Innovation Is Everywhere

My belief that human development will accelerate in the coming decade is fueled by a wave of emerging innovation both now and in the future. Our ability to invent dates back a very long time. Each new wave of invention builds upon the last, with subsequent waves accelerating on the strength of new building blocks that emerge and the growth of knowledge. We stand on the shoulders of brilliant people that came before us, and as inventors, inventions, and knowledge converged, our standard of living was elevated. No period represents this phenomenon better than the late 19th and early 20th century. It was early 2016 when I first attempted to capture the dynamics of that period visually.

The resulting innovation wheel links invention and actions to our areas of well-being. In hindsight, it is easy to see how human development accelerated. Now, as we look towards the future, what are the building blocks that have the potential to advance human development once again? Every time I scan the horizon, more innovation emerges. The breadth and scope of innovation combines with a speed phenomenon that is breath taking. Just this morning, my feed was filled with possibilities.

Health and Wellness: this article describes how we may reverse hearing loss with regenerative therapy. An MIT spinout demonstrates an ability to stimulate the growth of hair cells in the inner ear. From the article: The biotechnology company Frequency Therapeutics is seeking to reverse hearing loss — not with hearing aids or implants, but with a new kind of regenerative therapy. The company uses small molecules to program progenitor cells, a descendant of stem cells in the inner ear, to create the tiny hair cells that allow us to hear.

Homes: this article describes a sunflower Village that offers a sustainable construction solution and a sense of community. This design concept outlines a clean and efficient housing development created with 3D printing. This second article describes how 3D concrete printing can solve Virginia’s affordable housing crisis.

Food and Water: Bill Gates and Blackrock are backing a start-up behind hydropanels that make water out of thin air. From the article: We take sunlight and air and we can produce perfect drinking water essentially anywhere on the planet. So we take water that has historically been probably humanity’s greatest challenge and turn it into a renewable resource that is perfect essentially everywhere.

Also in the food and water category, 3D-Printed meat substitutes are making a splash in Europe. According to this Article the Israeli-based start-up Redefine Meat is upping the ante, bringing 3D printed meat substitutes to markets throughout Europe. The company refers to its product line as “New Meat,” challenging the status quo.

These three categories are all linked to our wellbeing, as described by the innovation wheel. Take a quick walk around the wheel via the video below.

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