Science and Technology Race Ahead

I recently wrote about innovation being everywhere. This pace of innovation has me believing in a possibility space with the potential to solve many of humanity’s grand historical challenges. As Chunka Mui (Futurist and innovation advisor) said in a recent article, today’s innovators can prosper by building a better tomorrow. Indeed, purpose has become a catalyst for positive change. I encourage you to read his recent article. Chunka described our current world in late 2013 with the release of his book titled The New Killer Apps: How Large Companies Can Out-Innovate Start-Ups.

Thanks to the unprecedented capabilities enabled by the Laws of Zero, near-miracles are possible. And, coming up with any one of those near-miracles would both help save the planet and generate a fortune the likes of which few have ever seen.

Chunka Mui – Today’s Innovators Can Prosper by Building a Better Tomorrow

The visual above describes the challenge of our times: managing the exponential gap. Azeem Azhar spoke of this gap in his book titled The Exponential Age. His research led him to conclude that as technologies are being invented and scaled at an accelerating pace with rapidly decreasing price, our institutions (political norms, economic organization, etc.) are changing slowly. Chunka refers to this as the laws of zero using a visual that depicts an opportunity gap that forms as innovation moves on an exponential curve, while businesses change incrementally. One need only check science and technology announcements to see the laws of zero at work. Here are examples.

Ocean Turbine – Power-hungry, fossil-fuel dependent Japan has successfully tested a system that could provide a constant, steady form of renewable energy, regardless of the wind or the sun. Japanese heavy machinery maker IHI Corp. has been developing a subsea turbine that harnesses the energy in deep ocean currents and converts it into a steady and reliable source of electricity.

Solar Electric Car – Aptera announced that it has now received more than 22,000 reservations for its solar-powered electric car, which get to 1,000 miles of range, as it gets closer to production. With that kind of efficiency, it can achieve 250 miles of range on a fairly small battery pack, resulting in a vehicle starting at just $25,900. Buyers can also configure the Aptera with a battery pack that extends the range to 400 miles for $29,800, 600 miles for $34,600, and 1,000 miles for $44,900.

Zero-Carbon Cement – Engineers at Cambridge University claim to have invented the “world’s first-ever zero-emissions cement” that they’re calling Cambridge Electric Cement.

Solar-Powered Distiller – Ural Federal University (UrFU) power engineers have developed a new desalination technology. It will significantly reduce the cost of desalination and quadruple the volume of production.

Cancer-Destroying Synthetic Molecule -Stanford researchers have developed a new synthetic molecule that combines a tumor-targeting agent with another molecule that triggers immune activation. This tumor-targeted immunotherapy can be administered intravenously and makes its way to one or multiple tumor sites in the body, where it recruits immune cells to fight the cancer.

New Era of Genome Editing – Researchers from the Center for Genome Engineering within the Institute for Basic Science developed a new gene-editing platform called transcription activator-like effector-linked deaminases, or TALED.

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