Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Looking to the past to light up the future

Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008) was a British engineer, science-fiction writer, science writer, futurist, inventor, undersea explorer… and the voice behind our film.

Formula E is a sport designed to give the world a glimpse into the future and help accelerate our path towards it. When our sport was launched in 2014, just 7 years ago, the sceptics lined up to say we were mad, that it’d never work; in the words of Sir Arthur – our particular vision of the future was laughed to scorn.

Yet here we are, 7 years later; an FIA World Championship, with futuristic electric racing cars going wheel to wheel in iconic cities across the planet. A sport that exists to accelerate better futures through positive social and environmental impact and at net zero carbon cost to the planet (the only sport in history to achieve this).

Sometimes a voice from the past can best light up the future

This film is, in essence, a celebration of the extraordinary potential of the future. And we are honoured to have been granted permission by the BBC and The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation to use the words of a man considered by many to be one of the great minds of the 20th century – a futurist who as early as the 1960’s predicted many of the things we take for granted in our modern world; from space travel, satellite enabled telecommunications, to the internet and AI.

Sir Arthur was also no stranger to using new media to connect his ideas to new audiences. In 1964, he worked with Stanley Kubrick to write the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was released in 1968 and is widely recognised as one of the most influential films ever made. 

This particular voice recording was captured by the BBC at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. We were inspired by his words which, though spoken over half a century ago, capture our sport’s ambitious commitment to drive the future and accelerate positive change.

Arthur C Clark
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