Over the last 10,000 years, innovation has always been the driving force in advancing civilization. Today we face a challenge that calls upon our best global innovators business leaders, educators, and every human being to collaborate in the development of solutions that enable us to simultaneously live, work, run our economy, and socialize safely while confronting any viral threats.

In the last 90 days, telemedicine has moved forward by 10 years and cities around globe have adopted changes to accommodate regulations which empower this movement. Can we do the same for all industries?

In this moment, the world faces the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic replete with the fear of death, economic ruin, and intolerable social constraints. Containing this novel beast brings haunting reality to the adage “innovate or die”.

Henry Chesbrough, a corporate innovation expert believes the real challenge is to “partner or die”. He coined the phrase, “Open Innovation”, a fundamental shift from idea secrecy and knowledge hoarding to cross organizational cooperation and idea sharing. Innovation missionaries, such as some telecommunications and biotechnology companies, adopted the concept and enjoyed faster, better innovation than would have been possible within the constraints of traditional, closed innovation.

As the global citizens before us, in this 21st century, we turn to innovation to resolve the seemingly insurmountable challenge of developing the tools, processes, and automations that ensure preparedness for the next global challenges. Though daunting, this vision is achievable because we are blessed with abundant global knowledge eager to collaborate openly.

The 8 billion people of our global community should never again be brought to their knees by hidden virus and total breakdown of supply and demand chain. Here are a few ideas to explore to achieve this vision.

  • Internet connectivity for all: Provide all people of the world with ubiquitous internet connectivity, giving them the opportunity to contribute to the solution through internet connectivity with privacy and security.
  • Standard Medical devices: Let the telecommunications industry’s 50 years of developing and following global standards serve as an example to encourage and empower the medical industry to build globally standardized and interoperable diagnostic and testing equipment.
  • Manufacturing supply and demand: Develop a manufacturing model which hastens the timeline from prototype to mass production through flexible, scalable, reconfigurable, programmable robotics at scale global supply and demand chain.
  • Food Industry: Develop large volume, scalable, production and distribution systems for the food industry by deploying artificial intelligence and automated testing for bacteria and virus in real time.
  • Global Governments communication: Establish secure, virtual systems to provide local, state, federal and international governments with accurate big data analytics and enable efficient, real time policy development and communication.
  • Smart Cities NOW: Enable other industries visibility to sensor-based technology to create safer working environments. Share the 10 years of research in AI, machine learning, software, algorithm math and digital transformation tools that have produced smart sensor technology that is transforming the transportation system through safe, driver-less, autonomous vehicles. We can expand and mature the sensor-based services available in telemedicine and public transportation to allow our front line care providers to do more, faster, and in real time with less.
  • Support Small Business: Establish a virtual environment and tailored supply chain so small businesses, the heartbeat of our global community, such as retail stores, organic micro farming, furniture makers, restaurants and cheese manufacturing can operate, manage, deliver goods, and safely attend to all of their day by day operations with the same level of independence and efficiency enjoyed by fortune 500 companies.

Today’s global challenges represent an opportunity to commit to this vision.

We must thoroughly and rapidly ramp up and deploy innovation that allows us to live, work and thrive without hitting the global shut down button even as we confront the next wave of these silent killers in the coming decades and centuries.

We can achieve this vision by working together toward one global focus against what humanity has been threatened with.

We possess the knowledge, drive, and humanity capable of changing our world.

We can solve the myriad of issues facing our planet by working together in collaboration with universities, corporations, innovators, entrepreneurs, standards bodies, government, and citizens of the global community.

Dr. Rouzbeh Yassini