Montag, 10. Dezember 2012

Deadlines are Just Points ...

... from where various paths in life can emerge.

Singularity University's Graduate Studies Program 2013 will close tomorrow for early applications, 2012-12-11 becoming a deadline in itself, and opening new paths, as showed so many times in the past (I applied twice in 2011 and 2012, and now off to the third application for a 10-week super-high-tech-bootcamp of incomparable quality, and intensity).

Let's see what life brings into being!

All of best luck to all applicants across the globe who dared to enter the competition.

Samstag, 24. November 2012

Hacking - Tech Innovation into Social Innovation

Today I am feeling like a therapist not reaching the client's inner needs, however seeing the huge potential that is just about to emerge out of him. In this case the client is not a person, as you might suspect. It is a much larger entity, still persons play a major role in it.

Photo by @AngieIncampo
A couple of days I watched Mitch Altman's TEDxBrussels talk, and something struck my mind, "Maybe you're not as crazy, people often tell me. Taking opportunities as they wind up, as tiny, and impossible as they might look like - that is just ME. A field of blossoming flowers does not come up over night! So it got to WE to make the "impossible" reality!".

As Peter Diamandis has said several times when interviewed, or giving speeches, on the question, "How did you manage to get the Ansari x Prize going, without even having the millions of $$$ for the prize purse!"

"I gathered a crowd of folks of super credibility, and announced the event in front of the media!"

.... and accumulated to what Salim Ismail talked about at the Foresight Conference 2010 (see last talk on the page), Singularity University, and how it came about.

The PRESENTATION (public) can be viewed here, and shall be the visual role model to what is still come.

Best for now from Dresden, wishing you all a terrific, and inspiring time


Dienstag, 9. Oktober 2012

Singularity University - nothing is over until we decided it

Singularity University #GSP12 well over for a couple of weeks now. I did not go there - and still think, "What will come instead?"

This current week is like a SU-roller-coaster in miniature. Three days at Europe's largest trade fair SEMICONEuropa 2012 on microelectronics, and semiconductors right here in Dresden (9 - 11, October 2012). Yesterday a Skype call with Rafael of Lean Startup Machine (New York), and Sheridan Tatsuno, startup advisor, and founder of Silicon Valley Global Network (Silicon Valley). On Thursday, and Friday meetings with managers, and staff of Semperoper on future of online media in the arts context.

... and right in this already accelerating action landscape, Peter Diamandis' talk at TEDxAcademy in Athens a couple of days ago weighs in on Facebook.

.... take the minutes, and take action. Thanks Peter for sending constant inspiration power from where ever you are.

Best from Dresden, Ralf

Sonntag, 22. Juli 2012

Dreams are stronger than we'd imagine

.... have you started your lift-off from daily life, into what is truly possible that you have already in your mind?

If not, start TODAY

If yes, pursue, and go forward TODAY

.... make every time in the future TODAY

Samstag, 14. Juli 2012

Impossible was Yesterday, wasn't it!

When you think about it, I mean #abundance, what is in it for you, and in which way can you make it happen by joining the tribe? Curious for more, then check here on FB or comment here. We are for sure already on a mission, and the network is building. 

What stepping stone are you laying on the accelerating path to make the dream become true? 

Samstag, 7. Juli 2012

The Blue Sky is Near - And We Can Dive in Together!

Blaues Wunder, Dresden
Using the complexity of our world, and our own creativity in a collaborative manner will not just save the day, yet create #abundance across boundaries. Some long put down thoughts, now re-surfaced, and free for read triggered by a meeting with Jay W. Forrester in 2007 at Business Dynamics workshop at MIT Sloan.

Are you with us? And can we be with you?

Mittwoch, 20. Juni 2012

The Future has Kicked-Off • #GSP12 @ SU

Copyright: (faculty member of @SingularityU)
What may look like a static moment is just the split second of the 10-week #GSP12 accelerated entrepreneurial journey of 80 participants, and well-known faculty members like Ray Kurzweil, Vivek Wadhwa, Salim Ismail, Peter Diamandis, and many others playing a relevant role (including the alumnis of the past years) in it.

....and there are even more connections than seen at first sight, especially with Saxony. See yourself ;-)

Montag, 4. Juni 2012

14 Days to Go - What's Next?

Two weeks from today, at NASA Ames Research Center, a most remarkable crowd of people will meet to make another 10-week collaborative team-entrepreneurial cross-disciplinary experiment to become true.

Should we care? Should educational institutions care? Should business leaders, and politicians care?

Not a must, just a CAN. Two letters that maybe will make more of a difference than other startup, and innovation programs, $25K each of the 80 participants will have paid in one or the other form (crowdfunded, financed by their institutions, from own purse, or what else might be possible).

Read yourself in what you could find yourself next year, and get first hand experience by reading into this.

A not so recent article in Entrepreneur from October 2010, or by Vivek Wadhwa in Techcrunch in December 2010 - oldie but GOLDIES!!!

Sonntag, 27. Mai 2012

TAM Technology Acceleration Machine

"Advancing Technology for Humanity" - it could have very well been the very first slide at Singularity University's introduction day, yet it has been the motto of this years IEEE Technology Time Machine 2012 taking place in the beautiful city of Dresden.
Imagine technologies, and their impact beyond 2020 is the aim of this newly formed symposium that has brought together leading people in their field in Dresden. It is not by sheer coincidence that Dresden has been chosen as this year's venue. Despite the fact that it is not comparable with Hong Kong (last year), Dresden's high-tech community builds upon a legacy of 800 years of engineering in Saxony being birthed by silver mining (German, 1168 official start of mining in the area) engineers in the early 13th century.

While attending over the course of three days most interesting connections happened to come up, even though some of them really short, and yet the short message service Twitter enabled the engineering crowd to connect easily via the shown official symposium hashtag #IEEETTM.

One of the most memorable moments was meeting the group of YFEL_MI from Masdar Institute of Science and Technology which brought the spirit of the Middle East which I encountered during the 3rd  SoL Global Forum 2008 in Oman. With GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 based in Dresden-Wilschdorf just on the edge of Dresden city, and in the field of cutting-edge semiconductor technology, there are more connections to Abu Dhabi, and the region than currently obvious. Semperoper Ballett's tour to Abu Dhabi Art Festival in the beginning of April just another connection.

Not doing one thing, one might think (attending #GSP12) may lead to serendipitous other things (as attending the symposium IEEE Technology Time Machine) - sometimes life decides what has to come next ;-) And the past days for sure were a kind of TAM with meeting the world in Dresden!!!

Donnerstag, 17. Mai 2012

It's the WHY that drives great ideas into being

... and the WHY in my case is: providing a space where people can play to their strengths. Clearly Singularity University is such a space, where for 10 weeks some of the most creative thinking, and ambitious people come together to co-create services, or products that within 10 years effect 1 billion people around the planet in a useful way.

Do these people get funded, and provided with resources one would normally are necessary to achieve such goals? Not quite, they have to bring up by their own (if not winning some of the scholarships due to newly started competitions at universities, and entrepreneurial programs around the world) a "small fee" - $ 25,000.

It is not what the $ 25,000 cost you in money, rather what this amount drives your entrepreneurial mind achieving this impossible looking goal. Even though the financial numbers don't look that promising in my case (roughly 1% of the total amount gathered), the higher is the trust others have in you, and your visions building up an exponential acceleration of what I'd call "Pull of the Entrepreneurial Genius".

The challenge still stays to bring your inner thinking about your vision into words, so others can learn about it, and join in the project. Even though I am not in #GSP12. Stay tuned for more, if interested in what is happening in Dresden.

Freitag, 11. Mai 2012

2012-05-10 Turning Point

Photo: imgres
Yesterday was sort of a crazy day, more in real life than ever for the last days. Meeting close to Blaues Wunder (a most controversially discussed now beloved bridge crossing the River Elbe) with a long-time business friend. Exploring opportunities together with Angela Incampo on how Italian authenticity can be brought to present-day Dresden which is in large built on visionary artifacts made possible by Italians back in the 18th century.

Later that day a job interview, right on time, smoothly flowing conversation, and opening new opportunities for both sides (even some unexpected).

Shortly back home, restarted for attending another version of Flurgespräche (an innovative conversation format with art pedagogy students, yesterday's event was in tune with #BiblioTech12 at Stanford so I tweeted some under #Flurgespraeche) at Technical University Dresden.

While sitting in the session following the amazing work of the coming art teachers, I got a notice from Singularity University - my heart stopped almost beating. "Should I have the place? What might be the message?"
"Thank you for submitting an application to attend Singularity University's 2012 Graduate Studies Program. While our admissions committee commends you for your accomplishments, we are unable to offer you a place in our 2012 class this summer.
We had a record number of applications this year for the GSP program, and the process of selecting 80 outstanding students was more challenging than ever as a result. We appreciate your interest in Singularity University, and wish you all the best in your future endeavors."
Feeling honored, disappointed, and encouraged to go on at the same time - a real moment in time! And nothing is going to stop me to fulfill my dream back from 2008 :-)

Sonntag, 6. Mai 2012

Steady Going, Learning Accelerating on the Way

Over the past few days quite a lot has happened. For an outsider it may seem tiny, and often not worthwhile. However spontaneous chats on Facebook with Charles Peralo, a young entrepreneur with drive unprecedented, active at the Seasteading Institute, and amazingly active founding new startups. We have talked about Singularity University and its GSP program. His questions, and comments fueled my actions to make it happen this summer once more.

Two days ago I once again got in contact with Søren Petersen, a Danish designer based now in Silicon Valley. Burton Lee of Stanford University connected me last year with Søren when I had started together with a photographer based in Dresden, Daniel Scholz, the project InnoBay.

Of course one could think that real business relevant action is driven only by face to face conversation. Not so in my case as I use real world contacts, conferences, and the opportunities given by the various social networks, and collaboration tools. "If given a choice .... take both!" - a great advice to be found at Peter's Laws.

Short reflection on what has happened so far with about 40 days to go:

What was good? New contacts, surprising opportunities (like the 7th Technology Summit [German] last Thursday),

What was tricky? Time is ticking away, and the purse is (not yet) raising

What have I learned? Attracting financial backers for a unique innovation (attending a 10-week hightech bootcamp in the middle of Silicon Valley with all relevant players to meet) even in Dresden and Saxony is a challenge of its own

Next action? OpenCoffeeClubDresden tomorrow once again, still working on the "perfect" pitch, especially as relevant people from the local tech community will probably attend

Sonntag, 29. April 2012

A Failure that Sparked Passion Once Again

As always in life things don't happen over night, rather they evolve unseen, and tiny in the beginning. Six months engaged in the aftermath cleaning up of the flooding in Dresden, five years at BMW Plant Leipzig, and the constant pull to make processes across boundaries easier with what already is at hand led to visit one of the prototypes of the "future management education" in Finland 2008. A bold plan sparked back then as my fellow friends of MonkeyBusines joined the Google project "100^10"TeamLea(r)ningExperience. Back then really a crazy idea to run an educational & entrepreneur development institution on the sideline of traditional education.

Back in the summer of 2011 a one-week visit (how crazy must one be to fly to Downunder being 60 hours in the air, and at airports around the world?!) to Amplifyfestival 2011 (Sydney) and Gathering 11 (Melbourne).  After returning to Dresden Daryl Cook, a social innovator and consultant, conducted an interview with me about my experiences at these conferences.

Later in 2011 during the uprising autumn, Robert Weichert, CEO of PR Piloten invited me as "blogger on tour" to follow a press tour with the Saxony Economic Development Corporation through Saxony's hightech scene - amazing which hidden diamonds lay amidst the Saxonian countryside!

Moving to Silicon Valley for merely a three-week visit didn't quite work out, InnoBay. My goal was meeting the various friends I had been able to make via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and of course personal meetings over the past years (especially down in Sydney to which Annalie Kilian invited me gratefully as "Blogger in Residence").

A failure so it seemed, yet only the beginning of reapplying for the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University (back in 2011 I had a seat, yet no money; this time no seat yet, and 50 days to raise awareness, and money (!) - though quite a challenge of its own).

... so all rebooted with the help by my global friends whom I am deeply thankful for their constant support. Especially I want to thank:  Jennifer Sertl who not just pushed the boundaries, rather also introduced me into coming book review by a relevant researcher in the social innovation space • Nick Heap who has mentored me since the early days in 2011 • Silicon Valley Link with its founder IdaRose Sylvester, who was introduced to me via Mark Zawecki, asking me specifically "tough" questions, that the entrepreneur seldom likes ;-) • Sheridan Tatsuno one of my mentors across distance, and supporter of Dresden's vision of the future • David Hawthorne (moderator of MoonShots) a dear friend based in New York with whom I share over the years a common understanding on changing the world to the bettter • James Parsons (who enabled my first elevator pitch back in early 2008).

Mittwoch, 25. April 2012

A Technology Legacy - HfV Hochschule für Verkehrswesen

Last Monday, DAY 2, of the remaining days on the clock passed, and it was surely a quite different day, as expected. First I got an invite to discuss matters deeper with MPI-CBG on possible screening opportunities of TranscendentMan. Then I got notice of Obscura Day (thanks to the power of Facebook Serendipity), and a visit on Saturday, 28th of April, to visit research labs at MPI-CBG. What an amazing opportunity, not only to see latest research on generative biology, but also to meet relevant people in the field, and open up new connection paths for the Silicon Valley trip. [BTW there are still places available to book for the Saturday tour of the research labs]. In the afternoon a meeting with a relevant person of my former university on how to incorporate my privately initiated alumni group (back from 2007, arose out of the need to get an easier organizing process up and running for student meetings) and bring it jointly together with the challenge to attract supporters to back up my envisioned attendance at SU totally blew my mind!

What used to be the main transportation and information technology institute of the former GDR was transformed into the University of Applied Sciences HTW Dresden exactly 20 years back. Myself I happened to be one of the "early"students studying there Office & Communication Technologies back in the early days of the World Wide Web in 1995-97.

Amazing how the things fall into place - but more on that and the present contributors to the challenge to make the move, and connection with Silicon Valley, and the tech community there possible you'll read in the next post to come soon.

Sonntag, 22. April 2012

What has got me moving?

by Brockhaus AG 2002
Today I start this blog in order to capture what is going to come over the next roughly 60 days as a life time challenge is running. While being currently unpaid, yet not unemployed (working at the oddest times, using the Web, and global connections to accelerate innovation in a city that often is perceived as a "beauty of art" alone out in the world).

Almost 10 years back in time, while the river Elbe flooded large parts of Dresden (see on left), I happened to become "Head of Operations" for organizing the help, and support out of the crisis. Back then a PDA, namely a Palm m500 played a major role. "Technology in the pocket" and always "at hand" has become my second nature.

© Foto: BMW AG, Fotograf: Martin Klindtworth
Then I moved to BMW AG to help them to establish the vehicle distribution in the new plant in Leipzig (on right conveyor belts in central building), and a new tracking & tracing system across their production, and distribution sites. I stayed there for five years, to find myself becoming an entrepreneur to help companies to understand, perceive, and act upon the currently undergoing accelerated change due to growing information technology in all processes that used to be quite stable for decades. Coming back from a visit to Finland, which is well known for its exceptional education system I entered the Google competition "10^100 Project" with a quickly written proposal called TeamLea(r)ningExperience (concept handed to the futureSAX business plan competition edition 2008/2009 earlier that year for the first time due to the notion "You have an idea? Bring it out quickly. Accelerate on getting feedback, learn and iterate from there).

In March 2009 I learned about TranscendentMan from Rainer Wasserfuhr one of the most advanced futurists in, and around Dresden. After a visit to Yadegar Asisi's "Dresden 1756", where the futureSAX prize ceremony took place that year, we envisioned a technology accelerator, where art, science, and technology could be jointly put together in order to accelerate innovations across boundaries in Dresden. He showed me the trailer of the documentary about Ray Kurzweil's life, and he visions about "The Singularity is Near". His question, "How many faces do you recognize in the trailer?" ... and so the LockSchuppen concept emerged.

Only having a vision, and a concept is by far not enough. It needs "hard facts" or experiences, besides action. In the summer of 2009, I spent three weeks in the Boston area, visited MIT Sloan School of Management, the MIT Campus, several so-called coworking spaces like Betahouse (closed by 2010), and CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center) which sparked my desire for more.

So it was only a matter of time to get to know more about Singularity University and its activities, first in the Silicon Valley, over time clearly spreading across the globe as their first alumni of the 10-week Graduate Studies Program were building up a global network.

Stay tuned as I will from now on cover what is happening in real time (more or less) around the challenge to make the visit to NASA Ames Research Center a reality (if all odds play out right, and I will be given a free space in the years to come).