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Adara's September 2020 Update

"Simple can be harder than complex" - Steve Jobs 

Over the past month, I've started to really internalize the value of simplicity. 

Through experiences like spreading myself too thin and not in the right areas, I learned that it's not how much I do: It's the quality of what I do. 🔑

In the spirit of simplicity, I wanted to cut down the length of my newsletters. 

This monthly update is approx. a 2 min read. 

Year 3 of Training @ TKS.

What my first month back at The Knowledge Society looked like:

Becoming an activator.

In September, I officially joined the Activate program at TKS.  What we focus on in Activate is understanding the world, ourselves, and problem-solving. Previously, I was in the Innovate program which focused more on training technical skills and mindset. 

Focusing on energy.

One way we spend our time in Activate is doing a focus on a World's Biggest Problem (WBP) or Technical challenge. I started a WBP focus into energy with the goal of identifying a possible solution or framework to scale renewable energy usage. 

Challenging myself with the quantum realm.

Key learning of mine this month: I don't challenge myself enough technical-wise. I've always been hesitant to learn about quantum-related topics and told myself I'm not smart enough to understand it. I spontaneously decided to challenge myself to pursue a technical focus on quantum and have been learning quantum computing ever since. 

Exploring philosophy for the first time.

Another way we spend our time in Activate is learning about philosophers two weeks at a time. Prior to starting Activate I didn't spend time studying philosophy. Our first philosopher focus was Friedrich Nietzsche. I found his philosophy quite interesting and wrote this article about my views on his philosophy. 

Futureshot Updates

Futureshot Factory is an organization I work on with Riya Mehta to drive more Sustainable Development Goal action. 

At the moment, I am working on our website makeover with our intern Jennifer Tsai

Updates Yay! 🎉

Girl Up - Having meetings with the Regional Leaders of Girl Up Africa on pilot projects to collaborate on. 

IBM - Riya Mehta and I are speaking at the Evoke 2020 conference together. 

Ted - Futureshot Factory joined the Ted-Ed family. 

Life Updates

I started my final year of high school. For the past year, I have been enrolled in online school. I'm super pumped about my newest course Environmental Science! I've also been loving Animation class, which helped me learn Adobe Animate. Shoutout to my teacher Larry Jacobs for all of the support along my animation journey. 

Recently, I updated my personal website too. Feedback is always appreciated. 

One of my highlights this month was attending The Humans To Mars Summit 2020. I learned from Elon Musk, Dr. Shawna Pandya, and more on where we're at and what it'll take to get to Mars. 🚀 

⬆A diagram I made inspired by one of my takeaways from Elon's talk: one of the greatest challenges to face in getting 1 M+ on Mars is to find the intersection between more affordability and desirability in space exploration.

My biggest takeaway - we need more work in designing circular systems + communities. 

“Getting to Mars is not the fundamental issue. The fundamental issue is building up a base... building a city on Mars that is self-sustaining." - Elon Musk

My October Action Plan:
🏡Prop Tech

Doing a deep dive into the real estate industry and property tech (a.k.a. proptech) for the next four weeks. Will be working with fellow TKS activators Joshua Payne, Ruhani Walia, and Eesha Ulhaq on identifying opportunities to help a company in the space. 

🔋Energy Focus

Researching alternative energy sources, root causes preventing their scaling, and existing solutions. Currently focused on Solar Energy and batteries.⭐If you or someone you know is in this space, I would love to connect!


My goals in quantum for October:

  1. Write an introductory quantum article 
  2. Continue working through The Mathematics of Quantum Mechanics textbook from The University of Waterloo
  3. Finish Hello Quantum and replicate some of the levels using IBM's Quantum Experience


Attending the United Nation's youth general assembly as a delegate in virtual reality. 😎

UN Women

Speaking at UN Women LA for International Girl's Day. 

Adobe MAX

Learning at Adobe's MAX conference 2020. 

That's a wrap! Would love to hear any thoughts or feedback on my new newsletter format. Hope you have a stellar October! 👻

Until next month,


⭐If we haven't connected in a while, let's set up a brain date 🧠 or grab some virtual coffee ☕ - shoot me an email, so we can make this happen!

📧: or set up a 30 min meeting with me here :)

Astronaut Adara.

Made of star stuff.

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