Monday, October 14, 2013

Moonshot thinking

The final keynote at Learning 2.013 was by Jeff Utecht who showed the video below about moonshot thinking.  I wanted to post a little bit about what this type of thinking is and about how we should be aiming to make something 10 times better, rather than 10% better.  First of all, a description of moonshot thinking from Wired
Moonshot thinking starts with picking a big problem: something huge, long existing, or on a global scale. Next it involves articulating a radical solution — one that would actually solve the problem if it existed: a product or service that sounds like it’s directly out of a sci-fi story. Finally there needs to be some kind of concrete evidence that the proposed solution is not quite as crazy as it at first seems; something that justifies at least a close look at whether such a solution could be brought into being if enough creativity, passion, and persistence were brought to bear on it. This evidence could be some breakthrough in science, technology, or engineering that could actually make the solution possible within the next decade or so.  Without all three of these things, you may have a sci-fi story or a crazy idea — but you don’t have a moonshot. Not one that can aim for new heights and address a big challenge in a maybe-not-totally-crazy kind of way
Moonshot thinking therefore comprises the following:
  • It addresses a huge problem
  • It proposes a radical solution
  • It uses breakthrough technology 
It was a powerful and inspirational way to end a conference, and now I'm considering whether we can use moonshot thinking to attack some of the problems we are facing in schools today.

Photo Credit: ArloMagicMan via Compfight cc

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