The Big Idea
People enter on one side of room with problems, on the other side inventors enter to solve them; problems and solutions can post to the internet, involving more people, and everyone can vote on which problems they most want solved, and which solutions they think are best.
At one time a place of invention, such as Silicon Valley, was made possible because creative people had the freedom to think creatively and freedom to work on their pet projects, and because there was openness to ideas, and openness to play. This resulted in an environment fostering extraodinary communication allowing access to people who had answers, suggestions and ideas which fell far outside the box. In addition, the almost limitless money available to fund all this creativity resulted in tools which helped transform society. Today however, mankind has created more problems than solutions, and society seems no longer willing to afford such a model for a place of invention. Therefore a new approach may be necessary, which benefits from the new technolgies at hand to achieve some of these earlier results. Still emphasizing the central importance of creative thought, we may still be able to find extraordinary solutions to societal and technological problems without spending a lot to do this.
A small office has one door labeled, “Problems to be Solved,” and a door on the opposite side of the room labeled, “Inventors Wanted.” A long table runs down the room dividing the two sides, with seats on each side facing each other. There is a sign over a large pile of papers reading, “Leave Problems Here,” and a sign over a smaller pile saying, ”Leave Solutions Here.” Two types of media are available for people to post problems and solutions. A computer and/or an audio/visual recorder is available on each side of the room which allows the problems, or solutions to be posted to an internet site. People on the internet can also post their problems, and would-be inventors can post solutions. Everyone can vote on which problems they feel most urgently need solving, and which solutions they think are best. The website keeps score, and problems and solutions with the highest votes post to the top of the lists. The site also keeps track of which inventors have the highest scores, and allows searching for solutions by clicking inventors’ names at the top of the list. A means for communication between interested fellow researchers and problem-solvers is also available.