Humans are a species of moonshooters

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The Apollo Programme, the actual moonshots was wonderful, inspirational and poetic. It involved great technical challenges, genuine heroism and, it brought the world together.

But think about the Polynesian islander in a dug-out canoe who said let’s go that way! No one had ever been that way before, no one even knew if there was a that way. And it changed the world.

Humans are a species of moonshots, our desire to innovate and make our world a better place, has brought about great progress. Humans thrive with moonshots. Since the dawning of civilisation leaders on quests have changed the world: From building the great pyramids, to Magellan circumnavigating the globe, to conquering flight and putting a man on the moon; brave people have ventured into the unknown, challenged the impossible and returned with new riches and knowledge.

Moonshots are the type of thinking that led to:

  • The Wright Brothers’ First Flight
  • Sending humans to the Moon
  • Landing a two-ton rover On Mars

Moonshots are how we all should think, every single day.

Moonshots require radical thinking, tackling big problems and harnessing breakthrough or exponential technology to have 10x the impact.

Moonshots are about looking at big problems and asking the question: Is there a better way?

The story TomorrowToday’s Moonshot Futurist, Dean van Leeuwen likes to give is of Sebastian Thrun, who at the age of 18 lost his best friend in a motor accident. He set himself the moonshooting quest of saving a million lives every year (a million people die each year around the world in car accidents). Sebastian became the lead scientist and founder of Google’ skunkworks or Google X (now just X). When google started exploring self-drive cars they were not trying to make an incrementally better car. They were trying to answer the question: how can we end car fatalities – Is there a better way? – When you tackle this huge problem by asking this question, well then automated cars become the obvious moonshot. Autonomous driving cars are just so massively safer than human drivers.

Today we are seeing moonshots being taken in health, education, engineering, science and even space travel. It’s powerful stuff.

We’d love to hear about your moonshot. Are you taking moonshots, using the power of business as a positive force to do good in the world?

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