Big Thinkers

The Big Thinkers are a multi-disciplinary group of stakeholders, experts and entrepreneurs that are engaged in the Big Think to look at the global challenge system in broad terms to understand the critical issues across a broad spectrum of sectors, from government to research to business. As a result of the varied and insightful perspectives voiced there, each Big Think is held to finalize the Challenge Statement in advance of its release.

LAUNCH: Systems Challenge Green Chemistry Big Think, March 12, 2014, State Department, Washington DC
We asked big thinkers to help us understand the landscape of "Green Chemistry" with a focus on materials and manufacturing. Together we explored green chemistry trends, field needs and opportunities, and where there is a need for innovation. A broad array of sectors and interests were represented, including: academia, government, non profit, consumer advocates, chemical companies, and industry collaborators. LAUNCH: Systems Challenge Green Chemistry focuses on innovations that will leverage green chemistry to transform the system of materials and manufacturing.
 
LAUNCH: Nordic Challenge 2014 Big Think, February 5, 2014, Design Society, Copenhagen, Denmark
As part of a carefully selected group of 30 key decision makers, innovators and experts, the LAUNCH Nordic Big Think was a moderated discussion on how to drive systems innovation and scale innovations within textiles, fabrics and fibers. During the Big Think, participants identified areas within the textile and fabrics system where innovation is needed and help formulate this years call for innovators. The aim of the Big Think was to prepare the LAUNCH Nordic Summit on March 14 and the subsequent LAUNCH Nordic Challenge.
 
LAUNCH: Systems Big Think, March 20, 2013, GSA Federal Building, San Francisco, CA 
The topic was "Towards a Deeper Understanding of the Fabric & Material System" and a broad array of sectors and interests were represented, including: academia, chemistry, design, consumer advocates, manufacturing, and industry collaborators.  LAUNCH: Systems Challenge 2013 focuses on materials of which fabrics are made with a focus on positive social and environmental impact; and the “making” or manufacturing of fabrics utilizing low or positive environmental impact approaches, with a bias toward inclusive business models that positively develop human capital, respect rights and deliver shared value.
 
LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Big Think, March 1, 2012, Microsoft Design Center, San Francisco, CA 
A broad array of sectors and interests were represented, including: solid waste management, waste water, waste to energy systems, electronic waste, zero waste design and processes, and bioplastics.  The LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Challenge focused on Converting Waste to Value, Designing for Zero Waste and Data Visualization and systems for waste management.  Click here to hear "Words of Wisdom" from the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Big Think.
 
LAUNCH: Energy Big Think, May 18, 2011, NASA HQ, Washington DC 
A broad array of sectors and interests were represented, including: renewable energy, waste to energy, smart grid, energy efficiency, and energy access for the developing world.  The LAUNCH: Energy Challenge focused on distributed energy systems for both the developed and developing world including energy generation, storage and efficiency. 
 
LAUNCH: Health Big Think, July 7, 2010, US Dept of State, Washington DC 
A broad array of sectors and interests were represented, including: global health, immunology and vaccine development, wellness, food and fitness.  The LAUNCH: Health Challenge focused on mHealth and diagnostics, vaccine delivery systems and digital wellness systems and monitoring. 
 
LAUNCH: Water Big Think, October 2009, NASA Ames, Mountain View, CA 
The LAUNCH: Water Big Think was convened at NASA Ames with LAUNCH Council members Diana Yousef and Khosrow Farabakhsh to explore issues and technologies around water access, water supply and water demand from both national and global perspectives.   The LAUNCH: Water Challenge focused on improved access, sanitation, efficient water use and sustainable water management. 
 
 
   
Sustainability experts at the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Big Think, in San Francisco, 1 March 2012
LAUNCH SYSTEM: Green Chemistry
Anastasia O’Rourke, DEKRA
Andrew Watson, DAI
Beth Beck, NASA
Bob Saunders, Bayer
Christine Jacobs, LAUNCH
Clive Davies, EPA
David Constable, American Chemical Society
David Rejeski, Woodrow Wilson Int’l Center
Dianne Poster, NIST
Gustavo Delgado, U.S. Department of State
James Parr, LAUNCH
Jeff Hamaoui, LAUNCH
Jim Hutchinson, University of Oregon
Joe Hsueh, Academy of Systemic Change
Joel Tickner, UMass Lowell
John Frazier, NIKE
Joseph Rinkevich, SciVera
Julie Jones, Advancing Green Chemistry
Karen O’Brien, Advancing Green Chemistry
Kathy Loftin, NASA
Kevin Myette, Bluesign Technologies
Libby Sommer, NIKE
Mark Rossi, Clean Production Action and Chair BizNGO
Mary Tolikas, Harvard
Monica Becker, Monica Becker and Associates
Nagesh Rao, US Small Business Administration
Nancy Jackson, U.S. Department of State
Peter Preuss, EPA
Seema Patel, USAID
Sudarsan Rachudi, NIST
Ticora Jones, USAID
 
LAUNCH SYSTEM: Fabric
Celestine Johnson, Innovation Endeavors
David Levine, Haas School of Business, Univ. of California, Berkeley
Edward N. Thomas, NIKE
Dr. Geoff Duyk, TPG Biotechnology Group
Jay Nalbach, CRAiLAR
Jill Dumain, Patagonia
Lorrie Vogel, NIKE
Lynda Grose, California College of the Arts (CCA)
Dr. Lynn Rothschild, NASA
Mark Lee, SustainAbility
Paul Dillinger, Levi Strauss and Co.
Ryan Young, Sustainable Apparel Coalition
Sam Baker, Just Business
Shashi Buluswar, LBNL Institute of Globally Transformative Technologies
Susan Ballati, Santa Clara University, Center for Science, Technology and Society
Thane Kreiner, Center for Science, Technology and Society
 
LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Big Thinkers
Deborah Alvarez-Rodriguez, Goodwill Industries San Francisco 
Mitra Ardron, Natural Innovation
Jason Arambaru, Re-Char
Regan Bach, Irontree Consulting
John Balbach, CleanPath Ventures
Dave Blakley, IDEO
Felicity Carus, Journalist 
Ed Church, Institute for Environmental Entrepreneurship
Arthur Cimento, Recology
Patty Debenham, Trash Free Seas Alliance
John Duffy, Eleos Foundation
June Grant, AECOM
Lynda Grose, Goodwill
Alison Hill, Vestergaard Frandsen
Kiran Jethwa, Fumase
Monica Jain, Manta Consulting 
Bruce Klafter, Applied Materials
Michael Kleeman, UCSD School of International Relations 
Nick Lapis, Californians Against Waste
Peter Mulligan, EZ*PZ 
George Obrelian, Project Kaisei
Jean-Louis Robadey, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
Dennis Ross, Koar Energy Resources
Shally Shanker, Systemic Impact 
Mark Tonkin, DTI-r
Jonathan Trent, NASA Ames
Marnie Webb, TechSoup Global
Gary Wolff, StopWaste
 
LAUNCH: Energy Big Thinkers
Sonia Aggarwal, ClimateWorks Foundation
Mark Bernstein, USC Energy Institute
Felicity Carus, The Guardian
Michael Danaher, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Alex Dehgan, USAID   
Steve Eichenlaub, Intel Capital    
Carrie Freeman, Intel    
Mark Grobmyer, SEAF Cleantech Deployment Fund
Jeff Haeni, USAID
Matthew Helm, NineSigma    
Daniel Kammen, World Bank   
Sanjeev Krishan, Global Environment Fund    
Peter Lehner, National Resource Defense Council    
Greg Loosvelt
Colin McCormick, Department of Energy
Laura Meadors, Director SK Telecom
Jacob Moss, US Dept of State    
Vishal Patel, US Dept of State
Guy Pinjuv, Carbon War Room
Shaifali Puri, Scientists Without Borders    
James Reuther, NASA 
Adam Rogers, Wired Magazine
Kath Rowley, Climate Policy Initiative
Kim Schilling
Robbie Schingler, NASA 
Jigar Shah, Carbon War Room 
Rob Stoner, MIT Energy Initiative
Uday Varadarajan, Climate Policy Initiative 
Mikkel Vestergaard, Vestergaard Frandsen
Cyrus Wadia, The White House, OSTP
Diana Yousef, Senior Advisor to LAUNCH    
 
LAUNCH: Health Big Thinkers
Dr. Jeff Davis, NASA 
Thomas Goetz, Wired                     
Annie Heremans, Johnson and Johnson
Michael Newton, Nike
Elizabeth Richard, NASA
Jessica Sims, US Dept of State 
Mikkel Vestergaard, Vestergaard Frandsen
 
LAUNCH: Water Big Thinkers
Khosrow Farahbakhsh, University of Guelph, Engineering  
Diana Yousef, Senior Advisor to LAUNCH