Is it possible to create a piece of fresh meat from single cells? Jonathan Breemhaar from MosaMeat proves it is. No more than three years ago an in vitro hamburger cost 300 thousand dollars. Today, you can produce it for the cost of 11 dollars.
Is a water intake in front of you, drinkable and healthy? Emily Hicks from FredSense invented biosensors which help with finding that out in a matter of hours.
MosaMeat and FREDsense are great examples of how new technologies solve global problems. I mean real challenges which millions or billions of people have been struggling with for years. We tend to forget about them. After all, we live in a society that has it all. In developed countries, people don’t die from hunger. Meanwhile, in Africa, close to a quarter of billion people suffers from malnutrition. Global goals for humanity are also lack of shelter, clean energy or affordable healthcare access. New technologies can help us solve these problems. But as for today, we usually use them for inventing new gadgets and commercial services. Why don’t we make use of them for a greater good?
There’s one more thing that Jonathan and Emily have in common. They both participated in Global Solutions Program which is dedicated to Global Impact Challenge winners – an international contest for visionaries from all over the world. It all has started in Silicon Valley in Singularity University – possibly the most essential and future-oriented educational think-tank in the world. In 2010, Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis – futurist from Google and cosmic investor respectively – decided to create a support for all bright minds out there, seeking to improve our planet. They came up with an idea of a platform that will help to find such people – that’s how Global Impact Challenge has started off. In short time the contest became a unique lens that focalizes the most innovative scientists, engineers, leaders, and entrepreneurs whose ideas might help the humanity solve global challenges and improve lives of possibly billions of people.
She is a manager with more than 20 years’ experience in business strategy, marketing and media markets mainly in ICT and energy business. She represents US based educational think-tank Singularity University in Poland which educates, inspires and empowers leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.
Since the very moment I heard about GIC, I daydreamed that all talented people from Poland will have a chance to participate in it. Now it came true. This year, GIC will be organized in our country for the first time.
Be aware that Global Impact Challenge is not a typical start-up contest. You don’t have to have an already working company, clients or perspectives for scaling the business. The acceleration is not run by a commercial company or investor whose only goal is to make a profit from your project. GIC is – as I call it – a beautiful minds contest. It’s a program for scientists, developers, engineers and everyone that has an idea of how to solve one of the global challenges with new technologies.
We don’t ask when your start-up will start to earn big money. Will in vitro meat earn for its production? Somewhere in the future it probably may, but it is of greater importance that it will help in fighting the world hunger and animal treatment. Will there be a company that will buy biosensors for water research? Probably yes, but when it happens is not crucial. What’s most meaningful is that this technology will save people’s lives.
Scientists, innovators are frequently left alone with their ground-breaking projects. The only thing they can relate is their own experience or investor who’s not always real support. Even their environment sometimes limits them rather then develops. That is why GIC winners will receive an invitation to a dedicated 10-week incubation program in Singularity University headquarters in NASA Research Park. Over there they will work together developing their product with support of companies such as Google, IBM, SpaceX or Boeing. These are not theoreticians that read two articles on innovation and listened to three TEDex meeting, and now they show off themselves on tech events. Those are managers and academics whose daily work focuses on finding the most significant and breakthrough technologies. For them, investing is not a sole purpose. They want to see these beautiful minds – like young people who can change the world for better.
GIC in brief:
April 26, 2018 – application deadline
May 24-25, 2018 Google Campus Warsaw – final
Jury: Sebastian Kulczyk, Jowita Michalska, Supreet Singh Manchanda (investor from Silicon Valley), Regina Njima (Director Singularity University Global Impact Challenge)
Partners: MNiSW, CNK, PARP, NCBR, US Embassy, Embassy of Israel, Start Up Poland,
Organisator: Digital University Foundation
InnovateCEE is a media partner of the Global Impact Challenge
more detail and application form at the SU website
From my own experience, I know that having contact with such people can pivot your life for good. I had a chance to participate in a global mentoring program for women leaders from all over the world. At the time, I was on my business curve. For 20 years I worked in corporations, and now I wanted to do something that will allow me to merge new technologies with beneficence. Being a part of that program was a giant leap for me. Firstly, I had a chance to learn from the best US tech NGO’s. Secondly, it convinced me that I am on the right track. Mentors had asked me questions about myself, and I had to find the answers within myself. I came back as an entirely new person – more global and open in sharing the knowledge.
I am sure that Global Impact Challenge will open our minds just the same way. Poland needs a global perspective and an event which will show us what impact can we have on humanity if we properly use new technologies.
Let’s not spend our money only in the purpose of getting more reach. Let’s invest in people that will help other people. It’s a cliché, but by improving others people lives; we improve ourselves.