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KAMPALA

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda. Kampala has been ranked as the best city to live in East Africa by Mercer, with a pleasant climate, a wonderful fauna and flora, good security standards, well educated people and fast growing business sectors. There are at least 32 languages spoken in Uganda, but English and Swahili are both the official languages.

To enable Conference participants to better prepare, please view our Uganda FAQs.

Watch Discover Uganda, the Pearl of Africa showreel by the Ugandan Tourism Board.

Cities of despair – or opportunity?

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Challenge: to steer urbanization from its current, unsustainable path and towards greener cities that offer choice, opportunity and hope

Towns and cities in the world’s developing countries are growing on an unprecedented scale. Ten years ago, an estimated 40 percent of the developing world’s population – or 2 billion people – lived in urban areas. Since then, their numbers have expanded almost twice as fast as total population growth, to more than 2.5 billion. That is the equivalent to almost five new cities the size of Beijing, every 12 months. By 2025, more than half the developing world’s population – 3.5 billion people – will be urban.

While urbanization in Europe and North America took centuries, spurred on by industrialization and steady increases in per capita income, in the developing world it will occur in the space of two or three generations. In many developing countries, urban growth is being driven not by economic opportunity but by high birth rates and a mass influx of rural people seeking to escape hunger, poverty and insecurity.

Most of the world’s fastest growing cities are found in low-income countries of Asia and Africa with young populations. Over the next 10 years, the current number of urban dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow by almost 45 percent, from 320 million to 460 million. Kinshasa, capital of one of the world’s poorest countries, is now the world’s fastest growing future megacity. By 2025, the urban population of least-developed countries in Asia will have grown from 90 million to a projected 150 million, and Dhaka is expected to be the world’s fifth largest city, with 21 million inhabitants.

Urbanization in low-income countries is accompanied by high levels of poverty, unemployment and food insecurity. Worldwide, an estimated one billion people live in crowded slums, without access to basic health, water and sanitation services. Around 30 percent of the developing world’s urban population – 770 million people – are unemployed or “working poor”, with incomes below official poverty lines.

Those urban poor spend most of their income just to feed themselves. Yet their children suffer levels of malnutrition that are often as high as those found in rural areas. To survive, millions of slum dwellers have resorted to growing their own food on every piece of available land: in backyards, along rivers, roads and railways, and under power lines.

The growth of urban slums outpaces urban growth by a wide margin. By 2020, the proportion of the urban population living in poverty could reach 45 percent, or 1.4 billion people. By then, 85 percent of poor people in Latin America, and almost half of those in Africa and Asia, will be concentrated in towns and cities.

That prospect has been described as “the new population bomb” and a nightmare for governance: sprawling, degraded and impoverished cities with large, vulnerable populations that are socially excluded, young and unemployed.

The promise of greener cities

A brighter future for the world’s developing cities is both imperative and possible. Historically, cities have been places not of misery and despair but of opportunity – for economies of scale, employment and improved living standards, especially for rural people seeking a better life. They have served as engines of social progress and national economic development.

Creating the conditions to realize that potential – in Kinshasa, Dhaka and other growing towns and cities across the developing world – is crucial now and will be more so in the decades ahead. The challenge is to steer urbanization from its current, unsustainable path, towards sustainable, greener cities that offer their inhabitants choice, opportunity and hope.

The concept of “green cities” – designed for resilience, self-reliance, and social, economic and environmental sustainability – is usually associated with urban planning in more developed countries. It suggests high-tech eco-architecture, bicycle greenways and zero-waste, “closed loop” industries.

However, it has a special application, and significantly different social and economic dimensions, in low-income developing countries. There, the core principles of greener cities can guide urban development that ensures food security, decent work and income, a clean environment and good governance for all citizens.

A starting point for growing greener cities is to recognize and integrate into urban policy and planning many of the creative solutions that the urban poor themselves have developed to strengthen their communities and improve their lives. One of those solutions – and an essential feature of green city planning in developed, and a growing number of developing, countries – is urban and peri-urban horticulture.

How horticulture helps grow greener cities

Urban and peri-urban horticulture (or UPH) is the cultivation of a wide range of crops – including fruit, vegetables, roots, tubers and ornamental plants – within cities and towns and in their surrounding areas. It is estimated that 130 million urban residents in Africa and 230 million in Latin America engage in agriculture, mainly horticulture, to provide food for their families or to earn income from sales.

While the urban poor, particularly those arriving from rural areas, have long practised horticulture as a livelihood and survival strategy, in many countries the sector is still largely informal, usually precarious and sometimes illegal.

But that is changing rapidly.

Over the past decade, governments in 20 countries have sought FAO’s assistance in removing barriers and providing incentives, inputs and training to low-income “city farmers”, from the burgeoning metropolises of West and Central Africa to the low-income barrios of Managua, Caracas and Bogotá.

Through multidisciplinary projects, FAO has helped governments and city administrations to optimize policies, institutional frameworks and support services for UPH, and to improve horticultural production systems. It has promoted irrigated commercial market gardening on urban peripheries, simple hydroponic micro-gardens in slum areas, and green rooftops in densely populated city centres.

The FAO programme, and similar initiatives by partner organizations, have demonstrated how horticulture helps empower the urban poor, and contributes to their food security and nutrition. But it can also help grow greener cities that are better able to cope with social and environmental challenges, from slum improvement and management of urban wastes to job creation and community development.

Here’s How Climate Change Impacts Nutrition

After years of decline, global undernourishment statistics have shown an uptick over the last two. Hunger affects over 820 million people worldwide and results in the humanitarian aid, sometimes in the form of life-saving assistance, for 29 million people. As climate change continues to develop, the relationship between undernourishment and these environmental effects shows glaringly.

Systems for food production and consumption are some of the highest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, making up between 19%-29% total. By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture could grow by 32%. Alarmingly, the more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the less productive crop fields are. High temperatures, a major effect of climate change, slow plant growth and extreme weather events decimate crops and land. Furthering the undernutrition epidemic, staple food crops grown under such conditions in environments with high CO2 levels actually lose their nutritional value. Essentials like iron, zinc, and protein levels lessen, putting the two billion people who already face nutrient difficulties at risk.

As climate change continues to change the environmental landscape, more sustainable and long-term farming solutions will need to be developed. Take a look at this infographic for more detail on the effects of climate change and global nutrition, why farming standards will need to change, and how we can build a future without hunger.

A Look at the AI Economy

Are you ready for the AI economy? Over the next decade artificial intelligence could add upwards of $13 trillion to the global economy, and by 2030 the majority of companies could be using some form of artificial intelligence. There’s a downside to all this, however. Worldwide as many as 375 million workers could need to be retrained for new jobs as AI takes over the repetitive tasks and the heavy lifting. Overall, artificial intelligence is expected to have a positive impact on the global economy, even if there is a temporary period of human displacement that follows its implementation.
So what can AI do for business? For shipping companies artificial intelligence has helped them to save fuel by optimizing delivery routes, prevented costly breakdowns by predicting when trucks and equipment need maintenance, and has prevented empty space in trucks from being moved around by optimizing deliveries. In agriculture, AI can predict planting and harvesting times for optimal yields. In retail and manufacturing, AI can optimize scheduling, increase quality, predict customer behavior, and more.
Artificial intelligence has the power to do great good in the world if we adequately prepare for it. While it may not be immediately apparent how your company can benefit from AI, more progress is being made with this technology daily. Companies like Google are working to bring AI to everyone, while governments are working to be world leaders in the technology. Learn more about the future of AI and the AI economy from the infographic below:

The best ways to fight Tech’s monopolies

What Is The Best Way To Improve Competition In Modern Capitalism?

A comedian once quipped that “if poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets”. This is yet to happen, but the populist movements across the world are a good indication of the ongoing rejection of the liberal order that has prevailed since the end of the second world war. Because of the political forces in place, blame has been put squarely on globalists, and, at times, automation. These claims however ignore a well-known villain: market concentration, mostly in the Tech world, and the death of competition.Upon the remains of what once were competitive industries, giants now roam unimpeded. This is especially true in the U.S, where 4 airlines dominate the air, 2 retailers control the pharmacy business, half of the beer market is at the hand of one company, and a chemical giant is able to dictate when and how farmers plant their seeds; not to mention Google and Facebook, who control nearly 84% of a vast digital advertising market, or Amazon, the online retail behemoth who has grabbed the online retail market by the cojones and refuses to let go.The culprits for this leniency vis-à-vis monopoly laws are highly respected scholars, who in the 1980s created the influential Chicago school of economics. Led by the likes of Coase and Friedman, they claimed that mergers and acquisitions were good for a self-governing market as long as prices didn’t rise for customers. That way of framing the issue has since hugely benefited digital companies, whose services are often free or at a significantly reduced price compared to brick-and-mortar competition. Furthermore, anti-trust forces have historically been wary of horizontal acquisitions, often overlooking the vertical or seemingly unrelated mergers allegedly necessary for the digital economy to strive (think Facebook acquiring WhatsApp, which seemed odd at the time).The results of this regulatory oversight are predictable: high profits, incurred through revenue growth and a withering workforce, have fueled a gold rush of cheap acquisitions, which in turn leads to further concentration. These are not hyperboles: the world’s most valuable firms are currently generating the same revenues as the giants of a quarter century ago, with just a tenth of the workforce and a market capitalisation almost 30 times greater.One major impact of this has been the slow disappearance of the middle class, which had expended under the New Deal, and is necessary for an economy to thrive. With fewer companies available to provide work, the remaining ones are able to exert pressures on wages, unshackled by unions and competitors. In the U.S, productivity has risen by 65% over the past 35 years, yet hourly wages for 80% of the workforce have increased by just 8%. Furthermore, from 2000 to 2013, wages for 70% of workers were either flat or fell.In fact, even productivity has become concentrated: research has shown that the top 5% of firms in the U.K have seen strong productivity growth in recent years, whilst the productivity of the other 95% has flatlined, mostly thanks to a technological zero-sum game. This inequality is especially visible in rural areas where few large companies exist compared to metropoles, which are home to the corporations with the most productivity growth: companies able to provide network effects and leverage user data to feed powerful algorithms. This allows them to lower prices and steer clear of lawmakers.Concentration also stifles innovation and market dynamism as startups become weary of entering “kill zones” where they would certainly be outcompeted by giants with little care for profitability or bought via a seemingly unlimited cash flow emanating from Wall Street (we often fail to note that Amazon did not turn a profit worthy of its sky-high market cap until 2017). Buying startups is easy for giants: the Herfindahl index, which is used to determine whether antitrust measures are necessary, is based on revenues rather than value. And so, the unvirtuous circle continues.Drastic measures will have to be taken in order to break this circle and improve competition in modern capitalism. Governments first need to acknowledge past failures and decide to bring anti-trust laws into the 21st century and the digital economy through the re-assessment of price as an indicator of a monopoly. Indeed, most tech companies aren’t restricting consumer choice by controlling supply, distribution or price: consumers instead self-select onto platforms because network effects have made it foolish not do to so.Beyond radical philosophical changes challenging the very structure of Internet-enabled markets, better M&A rules ought to be implemented across all industries: monopolies are born through acquisitions, and the tentacular nature of modern companies means that their strength are easily implemented from one business unit to another, which was not the case 25 years ago. Primarily, a merger should not be agreed upon unless employment can be found at another company within a reasonable radius. This would protect workers, hopefully leading to higher wages and a more competitive ecosystem. Furthermore, the Herfindahl index is no longer a helpful indicator, and should be replaced by an understanding of value to an ecosystem, both economically and socially. This would effectively put an end to capitalism’s “Wild West” era.In the mean-time, what are we to do with current oligopolies? Without a doubt, retro-active measures need to be taken to punish entities which took advantage of years of lax government oversight. Fines are the current go-to solution, especially in Europe, which prioritises competition instead of customers, and whose politicians are not on a handful of companies’ payroll (shots fired, but hey, at least not in schools). They are however woefully inefficient in front of the giants’ cash flows, and have been likened to demanding a 1$ reparation for having failed to pay a 100$ parking meter. Nevertheless, trials also have the benefit of making trade secrets emerge, something that is sorely needed when confronting corporate black boxes. It may hence be argued that even the threat of punishment might be enough to force companies to re-assess their modus operandi: legend has it that Google was able to grow and thrive partly because of a freshly-bruised Microsoft.The other solutions are less optimistic about future behaviours. Given the harm oligopolies have already done, many experts have called for the breaking up of some of the world’s largest companies. This has been echoed by a few activist investors who realise that conglomerate premia are elusive and requires long-term planning. In fact, an acquiring company’s share price should drop when an acquisition is announced. The fact that this is not happening across the board anymore is a sign of the market understanding the position companies find themselves in, while the government does not.Pulling this thread leads to another piece of the concentration puzzle: ROI-obsessed institutional investors and venture capitalists should be heavily regulated, lest their short-termism philosophies lead to another financial crisis. The current strategy for some of them is to buy an incremental percentage of every company in a market, thus upending natural market mechanisms by discouraging any actions which would lead to lower profits throughout the entire industry. It may not be done outright, but the incentive to do so is enough to be unethical. This behavior should be heavily discouraged, by implementing a low maximum percentage of ownership for funds looking to “diversify” within an industry instead of without.Should some of these measures be applied, we may yet see the rebirth of the competition which led to so many social and economic advances between 1955 and 1985. Nevertheless, an extra layer of protection needs to be implemented in the spirit of competitive fairness for the new companies taking on present and future oligopolies. Firstly, the latter should be made to share some of their virtually free data in order to let other companies train efficient algorithms. This would require a certain amount of data portability and oversight, which may be a beneficial PR move, given the current international discussion around the matter of privacy. Such re-allocation entails lengthy legal fights, but lawyers will be quick to use Microsoft as a precedent: the company was once required to disclose hundreds of sensitive documents and to let their software be interoperable in order to empower their competitor. A counter-argument will be that intellectual property would become irrelevant, to which any capable attorney will reply that intellectual property laws were created to boost innovation, which has been stifled of late. The equivalent of the Italian Game being set up, the trial could then begin in earnest.Protecting the weak, regulating the strong and changing antitrust laws’ philosophy all mean acknowledging that laissez-faire is a thing of the past, and that markets do not regulate themselves. Though this may hard to acknowledge for some, this has been known for 240 years, since Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”: “To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers”.We are currently electing officials who have neither the backbone nor the will to go after the Tech Barrons. This is however likely to change when the public opinion drastically shifts, as we’ve begun to see in 2018. Mainstream politics needs to acknowledge this change, lest we see more showdowns, meltdowns and radical outsiders.Until then, the pen remains mightier than the sword.No word, however, on its effectiveness against Molotov Cocktails.

Cryptocurrencies for beginners

Photo by Freddie Collins on Unsplash

Smart Resources for your Crypto journey — The Foundation

In summary, this series is going to be tailored around the basics of cryptocurrency. Where to start and where to go from there. I will guide you to the what, how, where, when, and why. The intended audience I am writing to are individuals who have yet to step into the cryptocurrency space and wish to do so but haven’t because of uncertainty or fear, or individuals who have recently done so and am still unsure who to trust and where to go for information. My goal is to point you in the direction that I only wish someone had pointed me in last year. This is not going to be a series on where you should invest your money or if you follow this you will become rich. I am writing this because I see a lot of naive newcomers making mistakes simply out of haste and also looking back I wish I would have jumped into it differently so that I could have saved time, energy, and money. Without any further ado, let us begin.

I believe it is imperative, to begin with learning the history and fundamentals of Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Ethereum. We begin doing this in three ways: through reading literature, taking online courses and videos, and lastly following established leaders and current news. First things first I want to share some reading material that will benefit you as much as it did me. It may be your first instinct to hit YouTube, cut to the chase, watch some popular, or non-popular, individual tell you everything you need to know in a 30-second definitive video but pump the breaks. This isn’t a game or a trendy menial fad, This is groundbreaking technology and if you haven’t explored your motives for why you are entering this space in the first place now might be a good time. Be patient and take the time to truly understand Blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum and smart contracts and how these innovations will change society as we know it. I promise later on you will thank me for this. Besides, would you go out and invest in the stock market without knowing anything about the stocks, the market, the history, and that companies plans for the future? Would you invest money into a startup without knowing the team behind it, what problems they are trying to solve, or how their product is going to add value to its adopters? The answer is no, or at least it should be, so don’t jump into cryptocurrency without, at a bare minimum, grasping the technology behind it, how it will impact us, and what the intention is for the future. Let’s start with some basic reading material.

Literature

Bitcoin — The Ultimate Guide to the World of Bitcoinby Ikuya Takashima a must read for begginners. Ikuya starts with a historical lens on the birth of bitcoin and moves into all of the foundational building blocks of Bitcoin, Blockchain, Mining, Decentralization, Peer-To-Peer ideology, Proof-of-work (PoW), and many other must know terminology and processes. This book will also provide some brief explanations on alt-coins with a few examples, how to acquire and where to store digital currencies, and finishes with the risk and advice on investing in digital currencies.

Ethereum — The Definitive Guide to Investing in Ethereum & Blockchain Cryptocurrencyby Artemis Caro is another fantastic option and personally my favorite. Artemis starts with a historical perspective on Ethereum as well just as Ikuya did with Bitcoin. He spends a good amount of time explaining Blockchain Technology and the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum and a magnificent job he does. From analogies to the actually writing Artemis breaks down a technical subject and teaches it in a simple, straightforward manner. He continues with the dissection of Ether, smart contracts, Proof-of-Work vs. Proof-of-Stake, dApps built on Ethereum, Solidity, and the future of Ethereum. Highly recommend this book for your shelf.

Cryptocurrency: Blockchain, Bitcoin & Ethereum: The Definitive Guide to Investing in the Cryptocurrency Revolution (The Future of Money)by Artemis Caro. After reading his book on Ethereum I came across this trilogy and decided to order it as well via Kindle. Artemis, as mentioned above, does an incredible job breaking down complicated subjects and so I jumped back into his writings on all of these subjects and enjoyed them thoroughly.

By now you will have read some of the same subjects repeatedly in different contexts and this will help you moving forward. Two books on my shelf that I haven’t had the time to read yet that were personally recommended to me are The Age of Cryptocurrency — How Bitcoin and Digital Currency are challenging the Global Economic Orderby Paul Vigna and Micheal Casey and Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Moneyby Nathaniel Popper.I am sure there are multitudes of other great literature on the subject and I encourage you to explore those options as well. If you already have and you want to recommend them, please leave a comment about them down below. Next, we’ll discuss some of the lessons that I cannot recommend enough.

Online Courses

George Levy is someone you should know, for the reason pertaining to the course shown above but also to follow along in your journey. He is the Chief Learning Office at Blockchain Institute of Technology (BIT), and a certified instructor on Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrency. He is a leading professional in this space and definitely someone you will want to learn from. This course was worth more than $15.00 and most of my takeaways were from watching digital illustrations of how the blockchains work, especially lectures on SHA256 Hash Demonstrations as shown below.

Example Demos from https://anders.com/blockchain/hash.html

If you have not read about block hashes or how they work in a blockchain then I am sure the photos above will look like jibberish to you and that is okay for now. Later on, it will be essential if you want to understand the security behind blockchain. Once you begin to learn about these I suggest visiting Anders.com so that you can try the demos out for yourself to visually grasp how hashes work in a blockchain. In George’s class, you will learn a great deal about bitcoin, the blockchain, mining, how and where to purchase digital currency, cryptography, and even forks and the upcoming SegWit. I am by nature a learner through reading as opposed to listening or watching so for anyone who learns optimally by seeing something happen, this is for you. Throughout this course you will also get the opportunity to complete quizzes in between lectures which is excellent for validating your understanding of each subject. Once I had finished the course I even messaged George to ask him a few in-depth questions and he not only answered them but pointed me in the right direction to learn more on those matters.

Leaders and News

Twitter:

George Levy — As mentioned above is a leader in this space so click his name and follow his twitter account or any other channel to which he frequents

Vitalik Buterin — If you have not heard of Vitalik, you will shortly. The genius behind Etherium. Follow him on Twitter and turn on your notifications.

Roger Ver — Also commonly referred to as Bitcoin Jesus, Roger was one of the initial investors in Bitcoin and has since founded and been apart of multiple startups in the industry.

John McAfee — Rather controversial or not, you can always trust that John McAfee will add his two sense into Bitcoin and the crypto space. With his extensive record in cybersecurity as the founder of antivirus software McAfee, his input is worth listening to.

Bitcoin Twitter — Twitter, notifications, do it.

Websites:

CoinDesk — Get yourself familiar with this website as a leader on BlockChain

Bitcoin Magazine — One of the official leading websites on bitcoin and crypto news.

YouTube:

Andreas Antonopoulos — “Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and well-respected figures in bitcoin. He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin”, published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin and “The Internet of Money”, a book about why bitcoin matters.”

Kamal Glover — For non-biased news and updates from all public news networks and relevant individuals discussing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies follow Kamal Glover on YouTube.

Ameer Rosic — Is another big contributor and investor in the cryptocurrency space.

DataDash — by Nicholas Merten is a good channel to stay up to date with breaking alt-coins, trading tips, ICO reviews and more.

CryptoPortfolio — Will provide you with excellent tips and trends on investing in the crypto space, creating your portfolio, and upcoming ICO reviews and comparisons.

There are a plethora of individuals, YouTube channels, and websites to follow that I couldn’t possibly fit them in here. This will more than get you started with some of the leading pioneers in this space and from there I am sure you will go on to find more.

Wrapping up — If you are interested in learning more about Bitcoin, Blockchain, and other cryptocurrencies, do it right. Spend the time and money on educating yourself and so that you can understand how the fundamentals work. This will help immensely as you step into the crypto space and invest even more of your time, energy, and most likely hard earned money.

Cryptocurrencies for beginners: Part 2

11/03/17

In my next article, I will be discussing digital wallets, how to understand them, and how to keep your cryptocurrency safe. These are wallets that I have personally used so that I can speak from experience. Here I will be explaining myself some of the major concerns and uncertainties users face when first learning about eWallets and how to properly use them. I will review some of the best mobile apps available to monitor your digital currencies and their continuous fluctuation, plus the exchanges where you can exchange your Bitcoin for alt-coins, or vice versa. Thank you for reading this and I truly hope it will point some newcomers in the right direction. I do not claim to be creating some definitive guide, but rather the best tools I picked up along the way. Feel free to comment and add your thoughts, tools, and information that helped you during your journey into the crypto world.

Blockchain — 7 Benefits for the Financial Industry

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Accenture has estimated that the biggest investment banks could save up to $10 billion implementing blockchain technology as a mean of improving efficiency. Let’s take a look at how the financial industry can benefit from blockchain technology.

1. Instant Settlements

Transactions can be settled in less than a few seconds, while the current financial systems can take up to a week to settle payments. Using blockchain technology, settlements can be increasingly optimized reducing the amount of time and money needed.

Besides that, blockchain will remove the need for a lot of middle office and back office staff at banks, as transactions settle almost instantly. As such, banks have an important drive to explore blockchain for improving settlements and some banks explore internal options first, while others explore options between banks first.

2. Better Financial Products

Creating crowdfunding mediums using blockchain technology offers a plethora of solutions to many common problems, from accessibility to transparency, and even expenses. With the inception of blockchain technology and its inclusion into the crowdfunding sphere, many unique types of fundraising have spawned as a result.

One interesting example is the improvement of money circles, also called “rotating savings and credit association” (ROSCA) where a group of people save and borrow money together. This happens via repeated contributions and withdrawals to and from a common fund. It acts as an informal financial institution which often involves a lot of distrust. Blockchain has the power and capabilities to add trust and stability to these so-called money circles.

A project like AZ FundChain uses blockchain technology to improve transparency and trust among members of a money circle. AZ Fundchain uses social badges to even increase trust and manage reputation on-chain as users can leave reviews. The project focuses on adding a positive impact on existing social money circles to improve local communities and provide a conflict-free environment.

AZ FundChain makes it possible to search for a money circle outside of your local community and filter for specific amounts, goals. or reputation levels. This gives you the ability to find the perfect money circle fit towards your needs.

All parameters of the money circle are set in a smart contract that handles the transactions. The transactions itself are executed using the native AZ token which is the fuel of FundChain.

3. Reduced Counterparty Risks

When transactions are settled near instantly, it will remove a significant part of the risk that the counterparty cannot meet its obligations, which could be a substantial expense for banks.

4. Improved Contractual Performance

The use of smart contracts can shorten the time needed to finish a financial process or transaction as a smart contract allows a bank to automate a process flow including transactions.

Especially complex financial asset transactions can benefit from blockchain, due to automatic settlement using smart contracts under the control of an incorruptible set of business rules.

The only difficulty here is that a bank has to comply with any regulatory compliances, across jurisdictions if needed.

5. Increased Transparency

Transparency greatly increases by using smart contracts and blockchain technology. The entire monetary flow is recorded on-chain and can be audited by any party.

This transparency is a benefit but it can also be a threat. Financial transparency is needed, however, not every user wants to see his full private profile being disclosed on-chain. Therefore, several privacy-minded solutions have been developed.

  • Zero-Knowledge Proof technology: Allows someone to verify your data without actually disclosing it.
  • Enigma Secret Contracts: Encrypt data inside smart contract using Enigma protocol and network.
  • Confidential Transactions: A scheme invented by Gregory Maxwell for hiding the transaction amounts using math called homomorphic encryption along with range proofs to completely obscure transaction amounts.
  • Privacy focussed coins like Dash, Monero, ZCash, …

Transparency is a benefit but it can also be a threat…

6. Money Transfers

Sending money to another country is an area ready for change, and banks are already using blockchain for remittances. Consumers and businesses send hundreds of billions of euros internationally every year, and the process has traditionally been slow, full of bureaucracy, and expensive.

Bitcoin provided an “alternative” way to move money, however, mainstream banks don’t like the idea of using a volatile cryptocurrency without any regulations. However, several major banks have partnered with Ripple or Stellar to facilitate cross-border payments using blockchain technology.

7. Reduced Fraud Via Self Sovereign Identity

Blockchain technology resists hacking, DDOS attacks, and other forms of fraud. It can also help banks and others identify individuals quickly and accurately through a blockchain-enabled digital ID.

With less fraud, business operations improve and the costs decrease. Also, users have more control over their identity and the data they want to share.

Conclusion

Blockchain is still relatively new, although banks and other industries are already innovating with blockchain technology. At this point, the technology is probably ahead of regulations, and it’s not always clear what to expect in terms of protection, privacy, potential risks, and dispute resolution. Those issues can all be solved, but it’s critical to research and understand what problems may arise before using blockchain for significant transactions.

How to set up a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Start with the problem, understand your users, the market, your competitors; define the ‘complete product’; then identify its smallest subset which can still bring enough value to early customers; so they stay engaged and promote your product.

George Krasadakis· 7 min read

This article provides actionable guidance on how to define a good Minimum Viable Product and avoid common mistakes and risks. If you are in the process of designing a product, or setting up your startup or otherwise involved in product management, read on.

1. Start by framing the problem

One of the most important steps in the product development process — is the understanding and proper articulation of the problem. It is a good idea to use a modela structure to help you formulate the problem with clarity.

Start by describing the ideal situation versus the current one, and how certain users are impacted by this gap

Support your problem statement with statistics and facts — for example, figures to describe the size of the problemor the potential of the opportunity. Keep it simple and clear- a structured, well-understood articulation of the problem with no technicalities and fancy terms.

The problem statement should become part of your ‘common corporate language’: your team, your investors, your sponsors, and other stakeholders should all be able to instantly understand it and reference it when reviewing your solutions and product plans.

2. Identify your users

Make sure you know who you are solving for! Identify and name the different classes of users in the context of your problem; document their needs and the problems they are experiencing; identify their pain points; their expectations, and the best possible experience they could have in this context.

Define Success criteria for each class of users.

3. Understand your users

Identifying your users is different from understanding your users. You need to apply empathy, study your users and deeply understand their profiles, habits, and needs. You could use existing research and public domain insights; or host user interviews and focus groups — to validate both your problem statement and your potential solution.

4. Validate the problem

Having your problem defined with clarity, allows you to validate it with your key stakeholders — including your customers or end-users: challenge the problem and make sure it is worth-solving; study the impacted users and document how they are affected by this problem. During this process, try to answer the following questions:

  1. Do users know any potential solutions to the problem?
  2. Is this the most significant problem they are facing– in this context?
  3. Are there any workarounds they are using?
  4. How would their situation improve if there was a good solution?
  5. Would they pay for such a solution?

At this point, you must also scan the market and the state-of-the-art to figure out if there are existing products or services — addressing the same problem; and if so, it is critical to understand how.Startups and the Importance of Agile Product DevelopmentProduct development is of critical importance for technology startups: given the limited budget typically available to…hackernoon.com

5. Ideate on potential solutions

Having a well-defined and validated problem enables you to ideate and explore potential solutions. At this stage, I would recommend starting by setting the context — make sure your team is aligned and has a deep, shared understanding of the problem space — the situation, the ideal state, the users, the personas; the pain points and the opportunity.

Then, move on to an ideation phase — you need ideas on how to solve the problem and provide value to your customers. Ideation could take the form of a series of brainstorming sessions, or design sprints or internal contests like hackathons.

Whatever the form or methods you select, make sure your team is capturing all of the ideas, into a system. This is important to allow fast iterations over this set of ideas, and post-processing: you will have to evaluate each idea and attach metadata and artifacts as you go. Depending on the scale of your initiative, an ideation system could add significant value by organizing and speeding up the entire process.

Assuming a set of great ideas and potential solutions is there, iterate through the following steps:

  1. Review all your abstract ideas and prioritize them based on their potential and feasibilityDo not discard ideas; assign priorities instead (this will allow ideas to stay active and be reconsidered under different circumstances in the future). Prioritization will allow you to pick the most promising ideas, using not just opinions but a standardized ‘idea assessment framework’.
  2. Combine ideas as necessary — merge or group them — to draft an overall solution or product definition
  3. Iterate and refine the product draft; make sure that has the integrity required to call it a ‘product’
  4. Start Small — but Think Big and define a long-term product road-map
  5. State your assumptions — and how you are going to validate them

Ideachain is the network of innovators and great ideasShare your great ideas with the world and showcase your innovation mindset. Discover like-minded inventors and…ideacha.in

6. Define your ‘full Product’

The Minimum in the MVP implies that you already have the Big Picture, the product vision! A common mistake is when the team ‘easily’ identifies a set of ‘obvious’ use cases as the MVP — without a clear product vision and a good definition of the ‘complete product’.

Assuming you have this bold product vision, the next step is to define your ‘complete product’ as a long list of User Stories — your product backlog. It is important to understand here, that this is the full version of your product / not just your MVP!

Another important point is that you don’t have to apply feasibility, cost or other constraints at this stage; my advice is to describe everything — even the craziest and expensive product features, as you will be able to prioritize and manage them at a later stage.

This way, you don’t have to skip, drop or archive an idea for a feature that looks ‘ahead of its time’ or not well-understood yet. Instead, you should include them in your backlog with a lower priority — but they will still remain discoverable and potentially useful in the right context.

Iterate and keep defining more user stories, until your product is described in full. Your ‘full product’ backlog should have all the features you can think of, reflecting the needs of all users identified so far; and all in the form of solid user stories.

7. Define your MVP — the Minimum Viable Product

At this point, you have the definition of your ‘full product’ — the complete not the minimum. What you need now, is a process to find the best minimum subset of features from the complete product backlog.

This ‘best minimum subset of features’ which delivers enough value to your early customers to keep them happy and engaged, is what the MVP is all about: the first instance of your real product, which will help you to go to market faster, with minimum implementation costs and the right feedback loops enabled.

To find this minimum subset, analyze carefully each User Story — in terms of value to the user, the importance of solving the problem and also in terms of cost and feasibility. This way, all user stories in your product backlog will get a priority (a number — ideally as a function of the expected value and feasibility).

The next step is to rank the User Stories, with the highest priority at the top; then, you have to apply business and product sense to draw the red-line which will define the top-n stories as the basis for your MVP.How to run a successful Design SprintDesign Sprints can drive Innovation and value; provided you run them in the right way. In this article I am providing…medium.freecodecamp.org

8. Define how success would look like

By now you have a great basis for building your MVP: you have a solid problem statement, deep understanding of your users, the market and the technology, along with a prioritized product backlog.

Before you start implementing your product, it is a wise move to define specific Success Criteria — and how to track the involved figures. Identify the key metrics and the underlying data points; define and document the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) — which will reflect the performance of your product against time and other dimensions.

Think of how your assumptions and hypotheses are linked to those metrics and KPIs. Setup a system to monitor these KPIs and how close they are to the pre-defined success. You will probably need a funnel to measure conversion rates and a special dashboard — as a single and reliable point of reference regarding the performance of your product.

Next steps: Build, Measure, Learn; iterate

The process described so far, will hopefully give you a well-defined MVP. You will know what to buildwhy, for whom and possibly when and how.

But this is just one part of the story: to succeed you have to ‘make it happen’— you need an excellent MVP execution as well. Follow modern agile engineering practices — build, measure, learn and iterate fast; always with the user in mind.

The Innovators Toolkit: Here are the world’s Best Innovation labs

In industry and technology sectors R&D is a crucial component of innovation and a key factor in developing products and Services.

Workshop| Research lab| Fab lab| Impact lab| Incubator| Maker space| Innovation hub|

Research and Development plays a critical role in the innovation process. It’s essentially an investment in technology and future capabilities which is transformed into new products, processes, and services.

R&D spaces still play an important role in bringing out innovations in our community and around us.

Below are some of the world best innovation labs, Research and Development spaces which has successfully bring a lot of innovative solutions before us:

1.Palo Alto Research Center (PARC):

Located in Silicon Valley, PARC is a renowned Open Innovation company that’s been at the heart of some of the most important technological breakthroughs of our time. We bring leading scientists, engineers, and designers together to form bespoke teams across a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of technology, science, and innovation.

Creativity and science are core to PARC’s mission to reduce the time and risk attached to innovation. We draw on our revered history and our energy for the future to create technologies that improve our world and solve complex challenges.

Working with PARC means benefiting from something unique. Because every technological challenge is different, the team you work with will assemble and grow organically, based on your innovation goals. It’s this approach to combining expertise and capabilities that have led to some of our most interesting and exciting R&D, technology and IP projects with startups, government agencies and Fortune 500 partners.

2. AT&T Research

Our mission is to bring our unique legacy and ongoing culture of innovation to tackle some of the most difficult technical problems related to 5G and edge computing, artificial intelligence, quantum networking through AT&T Labs, AT&T Foundry and more.

The AT&T Foundry is a network of innovation centers — physical spaces where engineers, designers, developers and business experts test and build prototypes for real-world solutions. We explore new territory with startups, technology collaborators and enterprise customers. We drive innovation from concept to commercialization.

We are passionate about creating real solutions that can add exponential value. With every project we try to build positive connections. The Foundry is a preview of the future.

Mit media lab

3. MIT Media Lab

”The combination of computing and communication, as we know it now and can expect it to evolve in the decades ahead, will vastly expand human creative capacity.”

–Jerry Wiesner, Media Lab building dedication, 1986

True to Jerry’s vision, for over 30 years Media Lab researchers have anticipated and created technologies to make our lives safer, cleaner, healthier, fairer, and more productive. But along with benefits, technology’s everyday efficiencies have also brought their share of issues: obesity, poverty, ethical implications, bullying, divergent politics. The Media Lab’s antidisciplinary research community is uniquely equipped to address these concerns, leveraging the best that technology has to offer, and connecting technology back to the social and the human. Current Lab research examines the deeper implications of where technology creation and adoption has led us — and where we want to go next.

4. Facebook Research

AR/VR Research

5. Boston Dynamics

We began as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where we developed the first robots that ran and maneuvered like animals. Now we are taking the next step, combining the principles of dynamic control and balance with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics, and software for perception, navigation, and intelligence. Boston Dynamics has an extraordinary technical team of engineers and scientists who seamlessly combine advanced analytical thinking with bold engineering and boots-in-the-mud practicality.

We pride ourselves in building machines that both break boundaries and work in the real world.

6. IBM Research

IBM Research is one of the world’s largest and most influential corporate research labs, with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. We play the long game, investing now in tomorrow’s breakthroughs. Watson, the world’s first cognitive system, is the fruit of over 50 years of IBM research in artificial intelligence. Today, it forms a core part of IBM’s business.

Our scientists are charting the future of artificial intelligence, breakthroughs like quantum computing, how blockchain will reshape the enterprise and much more. We are dedicated to applying AI and science to industry challenges, whether it’s discovering a new way for doctors to help patients, teaming with environmentalists to clean up our waterways or enabling retailers to personalize customer service.

7.Nokia Bell Labs

Bell Labs is renowned for its profound influence on the evolution of telecommunications and information technologies and consequently how people connect, collaborate, compute and communicate.

This is classic Bell Labs — innovating by drawing from the global community of brilliant minds. But it is also the new Bell Labs because the ideas don’t just come from people working inside the labs, but from outside the labs as well. And with this, we are providing the opportunity for innovators to transform the way we live again — and maybe win the next Nobel Prize, or Emmy or Grammy.

8. Singularity University

Singularity University is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build a better future for all.

Our collaborative platform empowers individuals and organizations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology. We offer educational programs, courses, and summits; enterprise strategy, leadership, and innovation programs; programs to support and scale startups and promote social impact; and online news and content. The SU community includes entrepreneurs, corporations, global nonprofits, governments, investors, and academic institutions in more than 127 countries. With over 5,000 impact initiatives, our community is driving positive change in the areas of health, environment, security, education, energy, food, prosperity, water, space, disaster resilience, shelter, and governance.

9.Intel Labs

Intel Labs Is a Hub for Breakthroughs.
Intel Labs works with and sponsors leading researchers around the world. That includes prominent university science and technology centers, The National Science Foundation, and the Semiconductor Research Corporation. Together we are doing research that’s transforming how machines think, learn, and adapt and how we compute, secure, and communicate the data that fuels our digital economy.

10. Palantir

We believe in augmenting human intelligence, not replacing it.

With good data and the right technology, people and institutions today can still solve hard problems and change the world for the better.

In 2004, when we looked at the available technology, we saw products that were too rigid to handle novel problems, and custom systems that took too long to deploy and required too many services to maintain and improve.

We saw automated approaches that failed against adaptive adversaries, and all-or-nothing access controls that forced organizations to make unacceptable trade-offs between collaborating and securing sensitive data from misuse.

We saw a need for a different kind of technology, and we knew it would take a different kind of company to build it. That’s why we founded Palantir.

https://www.palantir.com/

11. Google X

X is a diverse group of inventors and entrepreneurs who build and launch technologies that aim to improve the lives of millions, even billions, of people. Our goal: 10x impact on the world’s most intractable problems, not just 10% improvement. We approach projects that have the aspiration and riskiness of research with the speed and ambition of a startup.

https://x.company/

12. Fab labs

Fab labs provide widespread access to modern means for invention. They began as an outreach project from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), and became into a collaborative and global network. You can find more information about Fab Labs on the Fab Foundation Website. The annotated photo below illustrates the facilities of a typical Fab Lab.

https://fablabs.io/

13. Bits and Atoms

We help smart cities think for themselves.
Bits and Atoms is a network of urbanists and technologists who work with clients in industry, government, and the non-profit sector to create the conditions for smart cities to flourish organically, by design.
We do this by using foresight, scenario thinking, and digital inclusion as the keys to urban innovation.

14. Impossible labs

We are a group of people who have come together to help solve meaningful problems and guide global change. Cancer diagnosis. Fake news. Bots in the work place. Creative self. Opaque supply chains. Fair insurance. Emotional connectivity.
Building communities. Refugees’ reality. Remittances. Global world heritage. Waste in fashion. Blockchain and ownership.

Our core creative methodology is Planet Centric Design.

https://www.impossible.com/

15. Hyperloop

We are mobilizing humanity in a new way
What if we invited those with passion and talent to come together and tackle world-changing projects, like Hyperloop? Could we create an all powerful collective? An unstoppable force for good? Enlisting passionate engineers, creatives, technologists, corporate and university partners from around the world, we are striving to change the face of mankind for the better, and together build the next breakthrough in mobility.

https://www.hyperloop.global/

16. Lululemon lab

lululemon lab Vancouver and New York City are design concept spaces for Lululemon. Featuring a team of in-house designers and sampling room, each lab develops focused collections that react to the city it is situated in. These collections are produced in limited quantities that are exclusive to the lab space and influence the no-sweat sector of mainline Lululemon.

17. Coca-cola Research

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories. In addition to the company’s Coca-Cola brands, our portfolio includes some of the world’s most valuable beverage brands, such as AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, innocent smoothies and juices, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smart water, Sprite, vitamin water and ZICO coconut water. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide.

https://www.coca-colacompany.com/innovation

18. Deutsche Bank Innovation Labs

We’re a focal point for innovation with a simple, practical role: we connect startups to decision makers within Deutsche Bank. In this way, we help Deutsche Bank adopt emerging technology solutions that enhance, improve and reimagine the way we serve our clients.

We identify, evaluate and support the adoption of emerging technologies. We create a culture of innovation. And we support Deutsche Bank’s digital strategy.

http://labs.db.com/

19. The Financial Solutions Lab

The Financial Solutions Lab has a relentless focus on building products and services that embrace inclusion, build trust, promote success, and create opportunity, and which solve important financial challenges in America.

Over a five-year period, we are creating challenges and rewards for innovative entrepreneurs, companies, and nonprofits building solutions for the issue areas we highlight. We will grow an ecosystem of fintech innovators that will catalyze impact on the lives of everyday people.About UsThe Financial Solutions Lab is managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation with founding partner JPMorgan…finlab.cfsinnovation.com

20.SF Innovation Center

Our Innovation Center was built to foster collaboration and deepen the relationships that we value most.

One Market Center is more than a street address, it’s a representation of our vision…

  • …To bring people together to solve the problems of today and tomorrow
  • …To have meaningful exchanges geared toward reducing friction in your business
  • …To collaborate on state-of-the-art, dynamic experiences to exceed your customers’ expectations

https://usa.visa.com/about-visa/global-innovation-centers/san-francisco.html

21. Telekom Innovation Laboratories

At Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs), the passion for innovation and technology drives 300+ international experts and scientists to work together in the three core fields of Blockchain, Intelligence und Experience. T-Labs is the R&D unit of Deutsche Telekom and is in a close partnership with the Technische Universität Berlin. At its sites in Berlin, Darmstadt, Beer Sheva, Budapest and Vienna, T-Labs sits amongst a world-class host of universities, startups, investors, research institutes and corporate innovation hubs to jointly shape the future of communication services.

The T-Labs team is engaged to live the entrepreneurial spirit and focus on developing Proof of Concepts (PoCs) and Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), which highlight future technology applications. In that way, T-Labs fosters its agility to adapt to a fast-changing and vibrant environment and always works on cutting-edge technologies.

22.Accenture Innovation Centers

Demonstrate and scale industry solutions

Accenture Innovation Centers are located strategically worldwide, building and scaling solutions across technologies and industries.

https://www.accenture.com/us-en/innovation-architecture-accenture-innovation-centers

23. SAP Co-Innovation Lab

The global SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) network facilitates project-based co-innovation with its members, enhancing the capabilities of SAP’s partner and customer ecosystem through a worldwide network of expertise and best-in-class technologies and platforms.

https://www.sap.com/corporate/en/company/innovation/sap-coil.html

24. Symantec Research Labs (SRL)

As Symantec’s global research organization, Symantec Research Labs (SRL) is a research group focused on driving trust and safety in an online world by creating new paradigms to enable digital security and privacy. SRL has played a leading role in exploring many cutting-edge technologies now commercialized across Symantec’s many product areas. Such technologies from the group include targeted attack protection, reputation-based security, industry-leading rootkit protection, cloud-based security services, and some of the industry’s earliest behavioral protection technologies. SRL is actively pursuing research with many partners in universities and beyond.

https://www.symantec.com/about/corporate-profile/technology/research-labs

25.Amazon Lab126

In 2004, the Amazon team had a vision: To improve upon the physical book, making it easier than ever for customers to discover and enjoy books. Gregg Zehr, vice president of hardware engineering at Palm Computing at the time, was part of the group that accepted the challenge. In October 2004, Gregg formed a small team, moved into a shared space in a Palo Alto law library, and got to work. Amazon Lab126 was born.

Amazon Lab126 is an inventive San Francisco Bay Area research and development team that designs and engineers high-profile consumer electronic devices. We design and engineer devices like Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and more.

https://amazon.jobs/en/teams/lab126

26. Oracle Labs

Oracle Labs researchers look for novel approaches and methodologies, often taking on projects with high risk or uncertainty, or that are difficult to tackle within a product-development organization. Oracle Labs research is focused on real-world outcomes: our researchers aim to develop technologies that will someday play a significant role in the evolution of technology and society. For example, chip multithreading and the Java programming language grew out of work done in Oracle Labs.

Oracle Labs maintains a balanced research portfolio with four major approaches.

  • Exploratory research: bringing in the best and brightest in their fields to pursue their ideas within domains relevant to Oracle,
  • Directed research: working in collaboration with product teams on difficult, future-looking problems outside the scope of the product release lifecycle, but driven by product requirements,
  • Consulting: providing unique expertise that is useful in smaller engagements across many product organizations, and
  • Product incubation: providing a place to grow new products resulting from Oracle Labs research. Incubation is necessary when research results do not have a natural home (as is often the case with research across product areas), or where more risk needs to be eliminated from the work to demonstrate its value.

A major research theme of Oracle Labs is “heterogeneous computing”. Two fundamental and related issues are conspiring to change the fabric of computation: the need for parallel software, and the need for power-efficient hardware.

https://labs.oracle.com/pls/apex/f?p=labs:15:0

27. Tata Innovation

Innovation — in thoughts, processes, approaches and strategies — has become a critical factor for Tata companies as they chart course for a future in a business world without boundaries

The Tata group has a three-pronged strategy to encourage and enhance innovation across business sectors and companies. The three key drivers are better communication and recognition of innovative ideas and efforts, facilities and initiatives that enable learning from other companies, and support for collaborative research and partnerships with academia.

https://www.tata.com/about-us/innovation

28. Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research is the research subsidiary of Microsoft. It was formed in 1991, with the intent to advance state-of-the-art computing and solve difficult world problems through technological innovation in collaboration with academic, government, and industry researchers.

29. HP Labs

HP Labs, one of the pre-eminent industrial research laboratories in the world, is passionate about making our research real — driving technology to commercialization in the areas most important to our customers and society.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-labs/about/overview.html

30.Accor hotels Labs

An internal driving force
To foster boldness and creativity we are rethinking the way we work by focusing on sharing ideas and skills.

https://www.accorhotels.group/innovation/collective-intelligence/an-internal-driving-force

31.The Helix Innovation Center

Bold Collaboration. Disruptive Innovation.
The Helix Innovation Center is a 40,000-square-foot facility located on the University of Dayton campus in Dayton, Ohio focused on providing a collaborative environment for researchers, academia, and industry professionals to develop solutions to industry challenges.

https://climate.emerson.com/en-us/tools-resources/the-helix

32. ThyssenKrupp

Sustainable products produced in a sustainable way
Renewable energies, Industry 4.0, sustainable mobility and resource-efficient processes are high on our innovation agenda.

We are working hard to ensure that in the future ThyssenKrupp stands for sustainable products produced in a sustainable way. We aim to spend annually around 2.5 percent of our turnover — excluding trade and distribution — on research and development.

https://www.thyssenkrupp.com/en/company/innovation/

33.Southern Company

We work tirelessly to make life easier for the people and communities we serve. Our Energy Innovation Center, located in Atlanta’s Technology Square, is the home of our most inventive ideas and programs that work to bring better, more reliable and more efficient energy across the country.

Our passionate employees and partners collaborate to answer the energy industry’s most pressing issues — like electric battery storage, electric car technology, and the role of big data in our lives. By tapping into the talents of our 32,000 employees, we generate our brightest ideas from within our own walls, as well as with like-minded partners.

In addition to investing more than $2 billion in industry-breaking research and development since 1970, we see our Energy Innovation Center as the place where creative problem solving and smart investment come together to improve lives.

https://www.southerncompany.com/innovation/energy-innovation-center.html

34. AXA Labs

In our drive to transform, we’ve created an ecosystem entirely devoted to identifying, incubating, and scaling the ideas and services that will change the lives of our customers today and tomorrow. It spans:

Based in Shanghai and San Francisco our teams scout innovations to breed partnerships with the most promising startups.
Kamet
A startup studio dedicated to building disruptive companies in the insurance and asset management sectors from the ground up.
AXA Strategic Ventures
Our dedicated fintech and insurtech investment fund.This €230 million international fund invests in companies at different growth stages.
AXA Partners & AXA Digital Partnerships
These teams engage us in partnerships with innovative companies like LinkedIn and help us to reinvent our products and services and how we distribute them.
This thinking outside the box means that we are constantly challenging the way we do things, but we also know that many of our best ideas come from inside.

https://group.axa.com/en/careers/innovation

35. BCG Innovation Center

The Innovation Center for Operations (ICO) is a network of capabilities and offerings — including model factories in France, Germany, Singapore, and the US — that provide immersion, experimentation, and training on all topics related to Industry 4.0.

BCG has a set of proven proprietary tools and methodologies that focus on this fourth industrial revolution — a topic that affects every manufacturing domain and comprises advanced manufacturing technologies that are empowered by all means of data progression, storage, and optimization.

https://www.bcg.com/capabilities/operations/innovation-center-operations/default.aspx

36. LumenLab

LumenLab is MetLife Asia’s innovation center. Based in Singapore, we are MetLife’s pioneers for disruptive innovation charging ahead to create new businesses in health, wealth, and retirement. Through our focus on building new products and services grounded in data and technology, we aim to help people achieve richer and more fulfilling lives.

37. McKinsey Digital Labs

Digital Labs enables organizations to capture new value from digital — creating products, experiences, and businesses through new capabilities.

Our clients are looking for new ideas, new products, and new systems at scale — and they want to build the capabilities to deliver on these while creating a lasting competitive advantage in digital.

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/how-we-help-clients/digital-labs

38. Comcast Labs: Building Tomorrow’s Technologies

Imagine thousands of engineers all over the country collaborating to develop the next generation of ideas and testing revolutionary technology — the kind of technology that results in groundbreaking new products and improved user experiences, like On Demand or the Xfinity TV app. That is a day in the life at Comcast Labs.

https://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/reimagining-the-future-of-technology-in-the-home

39.The New York Times Research & Development

The New York Times Research & Development group looks beyond the next product cycle, identifying trends and technologies that will emerge in the next three to five years. We develop applications and prototypes that imagine the impacts these changes will create, and we share those prototypes to facilitate innovation and thoughtful consideration of the future of media.

http://nytlabs.com/

40.IPG Media Lab

Part of the Interpublic network, the IPG Media Lab identifies and researches innovations and trends that will change the media landscape and how brands engage with their audiences.

Since 2006, the Lab has worked with our clients and with industry partners who can help them best adapt to disruptive change.

41.Cardinal Health

Our purpose is to improve people’s lives by merging innovation and technology with healthcare.
We roll up our sleeves and collaborate with you to uncover problems, forge new ideas and experiment to learn what works and what doesn’t. We do this with deep expertise, proven methods and a bit of fun.

Cardinal Health is our wings, and we are Cardinal Health’s innovation engine.

https://www.cardinalhealth.com/en/about-us/who-we-are/fuse-by-cardinal-health.html

42. Ford Research and Innovation Center

For the engineers of Silicon Valley, mobility is traditionally measured in megabits per second rather than miles per hour. But now a team of advanced researchers, engineers, and scientists at Ford is creating new connections between automotive and computer technology in the birthplace of the digital revolution.

Since opening the new Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto in January 2015, the facility has grown to be one of the largest automotive manufacturer research centers in the region. Today, it is home to more than 160 researchers, engineers and scientists, who are driving Ford’s collaboration with the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

https://corporate.ford.com/careers/silicon-valley.html

43.The Skunk Works

ur purpose hasn’t changed. The Skunk Works team remains connected to founder Kelly Johnson’s vision of a place where small empowered teams created powerful solutions. What Skunk Works cared about in 1943 is what we care about today. Our customers’ missions define our purpose. We thank them for their partnership and allowing us to serve them for 75 years, and we stand ready to tackle their more important missions for the next 75 years and beyond.

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/who-we-are/business-areas/aeronautics/skunkworks.html

44.The Global Collaboratory

We believe that together, we can accomplish what no one person, company or organization can address alone, and so we have opened Innovation Centers around the world.

Our global network of Innovation Centers is our gateway to The Global Collaboratory. They are designed for customers and strategic partners to collaborate with us to generate solutions to challenging problems.

Visitors can connect with a network of DuPont scientists and engineers across the world. This connection has proven valuable to thousands of customers since the first Innovation Center was opened in 2010.

Visit our DuPont Innovation Centers to work together to solve local problems and industry needs through development and open innovation.

http://www.dupont.com/corporate-functions/our-approach/innovation-excellence/science/innovation-centers.html

45.Tesco labs

We are Tesco’s technology research and development team. Our mission is to create new products, services or experiences that address customer and business needs through the use of emerging and established technologies.

We use our Lab as a space to create a culture of innovation and to inspire our colleagues and the wider community.

46.Lowe’s Innovation Labs

Lowe’s Innovation Labs defines, seeds, and accelerates the future of home improvement and retail. We help Lowe’s Home Improvement embrace leading-edge innovations, explore new business approaches and ultimately help the company remain competitive and grow…now and well into the future.

Our Projects
With every project, we’re discovering new ways to support Lowe’s business. We’re focused on advanced visualization, robotics, on-demand manufacturing, and virtual training, and have projects that span from early stage proofs-of-concept to ready-to-scale deployments.

http://www.lowesinnovationlabs.com/

47. Sephora Innovation lab

The Innovation Lab itself is a converted warehouse near San Francisco’s Mission Bay district, previously used by Sephora to build and evaluate in-store display models, now configured to develop and test a broad range of digital experiences designed to inform and enhance shopping across web, mobile, and brick-and-mortar. In addition to open meeting and brainstorming spaces, the lab includes a full model of a Sephora store, including display windows. The Innovation Lab team will spend two days a week in the space, as well as hold testing and feedback sessions with store associates (known as the “cast”) to ensure that digital in-store experiences align with sales staff’s knowledge of customer needs.

48.Walmart Labs

At Walmart Labs, a line of code can change the way the world shops.
Join our team of technologists and be at the forefront of a smarter future.
Change the world.
Really.

https://www.walmartlabs.com/

49.CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire)

CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) is a European research organization that operates the biggest particle accelerator in the world. CERN’s primary focus is on particle physics; investigating smallest observable particles in the universe and their fundamental interactions. The facility is famous for the Large Hadron Collider that works on antimatter and the discovery of W and Z bosons.

Many of you might not know that CERN is the birthplace of the World Wide Web. It all started with a project named ENQUIRE by legendary Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau sometime in the year 1990.

https://home.cern/

50. French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission

CEA or French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission is government-funded French research organization that works extensively in the area of health, IT and defense sectors. It is basically France equivalent to the American DOE (Department of Energy). The organization is involved in manufacturing integrated circuits, tsunami propagation and designing of nuclear reactors. In 2016, Reuters places CEA among the 25 global innovators (government agencies) in the world.

51. Chinese Academy of Sciences

Chinese Academy of Sciences or CAS act as the national scientific think tank that provides advisory services to the government on sensitive issues regarding the economy, social development and more importantly on science and tech issues. It is the largest research organization in the world with over 60,000 researchers working in 114 institutes across China.

Based on the total number of research papers published in Nature and its affiliate network, the Chinese Academy of Sciences ranked #1 among the world’s leading research organizations for two-time in 2014 and again in 2015.

http://english.cas.cn/institutes/research_bodies/

52. Fraunhofer Society

The Fraunhofer Society is an organization of a total of 69 premier German Institutes all across Germany, specializes in various fields of applied science. One of the famous projects of the Fraunhofer Society is the MP3 compression algorithm. They also contributed to a popular video compression standard MPEG-4 Part 10. The organization has seven research centers in the United States and three in the Asian region.

https://www.fraunhofer.de/en.html

53. Broad Institute

The Broad Institute is a non-profit organization for biomedical and Genome research and located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is closely tied with MIT, Harvard University and five different Harvard hospitals.

Over the years, the Broad Institute has developed various therapeutic drugs, done extensive studies on gene and cancers. It has also been associated with revolutionary CRISPR technology.

Right now, the institute has nearly a dozen principle faculty and about 195 associates from MIT and Harvard University and is the home of one of the biggest Genome sequencing labs in the world.

https://www.broadinstitute.org/

54. SRI International

The SRI International research institute was established by the Stanford University trustees to promote innovation as well as to support the economic development of the Menlo Park region in California. The institute performs a wide range of research and development projects for government and private agencies. It also performs several corporate tasks such as forming strategic partnerships and sell research products.

SRI focuses on areas such as material chemistry, biomedical sciences, Earth sciences, economic development and energy studies along with computing and national defense. The institute is widely known for developing SIRI, the first virtual personal assistant.

https://www.sri.com/

55. Boeing Phantom Works

Boeing Phantom Works is the highly advanced research arm of the Boeing Company’s defense division. It basically focuses on developing state of the art war equipment and technologies for U.S military. Initially, it was a part of another American aerospace manufacturing company McDonnell Douglas, but in 1996, following a merger deal Phantom Works came directly under Boeing’s command

56. Deepmind

DeepMind is the world leader in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact.

We’re on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how.

If we’re successful, we believe this will be one of the most important and widely beneficial scientific advances ever made, increasing our capacity to understand the mysteries of the universe and to tackle some of our most pressing real-world challenges. From climate change to the need for radically improved healthcare, too many problems suffer from painfully slow progress, their complexity overwhelming our ability to find solutions. With AI as a multiplier for human ingenuity, those solutions will come into reach.

https://deepmind.com/

57. New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL)

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) tests networking and data communications products. Since 1988, the laboratory has fostered multi-vendor interoperability while preparing students for careers in the industry. The laboratory has grown steadily into one of the industry’s premier independent proving grounds for new technologies.

https://www.iol.unh.edu/

58. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

For more than 60 years, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has applied science and technology to make the world a safer place.

Livermore’s defining responsibility is ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent. Yet LLNL’s mission is broader than stockpile stewardship, as dangers ranging from nuclear proliferation and terrorism to energy shortages and climate change threaten national security and global stability. The Laboratory’s science and engineering are being applied to achieve breakthroughs for counterterrorism and nonproliferation, defense and intelligence, energy and environmental security.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a mission of strengthening the United States’ security through development and application of world-class science and technology to:

https://www.llnl.gov/

59. Internet2

Internet2 is a member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment where US research and education organizations can solve common technology challenges and develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research and community service missions. Our community touches nearly every major innovation that defines our modern digital lives — and continues to define “what’s next.”

https://www.internet2.edu/

60.Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — Berkeley Lab

From the infinite scale of the universe to the infinitesimal scale of subatomic particles, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — Berkeley Lab — are advancing the scope of human knowledge and seeking science solutions to some of the greatest problems facing humankind. Scientific excellence and an unparalleled record of achievement have been the hallmarks of this Laboratory since it was founded in 1931.

Thirteen Nobel Prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Eighty Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Fifteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research, and one (Arthur Rosenfeld) has received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained tens of thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

61.DARPA

For sixty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security.

The genesis of that mission and of DARPA itself dates to the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the United States that, from that time forward, it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also such icons of modern civilian society such as the Internet, automated voice recognition and language translation, and Global Positioning System receivers small enough to embed in myriad consumer devices.

62.Los Alamos National Laboratory

As a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, we align our strategic plan with priorities set by the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and key relevant national strategy guidance documents, such as the Nuclear Posture Review, the National Security Strategy, and the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future.

As the senior laboratory in the DOE system, we execute work in all of DOE’s missions: national security, science, energy, and environmental management. Our contributions are part of what makes DOE a science, technology, and engineering powerhouse for the nation.

https://www.lanl.gov/

63.The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system.

Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
We are conducting research that helps solve big health problems. We find and support the best and brightest biologists, scientists, engineers and technologists. Our culture emphasizes intellectual freedom and collaboration. We provide our team with the best scientific tools — and when the right tools don’t exist, we will invent them.

Final one: 😀

Makervalley Labs

Makervalley labs is a network of makerspaces where students and professional work in their projects and prototypes, learn through tinkering and building projects and believe in the power of making. We provide lab curriculum, Lab activities, access to hackathons, & a supportive Maker community.

themakervalley.com

https://fb.com/makervalleyMakervalleyMakervalley. 651 likes · 58 talking about this. Science, Technology & Engineeringfb.com

Thank you for reading, Please provide in the comment something I missed to mention. See you next time !

The Innovators Toolkit: Here are the world’s Best Innovation labs

In industry and technology sectors R&D is a crucial component of innovation and a key factor in developing products and Services.

Ashish Katuwal

Ashish KatuwalFollowFeb 28 · 24 min read

Pic Credit: omcare

Workshop| Research lab| Fab lab| Impact lab| Incubator| Maker space| Innovation hub|

Research and Development plays a critical role in the innovation process. It’s essentially an investment in technology and future capabilities which is transformed into new products, processes, and services.

R&D spaces still play an important role in bringing out innovations in our community and around us.

Below are some of the world best innovation labs, Research and Development spaces which has successfully bring a lot of innovative solutions before us:

1.Palo Alto Research Center (PARC):

Located in Silicon Valley, PARC is a renowned Open Innovation company that’s been at the heart of some of the most important technological breakthroughs of our time. We bring leading scientists, engineers, and designers together to form bespoke teams across a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of technology, science, and innovation.

Creativity and science are core to PARC’s mission to reduce the time and risk attached to innovation. We draw on our revered history and our energy for the future to create technologies that improve our world and solve complex challenges.

Working with PARC means benefiting from something unique. Because every technological challenge is different, the team you work with will assemble and grow organically, based on your innovation goals. It’s this approach to combining expertise and capabilities that have led to some of our most interesting and exciting R&D, technology and IP projects with startups, government agencies and Fortune 500 partners.

2. AT&T Research

Our mission is to bring our unique legacy and ongoing culture of innovation to tackle some of the most difficult technical problems related to 5G and edge computing, artificial intelligence, quantum networking through AT&T Labs, AT&T Foundry and more.

https://about.att.com/sites/labs_research

https://about.att.com/innovation/technology_research_museum

The AT&T Foundry is a network of innovation centers — physical spaces where engineers, designers, developers and business experts test and build prototypes for real-world solutions. We explore new territory with startups, technology collaborators and enterprise customers. We drive innovation from concept to commercialization.

We are passionate about creating real solutions that can add exponential value. With every project we try to build positive connections. The Foundry is a preview of the future.

Mit media lab

3. MIT Media Lab

”The combination of computing and communication, as we know it now and can expect it to evolve in the decades ahead, will vastly expand human creative capacity.”

–Jerry Wiesner, Media Lab building dedication, 1986

True to Jerry’s vision, for over 30 years Media Lab researchers have anticipated and created technologies to make our lives safer, cleaner, healthier, fairer, and more productive. But along with benefits, technology’s everyday efficiencies have also brought their share of issues: obesity, poverty, ethical implications, bullying, divergent politics. The Media Lab’s antidisciplinary research community is uniquely equipped to address these concerns, leveraging the best that technology has to offer, and connecting technology back to the social and the human. Current Lab research examines the deeper implications of where technology creation and adoption has led us — and where we want to go next.

https://www.media.mit.edu/

4. Facebook Research

AR/VR Research

5. Boston Dynamics

We began as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where we developed the first robots that ran and maneuvered like animals. Now we are taking the next step, combining the principles of dynamic control and balance with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics, and software for perception, navigation, and intelligence. Boston Dynamics has an extraordinary technical team of engineers and scientists who seamlessly combine advanced analytical thinking with bold engineering and boots-in-the-mud practicality.

We pride ourselves in building machines that both break boundaries and work in the real world.

https://www.bostondynamics.com/

6. IBM Research

IBM Research is one of the world’s largest and most influential corporate research labs, with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. We play the long game, investing now in tomorrow’s breakthroughs. Watson, the world’s first cognitive system, is the fruit of over 50 years of IBM research in artificial intelligence. Today, it forms a core part of IBM’s business.

Our scientists are charting the future of artificial intelligence, breakthroughs like quantum computing, how blockchain will reshape the enterprise and much more. We are dedicated to applying AI and science to industry challenges, whether it’s discovering a new way for doctors to help patients, teaming with environmentalists to clean up our waterways or enabling retailers to personalize customer service.

http://www.research.ibm.com/

7.Nokia Bell Labs

Bell Labs is renowned for its profound influence on the evolution of telecommunications and information technologies and consequently how people connect, collaborate, compute and communicate.

This is classic Bell Labs — innovating by drawing from the global community of brilliant minds. But it is also the new Bell Labs because the ideas don’t just come from people working inside the labs, but from outside the labs as well. And with this, we are providing the opportunity for innovators to transform the way we live again — and maybe win the next Nobel Prize, or Emmy or Grammy.

8. Singularity University

Singularity University is a global learning and innovation community using exponential technologies to tackle the world’s biggest challenges and build a better future for all.

Our collaborative platform empowers individuals and organizations across the globe to learn, connect, and innovate breakthrough solutions using accelerating technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, and digital biology. We offer educational programs, courses, and summits; enterprise strategy, leadership, and innovation programs; programs to support and scale startups and promote social impact; and online news and content. The SU community includes entrepreneurs, corporations, global nonprofits, governments, investors, and academic institutions in more than 127 countries. With over 5,000 impact initiatives, our community is driving positive change in the areas of health, environment, security, education, energy, food, prosperity, water, space, disaster resilience, shelter, and governance.

9.Intel Labs

Intel Labs Is a Hub for Breakthroughs.
Intel Labs works with and sponsors leading researchers around the world. That includes prominent university science and technology centers, The National Science Foundation, and the Semiconductor Research Corporation. Together we are doing research that’s transforming how machines think, learn, and adapt and how we compute, secure, and communicate the data that fuels our digital economy.

10. Palantir

We believe in augmenting human intelligence, not replacing it.

With good data and the right technology, people and institutions today can still solve hard problems and change the world for the better.

In 2004, when we looked at the available technology, we saw products that were too rigid to handle novel problems, and custom systems that took too long to deploy and required too many services to maintain and improve.

We saw automated approaches that failed against adaptive adversaries, and all-or-nothing access controls that forced organizations to make unacceptable trade-offs between collaborating and securing sensitive data from misuse.

We saw a need for a different kind of technology, and we knew it would take a different kind of company to build it. That’s why we founded Palantir.

11. Google X

X is a diverse group of inventors and entrepreneurs who build and launch technologies that aim to improve the lives of millions, even billions, of people. Our goal: 10x impact on the world’s most intractable problems, not just 10% improvement. We approach projects that have the aspiration and riskiness of research with the speed and ambition of a startup.

12. Fab labs

Fab labs provide widespread access to modern means for invention. They began as an outreach project from MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), and became into a collaborative and global network. You can find more information about Fab Labs on the Fab Foundation Website. The annotated photo below illustrates the facilities of a typical Fab Lab.

13. Bits and Atoms

We help smart cities think for themselves.
Bits and Atoms is a network of urbanists and technologists who work with clients in industry, government, and the non-profit sector to create the conditions for smart cities to flourish organically, by design.
We do this by using foresight, scenario thinking, and digital inclusion as the keys to urban innovation.

14. Impossible labs

We are a group of people who have come together to help solve meaningful problems and guide global change. Cancer diagnosis. Fake news. Bots in the work place. Creative self. Opaque supply chains. Fair insurance. Emotional connectivity.
Building communities. Refugees’ reality. Remittances. Global world heritage. Waste in fashion. Blockchain and ownership.

Our core creative methodology is Planet Centric Design.

15. Hyperloop

We are mobilizing humanity in a new way
What if we invited those with passion and talent to come together and tackle world-changing projects, like Hyperloop? Could we create an all powerful collective? An unstoppable force for good? Enlisting passionate engineers, creatives, technologists, corporate and university partners from around the world, we are striving to change the face of mankind for the better, and together build the next breakthrough in mobility.

16. Lululemon lab

lululemon lab Vancouver and New York City are design concept spaces for Lululemon. Featuring a team of in-house designers and sampling room, each lab develops focused collections that react to the city it is situated in. These collections are produced in limited quantities that are exclusive to the lab space and influence the no-sweat sector of mainline Lululemon.

17. Coca-cola Research

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories. In addition to the company’s Coca-Cola brands, our portfolio includes some of the world’s most valuable beverage brands, such as AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, innocent smoothies and juices, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smart water, Sprite, vitamin water and ZICO coconut water. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide.

18. Deutsche Bank Innovation Labs

We’re a focal point for innovation with a simple, practical role: we connect startups to decision makers within Deutsche Bank. In this way, we help Deutsche Bank adopt emerging technology solutions that enhance, improve and reimagine the way we serve our clients.

We identify, evaluate and support the adoption of emerging technologies. We create a culture of innovation. And we support Deutsche Bank’s digital strategy.

19. The Financial Solutions Lab

The Financial Solutions Lab has a relentless focus on building products and services that embrace inclusion, build trust, promote success, and create opportunity, and which solve important financial challenges in America.

Over a five-year period, we are creating challenges and rewards for innovative entrepreneurs, companies, and nonprofits building solutions for the issue areas we highlight. We will grow an ecosystem of fintech innovators that will catalyze impact on the lives of everyday people.About UsThe Financial Solutions Lab is managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation with founding partner JPMorgan…finlab.cfsinnovation.com

20.SF Innovation Center

Our Innovation Center was built to foster collaboration and deepen the relationships that we value most.

One Market Center is more than a street address, it’s a representation of our vision…

  • …To bring people together to solve the problems of today and tomorrow
  • …To have meaningful exchanges geared toward reducing friction in your business
  • …To collaborate on state-of-the-art, dynamic experiences to exceed your customers’ expectations

21. Telekom Innovation Laboratories

At Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs), the passion for innovation and technology drives 300+ international experts and scientists to work together in the three core fields of Blockchain, Intelligence und Experience. T-Labs is the R&D unit of Deutsche Telekom and is in a close partnership with the Technische Universität Berlin. At its sites in Berlin, Darmstadt, Beer Sheva, Budapest and Vienna, T-Labs sits amongst a world-class host of universities, startups, investors, research institutes and corporate innovation hubs to jointly shape the future of communication services.

The T-Labs team is engaged to live the entrepreneurial spirit and focus on developing Proof of Concepts (PoCs) and Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), which highlight future technology applications. In that way, T-Labs fosters its agility to adapt to a fast-changing and vibrant environment and always works on cutting-edge technologies.

22.Accenture Innovation Centers

Demonstrate and scale industry solutions

Accenture Innovation Centers are located strategically worldwide, building and scaling solutions across technologies and industries.

23. SAP Co-Innovation Lab

The global SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) network facilitates project-based co-innovation with its members, enhancing the capabilities of SAP’s partner and customer ecosystem through a worldwide network of expertise and best-in-class technologies and platforms.

24. Symantec Research Labs (SRL)

As Symantec’s global research organization, Symantec Research Labs (SRL) is a research group focused on driving trust and safety in an online world by creating new paradigms to enable digital security and privacy. SRL has played a leading role in exploring many cutting-edge technologies now commercialized across Symantec’s many product areas. Such technologies from the group include targeted attack protection, reputation-based security, industry-leading rootkit protection, cloud-based security services, and some of the industry’s earliest behavioral protection technologies. SRL is actively pursuing research with many partners in universities and beyond.

25.Amazon Lab126

In 2004, the Amazon team had a vision: To improve upon the physical book, making it easier than ever for customers to discover and enjoy books. Gregg Zehr, vice president of hardware engineering at Palm Computing at the time, was part of the group that accepted the challenge. In October 2004, Gregg formed a small team, moved into a shared space in a Palo Alto law library, and got to work. Amazon Lab126 was born.

Amazon Lab126 is an inventive San Francisco Bay Area research and development team that designs and engineers high-profile consumer electronic devices. We design and engineer devices like Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and more.

26. Oracle Labs

Oracle Labs researchers look for novel approaches and methodologies, often taking on projects with high risk or uncertainty, or that are difficult to tackle within a product-development organization. Oracle Labs research is focused on real-world outcomes: our researchers aim to develop technologies that will someday play a significant role in the evolution of technology and society. For example, chip multithreading and the Java programming language grew out of work done in Oracle Labs.

Oracle Labs maintains a balanced research portfolio with four major approaches.

  • Exploratory research: bringing in the best and brightest in their fields to pursue their ideas within domains relevant to Oracle,
  • Directed research: working in collaboration with product teams on difficult, future-looking problems outside the scope of the product release lifecycle, but driven by product requirements,
  • Consulting: providing unique expertise that is useful in smaller engagements across many product organizations, and
  • Product incubation: providing a place to grow new products resulting from Oracle Labs research. Incubation is necessary when research results do not have a natural home (as is often the case with research across product areas), or where more risk needs to be eliminated from the work to demonstrate its value.

A major research theme of Oracle Labs is “heterogeneous computing”. Two fundamental and related issues are conspiring to change the fabric of computation: the need for parallel software, and the need for power-efficient hardware.

27. Tata Innovation

Innovation — in thoughts, processes, approaches and strategies — has become a critical factor for Tata companies as they chart course for a future in a business world without boundaries

The Tata group has a three-pronged strategy to encourage and enhance innovation across business sectors and companies. The three key drivers are better communication and recognition of innovative ideas and efforts, facilities and initiatives that enable learning from other companies, and support for collaborative research and partnerships with academia.

28. Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research is the research subsidiary of Microsoft. It was formed in 1991, with the intent to advance state-of-the-art computing and solve difficult world problems through technological innovation in collaboration with academic, government, and industry researchers.

29. HP Labs

HP Labs, one of the pre-eminent industrial research laboratories in the world, is passionate about making our research real — driving technology to commercialization in the areas most important to our customers and society.

30.Accor hotels Labs

An internal driving force
To foster boldness and creativity we are rethinking the way we work by focusing on sharing ideas and skills.

31.The Helix Innovation Center

Bold Collaboration. Disruptive Innovation.
The Helix Innovation Center is a 40,000-square-foot facility located on the University of Dayton campus in Dayton, Ohio focused on providing a collaborative environment for researchers, academia, and industry professionals to develop solutions to industry challenges.

32. ThyssenKrupp

Sustainable products produced in a sustainable way
Renewable energies, Industry 4.0, sustainable mobility and resource-efficient processes are high on our innovation agenda.

We are working hard to ensure that in the future ThyssenKrupp stands for sustainable products produced in a sustainable way. We aim to spend annually around 2.5 percent of our turnover — excluding trade and distribution — on research and development.

33.Southern Company

We work tirelessly to make life easier for the people and communities we serve. Our Energy Innovation Center, located in Atlanta’s Technology Square, is the home of our most inventive ideas and programs that work to bring better, more reliable and more efficient energy across the country.

Our passionate employees and partners collaborate to answer the energy industry’s most pressing issues — like electric battery storage, electric car technology, and the role of big data in our lives. By tapping into the talents of our 32,000 employees, we generate our brightest ideas from within our own walls, as well as with like-minded partners.

In addition to investing more than $2 billion in industry-breaking research and development since 1970, we see our Energy Innovation Center as the place where creative problem solving and smart investment come together to improve lives.

34. AXA Labs

In our drive to transform, we’ve created an ecosystem entirely devoted to identifying, incubating, and scaling the ideas and services that will change the lives of our customers today and tomorrow. It spans:

Based in Shanghai and San Francisco our teams scout innovations to breed partnerships with the most promising startups.
Kamet
A startup studio dedicated to building disruptive companies in the insurance and asset management sectors from the ground up.
AXA Strategic Ventures
Our dedicated fintech and insurtech investment fund.This €230 million international fund invests in companies at different growth stages.
AXA Partners & AXA Digital Partnerships
These teams engage us in partnerships with innovative companies like LinkedIn and help us to reinvent our products and services and how we distribute them.
This thinking outside the box means that we are constantly challenging the way we do things, but we also know that many of our best ideas come from inside.

35. BCG Innovation Center

The Innovation Center for Operations (ICO) is a network of capabilities and offerings — including model factories in France, Germany, Singapore, and the US — that provide immersion, experimentation, and training on all topics related to Industry 4.0.

BCG has a set of proven proprietary tools and methodologies that focus on this fourth industrial revolution — a topic that affects every manufacturing domain and comprises advanced manufacturing technologies that are empowered by all means of data progression, storage, and optimization.

36. LumenLab

LumenLab is MetLife Asia’s innovation center. Based in Singapore, we are MetLife’s pioneers for disruptive innovation charging ahead to create new businesses in health, wealth, and retirement. Through our focus on building new products and services grounded in data and technology, we aim to help people achieve richer and more fulfilling lives.

37. McKinsey Digital Labs

Digital Labs enables organizations to capture new value from digital — creating products, experiences, and businesses through new capabilities.

Our clients are looking for new ideas, new products, and new systems at scale — and they want to build the capabilities to deliver on these while creating a lasting competitive advantage in digital.

38. Comcast Labs: Building Tomorrow’s Technologies

Imagine thousands of engineers all over the country collaborating to develop the next generation of ideas and testing revolutionary technology — the kind of technology that results in groundbreaking new products and improved user experiences, like On Demand or the Xfinity TV app. That is a day in the life at Comcast Labs.

39.The New York Times Research & Development

The New York Times Research & Development group looks beyond the next product cycle, identifying trends and technologies that will emerge in the next three to five years. We develop applications and prototypes that imagine the impacts these changes will create, and we share those prototypes to facilitate innovation and thoughtful consideration of the future of media.

40.IPG Media Lab

Part of the Interpublic network, the IPG Media Lab identifies and researches innovations and trends that will change the media landscape and how brands engage with their audiences.

Since 2006, the Lab has worked with our clients and with industry partners who can help them best adapt to disruptive change.

41.Cardinal Health

Our purpose is to improve people’s lives by merging innovation and technology with healthcare.
We roll up our sleeves and collaborate with you to uncover problems, forge new ideas and experiment to learn what works and what doesn’t. We do this with deep expertise, proven methods and a bit of fun.

Cardinal Health is our wings, and we are Cardinal Health’s innovation engine.

42. Ford Research and Innovation Center

For the engineers of Silicon Valley, mobility is traditionally measured in megabits per second rather than miles per hour. But now a team of advanced researchers, engineers, and scientists at Ford is creating new connections between automotive and computer technology in the birthplace of the digital revolution.

Since opening the new Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto in January 2015, the facility has grown to be one of the largest automotive manufacturer research centers in the region. Today, it is home to more than 160 researchers, engineers and scientists, who are driving Ford’s collaboration with the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

43.The Skunk Works

ur purpose hasn’t changed. The Skunk Works team remains connected to founder Kelly Johnson’s vision of a place where small empowered teams created powerful solutions. What Skunk Works cared about in 1943 is what we care about today. Our customers’ missions define our purpose. We thank them for their partnership and allowing us to serve them for 75 years, and we stand ready to tackle their more important missions for the next 75 years and beyond.

44.The Global Collaboratory

We believe that together, we can accomplish what no one person, company or organization can address alone, and so we have opened Innovation Centers around the world.

Our global network of Innovation Centers is our gateway to The Global Collaboratory. They are designed for customers and strategic partners to collaborate with us to generate solutions to challenging problems.

Visitors can connect with a network of DuPont scientists and engineers across the world. This connection has proven valuable to thousands of customers since the first Innovation Center was opened in 2010.

Visit our DuPont Innovation Centers to work together to solve local problems and industry needs through development and open innovation.

45.Tesco labs

We are Tesco’s technology research and development team. Our mission is to create new products, services or experiences that address customer and business needs through the use of emerging and established technologies.

We use our Lab as a space to create a culture of innovation and to inspire our colleagues and the wider community.

46.Lowe’s Innovation Labs

Lowe’s Innovation Labs defines, seeds, and accelerates the future of home improvement and retail. We help Lowe’s Home Improvement embrace leading-edge innovations, explore new business approaches and ultimately help the company remain competitive and grow…now and well into the future.

Our Projects
With every project, we’re discovering new ways to support Lowe’s business. We’re focused on advanced visualization, robotics, on-demand manufacturing, and virtual training, and have projects that span from early stage proofs-of-concept to ready-to-scale deployments.

47. Sephora Innovation lab

The Innovation Lab itself is a converted warehouse near San Francisco’s Mission Bay district, previously used by Sephora to build and evaluate in-store display models, now configured to develop and test a broad range of digital experiences designed to inform and enhance shopping across web, mobile, and brick-and-mortar. In addition to open meeting and brainstorming spaces, the lab includes a full model of a Sephora store, including display windows. The Innovation Lab team will spend two days a week in the space, as well as hold testing and feedback sessions with store associates (known as the “cast”) to ensure that digital in-store experiences align with sales staff’s knowledge of customer needs.

48.Walmart Labs

At Walmart Labs, a line of code can change the way the world shops.
Join our team of technologists and be at the forefront of a smarter future.
Change the world.
Really.

49.CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire)

CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) is a European research organization that operates the biggest particle accelerator in the world. CERN’s primary focus is on particle physics; investigating smallest observable particles in the universe and their fundamental interactions. The facility is famous for the Large Hadron Collider that works on antimatter and the discovery of W and Z bosons.

Many of you might not know that CERN is the birthplace of the World Wide Web. It all started with a project named ENQUIRE by legendary Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau sometime in the year 1990.

50. French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission

CEA or French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission is government-funded French research organization that works extensively in the area of health, IT and defense sectors. It is basically France equivalent to the American DOE (Department of Energy). The organization is involved in manufacturing integrated circuits, tsunami propagation and designing of nuclear reactors. In 2016, Reuters places CEA among the 25 global innovators (government agencies) in the world.

51. Chinese Academy of Sciences

Chinese Academy of Sciences or CAS act as the national scientific think tank that provides advisory services to the government on sensitive issues regarding the economy, social development and more importantly on science and tech issues. It is the largest research organization in the world with over 60,000 researchers working in 114 institutes across China.

Based on the total number of research papers published in Nature and its affiliate network, the Chinese Academy of Sciences ranked #1 among the world’s leading research organizations for two-time in 2014 and again in 2015.

52. Fraunhofer Society

The Fraunhofer Society is an organization of a total of 69 premier German Institutes all across Germany, specializes in various fields of applied science. One of the famous projects of the Fraunhofer Society is the MP3 compression algorithm. They also contributed to a popular video compression standard MPEG-4 Part 10. The organization has seven research centers in the United States and three in the Asian region.

53. Broad Institute

The Broad Institute is a non-profit organization for biomedical and Genome research and located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is closely tied with MIT, Harvard University and five different Harvard hospitals.

Over the years, the Broad Institute has developed various therapeutic drugs, done extensive studies on gene and cancers. It has also been associated with revolutionary CRISPR technology.

Right now, the institute has nearly a dozen principle faculty and about 195 associates from MIT and Harvard University and is the home of one of the biggest Genome sequencing labs in the world.

54. SRI International

The SRI International research institute was established by the Stanford University trustees to promote innovation as well as to support the economic development of the Menlo Park region in California. The institute performs a wide range of research and development projects for government and private agencies. It also performs several corporate tasks such as forming strategic partnerships and sell research products.

SRI focuses on areas such as material chemistry, biomedical sciences, Earth sciences, economic development and energy studies along with computing and national defense. The institute is widely known for developing SIRI, the first virtual personal assistant.

55. Boeing Phantom Works

Boeing Phantom Works is the highly advanced research arm of the Boeing Company’s defense division. It basically focuses on developing state of the art war equipment and technologies for U.S military. Initially, it was a part of another American aerospace manufacturing company McDonnell Douglas, but in 1996, following a merger deal Phantom Works came directly under Boeing’s command

56. Deepmind

DeepMind is the world leader in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact.

We’re on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how.

If we’re successful, we believe this will be one of the most important and widely beneficial scientific advances ever made, increasing our capacity to understand the mysteries of the universe and to tackle some of our most pressing real-world challenges. From climate change to the need for radically improved healthcare, too many problems suffer from painfully slow progress, their complexity overwhelming our ability to find solutions. With AI as a multiplier for human ingenuity, those solutions will come into reach.

57. New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL)

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) tests networking and data communications products. Since 1988, the laboratory has fostered multi-vendor interoperability while preparing students for careers in the industry. The laboratory has grown steadily into one of the industry’s premier independent proving grounds for new technologies.

58. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

For more than 60 years, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has applied science and technology to make the world a safer place.

Livermore’s defining responsibility is ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent. Yet LLNL’s mission is broader than stockpile stewardship, as dangers ranging from nuclear proliferation and terrorism to energy shortages and climate change threaten national security and global stability. The Laboratory’s science and engineering are being applied to achieve breakthroughs for counterterrorism and nonproliferation, defense and intelligence, energy and environmental security.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a mission of strengthening the United States’ security through development and application of world-class science and technology to:

59. Internet2

Internet2 is a member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment where US research and education organizations can solve common technology challenges and develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research and community service missions. Our community touches nearly every major innovation that defines our modern digital lives — and continues to define “what’s next.”

60.Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — Berkeley Lab

From the infinite scale of the universe to the infinitesimal scale of subatomic particles, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory — Berkeley Lab — are advancing the scope of human knowledge and seeking science solutions to some of the greatest problems facing humankind. Scientific excellence and an unparalleled record of achievement have been the hallmarks of this Laboratory since it was founded in 1931.

Thirteen Nobel Prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Eighty Lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Fifteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research, and one (Arthur Rosenfeld) has received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained tens of thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

61.DARPA

For sixty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security.

The genesis of that mission and of DARPA itself dates to the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and a commitment by the United States that, from that time forward, it would be the initiator and not the victim of strategic technological surprises. Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also such icons of modern civilian society such as the Internet, automated voice recognition and language translation, and Global Positioning System receivers small enough to embed in myriad consumer devices.

62.Los Alamos National Laboratory

As a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, we align our strategic plan with priorities set by the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and key relevant national strategy guidance documents, such as the Nuclear Posture Review, the National Security Strategy, and the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future.

As the senior laboratory in the DOE system, we execute work in all of DOE’s missions: national security, science, energy, and environmental management. Our contributions are part of what makes DOE a science, technology, and engineering powerhouse for the nation.

63.The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system.

Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
We are conducting research that helps solve big health problems. We find and support the best and brightest biologists, scientists, engineers and technologists. Our culture emphasizes intellectual freedom and collaboration. We provide our team with the best scientific tools — and when the right tools don’t exist, we will invent them.

Final one: 😀

Makervalley Labs

Makervalley labs is a network of makerspaces where students and professional work in their projects and prototypes, learn through tinkering and building projects and believe in the power of making. We provide lab curriculum, Lab activities, access to hackathons, & a supportive Maker community.

themakervalley.com

https://fb.com/makervalleyMakervalleyMakervalley. 651 likes · 58 talking about this. Science, Technology & Engineeringfb.com

Thank you for reading, Please provide in the comment something I missed to mention. See you next time !

Thank you for reading, Please provide in the comment something I missed to mention. See you next time !

It’s Time for Flying to Become the New Smoking

Written by Dorothea Hilhorst (Professor of Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam and PRIO Global Fellow)

Dorothea Hilhorst argues that it is necessary for development practitioners and academics to investigate our own flying habits. This article first appeared on The ISS Blog on Global Development and Social Justice and is re-posted here.

Sunset during flight to Singapore. Image by Emerald Wu via CreativeCommons.

Flying is an important contributor to global warming, and by far one of the most complicated. There are no signs that flying will be reduced and technical solutions to reduce carbon emissions are a long way off and not very feasible. Unlike cars, electric planes are not an option—flying a plane would require its entire space to be filled with batteries.

The IPCC report that came out last week is absolutely terrifying. The possibility of retaining global heating within 1.5 degrees is rapidly disappearing and we are facing global warming of 2 or even 3 degrees. The report contains convincing evidence of the devastation of that extra degree on biodiversity, sea level rise, disaster events, the economy, coral reefs, and so on.

With regards to flying, governments should get their acts together and start taxing air travel, while investing in alternatives, especially a huge expansion of fast train networks. But in the meantime, I think organisations and their employees should also take some level of responsibility.

The IPCC report comes out in the midst of a scandal over the irresponsible ‘flying behaviour’ of Erik Solheim, the director of the United Nations Environment Programme, who travels 80% of his time. In the coverage of the scandal, most attention centred on his flying for private purposes. This reflects a general view that private flying is a luxury, but business-related travel is just what needs to be done. But is that really true? I’m pretty sure that huge cuts could easily be made in business-related air travel.

There is now a call for environmental guidelines within the UN.  What, only now? Shocking, right? But let’s be honest, the whole aid and development world—the UN, NGOs, and my own world of  academic departments and development studies—is shamefully late in taking responsibility. For decades, I have not given my flying behaviour much thought either, and found it normal or at best a necessary evil to hop on a plane for every piece of research, conference or seminar.

I will not go into name-shaming, but I know for a fact that some of the front runner developmental institutes and think tanks are not using carbon offsetting for their flights, and have no policy on reducing air travel. Since a few years back, I have tried to reduce my own air travel. I still have an oversized ecological footprint, but I fly significantly less than I used to.

I also—cautiously—try to bring up the topic in conversations with people I work with.  Here some experiences:

1) When preparing a lecture at a development institute in the UK: “Sorry, we are short on budget this year, would you mind taking the plane rather than the train?”

2) A director of a development department in the Netherlands: “Sorry, we are too busy. We will consider introducing a policy next year”.

3) A consultant coming over for an assignment: “Really, is there now a train connecting London to Amsterdam in less than four hours? I didn’t know”.

Two further defences are that people start laughing when I raise this issue, because they consider air travel to be at the core of who we are; or that they point at real polluters, usually big business or an American president. Good points, but my reading of the IPCC report is that all of us need to step up the effort: governments, business, institutions, employees and consumers.

I also know many people that refuse to carbon offset because some offset programmes are open to criticism, or because they find this tokenistic. However, offsetting is a first step. While the IPCC focuses on the devastation of future temperature rises, it is absolutely clear that climate change is already wreaking havoc, especially for poor people in poor countries.

More droughts, floods, fires. More hunger, poverty, and distress migration. It is a core principle in environmental politics that polluters should pay. There are a number of offset schemes that take this into account and use the money they generate for programs that combine livelihoods with mitigation of carbon emission, for example by protecting the vast peat areas in the world that contain huge levels of carbon. If only for this reason, a simple measure such as offsetting every flight you take should not be too much to ask.

But compensation programmes can only ever be a first small step. Next comes sharply reducing the number of flights we take.

Of course, there are already signs of these changes, and best practices are rapidly evolving. I have the feeling that NGOs may be ahead of the game compared to universities and research institutes. We academics may even be worse than the United Nations or some companies. Some obvious things we could do:

  • Some NGOs (like Oxfam – see below) have ruled that travel below xx hours cannot use air travel. I have not yet heard of a single university that sets such rules.
  • No more face-to-face job interviews, where applicants are invited to fly in so that the personal chemistry can be tested.
  • Organise international conferences of study associations every three or four years rather than every year.
  • Get used to teaching and seminars through Skype.
  • Introduce a rule that planes must be booked well in advance to avoid that the only available or affordable ticket comes with three stops and huge detours.
  • Invest more in identifying and fostering local experts to avoid international consultancies.

I’m sure there are plenty more examples, and would love to hear suggestions. Taxing carbon use and investing in green transport systems like fast trains will definitely help to reduce air travel. What we really need, though, is a change of mentality. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Let’s get ready for an era where flying is the new smoking. It won’t be long before people who fly have some awkward explaining to do over the Friday afternoon drinks after work.

AI, Blockchain, Chatbots, Data, And…

ict4d hype cycle 2019

Back in 2014, we posted our first Development Hype Cycle to showcase how technologies move from initial invention to widespread application. We followed it up with a 2017 Hype Cycle.

The basic idea is simple: new technology is usually hyped to the point of inflating expectations beyond its actual impact, then reality will sink in, and we’ll all be disillusioned by the unfulfilled promises, after which, we finally figure out how to use it productively.

2019 Digital Development Hype Cycle

Now let’s update our ICT4D Hype Cycle to today’s innovative digital technologies and see where we are. In alphabetical order, we have…

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is approaching the peak of inflated expectations. With so many people wanting to do it, and USAID issuing guidance on how to use it, expect AI to jump the shark very soon. The dawning reality is that we’re really doing basic machine learning, if not just old-school statistical analysis with better branding.

Blockchain

Distributed ledger technology was last year’s darling with everyone trying to ride that hype train. This year, we are over blockchain, as we found no impact from any pilots. It is now dropping out of the hype cycle, its use cases limited to traceability and Facebook payment fantasies.

Chatbots

Computers chatting with us using natural language processing is very exciting. I cannot wait to ask Alexa for ICT4D advice. Even today, teams can create text-based humanitarian chatbots for farmer infogovernment services, and classroom learning. While the hype has past, the practicalities are just emerging.

Big Data, Open Data, Real Time Data, Dashboards

Data in all its forms is a multi-year hype-cycle winner. First there was the push for Open Data, and there was success with multiple countries and positive results. However this enthusiasm has since waned once governments realized that people could actually hold them accountable to deliver on their promises.

Next, we started to see excitement for Big Data, though, like artificial intelligence, there was more aspiration by organizations than real usage. Still, with millions of dollars chasing solutions, we’re bound to see more big data innovations in the years to come.

Then with the rise of Real-Time Data for development, we saw a shift from merely collecting and analyzing data for research reports, to using data to make better decisions in program management. This shift is impacting basic data management approaches as big data becomes useful data.

Finally, data dashboards are now rightly seen as the interface between data that we collect (and are morally obligated to use responsibly) and and the decision-makers who need that data on a daily basis.

Drones

Yes, drones are still on the hype cycle! UAVs crossed from inflated expectations, through the trough of disillusionment, to the plateau of productivity because we now know exactly when and how to use them in agriculture and humanitarian relief: drones are great to move cargo and map land.

e-[Everything]

eAgriculutreeHealtheLearning – everything can be digitized by adding an “e” to the front (or “m”). Here, we are getting really good at moving past tired tropes, and implementing successful ICT4D solutions using core digital principles. We still have lessons to learn to keep from repeating history, but we’re well on our way to long-term ICT4D productivity.

Facebook

Wow, what difference a few years make. Back in 2012, Facebook was breaking news in Ghana, and by 2014, we were wondering if we were using Facebook enough. Then we realized the data security problem, the digital colonizer problem, and the fake account problem, among others, and we have to ask ourselves, do we stop promoting Facebook, or accept it as that’s where people are, and user generated content starts.

Google

Where we fear the Facebook, it is Google that’s worked itself deeper into our lives. From the Android operating system on all of our constituent mobile phones, to the many Google services like GMail, GDrive, Google Maps, Google Groups, Google Translate, to its futuristic investments like Google Loon, Google is now core to digital development. Its like we trust Google more than governments. Of all our hype-cycle technologies, its Google that we’ve embraced the most.

Human-Centered Design

We’ve been talking about human-centered design for years now, but while we know how to use HCD in ICT4D, we’ve often talked more than walked this important approach. Thanks to continued cost reductions, we now attempt HCD from HQ. even though we know how powerful HCD can be when done with directly constituents.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things are now becoming useful for us. We can use IoT for M&Eflood controlagriculture, and other remote sensing needs. Since there are still barriers to sensor use, donors are funding IoT investigations  and we should expect IoT to follow drones into known, productive digital development deployments.

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