Fresh Air From Students' Open Eyes at ExxonMobil

I had the pleasure of organizing a special future oriented ideation session for ExxonMobil with students of the Foresight program of the University of Houston College of Technology.

Those students did a great job challenging the team of ExxonMobil by simply sharing their vision of the future. This vision is not something that the ExxonMobil team encounter in their day to day work. That is important. The team was taken outside their normal comfort zone by youthful, energetic intelligence.

We used a very simple and effective tool. The students presented a news headline for a world in 2040. Here are those thought provoking headlines:

  • The New, New Deal: Ten Is the New Forty (work week)
  • Tobacco Free World by 2040
  • Wearables
  • Nano for Cancer Cure
  • The People are the Cities (people as nodes in smart city networks)
  • Antigravity and Hovering Technology for Transportation
  • Manufacturing Comes Alive (biological inputs)
  • Floating Cities…(on water as a response to climate change/flooding)
  • Orbital Solar Power
  • Household Waste Taxation
  • Landfills Obsolete
  • Translating Consciousness into Physical Objects Individualized Learning (using mentorship networks)
  • Robots Help Elderly in Nursing Homes
  • Major Changes in World Economic System Challenges Political Order
  • Nicaragua Still Struggles with Access to Clean Water
  • No Need to Vote – Smart Cities Anticipate Needs

The simple take away from this article:
"Provocative bumps" pay off: bumping and connecting with people and perspectives not part of your normal consideration set can yield fresh and valuable insights. Or put another way, allow others that are not part of your regular circle of contacts the opportunity to provoke you and your mindset.

If you are looking for assistance in organizing or running an innovation event, we would love to talk to you, we could be just the right partner for you.

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