Elon Musk wants to fly from the Earth to the Moon and Mars and build self sustaining cities on those extra terrestrial bodies. But to do that he has to be able to move millions of tones of goods, materials and equipment to sustain life. Bearing in mind that the optimum departure from Earth is once every 26 months… he is going to need an entire fleet , a space fleet of vehicles to carry it there.
Its a big challenge for one lifetime. But it can be done only with a quantum leap in the way we innovate. The way we think. Here’s what I think.
1. WHAT is innovation?
Innovation in its modern meaning is “a new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in form of device or method”. Innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulate needs, or existing market needs.
In the middle ages innovation was regarded as witchery…rebellion… sorcery or usage of the occult. It was heresy. Indeed, if you thought different and did something different you were a witch or a sorcerer and had to be burned at the stake. It still happens to day.
Essentially innovation is not inventing something at all. It is using what you have and changing its form or use to create something new. This is what innovation is. Steve Jobs took a touch screen from Nokia and put it on a phone and called it “smart phone”. But by doing so he created a whole new industry. He streamlined the phone and made it better. The idea was not new. Rob Savoye and others involved in cheap computers to children in the developing world innovated a laptop and turned it into a tablet which solved the problem of flexibility.
I can think of so many instances of innovation and few of invention. My postulate is that nothing is truly invented. It is downloaded from the invisible to the visible. There is no such thing as the individual mind. Rather it is the collective mind , the universal mind …the biometric mind that brings it into being. Manifests it. We are just tools. Now others will say no …it was that person… or this person that invented it. But innovation takes something and makes it something different.
2. Great Examples of Innovators
I use to know a great innovator. His name was Sir Trevor Bayliss. Of course he called himself an inventor, and he was very strong on teaching kids at school as part of their curriculum the subject of invention, innovation and intellectual property. He invented the wind up radio and torch.
I asked him how did he do it. He said he was watching a BBC programme about AIDS in Africa. He saw that in Africa batteries were expensive …so those who could not afford batteries could not listen to the radio or watch TV because they did not have electricity.
Within half an hour of watching that programme he had built the first wind up radio. How did he do it? He thought about the grammaphone used long ago to wind up and play records. He thought to himself if he could create charge using a spring he could catch a signal using copper coils. And he did. The rest is history.
I could go on. The guy who invented coca cola actually innovated it. How so you ask? Because the recipe already existed. It was a hang over cure. All this guy did was change its use from hang over cure to refreshing drink. That was the innovation.
The web. It already existed before Sir Tim Berners Lee created the hyperlink. All he did alongside a team in Cern and in Colorado and all over the world working collaboratively was to ensure that computers could communicate with each other. My friend Rob, a rainbow warrior like myself wrote the compilers for it. I asked him how did you do it? How did you hack the system? He said I used the ethos we hold dear in rainbow gatherings and converted it into code. Not only did I convince the US aviation board to use open source but I innovated those same values into all the code. Hence the true use of the internet is to be an open source information highway. Accessible to all. The rainbow family still has the oldest continually running website in the world …welcomehome.org .
The rainbow remains probably the best social experiment in humanity trying to live together and it has inspired thousands over the years to work for a better world open to all. It is probably Americas best export.
3.Innovating the future , becoming an innovator…being innovative.
In Africa we say “ Necessity is the mother of invention!” … an African will put maize meal into a radiator to stop it leaking. That’s innovation. You create as the demand for it actuates.
We should say…”INNOVATION IS THE MOTHER OF NECESSITY!” We live in a dumbed down world. Too much white noise. Too much static. The brain has its best ideas in alpha mode or slowed down super-consciousness stasis. The fact is if we understand our brains and how they work we can enhance them. Getting the synapses to fire is when innovation happen. Rob is a coder living 3000 metres in the sky and his hobby is mountain climbing. It helps focus him and fire his synapses. He doesnt need drugs or electricity to get his synapses to fire. After we get our best ideas when our minds are relaxed… that could be in the shower..or very early in the morning between sleep and awakening… it could be after sex… or a run… when the endorphins are kicking in… it could also be after a glass of red wine watching a TV programme on the spread of AIDS in Africa.
But for us to innovate into the future we need to first educate and motivate the people of the future. How do we do that? We do it by changing our habits. We do it by redesigning our lives to be able to live at optimum level. We do it as a lifestyle choice. Even as a religion.
Do all innovators get inspired in the same way? NO. They dont. Some may get inspired by smoking marijuana which slows down the brain waves to alpha level…or having a quiet glass of wine watching TV… or simply sleeping on it… you may get absolutely drunk and wake up in your own vomit and get inspired to change your life by having a life changing idea.
I recall a man I met in Santa Barbara on the pier. He was fishing. It was a bright blue beautiful sun-shining California day. I asked him…” Caught anything yet?” “No”… he replied. “I’ve been coming here for over 20 years and never caught a thing!” Just guppies. (small fish)…but one day I hope Ill catch a big one.
I said… “ What if today is your lucky day ? “ He replied… That would be nice! “ And we talked for awhile about our life stories. Chit chat. Then he caught one. A big fish. And he was so happy. Grinning from ear to ear. He said “ I used to be an alcoholic. I woke up one morning on the floor in my own vomit. And as I was waking up I became aware of dollars raining down on me. It was a good friend. He said “ You can take this money and do something with it that’s good… or you can drink YOURSELF TO HELL… !” It was a lot of money. 70000 dollars.
“I didn’t know what to do with it. But then I had an idea. I started making hand made patty burgers. The best in town. I opened up a small take away shop selling hand made burgers. And I turned my life around. I even gave away hamburgers to the homeless and they never bothered me.Today I am a multi millionaire with many properties. I live in Arizona now but I grew up here in Santa Barabara. WOW. FIRST TIME I’VE CAUGHT A FISH “
He said to me… “If you’re ever in Sedona, look me up !” I dont need a job selling hamburgers…but if I did… he would have given me one. On the spot. Thats innovation. It is being in tune with the supernatural and the superconscious and manifesting things in this dimension through your strong desires.
This man innovated his future. He used what the universe gave him. Innovation is about downloading data from the multidimensional polyverses by becoming a transceiver to solve a problem. The TV was invented or innovated by a man in Hastings at more or less the same time as someone else in America was doing it. In 1983 I created the portateller. It was a smart phone using the internet. It didnt exist yet. But it was real. The problem or challenge was that we didnt have the infrastructure yet to make them. And the problem with big corporate companies like visa is they have lost the culture of innovation.
Man…Machine…Movement…Monument. That is generally the reason why companies like IBM end up bankrupt. A farmer created a cash register . Invested all his money into creating a company called International Business Machines. I recall in Johannesburg how big their building was. They had an entire skyscraper. But when the computer age hit… they lost because they were not innovative and therefore not competition. Man- Machine-Movement-Monument.
We have a saying in the rainbow… “ if you see a job..its yours! “ Dont wait for others to do it for you… and if you dont have a job..CREATE ONE.. better still… INNOVATE ONE…
I once got marooned on an island in the Caribbean. St. Martin. Its half French, Half Dutch. For 10 days I walked up and down that island looking for any work… until with my last dollars I decided to reinvent myself . I decided to become a performing artist. I tailored my own white gloves and leggings. Changed my name to Zenadu and wore a turban to look the part. I couldnt speak much french but I went in faith to a restaurant that had performance artists on stage. I said to the manager when he asked me ..what do you do ?
I replied : “je pintur le musiq” : “I paint the music! “ He gave me 20 dollars and a pizza ( I was very hungry).. and I went away to innovate myself even further.
He was fascinated. He had never heard of this before. That day I made 80 dollars at his restaurant. And all I did was paint peoples favorite songs with crayons and water paints. I became so famous on that little island I was on TV and made enough cash to fly back to South Africa.
Innovation is a big subject because nothing is ever truly invented as such… it is innovated. Something inside of you clicks . It solves the problem. The brain doesnt stop working if keep activating it. Keep firing the synapses. Keep thinking..dreaming…downloading..processing and creating inside the mind. When you picture an orange or a banana in your mind its you looking at it… all you have done is assembled the orange. The mind is a tool. And this in essence is what innovation is.
To become an innovator you need to have blue sky thinking..you need to be opened and open. We live in what I call a living material universe. This reality is an agreement of what we see and perceive. But if it can be imagined …it can be created. The problem is that today there is so little imagination. We need to understand ourselves in order to utilize what we already have. That is what we do at rainbow gatherings… many times we innovate and become innovators.
There are so many stories of how people innovated the paper clip or the windscreen wiper… changing the use of one thing and making it another… and in an OPEN minded society… that is easy. In a closed minded society it isnt. In the Asian countries we are seeing a lot of manufacture but this is about manifesting the design stage and it is largely driven by money not the joy of innovation itself. Because innovation is a joyful enterprise. It is a creative enterprise. When you write a poem or draw a painting you are using tools that already exist. Your vocabulary… your paintbrush… but it is also the emotion and the thoughts that come together when you are inspired to do something different.
To innovate is to create. It is to utilise what already exists and to transform it into something else. Any true breakthrough is always built on existing technology but it can also come through accident. It is strange that the diesel engine or the combustion engine hasn’t really changed in 100 years. We laud innovators who come along and make or create something from nothing. Not all of us are computer scientists. Or physicists or scientists or mathematicians…some have never gone to school. But that should never stop you from innovating. We do it at the rainbow all the time. I recall one guy who was a very rich man , one of Europe’s best programmers. He wasnt happy with his life. He had built a company worth over 200 million euro a year..but he wasnt happy. In the desert he discovered something new by innovating a desert tomato. Using it as an educational tool to teach computer science to my son. Later on he gave up what he was doing and went and studied environmental science.
Another aspect of innovation is understanding that you have no barriers within the human mind. It is only you that create those barriers. You can take anything…a stone..a stick..a piece of string… anything… and you can imagine how to solve a question by innovating it in your own mind..think of it like this…
Inside your mind create an orange… now create a whole house… imagine you are walking around the orange… imagine you are flying around this orange… now imagine you are walking around the hosue you have created in your own mind… dont think about how much it costs… or even its practicality… but just imagine yourself there…
I can go even further… I met a guy who was with the special boat service of the British army in the Falklands. Every morning he used to walk around the dark prison yard he was in and imagine what his day was going to be like. Not washing floors or toilets… but walking on a beach somewhere on a tropical island… he would imagine having a continental breakfast with orange juice, coffee and croissants..… even though his own breakfast constituted tea and dry bread.
Its all in the power of the mind. Whether you are trying to build a rocket ship to the moon or a compost toilet. When you know how to unlock the power of the mind, you can then begin to see in 3 dimensions or more and become your own biological quantum computer.
Innovation is all about focus. A problem is really a challenge in disguise. Its not a problem in your mind. The laws of physics do not apply in your head. Gravity can go up or down… thats the beauty of it. But you can utilise your skillsets to solve the problem. The problem with many people who go to university or college is that they dont learn anything. To truly know how to innovate you need to unlearn then relearn. The formal skills are simply the method you use to innovate with. If you create or engineer a solar car or a TV or a rocket ship..it helps to know physics but its not important… the solution to your problem already exists… all you need to do is to be able to download it. And once downloaded ..process it… once processed you can begin to innovate the solution.
I dont know anything about how to build a spaceship that will become fully reusable but I can see that the technology is not here to do it. The problem is gravity versus mass. Heavy loads can be lifted by other means that are cheaper. You could save a lot of money simply by building HOVER WAYS. Imagine if half the fuel used to fly to the moon can be saved by raising your runway by 2000 metres into the atmosphere… or even 30 000 metres. Practical it isnt.
But neither is burning half your payload from 0 to 30 000 metres. This is called lateral thinking… but thats another subject for another time.
INNOVATION is 10% IMAGINATION, 10% DESIRE and the rest PERSEVERANCE and PERSPIRATION.
Its trial and error. Half the battle is won in the mind. The other half is won in the workshop. THERE IS A TIME TO THINK…AND THEN THERE IS A TIME TO DARE. To push the envelope. The break a few eggs. To go where no one has gone before.
We are learning now how to use our minds even more effectively than before. The advancement of humanity is exponential and it will become even more so once we have AI. But even then, unless you know how to unlock the potential of the human mind… all the degrees in the world wont help you innovate the next big thing.
Innovation is also understanding the biometric mind of humanity. That’s the secret sauce. Moving into what some could say is the parapsychological or the supernatural. It used to be a dream…but now … its becoming a reality.
Our big challenge as human beings is to unleash our great potential and power not by oppressing one another but by releasing one another. This is all part of the brand new way for a brand new day. When we truly understand and comprehend that everyone is part of the human conversation , we can break through any barrier and boundary that stops us from our common destiny.
Because at the end of the day… the goal of innovation is human service. When we get that we will all be saved. Use your gift and multiply them. Do not be discouraged by those who mock you or laugh at you. Innovating your own future means innovating your own life.
Be happy by being yourself. Follow your heart. Innovate your own future. Reconfigure yourself from within.
Innovation is about LIGHT.
In the living light we are illuminated. In the living light we are enlightened. A solution to a problem is about darkness coming to light. If we do not know where to get somewhere…in the darkness…we are lost. But if we have a torch or a candle..we see the right way…the path. We become followers of the way by the light that shines within our souls. The light of life. It is also an intuitive process. How we perceive our environment and innovation is also about time intersecting with place. Imagine we are opening up wormholes in INNER space. It can also be about being in the right place at the right time. And that place could be anywhere. I invented the smart phone on the back of a truck going through the Sudan looking up at the stars… you dont need skills to innovate, you need imagination… but the skills help you to manifest it. In fact Henry Ford was once asked… “what qualifications do you have to run an automobile plant? “
He replied …” When I need an engineer , I push this button…when I need an accountant I push that button… I am a carmaker. I have a clear picture of what I want to make and I have the best team in the world to make it. “
Finally, innovation is hard work. Perspiration. It means you try and fail and the more time you fail , the more times you succeed. Try and try again and if at first you dont succeed …you try again… and all the other cliches …these are mantras. You keep honing what it is that is your zen and you master it. A zenmaster is a person who can master just about anything because he has the secret of zen. That is patience. Persisting. Quiet confidence. Practise and more practise until you get it right.
However you innovate your environment it matters not, what does matter is that you do it.