Start with the partnership of four forward-thinking organizations. Add in ten teams of innovators with clear visions and unwavering passion. Combine with a council comprised of esteemed scientists, formidable entrepreneurs, and thought leaders from various realms. Blend together, and what’s the result?
LAUNCH: a groundbreaking program that wants to change the world. NASA, USAID, The U.S. Department of State, and NIKE have joined forces to create LAUNCH, an initiative that seeks answers to our society’s most challenging issues. Each year, the LAUNCH team identifies an area that needs real, dramatic change. Energy is this year's area, and LAUNCH has selected ten teams of innovators with technologies and programs that are poised to revolutionize the field.
There are three distinct elements of LAUNCH: search, showcase, and support. The “search” element is complete – after considering over 200 applications, ten finalists have been selected, and their potential is incredible. From powering electric cars with seven times the capacity of current models to creating electrical systems that bring power (and empowerment) to people in the developing world for the first time, these innovations are some of the best and brightest in the world.
In a few days, the LAUNCH: Energy Forum will take place at Kennedy Space Center. This is the “showcase” element of LAUNCH, where the Forum will facilitate presentations and discussions between the Innovators and the LAUNCH Council. The Space Center will be powered with human energy, as the Council and Innovators brainstorm, debate, and confer on how to turn the ten innovations into a globally implementable reality.
The third, and perhaps most exciting element of LAUNCH is what’s known as the LAUNCH Accelerator. The term “accelerator” brings to mind an image of launching a rocket into space, or colliding particles with one another – both of which often lead to fascinating discoveries. While the LAUNCH Accelerator is not a physical machine, its principles are similar: moving ideas forward with speed and guidance. The Accelerator is the period of six months following the Forum where the LAUNCH program turns strategic advice into action, linking innovators to resources, technology partnerships, and deployment opportunities. Unlike the typical science competition or think-tank event, the “support” element of LAUNCH is what makes it unique, moving innovations into the global market in order to create a sustainable future.
This is LAUNCH’s recipe for the future. Serves 7 billion.
By Samantha Stevens – MWW Group