Category Archives: NewDos

Re-think!

 

Philosophers, futurists, authors, writers and even an American president are calling for a rethink of how modern society works or, more to the point, why it doesn’t seem to work. This video provides an overview of what has gone wrong and what needs to be done to create a different type of society.

What an amazing guy!

Fifteen-year-old Jack Andraka wins the top award at Intel ISEF 2012 for his creation of a new, non-invasive method to detect early-stage pancreatic cancer.

What an amazing guy! A role modeling ditto. Analysing a problem and then dedicating his time to find a solution! A pride for humanity!

The New Kind of Worker Every Business Needs

Source: Harvard Business Review

by Marina Gorbis    11:00 AM April 22, 2013

We live in a world in which amplified individuals — people empowered by technologies and the collective intelligence of their social networks — can do things that previously only a large organization could. Indeed, they can do some things that no organization could do before. For better and worse, this is the world in which weekend software hackers can disrupt large software firms, and rapidly orchestrated social movements can bring down governments.

Amplified individuals include artists, musicians, community organizers, and techies working alongside nontechies. For a glimpse of how their talents are “amplified,” visit, for example, BioCurious — a well equipped biology lab in the San Francisco Bay area that is actually a former garage full of apparatus bought on the cheap on eBay. Most of us think of biotech as the province of multinational pharmaceutical corporations and well-funded ventures, but the founders of BioCurious believe (as they say in their mission statement) “that innovations in biology should be accessible, affordable, and open to everyone.” The most capable synthetic biologists in the BioCurious community work not only on their own pet projects; they also help others learn to do so by offering classes in subjects like Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, and Bioprinting. Unlike in traditional university settings, the classes are open to anyone; you don’t need to fulfill requirements or take a long list of prerequisites in order to attend. All you have to bring to the class is interest and curiosity.

To use a term I introduced in an earlier piece, people like these are engaged in “socialstructing” — that is, bypassing established institutions and processes for building new things, and instead working to create what they find missing in the world by communicating the need to their social networks, mobilizing whatever resources they have at their disposal, and pursuing solutions collaboratively. Amplified individuals are an especially formidable force because the hard work they do is work they choose for themselves, and it is the focus of the strongest of their talents.

This is the kind of amplification that plays out daily at the Tech Shop, where people are pioneering new manufacturing models. Hanging around there, you might come up with an idea for a product, then quickly prototype it at Tech Shop with advice and support from the larger community. You could get funding on Kickstarter, then manufacture it through a flexible network of small-scale producers in China and elsewhere around the world. Voila! No large-scale manufacturing facility required. A small group of individuals, amplified with connections to each other and access to resources previously available only to large organizations, can create at scales they could previously only dream of.

Given that energized innovators like these are disrupting many existing products, and the business models behind them, you can feel threatened by them. Or you can learn from them and work to turn your own organization into a collection of amplified individuals. The latter is the path we’ve chosen at the Institute for the Future (IFTF). Based on what we’ve learned so far, I can offer a few tips for other organizations hoping to amplify their workers’ talents and energy for greater innovation capacity and impact:

Change how you measure performance. The value you seek from employees, and should recognize and reward, can’t be measured only by focusing on their internal contributions. It also depends on their connections to and their standing in external communities that are important to your organization. At IFTF, several of our staff members run organizations of their own or contribute actively to other networks’ efforts. These activities contribute to our organization’s impact and increase the range of views and ideas we encounter. This is why we encourage our staff to expand and create their own external idea and knowledge networks.

Design the organization to support individual initiative, not control employees’ actions. We proudly show people our unusual organizational chart (more a constellation of project networks than a linear hierarchy) because it casts IFTF as a platform on which project teams and other work structures can self-organize, tackle issues, and solve problems. “The value of self-organizing structures is that they can act quickly, responsively, and creatively from the edges,” we explain in our vision statement. “The guiding concepts in this view of leadership are openness, self-election, continuous prototyping, robust platforms, and low coordination costs. Leadership skills focus on community building, consensus building, mediation, commitment, and humility.”

Socialize your underused assets. Under the traditional logic of management, it would make sense to jealously guard the use of any productive assets a firm has invested in. But in reality, nearly every organization has a surplus of resources of one type or another. Some have an abundance of physical space, others have equipment and tools that are rarely used, and still others have talent that is not fully engaged. A few years ago my colleagues and I decided that we could donate our surfeit of conference space to be used on weekends and some evenings by various communities whose work we want to encourage. We now regularly open this space to meetups, hack days, science bar days, and other informal gatherings of people with similar interests (science, biology, coding, 3D printing, and such). In the process we learn from these external innovators, extend our network, and engender a lot of goodwill. Think of the resources you have in abundance and how you might “socialize” them to build your organization’s social capital and enrich the flow of ideas.

Stop to consider how these few managerial changes would support and extend an individual’s initiative in your organization, and you’ll soon start to think of other tactics as well. Undoubtedly the ideas you come up with will share the common theme of loosening traditional managerial reins. But don’t let that loss of control frighten you. By recognizing the power of amplification, you will be rewarded with more energized, empowered, and innovative workers, and be able to achieve a whole new level of reach and impact.

The Blue economy!

The Blue Economy: 10 years – 100 innovations – 100 million jobs is a book by Gunter Pauli. The book expresses the ultimate aim that a Blue Economy business model will shift society from scarcity to abundance “with what we have”, by tackling issues that cause environmental and related problems in new ways. The book highlights potential benefits in connecting and combining seemingly disparate environmental problems with open-source scientific solutions based upon physical processes common in the natural world, to create solutions that are both environmentally beneficial and which have financial and wider social benefits. The book suggests that we can alter the way in which we run our industrial processes and tackle resultant environmental problems, refocusing from the use of rare and high-energy cost resources to instead seek solutions based upon simpler and cleaner technologies. The book aims to inspire entrepreneurs to adopt its insights, by demonstrating ways in which this can create economic benefits via job creation, reduced energy use, and more revenue streams from each step of the process, at the same time benefiting the communities involved. ‘The Blue Economy’ is presented in 14 chapters, each of which investigates an aspect of the world’s economies and offers a series of innovations capable of making aspects of those economies sustainable

Source: wikipedia

NewDos

Scientists diagnose intestinal worms — using an iPhone microscope
By Faith Karimi , CNN
March 16, 2013 — Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
CNN.com
Scientists in Tanzania recently created a microscope using an iPhone, tape and camera lens.

Scientists in Tanzania recently created a microscope using an iPhone, tape and camera lens.

(CNN) — An Apple product may help keep the doctor away in Tanzania.

In a discovery that provides doctors in remote areas with an alternative, scientists recently created a microscope using an iPhone, tape, flashlight and camera lens.

They then used it to diagnose intestinal worms in about 200 students in Pemba Island, off Tanzania’s eastern coast. .

“To our knowledge, this is the first time the mobile phone microscope had been used in the field to diagnose intestinal parasitic infections,” said Isaac Bogoch, an internal medicine specialist at Toronto General Hospital.

Bogoch, who conducted the study with colleagues, used his iPhone 4s.

However, he said, the approach can work with any smartphone that has a good camera and a zoom feature.

African markets are flooded with low-cost smartphones made by Chinese companies, some selling for as low as $80. With mobile phone growth skyrocketing in the continent, price-based competition is becoming vital to tap into the African market share.

From cell phone to microscope

To convert the phone into a microscope, scientists put double-sided tape over the iPhone camera lens. They then pierced a hole in the tape and centered a tiny $9 lens over the phone’s camera lens.

Using a flashlight for illumination, they held up stool samples against the lens using the double-sided tape to hold slides in place, and studied them for intestinal parasites through the phone’s screen.

Bogoch said they diagnosed 70% of the infections when compared with the results of a conventional laboratory microscope.

Convenience in remote areas

The scientists plan to tap into technology to make the results more accurate.

The mobile phone microscope is convenient because it allows testing for intestinal worms immediately and in close proximity with the patient, Bogoch and his colleagues wrote in their findings.

Innovative approaches that are portable and easy to assemble are vital in far flung areas, where labs are a rarity.

“The idea was to have a cheap solution in remote settings where equipment such as a microscope and electricity are not that easily available,” said Benjamin Speich, a corresponding author and scientist at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.

Mobile phones are popular in Africa, where penetration rates remain high even in remote areas.

‘Cheap solution’

Nearly 1.5 billion people — 24% of the world’s population — suffer from helminth infections, commonly known as intestinal worms, according to the World Health Organization.

Most of those at risk are children, with most infections reported in Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Intestinal parasites are transmitted through contact with infected feces, which can lodge in the soil and spread though poor sanitation.

The study was published this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. It was conducted by scientists from the United States, Switzerland, Tanzania and Canada.

First time in the field

This is not the first time scientists have converted a smartphone into a microscope, but past experiments have been limited to the lab, Bogoch said.

Two years ago, scientists at the University of California, Davis improvised a microscope using an iPhone.

They inserted a small ball lens into a rubber sheet, which they taped over the smartphone’s camera.

At the time, researchers said they planned to validate the device for use in the field.

Aside

  Comfort, environmental sensitivity and livability were among the main driving principles behind this stellar design, which partially explains the use of natural materials that integrate so well with the surrounding landscape. The building has a larch frame, some larch … Continue reading

JR’s TED Wish: Turn the World Inside Out with Art

Meet JR, a French street artist with global ambitions. JR travels around the world with his 28mm wide-angle lens trying to capture the unguarded, funny, soulful, and above all, REAL faces of our fellow human beings. He blows up these images and pastes them on urban surfaces for all to see and consider. Images of Parisian thugs are pasted up in bourgeois neighborhoods; photos of Israelis and Palestinians are posted together on both sides of the walls that separate them. In his own words, he wants to “create projects so huge with the community that they are forced to ask themselves questions”.