By Brinkley Warren
What if we are water. Wait…we are water, right? What if our grandchildren don’t know the word, “drought.” I come from a mindset of Abundance and Ecosystems-thinking and this is what drives me to hack the drought. So let’s you and me imagine a world of global water sustainability and ask each other “what if?” After-all, as humans, each of us exists in this universe as 60% water. We literally ARE water. The purpose of Hack the Drought is to explore options, leverage resources, and unleash disruptive innovation upon a global grand challenge that is a fundamental element of our collective human experience: water is life. Hack the Drought is about moving towards a paradigm of water abundance, and away from a paradigm of water scarcity.
Imagine a future where droughts have been hacked, where drought — as a concept — is a non-issue. The entire concept of a drought, has been hacked. It doesn’t even exist in our language in the future; it will be a forgotten word. This is what I want and its what we all want. Water is life, it’s continual and sustainable flow is our main lifesource. Technology, innovative solutions, talented people, community and societal support — these are the ingredients for hacking the drought. The intent of Hack the Drought is to be inclusive, synergistic, and future-oriented with a focus on market-driven social innovation, advanced technology, open-source, and a holistic approach to empowering the solutions that help us hack the drought and ensure complete and total global water sustainability.
We must not allow fear to define the future, we must define it for ourselves.
Which drought? All of them. The issue of a drought not only relates to the current drought happening in the Western United States, but any and all droughts happening anywhere at any time. Hack the Drought is not an event, it’s an idea for reinventing water sustainability.
Yes it makes sense that this initiative is grounded in California and Western technology start-up hubs, but the solutions that hack California’s worst drought in over 500 years are the same solutions that will hack other droughts around the globe. And likewise, the people hacking droughts in Australia can provide solutions deployed in California. Hack the Drought is a mind-set.
What does Hack the Drought want from you, your organization, and from others? In a word — ACCESS.
We want access —
We want access to public and private leaders. Leaders are catalysts and we need you.
We want access to all public and private water data. We will use it to create massive collective value.
We want access to all public and private water experts. We will connect them with innovative teams who can develop solutions that solve their problems and deliver immediate positive impact.
We want access to public and private capital. Our startup teams will reinvent water sustainability with it.
We want access to the World’s top creative innovators and tech entrepreneurs. Hack the Drought becomes a globally infused innovation cluster for water.
We want access to public and private media channels. Water is our most precious human resource, we all need it. We must make love, not war. It begins with water.
We want access to you! To your ideas, your connections, and your money. With it we will hack the drought.
What is the Hack the Drought ecosystem?
Open-collaboration is only a beginning. As with any ecosystem, we require both quantity and quality — diverse and dense resources, habitats and people. Ecosystems require infrastructure and energy and capital, both social and financial. We want broad-based innovation with a future-orientation — we welcome any and all, because we are water.
The intent is to be self-sustaining, to catalyze a community around the issue and connect people and places so that abundance and value are constantly renewed, restored, and revitalized. The first generation of Hack the Drought events and startups and accelerator classes will build upon subsequent ones.
My favorite metaphor for innovation ecosystem building is coral reefs as I have spoken about in the past. Critically, coral is a structure and this is a key lesson. Hack the Drought will require certain structures to be in place to support the initiative, such as capital, contacts, energy and creative warehouse space in key locations. So structure is needed, even loosely-coupled structure because it’s this that will help create a culture of innovation, rather than top-down governance, allowing innovative ideas to not only be formed — but also thrive and grow because of Hack the Drought.
Anywhoo — see our recent coverage in ComputerWorld: https://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9246425/California_fights_drought_with_big_data_cloud_computing_?taxonomyId=128&pageNumber=1
Hit me up if you’d like to help out or contribute, lots lots more to come…