I have a foresight crush…on Rasa

So, I must admit, I have developed a bit of a player crush.  I had seen Rasa’s cards before and thought they were interesting but then I saw this card:


I was a total goner. Head over heels. Giddy. Butterflies in my stomach. I went back through Rasa’s past posts and the love only grew. How had I not noticed these before?

ip-focused selfish

not black and white

Now I constantly go to the “players I’m following” column to check if they have said anything new, and proudly read their awesome ideas aloud to my colleagues. Many have come from this fascinating chain that Rasa sparked around the future of multigenerational homes and the possibilities they present.

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The conversation branches off in really interesting directions. Click on the image above to explore where it goes!

That’s it for now. But keep on innovating, Rasa!

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Turn on, tune in, innovate. Naturally.

Players Lekhraj, thewheatengineergalaxia, Matt Stitz, and  Powerton expand the realms of humans innovation through harnessing the wisdom of nature, biomimicry and interspecies communication. thewheatenginer posits that in 2038 we will have incorporated all of the efficiencies of the natural world. galaxia  inquires about how the principles of nature will teach us more about sustaining innovation. Lekhraj forecasts a world where we might be able to answer the question, what does the conversation between a city and a forest look like?

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Learning from Nature, the Ultimate Open Source

If history repeats itself, nature evolves. How can we learn from nature to ensure our research and innovation processes are evolving?

Player fox2038 suggests nature’s 5 billion years of trial and error is a treasure trove of information waiting for us to tap.

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Can we tap into nature to find patterns for research processes, augment collected data, or integrate multidisciplinary approaches to research questions?

An interesting thread started by Hathor suggests using neural networks for collaboration. Can we harness our brains’ operating patterns to directly input research processes?

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Is this a future we want? Why or why not?

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The Value of Collaboration

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The_Doctor says that in 2038 the old thought of Intellectual Property will not exist. There are tons of examples demonstrating the value of open models for innovation. This is challenging the traditional notion of ownership over ideas, and the theory of what drives innovation.


One of the goals in the traditional patent system is to incentivize innovation by granting IP holders a temporary monopoly, and creating potential for financial profit. However, in some cases there is a greater opportunity for innovation when we allow for open and collaborative innovation (linux, wikipedia, RepRap 3D printers).

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But perhaps collaboration and IP aren’t at odds with each other. What if we incorporate the best of both worlds?

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Or perhaps

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How do you think ownership of ideas and incentives for collaboration will change in the coming decades? Share your thoughts on http://play.innovate2038game.org 

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Can Changing Our Basic Approaches to Learning Change Our Basic Thinking Around R&D?

Some recent exchanges on the platform have echoed wider conversations about shifts taking hold in our approaches to learning.  When looking at developments like the meteoric rise of Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) it is tempting to think about this in terms of what we have today. We may leap to ask for example, “are platforms like UdacityCourseraand EdX a good replacement for universities as we know them today?”

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Player leegreen put this question out and got a wide variety of responses:

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This thinking has driven much of the debate around these tools, but may be the wrong starting point for exploring the ultimate impact that this shift could have.

Just two years ago, tens of thousands of learners around the world were working their way through the first MOOC, a class in Artificial Intelligence offered by Stanford and taught by rockstar professors Sebastian Thrun and Perter Norvig. From the beginning, however, this shift started to catalyze additional innovations – students forming Meetup Groups to replicate the peer interactions of traditional classrooms, for example.  This process of rethinking basic assumptions and structures, rather than MOOCs themselves, is likely to be the real legacy of this transitional period in education. Right now, we have the opportunity to consciously rethink and redesign our approaches to learning. Player jeanette reinforces this by encouraging us to think about learning beyond the confines of time spent in school.

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It is exciting to speculate about exactly what experiences are likely to make a person an extremely good researcher, and how (with or without traditional classrooms and degree packages) these experiences could be offered to as many people as possible?

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For example, Matt Stitz suggests the importance of looking beyond institutions and learning from nature – which raises questions about how to inspire a new generation of researchers to constantly seek out moments of learning  in the world around them.

Recent developments suggest that new thinking in this space is already underway. EdX, for example, has already begun to partner with companies interested in making massive learning experiences a central part of their strategy as “learning organizations.”

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NASA_Marty and Gardener  talk about the importance of adopting a life-long-learning attitude, but without support from employers it can be difficult to find time or motivation.

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Ultimately, this is only the beginning of a goosebump-raising innovation process at the heart of learning itself.

Here are a few other great ideas about what lies beyond today’s MOOCs

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Thanks to Devin Fidler for his contributions to this post, and his ongoing awesome thinking about the future of education!

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Volunteer Research Corps

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User Batman takes a break from vigilante crimefighting to share a vision in which the concerned public rallies their research skills in order to make big changes to the world.  What would this look like?  Can massive groups of researchers really solve problems faster?  What do YOU think?

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Ditching the internet, psychedelics, and dream states

As we get started this morning – use these cards to think about how you can best prepare your mind for creative problem solving! Looking out to 2038, think about what new norms or practices could be implemented across research organizations that would allow researchers to find their personal best place for innovation.

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amidst all the hyper-connection, Hathor suggests a tech-less retreat where researchers can unplug. This practice of going offline or having a change of scenery could help with employee satisfaction and boost productivity or creativity.

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It could also help with employee retention – No GoT points out that with ever growing lifespans, researchers might burn out and leave the profession if not given the opportunity to explore other fields or try new things.

But some other players took a different approach to thinking about what gets researchers in the right state of mind… which resulted in this awesome idea from JimmyLP and Lekraj about designing “dance floors” for psychedelic-induced innovation.

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This started a conversation about what other spaces or experiences produce the most creative ideas. For example, Japanese inventor Dr. Nakamats famously submerges himself at the bottom of a pool so that genius can strike. Other players responses varied from “submerged in chaos” to “physically active” and practicing “new research rituals” or maybe that moment just before waking, “the twilight zone.”

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The point is – it’s different for everyone. Supporting researchers to come up with the most innovative ideas will mean meeting them where they work best and allowing flexible customization of work spaces and routines.

As for me, based on some advice from Gardener, I’m definitely going to think about waking up differently tomorrow – and hopefully literally turn dreams into innovations.

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Over 6,000 ideas played!

25 hours into gameplay, Innovate2038 has generated  6,056 ideas played by 483 registered players. The quality of the ideas has been astounding and leaderboard competition fierce. Students are making a strong showing, representing 4 out of the current top 10 players!

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The big question I had was, “what makes a winner?” I looked through the top players to see what types of cards they are playing that are getting them to the top. Hathor and JimmyLP are all about the momentum cards, with almost all of their cards falling in that category. NullDeco and mackenziedickson take a more balanced approach, playing almost equal numbers of momentum, adaptation, and investigation cards. Gardner, however takes the inquisitive approach, using mostly investigation cards to push conversation forward.

So, what makes a winner? Playing to your strengths! Everyone takes their own approach, but the important part is they aren’t just throwing out positive or critical imagination cards, they are pushing thoughts forward, engaging in conversation, and fueling new ideas around the future of research and innovation.

Only 11 hours left to play! Join the conversation at www.innovate2038game.org

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Reality TV to the Rescue?

The image of scientists as “cool” or “popular” has been a recurring theme. How do we make kids view the sciences as not just challenging/rewarding, but also fun, cool, and glamorous? Will raising the status and image of scientists in our society advance science or drown it in celebrity-like gossip? Cypher posits:



Even Kaamoslandia, the lone dissenter, wonders if the attendant “clash of personalities” among scientists competing on TV would be a distraction or the main element to raise ratings.



Can reality TV make science cool?

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A Take on Immortality

Is there a way to make better use of the deceased? Perhaps more effectively encapsulating the knowledge they possessed in life? NullDeco thinks so. In an unusual take on immortality, he says human remains may one day be stored in museum-like cemeteries which allow digital records of a person’s life and thoughts to reside next to their tomb for access by later generations.


Thanks to Skwid2014, Sasquatch, david-k and Daniel_Katz this somewhat morbid theme saw some further extrapolation.





How do we accommodate a family’s privacy concerns in this arrangement? What benefits might we see in the field of medicine should such a system arise?

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