The New Year, 2013, for me is exciting. I am launching InnovaScapes Institute, ISI, to tackle challenges and issues with technology and society.
InnovaScapes is a contraction of "Innovative Landscapes" and a play on the idea of Innovation Ecosystems. I think of innovation much more often as a local and specific set of activities than a broad sweep on the historic pantheon, and "landscape" captures that mood and perspective better than the all-embracing "ecosystem".
ISI has several topics underway at the moment, some with commercial sponsorship, and some with a personal vector. We'll have some active discussion, and some stimulating debate. Topics might include the wonders of location-sensitve devices (your smart phone, tablet, and camera) which help you with social media, but give both authorities and 'bad guys' the chance to find and finger you.
Or the idea that our emerging medical instrumentation for gene tracking and molecular measurement can help change the AMA (American Medical Association) fiction that COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is 85-90% caused by smoking, when in fact smoking has been on the decline in America for three decades, and COPD is on the rise, now the third leading killer in America, higher than strokes or auto accidents -- and virtually no research into its true causes or treatments.
Similarly, the rise of the InterNet, while fueled by Tim Berners-Lee and his URL work at CERN, the brilliant TCP/IP work of Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, Len Kleinrock, et al fifty years ago, and of course Netscape with Marc Andreasson (now on the HP Board, right?), was really installed and made nearly ubiquitous by much more prosaic work in the trenches (or would it be in the Hubs and Routers and glass fiber in the ground). We will examine how the trench warfare unfolded, which elements mattered the most, and why and how they got done.
Why are these things important? Who will care? Can we in fact provide some useful service? Time will tell, but I for one am as excited as I've been with any project I've ever undertaken. Here's an invitation to ome along and join in....