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We're creating a space for new ideas to show up, and current innovations and successes to be celebrated and shared. Read more

Arlington, VA Technology
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This project's funding goal was not reached on April 19, 2012.

We're creating a space for new ideas to show up, and current innovations and successes to be celebrated and shared.

Arlington, VA Technology
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About this project

Yámana Science & Technology

Innovation A Global Conversation!

Science ‘UnSummit’ 2012

Washington DC

April 23rd-25th 2012

Following the success of the inaugural Science ‘UnSummit’ 2010 in October of 2010 (part of the USA Science and Engineering Festival), this is an opportunity for you to help take this ground-breaking event to the next level.  You can help spread the word from this creative, working event for the scientific community to a large audience.  You can also join us, and get others there too - the next generation of researchers and entrepreneurs.

We use the explorative, creative and highly engaging Open Space technology[1] to explore the landscape of innovation – what is needed to nurture this hallmark of success, and what obstacles block its expansion.   This working conference will begin with interactive panel presentations in the Spectrodome at the Artisphere, to cross-fertilize the ideas and work of individuals and organizations engaged in innovation and change. 

These panels will be a chance to hear from those working at the edges of innovation in science and technology - education, collaboration, science communication, the interface between science & society, and science policy. 

The Open Space forum immediately following is designed to foment novel ideas in a space of open communication, allowing a systems-approach and clear view of the diverse human factors involved.  Open Space is ideal when there are widely divergent points of view, high complexity, high levels of passion, and great urgency. 

If you can’t attend in person, your support will be incredibly valuable in making this event available to a larger community, through live-streaming of the interactive panels and a DVD that will be shared after.

We have convened around the topic of innovation because we are in a time of fast-moving changes in society and in the world…and yet slipping on all innovation indicators[2].  We are creating an opportunity to build on current approaches to innovation, generating completely new ideas and recognizing current successful approaches.  We think stakeholders and institutions are searching for a fundamental change in our approach to innovation and the systems of science.  

Yámana Science and Technology is inviting pioneers to bridge this divide by participating in our landmark event, the Science ‘UnSummit’ 2012.

At Yámana Science and Technology our mission is to be the touchstone for a fundamental change in the way we work together to 'do' science, bringing together the ideas, people, and resources to bring out the best in science.  Our Science ‘UnSummit’ is created as a clearinghouse for issues and concerns, as well as a catalyst for potential solutions, to connect the passionate voices for science with one another to create a shared vision for the future.

Our ‘UnSummit’ approach further incorporates two key components, designed to optimize the change process.  First, inclusion of multiple stakeholders puts a face and a story behind the statistics.  Second, a wider breadth of stakeholders in the room means the ideas generated are informed by the target populations – in effect, an immediate feedback loop is present – and the wisdom of the whole community can be tapped into.  Both aspects help reduce the time/space disconnect of a complex system, in a self-organized approach.

This year’s event has expanded on several levels.  While our first event pulled together almost 50 thought-leaders, book authors, scientists, engineers, and representatives from scientific agencies, this time we’re inviting from a much larger stake-holder community.  We are very excited to be including leaders in innovation, creators of emergent business and work models, individuals from the scientific granting agencies (including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy), and those knowledgeable about policy and its formation (congressional staffers who inform leaders in the Science and Technology policy) and lastly, influencers of policy - science policy fellows at the State and National level.  We seek to create what we are calling ‘pre-policy space’ – a space designed for emergence, without prior conceptions or agendas.

Outcomes - This event will:

  • Provide concrete deliverables: Usable tools that solve structural problems, both in science and in our innovation processes, live-streaming of the interactive panels, to engage a larger community, an edited DVD, post-scripted with pictures of you, the community supporters, in your own 'Third Space', and a searchable pdf format book of proceedings (to be put together by science communication students)
  • Create new relationships and networks
  • Allow identification of what’s working, and of great value, and what’s not, that can be discarded
  • Get people thinking a different way
  • Evoke personal and collective leadership (through the experiential process)

What We're Using the Money For

We will use the money to ensure this event is able to reach beyond the walls of the Artisphere, to catalyze community-based change, knowledge sharing, and open access.  We feel we’re at a tipping point for change in the fundamental structures that support basic research in this country.  

We need $3,000 from this campaign to support the technology magic of Chris Barnett and Gerry Kirk.  Anything above that will go toward getting individuals from the scientific and technology community to the event – specifically next generation scientists (post-docs and graduate students, as well as entrepreneurs who don’t have travel budgets). 

We are a grass-roots organization, dedicated to working with all levels of the community including top leadership, to partner for change.  We are clear that old approaches are no longer fast enough to keep up with the accelerating changes occurring at this critical time in the history of science. We are great believers in adaptive complex systems, built from the shared passion and curiosity that drive science and technology.  Speak up, be a participant in positive change, help us create the next era of science.  We’d love to have you join us!


[1] Suzanne Daigle, of NuFocus, describes an 'Open Space' meeting (a technique created by Harrison Owen more than 25 yrs ago) as a tool to facilitate effective group focus and decision making when there are substantial issues to debate, high levels of conflict, high levels of diversity (in all aspects of the group, such as age, function, opinions, etc.), with an urgency of getting something done 'yesterday.’

[2] Blueprint for American Prosperity, Robert Atkinson, Howard Wial, 2008


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  • You selected
    $5 reward

    0 backers

    Your name posted on the credits page of the video and/or our web site (your choice)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $25 reward

    1 backer

    Your own Yámana Science and Technology 'Third Space' mug: "It's not home, it's not work, it's where we gather together to create" and your name posted on the credits page of the video and/or our web site (your choice)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    0 backers

    Take a picture of yourself with your own mug in your 'Third Space' ('It's not home, it's not work, it's where we gather together to create') and send it to us - we'll put it into the video. You also get the mug and your name posted on the credits page of our web site.

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    $100 reward

    0 backers

    4GByte flash drive with the Yámana Science and Technology logo, plus all rewards from previous levels.

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  • You selected
    $250 reward

    0 backers

    DVD of the interactive panels from the event, live-streaming attendance for the panel presentations at the 'UnSummit,' plus membership in the 'UnSummit' virtual community before the event. Plus all rewards from previous levels.

    Estimated delivery:
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    $500 reward

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    VIP experience - attendance at the Science 'UnSummit' 2012 plus one of the two pre-conference workshops on Monday April 23rd plus a meal with the event organizers plus all rewards from previous levels.

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    $1,000 reward

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    All of the above, plus your funds will make available 2 scholarship tickets for next generation scientists (graduate students and post-docs) that might not otherwise be able to attend, and who have something of great value to bring to the table.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)