The Mind of the Universe — VPRO Documentary

The Mind of the Universe is an international tv series and open source digital platform about the rapid evolution of our knowledge. It explores the human destiny and the world of tomorrow through the eyes of the greatest thinkers and scientists of our time. Great minds from all continents all over the globe.

The Mind of the Universe is a unique and unprecedented open source project in its scope and intention to provide all its programs, raw footage and research for free to everyone interested in learning and knowledge.

Ten episodes starting May 10 2017 at 8pm CET on YouTube channel VPRO Documentary. The first episode is online, you can watch it here:

The Mind of the Universe consists of ten episodes, one published every Wednesday at 8pm, presented by Robbert Dijkgraaf (Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton). In each episode, a typical human quality takes centre stage, in which the scientists and their research are embedded. Like Lee Cronin (UK) who is trying to create life from dead matter. Or Pascale Fung (Hong Kong) who builds empathetic robots. Or Hani Hayajneh (Jordan) who researches preislamic cultures.

All the interviews will be made available for download under Creative Commons License.

‘As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.’

— Julian Huxley

On a special international website all complete in-depth interviews will be made available for everyone to download and (re)use under Creative Commons License (CC/BY/SA) together with extra footage from research labs and other locations that were filmed. Duration of the main interviews varies from one to one and a half hours. Every video has English subtitles and is extensively annotated using a UNESCO thesaurus which makes it easy to browse through the content looking for specific subjects.

These series will be available on VPRO Documentary thanks to the VPRO Broadcast project. Vpro Broadcast makes VPRO programs available to the international public by subtitling everything in English, French and Spanish. (Project co-financed by the EU and in partnership with Ericsson).

The Mind of the Universe will also soon be available with Chinese subtitles.

The first episode broadcasted on Wednesday will contain interviews of: Lee Cronin, creator of alternative life; George Church, creator of new life forms; Hans Clevers, creator of mini small organs.

Connect to Wednesday at 8pm to watch the first episode.


The Mind of the Universe is partnering in The Netherlands with:

· Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

· Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO

· The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

· Association of Universities in the Netherlands

· The Delft University of Technology

· Leiden University

· Erasmus University Rotterdam

Moreover, in the international arena The Mind of the Universe has five important global knowledge and network partners:

· UNESCO (materialized in the UNESCO patronage)

· Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

· Creative Commons (CC)

· International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE)

· Open Education Consortium (OEC).

These partnerships are geared to disseminate and support adoption of The Mind of the Universe in their global networks.

Finally, NetEase, a leading internet provider in China, has shown interest in airing The Mind of the Universe on their platform.