Envisioning the Future at XPRIZE Visioneering: Why Not?
This blog was posted on behalf of Dan Gutwein, Director of New Experiences for Intel’s Internet of Things group. Dan also co-founded Arizona non-profit Hoops of Hope, raising more than $5 million to build a high school for students in rural Zambia in partnership with World Vision and other NGOs.
Earlier this month, Intel helped the XPRIZE Foundation celebrate 25 years of solving massive problems at their annual Visioneering Summit. Twenty-five years of challenging and rewarding people to explore the boundaries of space, mapping the ocean floors, and empowering children to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills in 15 months.
Visioneering is an event that is always full of moonshot ideas, and 2019 was no different. Moonshot ideas like planting one trillion trees in the next 10 years to reduce carbon emissions, to identifying and giving a name to the undocumented 450 million orphaned children on the planet. I quickly realized there’s no room for small thinking at Visioneering. And I never heard anyone say that something couldn’t be done. In fact, one of the phrases I heard most was, why not?
Which is why I was excited for us to show up in a big way. For more than half a century, Intel has been innovating at the boundaries of technology to help address the world’s greatest challenges – and we know that technology will help us solve some of the biggest challenges we’re facing now. We sent a cohort of thinkers including our sustainability experts to lead a discussion on a World Without Waste, sharing our own journey in this space and some of the new circular economy solutions we’ve adopted to reduce our environmental impact. Out of this discussion, we formed ideas to mine landfills for materials; find a novel replacement to thin film plastics that are contributing to ocean plastic pollution, and more.
And it didn’t stop there. We asked why we can’t detect breast cancer in the privacy of our own homes, and why we can’t connect the next 3.9 billion people on the planet who don’t have access to the digital world we all live in. Moonshot ideas? Maybe. But why not? This is the kind of thinking that drives Intel forward, and it’s why I’m passionate about the future of technology. This is the kind of thinking that adds value to humanity, and this is the kind of company I want to work for.
So, we’re going to continue to ask Why Not? We’re going to continue dreaming up solutions to our planet’s greatest challenges, and we want and need you to join the effort.