Humanity is facing urgent and complex problems. When the current approach fails to respond to the most pressing challenges, there is a crucial need to create a mindset of exponential thinking and train the new generation of changemakers.
In the quest to change paradigms and generate new strategies for facing complex challenges now and in the future, we were invited to IdeaSquare, the innovation space at CERN, to be part of the team for the Challenge Based Innovation (CBI) Terraforming pilot.
In the future, Terraforming will be the flagship program of CERN IdeaSquare, a new multidisciplinary methodology to think beyond the status quo, and collaborate on, ideate and prototype solutions to complex problems.
To test this approach, we’ve been at IdeaSquare in Geneva working on the scenario of water scarcity as a critical example of urgent and complex societal problems we all need to solve. We had the privilege of working with the IdeaSquare team and an international group of professors and researchers from global universities to find strategies for generating change through breakthrough innovation.
The program’s goal is to experiment with the creation of new paradigms, looking to:
- Move from incremental to exponential innovation.
- Think on a global scale.
- Understand, simplify and work within complex systems.
- Respect planetary boundaries and the constraints of the laws of physics.
- Find resourceful and meaningful ways to create solutions.
Right now, a group of postgraduate physics, engineering and design students are halfway through a two-week program under the supervision of those professors and researchers, which sees them concentrating on finding new disruptive solutions to ensure clean water for all by applying Terraforming methodology.
They are working on a challenge that is a critical issue affecting every level of society. Some of the questions guiding their process are: How can we ensure access to clean water for all? Can we generate new alternatives to what we know now? How can we design new strategies to go beyond the actual limits of our context? What if humanity could start everything from scratch – what would we do differently?
Thank you IdeaSquare, the innovation space at CERN, for inviting us to join this Terraforming pilot and work together on the journey of generating new paths towards exponential thinking and innovation.
Special thanks go to Markus Nordberg, Pablo Garcia Tello, Laura Wirtavuori, Catarina Batista, Ole Werner, Carolina Faria and Dina Zimmermann for their interest and passion in moving innovation knowledge forward, and the effort they’re making in running the program.
And to Christine Thong from Swinburne University, Ramon Bragos from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Ian Collingwood and Mireia Sierra Andres from ESADE, for always being such good companions on this journey and so generous in sharing knowledge and ideas.
At wonnd, we don’t believe in isolated heroic disciplines. By collaborating with this amazing multidisciplinary team, we can make a positive change. What is clear is that not everything is done, and we have challenging work ahead.
Do you need to approach your challenges from a new perspective? Contact us!