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Ron Garan: US astronaut brings message of peace and unity to Principality


The ‘Elevate’ event included an inspiring conference for children and adults. A gala dinner in the evening was attended by a number of prominent figures.


Who better than an astronaut to talk about space? The Principality’s children and students got the chance to meet Colonel Ron Garan. The renowned astronaut carried out a 6-month (178-day) mission on the International Space Station in 2011.

On Wednesday 2 November, at the ‘Elevate’ conference organised by Zsolt Szemerszky, editor-in-chief of Living in Monaco magazine, at One Monte-Carlo, Ron Garan explained to the audience the history of the space race, the importance of space discoveries for humanity, and his personal experience above the Earth. The children were also able to ask all the questions they could think of about this strange and fascinating world.

Among them: “Is Elon Musk going to buy the moon?” “How do you relieve yourself in space?” “Can children go into space?” All of which were answered by Ron Garan.

© Elevate

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In addition to the conferences, a gala dinner carefully prepared by Marcel Ravin, SBM’s two-star chef, was served to Monaco’s socialites and wealthy (UHNW) individuals, with a combined net worth of 27 billion euros.

Among the prestigious guests were Cécile and Antoine de Massy, Bernard d’Alessandri, Alexey Antropov, Safia El Malqui, David Yakobashvili, Marina Melia, Vitaly Malkin, Victoria Silvstedt, Régis Bergonzi.

©  Elevate – From left to right: Alexey Antropov, Ron Garan and Zsolt Szemerszky
© Elevate
© Elevate – Marcel Ravin and Victoria Silvstedt

The takeaway message from this enriching day, and the one Ron Garan wanted to convey, was a few words from Chilean philosopher Dario Salas Sommer: “People and nations are in dire need of achieving mutual understanding, honest and harmonious communication among themselves. If this does not happen, the actions of people turn against them, and then we, as a species and as humanity as a whole, are doomed to extinction.”

Zsolt Szemerszky wanted to organise this event for his goddaughter and all the other children in these troubled times, given the war in Ukraine in particular, to show them that “when we are together, we are at peace and we can do much more.” The intention behind the conference was therefore to invite everyone to step back and look at things from a different perspective “to see a planet and a team in space working together”.

Ron Garan wanted to show that “different countries can work together and show children that you can get much further in life with a harmonious environment.”

The event was supported by the Antropov Foundation, the Omere Longevity Institute and the Lanteri Partners Group. Zsolt Szemerszky hopes to organise a second edition in 2023, again in Monaco, perhaps with a female astronaut. He also plans to organise this type of conference in other countries.