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Engagement + Innovation = Visioneering 2012

Engagement + Innovation = Visioneering 2012

Our 2012 Visioneering event was probably our best ever. Visioneering began in 2007 as an informal Saturday afternoon conversation between our Trustees at the Googleplex (Larry Page was hosting that meeting, and Richard Branson was a guest visitor). We started generating prize ideas and found the whole conversation a lot of fun and refreshing. In 2009 we formalized it as a two-day process, and in 2012 I think we really nailed it down as a mechanism to generate great ideas and turn on a group of CEOs, philanthropists and partners to the power of incentivized competitions.

This year’s event covered 12 topics. They came as recommendations from our Prize Group Sponsors Shell and Cisco, Prize sponsors, Trustees, Advisors and management teams. All in all, the topics yielded fun and far-ranging discussions.

  1. Oceans – exploring and preserving the health of the blue heart of our planet
  2. Energy Generation – creating and deploying effective power sources
  3. Robotics – using intelligent machines in the home and in medicine
  4. Jobs – creating jobs in the developed world
  5. Transportation – creating sustainable access to goods, services, people and opportunities in a world of 10 billion+
  6. Energy Storage – creating a carbon-free future
  7. Bioterrorism – detecting, preventing & managing crisis and our response
  8. Education – learning outside the classroom
  9. Natural Disasters – detecting, preventing & managing natural hazards and our response
  10. Food Security – enabling physical and economical access to sufficient, safe, nutritious and sustainable food
  11. Neuromedicine – diagnosing, treating and preventing CNS and brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Autism
  12. Poverty – reducing poverty in the developing world

Probably some of my favorite moments at Visioneering involved introducing great thinkers and innovators who had never met. Folks like Ratan Tata (Chairman of Tata Industries) and Paul Allen (Vulcan), or Tim Draper (DFJ) and Tony Hsieh (Zappos), or Andrew Liveris (DOW) and Arianna Huffington (HuffPo). This year we also introduced a new program called the Innovation Partnership Program (IPP), which will take the best of Singularity University and the best of X PRIZE Visioneering and combine them into a four-day program intended to drive innovation-thinking inside of companies.

The value of the event was immediately apparent in the amazing conversations and prize concepts that emerged. And the long-term potential impact of these concepts is sky high.

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