72 Hour “Moon Shot” like Stop the Spill Challenge

I don’t think there is a single human being on this planet who does not want to see the leak in the Gulf stopped….so why don’t we invoke Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” mantra and get the world involved in solving it’s most urgent and important challenge?

The problem that we face TODAY cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created it. Lets try to push this meme. My own fear is that, unlike the Financial Crisis, BP itself is too “small to solve” this problem we need a world-scale ideation and prioritization scheme to address this issue and we need it NOW!

We need those who are currently working on this issue to be prompted to think differently and those with adjacent skills to help frame the problem differently to see if there are transferrable concepts that can help stop this leak.

Imagine if all the petroleum engineers on the planet, irrespective of where they work, each dedicated two hours of serious brainstorming to this effort. What if we then mashed this up with disciplines of industrial design, architecture, fluid dynamics, and physics to land upon a plausible and immediate portfolio of potential solutions?

This is NOT a technology problem. IBM could provide their Jam technology to drive a 72 hour brainstorm and winnowing process to determine the top ten solutions (Facilitated Ideation plus Predictive Market Prioritization).

Once ideas are at the solution stage virtual team rooms can be provided to cross functional teams in a 2 Day Solution Planning Challenge to come up with project plan/budget for their proposed solution according to a standard “Top Sheet” template.

A board of experts would then review these plans and select the most likely solutions and the order in which they would be attempted.

In a nutshell we need:

      Crowdsourced ideation
      Predictive market prioritization
      Virtual collaborative solution co-creation
      Board reviewed prioritized set of plausible solutions

More importantly, all of this could be accomplished within the NEXT FIVE DAYS if we could aggregate resources and capabilities in a Web 2.0 way across industries and academia.

It is time to take a page out of Nike’s book …. we need to JUST DO IT! What may be possible in practice may take too long to vet in theory. We need the world’s biggest brainstorm here and we need it NOW!

To borrow a line from IBM current marketing campaign with a little twist, we need to leverage the smarts of the whole planet to stop the spill and we need to do it now it NOW!

Taking this approach certainly cannot hurt and most likely would help address something that will impact each and every one of us.

In the time it took you to read this, how many more thousands of gallons have spewed into the Gulf?

If you believe this idea has merit, please propagate via your SoMe channels.

Leave a comment


  1. blisswindlow

     /  May 15, 2010

    Not sure how else to contact you … I work for Paisley Beebe of Perfect World Productions which produces 3 of the most successful virtual televsion shows. We are in Second Life and would love to interview you on the one talk show. Could you possibly contact me at blisswindlow@hotmail.com to discuss the matter further? Thanks.

  2. Great idea. I will help spread the word. Others who read it should spread the word also. Tweet, blog, put it in your linkedin status.


  3. Thanks for this powerful idea. I’ve tweeted and will blog as well. Where in SL can we post messages to others who might be interested in this cause? What about an event?

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