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).