Vogue Interview

Published at Vogue Russia, September 2020

A young entrepreneur, Aliya Grig, is frequently compared with Elon Musk, though she paves her own way to space.

It’s been quite some time since they have been catching not only ocean waves, but also waves from space on the California coast. Here, in Hawthorne, where the headquarters of SpaceX is located, some people study waves using scientific methods, while others pass them through themselves. “Those are not mutually exclusive though,” says startup founder and futurist Aliya Grig. “On the contrary, it helps. Nowadays we continue improving technologies that was discovered many years ago, we do not make revolutionary breakthroughs. I am convinced that the main reason of that is our consciousness limitations. That is why, in my opinion, mindfulness is the first step to make us to move forward on the way of technology development.”

Aliya’s company Cosmos, which was relocated to Los Angeles from Russia, used to specialize in space innovations, her startups created technologies of small satellites, 3D printers for printing in zero gravity and innovative technology of light launch vehicles. Few years ago, Aliya also combined in her projects tech innovations and human souls engineering. In September, she is launching the Human Cosmos mobile app. Over a year ago she started to create the Cosmos Center, an edutainment hub and space tech co-working, where both adults and kids will be learning how Universe works, how to develop sustainable technologies and what mindfulness practices are. Aliya does not separate these fields. Her mother was an astrophysict and Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory constructor, Aliya grew up in the «cosmic atmosphere». “The whole philosophical and scientific party of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg, Russia) in the 1980s gathered at our house: from scientists, artists to yogis. The Strugatsky brothers (famous sci-fi writers) were frequent guests. At the age of six, I got to study with a Buddhist monk, who, using the example of tai chi and qigong, in simple words explained to me how different practices affect us," reminisces Aliya.

Since then Aliya has tried probably all types of yoga from Iyengar to Kundalini, mastered surfing and studied the most progressive concepts in neuroscience and psychology, as well as in esotericism and even Kashmir Shaivism.

Eventually, Aliya came up with the idea of collecting all the top achievements from ancient Asian traditions and from the science within one application. The app aims to help people in solving four basic problems: emotional burnout, weak immunity, stagnation in career or partnership relations. Depending on individual goals, as well as from the questionnaire data, artificial intelligence in the form of calendar - (there is a plan to add a chatbot and a voice assistant in the future) - gives predictions and tips for every day. “This is not a horoscope, there is no fatality here, - Aliya emphasizes, it is the system that helps to concentrate on the important reference dots, natural cycles and personal biorhythms, you can always correct it’s influence and choose where to turn, like on a roadmap, what exercises to do in a particular day.” By the way, in addition to physical and breathing practices, there are spontaneous drawing and meditation with music. In the next version, the algorithm will also consider genetics, and kid’s practices will be added. Aliya, mother of two, knows for sure: a wonderful future starts from the present day.