How can we top day 1 of gameplay? Day 2 and awards!

21 hours down—15 hours to go!

What an amazing first day of gameplay in the Innovate2038 game. <drumroll> 4649 ideas played by 376 players by 9pm Pacific yesterday night, Wed Sept 25! Congratulations everyone for being a part of the first global crowdsourced game on the future of research & innovation. Gameplay definitely isn’t over yet, but before we talk about day 2, let’s look at yesterday. To start, here’s the word frequency from the idea cards played before 9p yesterday (with a few obvious words* removed to get at more interesting patterns):

IRIwordleMOARremoved(what ideas are you surprised is missing? Play them in the game)

I’m really excited to see learning & education, data, AI, IP, open, make, systems, risk, funding, time, simulation, and game in this list. We track how these ideas expand today, and look for the new terms that emerge just from today’s gameplay. (I’ve linked some of these terms to instant-analysis updates our game guide team posted yesterday—check them out for more of an overview of day 1 gameplay).

But we have 15 hours to go, and if you’re asking yourself: 4600 cards in, Jason, what’s left? Oh, you know, nothing but the rest of the future of research and innovation!
To start, let’s go back to the four official Innovate2038 awards:

IRIawardsFor our last 15 hours of gameplay, our Innovate2038 game guide team is going to be scouting out final nominees for these four important areas of the future of research & innovation. To make our job even easier, remember to use the hashtag associated with each award (check out our blog post announcing and describing the awards in more detail—for each award, there are multiple ways to win).

All bets are off for day 2 of Innovate2038. See you in the game!

(*FYI, the ‘obvious words’ I removed from the word cloud: innovate, innovation, research, need, think, also, just, like, idea, ideas, get, people, new, change, now, one, way, good, better, maybe, see, much, use, yes, might, may, still, well, already, even, many)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not to be too critical…

A lot of times the cards we highlight on here tend to be positive imagination or builds. New, interesting ideas, that we think could represent the future of research and innovation. However, Brad’s recent post on anticipating our urgent innovation needs inspired me to comb through some critical imagination cards and highlight a few particularly intriguing thoughts from TomKavassalis, bradganistan, Nova, and Uatu on potential obstacles and roadblocks that could hold research and innovation back.

global warming limits

humans cant impact innovation


models of innovation

Have ideas around how to overcome these barriers? Or other ways these issues could manifest themselves? Click on any of the cards above to build on them.

Finally, I would like to leave you with a provocation from JoshKingBear:

world without need

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off


Humans have always been makers. We made the first hand tools, we made agriculture, we made cities and spaceships and we will no doubt continue to make stuff in the future.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 4.24.46 PM

Today, innovation is happening in R&D labs, but more and more often it is happening in basements, garages, hackerspaces and maker spaces.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 4.19.38 PM

delta.bravo points out that there is an opportunity here for R&D organizations to partner with makers, and to openly share knowledge.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 4.19.29 PM

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 4.24.27 PM

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 4.23.59 PM

As the DIY maker movement continues to grow, more people are getting involved with R&D. As barriers between the professional world and that of citizen makers continue to blur, how will this change R&D for you? Share your thoughts at


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anticipating our Urgent Innovation Needs

Among the dark imagination cards are some intriguing fears that point to some potential challenges to creating truly breakthrough innovations: Namely, that in a future where things continue to move faster and faster, and where we have increasing volumes of data and information that most of us can’t understand, it will be an increasingly difficult challenge to find time to imagine.

For instance, game player Moreview offered up this concern about the future of innovation:

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 2.58.22 PM

The need to respond at an increasingly fast pace wasn’t the only concern. Both Sasquatch and DanA offered up similar concerns about the potential for too much data to overwhelm our abilities to be imaginative.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 3.02.31 PM

What these responses are getting at is that some of the external forces shaping our future–the increasing speed of change, the exponential growth of data–may make it increasingly hard to innovate, even as the urgency and need for innovation increases.

Buried in this, though, is a different lesson–one way of innovating for urgent challenges is to sense their potential before they emerge.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The value of immersive futures

To continue with variations on the simulation theme - Zeebuzz suggests that a virtual world could make the longer-term effects of climate change more tangible and create a sense of urgency.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 2.33.38 PMSimulation will certainly help play out scenarios in a lab, but when deployed in the real world, it could also become a powerful tool for mobilizing movements and helping individual’s see, or even feel, the longer-term results of their actions.

What do you think are the most urgent issues humans need to face? How could virtual (or even real-world) simulation be used to show what would happen if we don’t act now? What might go wrong? Play cards using #urgent or tweet your ideas using #innovate2038 !

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

83 levels of future, building on one idea

The heart of Foresight Engine is found in growing chains of idea cards—adding to the seeds of ideas that we play as Positive Imagination or Critical Imagination cards, through one of these four ‘build’ cards:
Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.34.11 PMOur tallest ‘idea building’ so far in the game is 83 stories high, followed by 49 levels, and three at 37 levels of conversation.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 2.47.44 PM

To see more of these Big Builds yourself, just slide the Dashboard view to the right (and if you haven’t explored the Dashboard, there’s so much for you Foresight Engine power users to explore!).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the end of human testing?

Player Nate suggests that one thing preventing enthusiasm about the sciences is objections to human and animal testing.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.29.37 PM

Throughout the game there has been talk about how simulation will transform the R&D process. A few players, DanA and jogger1031, are suggesting we simulate one of the most complex things of all – the human body and brain – which could effectively end the need for human testing.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.47.32 PM

 What other ethical dilemmas could simulation overcome? What industries besides pharma and biosciences will benefit most from whole-body simulation? Could individuals run personal simulations by building their own models and testing out alternative futures?


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Simulation: the road to breakthroughs?

Players biosolutionist, BLBEMIS, and Futuristglen and many others bring ideas on simulation to the game. Whether it is shedding light on the interactions of systems, disaster prevention, or simply providing us with an arena to fail safely, simulations have a broad reach in the future of R&D.

How does open research enhance simulation? What specific technological breakthroughs will be enabled by simulation? How will we benefit from the foresight allowed by simulation?

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taking a leap of faith

To innovate, you need to explore areas unknown—to jump in, without fear. In response to a card that named religion as a potential obstacle or roadblock to future research and innovation, player jkimhan threw out this poignant thought.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 11.53.39 AM

Could we work towards creating a robust collaboration between houses of worship and research institutions? A church-sponsored fab-lab?  An interfaith science challenge? Some think so and some are pushing back. Click on the card image above to add your thoughts to the conversation!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This blog post is an epic fail…

…and that’s awesome, and necessary. At least, that’s what #Innovate2038 players are telling us so far: getting to the next 25 years of breakthrough ideas will demand a few shifts, pivots, and attitude adjustments to create cultures and organizations that are risk-and failure-friendly. May we continue to fail as majestically as Bablakey, Sjef, wonderosity, eir411, and Cypher! :)

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.00.12 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.01.11 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.01.20 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.01.57 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.01.32 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.00.42 PM

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment