Magazine article The Futurist

Innovating for the Future: A Workshop for Future Scientists

Magazine article The Futurist

Innovating for the Future: A Workshop for Future Scientists

Article excerpt

A recent activity organized by Tel Aviv University gave a highly esteemed group of high-school students the opportunity to spend a day thinking and innovating for the future. The group, called Scientists and Inventors of the Future, was formed in advance and had been endorsed by the president of Israel. Students were selected based on excellence in their studies and high motivation in general, and were encouraged to take university courses as part of their studies.

Under the guidance and hosting of the Noar Shocher Mada (Science Loving Youth) department in Tel Aviv University, we arranged for these students a day of thinking and innovating for the future. Following a keynote lecture about disruptive innovation and the challenges of the present, the students were divided into groups and were tasked with the difficult challenge of proposing and developing ideas that can answer to one of the challenges presented in the lecture.

Instructors were tasked with providing consultation to each of the groups and offering help where needed. Various methods were used in the groups to promote lively discussion, such as structured circles of thinking, where each student had to add his or her variation to the last idea, or free-for-all discussions.

The ideas suggested by the students were far-reaching and imaginative, such as:

* 7 Billion Advisors: Development of an AI system that can understand users by monitoring their day-to-day lives. The system will provide decision-making capabilities for the minor decisions of life: where to eat next, which movie to see, etc.

* Building Upwards: Developing ideas for building upwards, and encouraging the public to support such ventures.

* Boxociety: Creating a novel social trend that will encourage people to place their smartphones in a reception-proof box titled Boxociety when they meet together, to help them focus better on each other in real time instead of playing with their phones. …

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