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The fourteen award-winning essays in this volume discuss a range of novel ideas and controversial topics that could decisively influence the course of human life on Earth. Their authors address, in accessible language, issues as diverse as: enabling our social systems to learn; research in biological engineering and artificial intelligence; mending and enhancing minds; improving the way we do, and teach, science; living in the here and now; and the value of play. The essays are enhanced versions of the prize-winning entries submitted to the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) essay competition in 2014. FQXi, catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.