute - Link

“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.” Herman Melville

"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you." Frank Lloyd Wright

The Explorers Club - Link

Dedicated to the advancement of science field research and the human instinct to explore.

"The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter." Mark Twain

Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, Immediacy

Explorer - Scientist

In order to realize a preferred future, we must create and foster a positive vision with a mindset of growth and inclusion.

Jonathan explores the dynamics of large-scale, long term change with a focus on beyond the horizon science and technology. A popular and inspirational advisor and speaker, Jonathan provides insight on the intersection of emerging technologies and social trends, and closing the gap between the theory and the practice of innovation in a world of rapidly accelerating technological capabilities. Jonathan currently serves as the Science and Exploration Fellow at Mission Blue—The Sylvia Earle Alliance; Advisor to Schmidt Marine Technology Partners—a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation; Exploration and Ideation Director at the NASA Frontier Development Lab and ESA Frontier Development Lab. He sits on the boards of, and is an advisor to, several ocean, space, technology, learning, design, engineering, and exploration organizations. With 30 years in Silicon Valley leadership positions at Apple, Adobe, and Autodesk, Jonathan is a creative thinker and respected thought leader on future trends, long-range vision, "moonshot" thinking, and creating a preferred future. He advises start-ups, business leaders, government officials, and academics around the world.


Photo by Nick Otto
Photo by Asa Mathat
Photo by Nick Otto
Photo by Christopher Michel
Colleague, dive buddy, and dear friend, Mission Blue founder, Dr. Sylvia Earle.

© 1994 - 2022 Jonathan Knowles