These are my notes from Peter Diamandis‘ luncheon keynote, “Breakthrough Thinking” at the 2012 State of Creativity Forum in Oklahoma City on November 13, 2012. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. Follow conference conversations today on Twitter with the hashtag #SoCF12.

Over next couple of decades, we will be building a world of abundance where we’ll use technology to meet EVERYONE’s basic needs

when I speak about a vision of the future, everyone has their basic needs met
– people respond to this idea with confusion
– the challenges we see in the future are mostly projections from our past (our lived past experiences)
– as humans as we evolved millions of years ago from the plains of Africa, everything was local and linear
– that’s how our brains evolved over 150,000+ years

We just know how to think linearly, but the world around us in many contexts are growing exponentially, doubling yearly
– we think of technology as causing this disruptive stress / disruptive opportunity

Kodak invented the digital camera that put them out of business
– Kodak didn’t understand the power of exponential growth

We are living in a time when we’re going from linear thinking and companies to exponential thinking and companies
– this is the key message from my entire talk

I co-founded Singularity University with Ray Kurtzweil
– we all have the potential to create a company, service or business with a 10 to the 9th power (power to touch a billion people)
– we are democratizing the ability to chagne the world

Things driving this I don’t have to address in thorough detail
– exponential technologies riding on Moore’s Law
– lots of enablers that allow you with a small team to do big and bold things on this planet

1 tool I count on to create this image of the future: Incentive Competitions
– I grew up passionate about space
– mom wanted me to become a doctor
– I’ve started 15 companies in the space industry
– another one is going to literally mine asteroids
– my passion: how do I get myself into space

I read about CHarles Lindberg in 1927 who crossed the Atlantic to win a $25K prize
– 9 teams who spent $400K together
– 8 losers spent all that money, but just one was the winner
– such a big, bold, dramatic example of what was possible it literally created an entire industry overnight

This inspired me to incentivize space travel, because I wanted to go!
– I created $10 million prize, enough to inspire the entrepreneurs not just the Lockheeds and other corporations
– 3 person spaceship
– go into space, within 2 weeks do it again
– challenge was: I didn’t have $10 million
– I had raised about $500K from the fathers of St Louis and Uspirit of St Louis
– I realized if I didn’t announce this prize
– I took the chance of announcing a $10 million prize within having all that money
– I had 20 astronauts on the stage with me
– I set out on the road and sat down with Fred Smith of FedEx, would you fund it?
— is someone going to die trying this?
— same three question: 5.5 years later, I had pitched hundreds of CEOs
— my friends and family were telling me this was a crazy idea
— then one day I read on Forbes about woman from Teheran who became serial entrepreneur
— Anousheh Anasar: Anasari X Prize
– 26 teams from 7 nations, spent over $100 million to win this $10 million prize

Oct 4, 2004 in the Mojave Desert
– photo of winning moment after the 2nd flight

Took this from a historic moment to an industry
– we made the homepage of Google, almost took down our website

Winning the Ansari X PRIZE in 2004

High point was when spaceship 1 was hoisted next to the Spirit of St Louis in the Smithsonian

Biggest purpose of the X Prize: inspiration
– you get non-traditional solutions
– often we define experts as the people who can tell you how it can’t be done
– we need people from orthogonal fields to solve these issues

Now we have the Google Lunar X-Prize
– NASA matched it with $30 million in contract money
– we now have 30 teams around the world
– we expect this to be won in the next 2.5 years
– people do this because it is their highest calling in life, and money gives them permission to do it

James Cameron suggested we re-invent oil cleanup with another X Prize
– we had 350 teams around the world enter
– 10 finalizes went head to head at a facility in New Jersey
– the team that can increase oil cleanup the fastest (with doubling it)
– 7 of the 10 tens doubled the rate
– one team figured out how to do a sixfold increase
– one team met in a Las Vegas tattoo parlor
– the tattoo artist was the designer, a customer was the funder, they built a scale model in a home swimming pool

Investors would have never backed this group from Las Vegas
– that’s what so great about this model of incentivizing innovation

We just announced Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize
– $10 million to handhold mobile device that any mom can use to diagnose better than a team of board certified doctors
– combines AI, lab on a chip, digital imaging, allow me to cough on it
– as of last week we have 250 teams in 32 countries around the world asking to compete for this
– we expect this to be won in the next 3.5 years

One of my passions is learning
– we are looking at a global literacy X Prize
– take completely illiterate children from zero to level 3 literacy

Organogenesis X Prize: $10 million
– not needing to wait for someone to die to get an organ transplant

Innovation is a state of mine
– if you believe you you or can’t, you’re right

Book: Abundance – The Future is Better Than You Think
– we’re headed to a future of abundance
– #1 on Amazon, #2 in NYTimes

The news media is a drug pusher, and negative news is their drug of choice
– our amigdalya developed to pay more attention to negative news
– if it bleeds it leads
– look at metrics for cost of food and energy trends, lifespans,
– we are living during the most peaceful time EVER in human history
– but you wouldn’t know that listening to the news media
– technology is a resource liberating force
– it’s not slowing down: changes in tech are only accelerating

Story I open my book with: Napoleon serving King of Siam with Aluminum because it was the most valuable metal of the time
– that’s the reason Washington Monument in DC is tipped with aluminum

We are living on a planet bathed in energy
– far more bathes us than we could ever use
– if you live in a world of abundant energy, we live in a world of abundant water too

half of diseases on earth are caused by dirty water
– there are extraordinary technologies coming which will unleash it

This Mossai warrior on the plains of Africa now has access to better telecommunications than President Reagan did 25 years ago

Closing note: Most important message of hope and innovation
– graph of the earth’s population, we’ve just crossed the 7 billion mark
– education and health bring down this curve
– they are both moving in the right direction
– we had jet 2 billion people connected on earth in 2010, but by 2020 we will have 3 billion more people come online
– this represents the great epoch of innovation EVER
– this is tens of trillions of dollars pouring into the economy

This represents the age of abundance

Great closing video about making stuff as a scientist and engineer: okcareerplanner.com/mick (shared by OSU professor Jamey Jacob)

ODOC Engineer MICK

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