The Innovators once again assembled into groups this morning. Last week, half of the Innovators got the chance to tour the facilities of Autodesk BuildSpace, a collaborative design production space in Boston. The other half remained behind at Suffolk for a session on building a LinkedIn profile, or a professional networking platform. This morning, those groups switched place, ensuring that everyone engaged individually in every activity.
Then, after lunch, the Innovators gathered for a session on climate change. Global warming is an active threat to the world at large, and the Innovators took the opportunity not only to educate themselves on the issue, but also to negotiate with one another.
The Innovators did so through role-playing. They separated into groups to represent one of six regions: the United States, the European Union, China, India, other developed nations, and other developing nations. Some represented other groups specifically—for example, a few students acted as fossil fuel lobbyist, while others acted as activists or journalists.
The Innovators learned how to view the world through a region-specific lens. China and the United States lead the world in CO2 emissions. When looking at climate justice, however, China does not lead the world in the average ability to contribute to global remediation—but the United States, with an average GDP per capita of 50,000, does. Furthermore, the emissions per person as of 2013 in tons of CO2 number 17 in the United States, whereas those emissions are only 7.4 in the European Union and China, and 1.9 in India.
The Innovators’ primary goal was to mimic a climate summit intended to reduce emissions so that the overall temperature would only rise about two degrees Celsius by the year 2100. The Innovators attempted to balance a variety of concerns, including budgetary constraints, deforestation, and afforestation.
Climate change is an issue of great importance in the contemporary world, but the it is not only the issue itself that is important. It is the discord throughout the globe as to who should solve the problem and who is responsible for the problem when in actuality, irregardless of subjectivity and the past, everyone must live in the world and seek to right it.
Then, the Innovators engaged in a session on how computers learn. Machines are adapting every day—they can classify scenes and recognize images with alarming specificity. The new iPhone, for example, comes equipped with face recognition software instead of a traditional passcode or even fingerprint.
The Innovators learned about how computer learning has the potential to positively impact their lives. More than that, they learned how research on computer learning is done, and how it can be implemented in cutting-edge, state-of-the-art systems.
The Innovators gained a deeper understanding of concepts like computer vision, deeper learning algorithms, and the theories behind smart grocery stores like the ones Amazon is championing.
After dinner, the Innovators engaged in a yoga practice. Yoga is not only an excellent form of exercise; it is also extraordinarily helpful when managing stress and improving mindfulness. The Innovators received a crash-course in yoga, taking a moment from exercising their minds to pay attention to the needs of their bodies. After all, as any yogi will tell you: it’s all about balance.