Bertrand Piccard got my full attention last year @LeWeb. Bertrand Piccard’s grandfather was the first human being in the stratosphere, his dad plunged down a whopping 14.000 meter into the Challenger Deep, and Bertrand himself adventured around the world. Nonstop. In a balloon.
“It would be childish to think humanity will compromise on comfort levels, mobility and way of living” he says: “we need innovation to adapt the technology to fit the people and the planet’s needs. Not the other way around. We need to dare to innovate, and invent sources of energy and commodities that will support human life as we know it. Simply put, the next generation will have to save us, and the planet. Or not. Either way, nature won’t care”.
A bold statement from a passionate nature loving adventurer. An open invitation to start innovating using the power of Social Media, and the wisdom of the crowds. Piccard used crowdsourcing to make his solar powered non-stop flight around the planet happen (more on www.solarimpulse.com ) .
It seems that Piccard’s public plea for crowdsourcing is a smart one. Biochemists at the University of Washington used a worldwide set of 235.000 young gamers (!) to play a game called Pundit to help solving a decade old puzzle on the molecular structure of an AIDS like virus found in monkeys. Figuring out the structure opens the way to designing the cure. It’s that simple, but in an environment where there are billions of combinations, no professor can find the little Stone of Rosetta on his own.
The researches turned the Quest into a crowdsourcing game, looking for the most efficient, lowest energy state of the molecule. It took the combined players less than 10 days to crack the code… using auto building, smart tagging and group projections.
Using the unique human knack for seeing structures and sift through recombinations fast, is one of the key drivers of crowd sourcing success. For a lot of global players, – governments, research and development centers, universities or brands alike-, crowd sourcing will play a vital part in the next years to come.
The fundaments of successful crowd sourcing are deeply imbedded in creative connectivity, social engagement, dynamic communication lines, intuitive sharing platforms, and gamification. It will require people with unique social connectivity skills to drive it: Connected Communicators. Personally, I think that the word crowdsourcing does not give the planet saving potential any justice. I prefer group intelligence by far: a definition so rooted in my agogics and social sciences background it’s scary :-). What communication departments, strategic consultancies and decision makers will first see what it takes to spark success through the cleverly connected wisdom of many?
Harnessing the power of millions of highly inventive brains into one sizzling solution center, connected by the power of a connected web and social sharing tools. The little Kurzweil in me is having a field day…