25th Century Magazine was created by Midierson Maia and it is focused on long-term impacts of disruptive technology. It seeks to bring the reader a debate about the impact and consequences of disruptive innovation. Check out more at https://25thcenturymag.com/


By Midierson Maia and Fabiano Ormaneze


Brazilian artist Mariak, based in the United Arab Emirates, creates a worldwide network of connections focused on sustainability, innovation and social impact.


It is late afternoon and the starlings—small birds that live in flocks in the north of England— organize themselves into their so-called murmuration. It goes beyond a song, or the characteristic noise of synchronized wings flapping. It’s more than that; like a dance, before resting after a full day of hunting for food in the winter days, they connect together in light, choreographed movements. It is also unclear what causes these birds to initiate such a dance. However, physicists and biologists believe that each one, when moving, stimulates seven others to do the same around them, in a continuous progression. Soon, the seven become forty-nine, forty-nine become thousands, and a spectacle is created in the skies. They also become stronger and easily scare off hawks, the main predators of the species, fast in flight and up to four times larger.

Using the birds as a metaphor for life, artist Maria Luiza Knoblauch—or simply Mariak, the name she goes by—was inspired to create the Torus Legacy holding company. The goal is to connect people around the world on the improvements that can be achieved through technology associated with human potential. The idea is that, just like a flock of starlings, together, people can do better and have more social impact. “All the businesses linked to Torus are products, projects, and services related to people who use skills to build their own legacy in the areas of sustainability, innovation, arts, science, and smart technology. All this, together with the happiness of being who they are, as people and as professionals,” explains Mariak. Therefore, the goal is to share experiences and services, and offer participants connections; this way, those involved could grow exponentially based on a large ecosystem with participants from all over the world.

Torus is headquartered in one of the most prosperous places on the planet, Masdar City (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates). Torus has a branch in Dubai, which Mariak fell in love with on her very first visit. This year, coincidentally, is the 100th anniversary of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s birth, considered the father and founder of the Emirates. The idea is that by 2071, when the country’s centenary will be celebrated (Area 2071), the focus will be on creating positive proposals, which will include social transformation, sustainability, and technology, all with global impact.

One of the main Torus Legacy projects is the Legacy Ministry, which connects government, society, and companies that want their activities to support people, promote evolution, and protect the planet. As Mariak says, “you have to merge everyone’s dreams with government needs.” To shape this connection, she designed projects such as the Artificial Intelligence Forest Heritage and Artificial Intelligence Legacy Tree.

Through them, Torus provides an artificial intelligence tree that crosses supply with demand. “The idea is that people can have these trees and put whatever information they wish in there so that we have a large social network.” In the future, the goal is for these people to become like godmothers and godfathers to trees in a real forest. “It will be a great connection for people who make a difference in the Emirates. We will have artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality glasses enabling an immersive experience inside the forest and the possibility to get to know the legacy of people all at the same time,” says the artist. With this, the natural space becomes a great immersive experience, a theme park with the existing technologies. Among them, Mariak cites the possibility of changing the colour of trees through LED lamps according to people’s reactions, and even making plants play music using electromagnetic waves. In addition, these projects are related to issues of great environmental importance, such as global warming, research on the impact of innovation on the environment, concern for water, and research and development on medicinal herbs.

In order to bring the interested parties together, Mariak decided to open the doors of her own home, which can also be used as an office and, in the future, will be a recording studio for materials that can expand Torus’ ideas and proposals. Her way of life is in itself an example of innovation, inventiveness and sustainability; she lives on a boat, where she can meet those in need to make connections based on the holding company proposal. “I have a project to sail around the world one day. But I wanted to have a home where I could, at the same time, talk about my work, use sustainable materials and relate it all to design. In addition, the boat allows me to be closer to the place I love the most, which is nature.” To facilitate access to those who need connections and those who identify with her work, Mariak has other offices in strategic areas of the Emirates.

Another important segment of the work concerns adapting what she has studied and what she is qualified in. She works with concept design projects, interior design, landscaping, and sustainable business models. Therefore, based on what she knows and her desire to strengthen human potential, she has become a source of inspiration for architects, entrepreneurs, suppliers, businesses, and investors in creating sustainable initiatives for the future. With this activity and proposal, Mariak has also been able to implement projects in the Emirates involving partnerships with Brazilian companies.

With activities gradually becoming global, Torus Legacy proofs that the future will not be a dystopia if human potential is worked on and if technologies are used within purposes that consider the characteristics of life in society; all of this while connecting people, knowledge, and geographically distant regions. The year 2071 and even the next century are closer than we think, and the pillars of this future were already raised.


Talk to Mariak: malu.projeto@gmail.com


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