From climate to crypto; the future of education to energy security; the erosion of trust in global institutions to the erosion of social cohesiveness to anxiety over the future of AI, our world faces a bevy of intractable challenges. These challenges aren’t just legion, they’re overlapping and mutually reinforcing.

But so are the solutions.

Many of the answers are known but we have a trust and communication deficit. World in 2050 was founded with the idea of creating a productive workspace for solutions. This year, we launched our inaugural Innovation Lab, which convened delegates with a varied expertise, age, identity, and geography, to carry out a collective intelligence experiment.

There are, of course, design challenges with an inclusive exercise such as this one. How do you bring together stakeholders from six continents and twice as many time zones in a way that feels productive, connecting, and meaningful? How do you ask the right questions to launch conversations that go somewhere organic when your stakeholders don’t come from a well-understood sample of the population? The challenges were also part of what made the project exciting. These challenges existed because we were (and are) trying to do something uncommon.

The outcomes, we feel, justified the effort. Ultimately, this Innovation Lab was also a pilot. It would have been successful if it only taught us how to build a better next iteration. It did that, but it also did something unexpected. It built an ecosystem of ideas around how we should reframe and rethink the challenges facing us so that we can move forward more productively. This ecosystem isn’t a list of answers or policy recommendations. Instead, it’s a loose set of insights into what we’ve been doing that’s unhelpful and what we may be able to do that can be better.

We hope these insights will be valuable to you. We know they will help us continue to evolve our community of action as we keep working to “help the future arrive well.”

Acknowledgments: World in 2050 would like to take a moment to thank the wonderful team at Unleesh for providing a great digital platform for our Innovation Lab, and being valuable learning partners.

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