How you activate your first Innovating Cosmos project – Blog 0003

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How you create and activate your first Innovating Cosmos project

“Innovating Cosmos, that’s a mouthful, Terry.”

“Yes, Kim! At first, I thought it was a kid’s game – but, it’s actually a great way to make the world better”

“Far out!”

“Sure! That’s what I thought. But now I’m committed – boots and all.”

You committed? To this Cosmos thing? Wow! How come?”

“For three reasons. Who Innovating Cosmos are. What our big idea is. And the tasks we’re taking on.”

“Okay. You knew I’d ask, Terry. Who are Innovating Cosmos?”

Who are innovating Cosmos?

“Well, we’re a slowly evolving global community of innovators. Right now, we’re purposively kept to just 100 part-time Foundation Members – working in small teams, each on one BIG world-changing opportunity at a time. Margaret Mead gives us our Why?‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has’.”

“Yeah! I guess that’s true. And Innovating Cosmos’s big idea?”

The big idea

“I love the big idea! ‘Cause it coalesces and kick-starts us all. It’s ‘to positively transform our cosmos – and make life better, fairer, more sustainable, ‘richer’ for all’.

“My Goodness! And how do you propose to do that?”

One bit at a time

“This is the part I really like: Our remit – the job we’ve taken on – is, first, to transform big problems into big opportunities, and then into innovations. And, second, to collaborate to get them to the world– for the good of all. We’re doing this, ‘one idea, one person, one problem, one opportunity, one project, one technology, one innovation, one organisation, one institution, one nation at a time’.

“Ah! Breaking the elephant down into bite-size pieces.


Creating the big idea, big opportunities

“Okay! So how do you get these big opportunities in the first place? And how do you make them happen? You and I have never run with any of our wonderful, fantastic, amazing ideas!”

“Yep, well, you and I always kept our ideas to ourselves. Whereas,with Innovating Cosmos we form a purpose-built team. And collaborate. There’s a terrific outline that got me unstuck on the web site, under FAQ. It’s called, ‘How do I find the ‘right’ ideas for me?

“So, after you got this GREAT idea, what then?”

“Actually, after a week of using the outline, I got three beauties. At least,I thought they were beauties… Then, like we are invited to do, I outlined each one on a single page each, and sent all three to the core team of Innovating Cosmos.

“Sounds simple enough, what next?”

Forming a team

“Now, with input from the Innovating Cosmos core team, I’m pulling together my own team from my own networks, with you at the top of the list. Also, I include other members from the Innovating Cosmos network - basically pitching them my initial ideas, and inviting them to add their own.


“Then, we meet – either using a Skype conference call, or face-to-face. Each team has to work out if we have useful and different talents and skills, if we are compatible, and if we want to innovate collaboratively – aiming to make a BIG difference. Also, whether we want to go for profit or social impact.”

“We both know what we’ll go for.”

“Exactly. Once we’ve agreed we can, and want to work together, each member adds ideas into the pool. Then working with a facilitator, we kick all the opportunities around hard. All the time looking for that one big value project we all can commit to.”

No pain, no gain

“Does that work?”

“Sometimes yes, sometimes no. A ‘get me outta here’ filter for some members, is that no one gets paid other than from results. But everyone who is active, shares equity in their project. Big outcomes get big returns. No outcomes means no pay, no returns. And I like that! But not everyone does, of course.”

Okay! Okay! You got me. How do I learn more about these fantastic ideas of yours?”

“Great Kim! Let me open up my laptop and show you the summaries…”

Time to act

  1. Become one of the 100 Foundation Members – if you aren’t already.
  2. Work through “How do I find the ‘right’ ideas for me?
  3. Clarify your big idea on one sheet of Paper:
  • What’s the big problem?
  • How to turn it into an opportunity?
  • What talent and resources do I need?
  1. Submit it the Core Team for support
  2. Form the team from your network and from Innovation Cosmos members
  3. Meet, dialogue, form the team, agree the idea
  4. Plan how to make it happen.

Here are two simple examples as thought starters.

  1. Peter Bennardo of Melbourne, wonders if one way to house people sleeping rough in the streets, is to use city car parks that close at night. They have toilets, are safe, warm, and could be a focus for providing food and other services. Great if the car parks are located near where the Salvos or other Social groups can access the homeless to work out long-term assistance.

Problems to overcome are considerable: Getting car Park owners to agree. Getting planning permission. Getting the homeless there. Adding food, showers, etc. Getting the sleepers to move out early in the morning, storing any bedding, clearing any rubbish…  But is this a realistic opportunity? Interested?

Contact Peter:

For inspiration: see One

  1. Problem: The Australian government estimates food waste costs our economy $20bn every year. Globally, one third of all food produced is lost or wasted – around 1.3 billion tonnes of food – costing the global economy close to $940 billion each year. See: Food Waste Facts – they’re stunning!

Just one example: Tara McKenzie, an environmental scientist at the University of the Sunshine Coast, has found that all along the supply chain, edible tomatoes that are slightly odd-shaped, or marked, or deemed too small, or too large, are discarded because they don’t meet market standards for premium, unblemished product. Tara found between 68.6% and 86.7% of the entire tomato crop was rejected. See: The Guardian.

The Opportunity: If one quarter of the food currently lost or wasted could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people. Assuming of course, it can be distributed cost-effectively. And meets local cultural criteria.

“Join us in sparking conversations that light up the world with Cosmos- changing innovations,” says Core Team member, Conan Young.

Next week: Join the revolution!

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