I was wondering what are the biggest problems we have on earth today. I know there are thousands, millions or even billions of problems to solve. I get asked so often on Quora or at startup events what problems do actually exist that could be solved, that I compiled this list of 100+ global problems worth solving, after a day research on the Internet and my own observation.

Of course this list is far from being complete. It’s just a tiny start.

CONTRIBUTE
And you can add to this list of “global problems worth solving” on our Google Drive. Feel free to add yourself to the contributor list. Do not spam it – please.
We will update this post once in a while.

100+ global problems worth solving

  1. Building a platform that collects problems, anybody can contribute and be curated by the community.ENVIRONMENT
  2. Inventing new material or techniques to replace plastic
  3. Inventing new techniques, and materials to replace paper
  4. Inventing new techniques and products, recycling any given material
  5. Inventing new materials replacing plastic bottles and cups
  6. Creating new ways to package food (100’s of varieties of food) environmentally friendly
  7. Finding artificial, yet environmentally friendly replacement for wood to reduce deforestation
  8. Inventing new motors that neither use electricity nor fuelEDUCATION
  9. Finding ways to augment education in conventional schools and universities with highly relevant education
  10. Creating social education programs that can run in parallel to schools, universities or jobs
  11. Offering classes for undergrads, how to get successful and rich
  12. Providing better base education programs on political knowhow
  13. Providing better education programs on the general concept of economies
  14. Providing better education on how wars are started and how peace is achieved and maintained today
  15. Creating more tangible lifelong learning concepts
  16. Creating more universally applicable career guidance mechanisms or platforms
  17. Creating solutions to shift from an “all learn – all work” model to a more balance modelENERGY
  18. Exploring new ways to generally reduce and safe energy
  19. Providing a more transparent and plausible energy consumption prediction for the scenario that most people on earth are out of poverty, living in newly developed countries
  20. New ways to harvest energy from bio thermal energy sources
  21. New ways to harvest solar energy
  22. New ways to harvest hydro energy
  23. Finding ways to transmit energy created on the moon, down to earth
  24. Identifying new ways to harvest energy from unidentified sources
  25. Finding all new ways to store electric energy in bigger volume and less in size and weight
  26. Smart energy re-distribution for those who produce excess energy that can be provided to othersPRODUCTS & TECHNOLOGY
  27. Lower cost reliable Internet connections
  28. Independent and reliable “News & Information Publishing” organization
  29. Better, social media integrated search engines
  30. All new and modern operating systems
  31. Fully integrated business application tools
  32. Meteorology technology provider not only for weather forecasts but for everything agricultural
  33. Generally available intelligent traffic lights, connected to a traffic flow system, but autonomous features
  34. Low cost mini satellites to explore earth and space, provide data hubs, accessibility and more
  35. Omnipresent, inexpensive and easy mobile payment system
  36. Building robots for all kinds of dedicated tasks such as cleaning shoes, planting crops, cleaning windows,
  37. The whole range of wearable products counting, watching, recording, measuring all kinds of things underway
  38. Situation dependent automatically changing materials to turn a lofty t-shirt into a rain covering shirt
  39. Smart materials that change their behavior based on environmental conditions i.e, taking the carbon out of carbon dioxide and returning the dioxide back to air
  40. Smart Contract development for cryptocurrency agnostic blockchain like media
  41. Universal low voltage power connection system that handles everything from a single wall plug to staggering distribution
  42. Creating universal ultra small IOT devices that allows any product to be programmed by a smartphone including remote controls, refrigerators, heaters, air conditioner, lights – anything. One interface for any product in the future.
  43. New better zipper that do not stuck, break or derail

    WATER & SANITATION
  44. New ways to get to clean water
  45. Better ways to turn salt water into sweet water
  46. New ways to manage waste water in rural areas
  47. Cheaper ways to produce sanitation products i.e. toilets
  48. All new toilette models alleviating paper use
  49. More efficient ways for flushing toilets than using precious water
  50. New product for cleaning replacing bathtubs and showers or make their use a less used luxury
  51. More water consumption sensitive products such as water cranes, showers, garden watering systemsFOOD & DIET 
  52. New ways to offer unified insights into the ingredients of food in any supermarket
  53. Ways to eradicate factory farming (mass animal farming)
  54. More scientifically proven and generally understood advice to a healthy diet
  55. New ways to provide food portions in smaller sizes to stimulate reduction of food consumption and reduction of food waste

    RESEARCH, DATA & INFORMATION
  56. Finding new ways to research all the facts and sources of climate change
  57. Finding new ways to deal with climate change and leverage the development so far
  58. Finding ways to predict climate change more precisely for the next 50 years and provide meaningful indications for the agricultural industry
  59. Better ways to organize research in general, creating more unbiased data.
  60. Catalog of things that could be done with AI and inspires developer
  61. An AI development system that could be used by virtually anybody
  62. Research for a more rational view of the evolving powers of Artificial Intelligence
  63. Creating algorithms that focus on environmental dependencies of new technologies
  64. Identify new ways that help certain countries to get off of the data protection hysteria
  65. New suggestions for data privacy models that give more power to the individual
  66. Developing ways to deal with the general risk of eradicating life through asteroids
  67. Developing scenarios to evacuate earth if needed, even though we would probably take 1,000 years to find the technical possibilities.
  68. New tools and platforms to interact with governments and communities
  69. New apps that cover all of the problems, allow to contribute in all kinds of ways and see reports
  70. 3-D printing companies, producing unique products, spare-parts, artificial organs, and more
  71. Cyber security improvements to significantly reduce or even alleviate hack attacks
  72. Data ownership mechanisms, rules and technology that makes sure that personal data are controllable by its ownerINDUSTRY
  73. Providing better technology for customer experience management
  74. Providing a new value system for corporate balance sheets involving employee contribution
  75. Providing new ways to offer equity to highly innovative employees
  76. Develop new systems that can track the degree of innovation development
  77. Design new systems for customer interaction with corporations
  78. Design new corporate employee education systems including lifelong learning
  79. Create a fortune 100,000 leaderboard with indexes addressing environmental, employee and other key aspects
  80. Creating all new insurance business models that provide much more contract transparency and easier to deal with
  81. Online grocery stores with home delivery like a few in Germany or Switzerland
  82. New media business models, disrupting the user unfriendly monopolis
  83. Much easier booking systems for public transportation anywhere in the world
  84. Creating systems that alleviate waiting (in line, at doctors, at shops, at bus stops….)SOCIETY
  85. More effective ways to deal with birth control in times where we help more people to survive
  86. Starting large scale research that can only be done with tens of thousands of supporters
  87. Finding better ways to deal with migration, integration and return mechanisms
  88. Finding ways to replace prisons with socially effective methods of societal reintegration
  89. Finding new policies to deal with people ignoring the generally accepted rules of societal coexistence
  90. Finding solutions to get to a broader reach of well being for all humans
  91. Developing new political concepts or new varieties of democracy that is more applicable in today’s world
  92. Developing new job concepts for people who work on social or macro economic solutions to be financed
  93. Developing new concepts for city creation addressing the bigger problems of today’s cities
  94. Developing new and holistic ways to reduce traffic congestions in larger cities
  95. Developing new logistical concepts to bring the huge amount of products directly to the citizens
  96. Developing new techniques to transport the remaining waste to the designated areas without the current waste disposal chain
  97. Finding new methods to alleviate corruption in government and other large organizations
  98. Finding new mechanisms to make governments more accountable, providing rewards and punishment solutions based on their achievements relative to their promisesHEALTHCARE
  99. New ways to provide a more balanced healthcare for the various developed nations
  100. New ways to provide healthcare in the first place for developing nations
  101. New ways for mental health care
  102. New ways to produce cheaper medicine or secure living without medicine

 

This list of “global problems worth solving” will sooner or later grow much bigger. We are looking forward to your inputs.

Pretty much every car manufacturer on the planet are testing their autonomous cars here in Silicon Valley. Resources are plentiful, rules and regulations, as innovation friendly as possible without going overboard. And again the accumulation of knowledge is unparalleled. We spoke with a few test drivers and physically sensed the excitement, the community and the open exchange. The learn every 24 hours new things. Then share and compare in Silicon Valley style open and freely and learn 50 times as much from all the others. Knowledge aggregation and rapid execution has always given the Bay Area its technological edge. And since the workplace of these ever driving software developers, analysts and testers is not in a coworking space, they meet at parking lots of super markets to share and compare.

The epicenter of innovation is – and probably remains for a long time – Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Rules and regulations on one side and lack of courage on the other side prevents true innovation in the rest of the world – maybe except China.

What do they actually test?

We ask them what the do and they told us that they simply analyze every move the cars are doing in any situation and constantly optimize their algorithms and sensor usage and so forth. The terrain is great and the environment perfect. These tests happen in a culture of innovation where the large part of the public is innovation friendly.

Day in and day out they roam the city with ever new tests and updates from previous tests. We were asked not share photos but found it OK to post about it. Each of the cars, no matter what brand is manned with 4 people multiple computers each, mounted screen on the back seat and one of the seat next to the driver. The driver is simply focused on taking care that in every situation the car is under human control. We jokingly asked if they don’t trust them yet? One said: “the only device we do not really trust is the human driver” – huge laughter. The main reason for running these tests under human control is that the driver is sensing tiny anomalies to human driving style in either situation: the advanced precision and superiority of the machine and the reaction to unknown situations and the reaction even if the computer would not have an answer. Very much like a human. If all of a sudden in the middle of the Market street an elephant would fall from the sky, we are not trained to that situation but we stop the car immediately. And that is what the machines is conditioned to do as well.

Obviously nobody shared any – not even personal – views of when the car industry, the policy makers and the public would be ready for autonomous cars. Yet it was not hard to guess it would not be any soon – but it would also not take two decades.

Why San Francisco?

We asked one team from a European brand, why San Francisco? A point blank answer: “Where else could we go. In the past 30 years we have always the same cycle: Europeans want innovation, but it must be in harmony with the existing business and we allow the existing industry to fight it with lawsuits. AirBnB, Uber, Tesla, Google, Amazon all the major disruptors have a hard time in the old world – they want to wait and see and if they can’t stop it anymore. It’s really sad.”

In any case 500 cars, 3 engineers each car, that is 1,500 AI developer, analysts and testers plus the people in the offices and labs, making Silicon Valley again, the world’s number one hot spot in next generation automotive technology.

Let’s see what else we discover in the next few weeks.

I’ve been asked so many times that I felt it would be good to write a blog post.
Obviously there are many consulting services, software developer and others who could built your MVP in a rather short period of time. Then you get what you asked for and can enter the market. If customers report bugs, you go back to your developer. And you hire them again and again – or you ignore the requests for now until you get more funding. It sounds totally logical. However reality tells a very different story:

Your MVP is a barebone minimum solution. It is supposed to be up rather quickly and your customers tell you what they experience, what they like and what they don’t like. If you have a CTO, it is not just taking the bug reports but carefully listening to each request. Each discussion with a customer contains a wealth of insights about how they use the product, what key benefits they have or want to have, how it is or should be integrated in other technologies and so forth. From that moment on you get probably daily requests for changes and more important lots of tiny little cool ideas that your developer or developer team can implement. I remember we received 1,400 feature requests, update requests and bugs within the first three month. You can’t pay your outsourcing organization to handle that.

Moreover our CTO saw what directions this will take and prepared the platform a bit differently. In the first six months, he was involved in almost any customer discussion. He needed to know and feel where this is going. More importantly he sensed functionalities based on the customer stories that led to functionalities they didn’t dear to ask but made a lot of sense and was no problem to do. The CTO is the one person who shapes the product, the future technology decisions and the technological direction of the company like nobody else. This cannot be outsourced – not at reasonable cost.

On top of all, the CTO does not try to build an MVP that meets the specification you gave them. The CTO is building the foundation of a solution that will change the world in the future and crafts an MVP that acts like the first cell of an organism.

Early Adopter Customer

If you have a sensational new application, you won’t get typical customers. Those ask you who else is using it, how many customers you have, are you funded and so forth. And so you have to look for early adopters. Thos premium customers are willing to check out new things because also they want to lead their market. BUt if you tell them that the technology was done by a freelancer, outsources, service organization or a like they get less motivated. They are taking a risk, dealing with a ne technology – but far less so when there is no CTO.

With all that said, there should be no reason to hire a consultant, rather than involving a top notch technologist.

Hire or Co-Founder?

first: as a startup you just cannot hire a top performing developer. No matter what you offer to pay. Therefore attract them as co-founder. Yes, they are hard to find and you want to start. But there is no shortcut what so ever. If that technology is a core element and differentiator of your business, than the person that builds it and develops it further over the next 10 years should have a seat on the founders bench.

As an investor

I would never invest in a company that outsources their development. It’s too clear that there is no technological focus or the technology doesn’t play any important role. It also shows that the founder could not attract any co-founder and I must ask: can they attract customers?

All in all the number of reasons for a co-founder CTO outweigh the short term benefit of getting a MVP slapped together for a demo.

As a precursor let me try to define success, as I see it, to put all this in context:
Success is when I achieve or exceed my very own dreams – not what others tell me I should do to be ‘successful’. No dream no success. Yet, to achieve or exceed an entrepreneurial dream is a successful entrepreneur.

What traits make truly successful entrepreneurs?

Founders are often seen as magicians. And maybe they are to a certain degree. The more we see and interview, the more we understand about their key traits. Here are the 10 most relevant founders traits, I observed by working with some of the top CEOs and over 1,000 startups.  Each of the traits are not ‘sort of having a little bit of that too’ – instead are especially standing out as extremely developed trait. If any one is missing or weak – it seriously weakens the entrepreneurial profile. You may also notice an important interconnection between these traits – again missing one cripples the complete concept.

1) fearless / risk taking
Absolutely does not fear anybody or anything. There is no higher up person for an entrepreneur. There is no rule that is respected and no definition that is taken just as that. They fear no failure, they fear no total loss, they fear not to be laughed at.  They do not fear to risk everything they have for their vision – and they do risk everything they have.
[Related with: (2) creative, (3) determined, (4) curious, (5) independent, (6) confident, (7) connected, (8) communicative] Corresponding habits: making fast and determined decisions

2) creative / compositive
The ability to be creativity means finding a gazillion bits and pieces in your brain and composing it in no time to a new picture. Creativity requires maximum inputs, from travel, discussions, reading… Being compositive is the ability to very quickly identify opportunities and turning them into business cases or even innovation. Experiment fearlessly, no matter what the outcome maybe.
[Related with: (1) fearless] Corresponding habits: Seem to change course over and over again. But never lose sight of the ultimate goal. Knowing there is never a straight line to get to the top.

3) determined
Determination is a mindset. Doing anything, whatever it takes to make something happen. No irritation from others, no distraction, no uncertainty. Determined entrepreneurs never give up – ever. If you are bankrupt, you still have 3 to 6 month to repair and get up again.
[Related with: (1) fearless, (2) creative / compositive] Corresponding habits: Consistency – Pushing the direction in everybody’s mind – every day. There is only one vision, one ultimate goal and they let everybody know. They plan their days towards their goals – not towards responses to others.

4) curious/open
Wide open mind. Wanting to really know in detail how things work, how people do things, how we live, what the barriers are, where the limits maybe if any. Listening to others very carefully, without constructing an argument half way through.
[Related with: (1) fearless] Corresponding habits: Playful – They look very quickly at all kinds of things, want to know everything without ever going really deep. 20% of the knowledge is all they need to know 80% of what there is to know.

5) independent
There is nothing and nobody that prevents the entrepreneur do their things. No friend, no family, no lack of money, no rules, no legislation can get into their way. Societal rules, conformism and alike fences are respected but do not apply to entrepreneurs. [Related with: (1) fearless, (3) determined] Corresponding habits: Super-Focus – There seem to have no family, not even seeing other people with certain personal needs. It’s important to understand that independence often feels like ruthless – but it is the vision that is much larger than live that drives these people to almost impossible results and that means independent behavior. Most people only begin to understand when such a vision was fulfilled.

6) confident
Once an idea is manifested, true entrepreneurs have no doubt that it will work. They just know it will. The extraordinary confidence comes from a ‘brain defect’ that spills emotional knowledge from the right brain half into the brain without consulting the rational part of the brain.
[Related with: (1) fearless, (3) determined, (5) independent] Corresponding habits: Decision Maker – fast decision making, often others feel to be run over, turns sometimes into arrogance. They don’t deal with devils advocates and uncertainty of others. They simply have that trait to know.

7) connected
True entrepreneurs are always highly connected. Connected with their market, connected with the player, connected with customers or targeted customer, connected with investors, influencers, industry associations and so forth. Entrepreneurs have no issues to connect to anybody.
[Related with: (1) fearless, (4) curious, (6) confident] Corresponding habits: Networking – They connect with almost everybody, then maintain only those that are relevant. May sometimes feel a bit superficial, yet they make almost everybody feel important. They know that connections are more precious than gold and they know how to deal with it.

8) communicative
Communication is the most important skill humans developed. We can communicate with words, text, pictures and even preserve past events. That helps us learn beyond any animal. Top entrepreneurs are masters in communication with others, drawing an imaginary world that they are seeing in the future and attract others. At the same time they can sit and truly listen for an hour and construct the situation they hear into a solution and opportunity. Learning and sharing – in this order – are the keys to entrepreneurial communication.
[Related with:  (1) fearless, (2) compositive, (4) curious, (7) connected] Corresponding habits: Extroverted – They ask anything they need to know right at the moment they want to know. They listen and learn very intensely. They also tell everybody and their dog what they are up to, why it’s important. They spread the word about how they will change the world and expect everybody to do so too.

9) involving
Entrepreneurs are very involving. Involving their team, their customers, their market, their investors and their business partners to actively participate in their undertaking. Entrepreneurial involvement of others go way past the concept of delegation but truly inspire others and fearlessly pulling others into their gravitational powers.
[Related with: (1) fearless, (2) creative, (3) determined, (6) confident, (8) communicative] Corresponding habits: Engagement – They don’t worry too much if people have time for them. They simply ask and get people’s involvement. Sometimes it feels like they think they are the only important people on earth. And what they really think is they are one of the most important people on earth – often they actually are.

10) intelligent
While we may debate what intelligence is, here is our definition: “Intelligence is the ability to comprehend a never before experienced situation, abstract the essence and developing a solution by simply thinking through as many as reasonable options without trial and error”. In that sense, true entrepreneurs are intelligent and involve others to solve the problem.
[Related with: (4) curious, (8) communicative, (9) involving] Corresponding habits: Simplification – Breaking the most complex things down into a few or only one simple aspect. Pretty hard for some people to follow and ignore that everything else is just work to be finished.

Fearlessness is the most important glue in between all the key traits. And it is not just generally fearless – it means unconditional fearlessness. Top entrepreneurs have a lot of respect for others and other things, they do experience uncertainty but quickly and clearly decide where to go. Decision making is not a ‘trait’ but a skill – one can learn to make decision. However traits like being fearless, creative, determined, open, independent, confident, connected, communicative, involving and intelligent are key traits for making good decisions and getting them executed.
It sounds like a very demanding profile – it is. As it turns out, only 0.007% of humans are actually successful entrepreneurs.

Few interesting things about this list:
a) None of it can be really ‘trained’ people my change towards, it but not necessarily trained.
b) They are all interconnected, not one goes without some of the others
c) If one or even more are missing the ability to be a successful entrepreneur is decaying very quickly
d) This is uniquely dedicated to entrepreneurs. Any other career or engagement has some of them but never all – and may have others, but they maybe not relevant for entrepreneurs. At least our finding when we compared it with Scientists, Artists, Politicians, Actors, Musicians, Architects, Athletes and so forth.

Help from the GROUND UP

Getting 3,5 Billion people out of poverty is a daunting task. But 150 years ago most developed countries were seriously poor too. We think we found a very different way to get countries out of poverty.
We are supporting entrepreneurs in emerging countries like Vietnam, Ghana, Peru, do – what the founders in Silicon Valley, Germany, UK, South Korea did: building a strong economy and prosperity from within a country. We do not help building wells. We help local entrepreneurs what they need to build for their country – whatever it is – and it maybe wells.

How YOU can help

The WIForums project, “Prosperity for all nations” needs the help from many

1) VOLUNTEERING

Join us as volunteer or supporter
https://wiforum.org/join/volunteer/

2) SPREADING THE WORD

Join our online presences, share our content, contribute and comment
Twitter @WIForumORG – Please follow and tweet us that you joined
Quora – Lots of answers
Facebook Page – Give it a like, if you like it
Facebook Group – Join our community group
YouTube Channel – Please subscribe and check out some videos
LinkedIn Org Profil – Please follow us
Our hashtag: #WIForum

3) LEAD IN YOUR COUNTRY

We do not have ambassadors in each country
If you are interested, join us and lead the initiative in your country.
https://wiforum.org/join/ambassador/

4) MAKING INTRODUCTIONS

We are expanding into these countries
Africa: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda
Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam
Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Peru
If you know people from the startup and innovation scene, including business angels and startup mentors –  an intro would be appreciated.

5) INVESTORS

If you are interested in “Foreign Direct Investments” helping fund outstanding teams in emerging countries, check out our new project: https://wiforum.org/projects/icn/

6) Donations

And of course also we need help to help others. Introductions to CSR executives, HNI Donors or donating NGOs are always welcome.

 

And so forth :) Lots to do !!!!

Quite a lot of the readers of this blog actually are one of the top 1% wealthiest people in the world. But because the majority of our readers lives in developing or emerging countries, they are not. There have been countless discussions why or why not, what we can do to stop the rapid widening of the gap between rich and poor. But what can we actually do? How can somebody help while in their own career stress?

Source: Washington Post chart

Enjoy your wealth – seriously do. Just also recognize your share of responsibility.

Since 2017 we are working on that question. Since 1960,  $4.7 Trillion have been donated to development aid with little result. The number of annual donations is growing rapidly to approx $ 1 Trillion per year now. An income of $32,400 per year would allow someone to be among the top 1% of income earners in the world. Multi billionaires today are what was a multi millionaire in the last century.

As part of our work, we met with many members of emerging – or developing countries and realized some shocking situations. We selected the top three reasons and some conclusions together. In late 2018 we completely reworked our approach of helping entrepreneurs. And we realized a path in development aid that has never been touched before.

Identifying the root cause(s)

We were working hard to identifying root causes. We realized, it didn’t happen just randomly. It happened because of many individual reasons. And there are three reasons with the biggest negative impact as far as I can see.

  1. GROWING DONATIONS
    Mankind donated enormous sums of money to help the poor. Over time as some got richer, they donated more and more. MOre NGOs have been created to help distribute the aid. All in the very best intentions. Only rarely money goes elsewhere. On the surface it looks good. But when looking under the hood, it looks very different – even dramatic. The money donated did not make a difference. Nobody really know where to start, whom to give it to and so it was given t the poorest. They consumed it, survived, but did not change the economy. A dramatic development happened. As long as donations were flowing into the country, the people got smarter about what to do to get donations and even more donations. Not because they are greedy and lazy – simply because that has become part of their “economy”. The system that we (the developed countries) instituted was simply wrong. Instead of helping the strongest to build an economy we helped the weakest and built nothing. I feel this is the hardest part to admit – but we have to. I spent time with people in Vietnam, Nepal, South Korea, Peru, Germany, Switzerland, Albania…. In the end I came to the conclusion: We have to slowly but steadily stop random donations and make impact specific donations to help build economies if they are actually wanted.
  2. ZERO WEALTH DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION
    Children have on average 20,000 hours of school. This is true for developed countries as well as many emerging countries including Ghana, Nigeria, or Peru. They learn reading, writing, calculating, and learn about history, geography, physics, biology and so forth.
    However – not a single hour is given on how to acquire wealth. Creating wealth can now be easily found on the Internet. It’s used by some and the number of rich people is growing rather quickly. In accordance to Investopedia, 75% of the wealthiest people created their wealth as entrepreneur. Every nation is hungry for innovative entrepreneurs. Not because when rich they pay a lot of taxes but their business will fill the tax pockets. In contrast, those who do not know, coming from a background where getting rich is still equal to be “bad and greedy” are obviously falling behind.  My conclusion: Offering just one hour to explain that the rich “invest” their money, while the poor “spend” it. Giving some basic information and how to search it on the web would make a huge difference.
  3. DEPLETION (Material & Talents)
    The developed world and now the top emerging countries are big in exploiting natural resources from foreign countries for peanuts. But the biggest problem – by order of magnitude – is to get the top talents of the poorest countries out and invite them to more attractive nations. With that we not only steal some top brains but the very foundation of a nation to create their own economy. The top nations in the world had only a very few super smart brains like Alfred Escher, Robert Schindler or  Henry Nestle in Switzerland — Carl Benz, Robert Bosch or  Werner v. Siemens in Germany — Lee Byung-Chul, Koo In-Hwoi or Chung Ju-Yung in South Korea — or William Shockley, Gordon Moor and Steven Jobs in Silicon Valley. Today it’s easy because most politicians – even in the developed world – simply don’t understand the impact.
  4. DEVELOPMENT FROM WITHIN
    With all that said, I personally and wholeheartedly trust that we need to broadly start inspiring and supporting the strongest entrepreneurs in each nation to stay there and realize their entrepreneurial dream, building successful businesses and export their ware as soon as possible. Their genuine creativity, coupled with their few of the local problems and the problems of other developing countries will bring solutions that can turn any of the nation into a developed country – and it won’t take much longer than 20 years. Yes, this goes against all the artificially created ideologies of inclusion and helping all the the ideas of equality and so forth. But the past 70 years has proven that this model did not work – despite 4,700,000,000,000 (4.7Trillion)  Dollars investment. At the same time the best of the best get nurtured and funded in Silicon Valley who then continue the rich/poor widening process. If we continue diluting the capital of the rich to just provide charity for the poor, instead of taking at least some money to build out economies that help them get rich from within their society and provide education how ALL members of any given society can participate in that wealth – we will never have enough money to donate.

There are certainly more problems that cause the rich/poor gap. One of the biggest reasons is often pointing to corruption. The more we have been analysing that issue, the more we came to realization it is simply just another loud cry for helplessness, based on poverty and hunger to survive. I’m not defending corrupters but we can do better than pointing at them to find a somebody we can blame (Prosperity Paradox by Clayton Christensen (Harvard), is a good read). And then there are hundreds of tiny issues. But all those issues have been very present in the 1800’s Germany or Switzerland, in the 1950’s farmland of Northern California and even more so in one of the poorest Asian countries: South Korea in the 1960’s.

Consequence

Of course we do not expect that the world is following our concept. For us, the consequence is to build strong and innovative entrepreneurship from within the countries. This is a long and painful path as any startup in the west or in the east, north or south, is taking approximately 10 years to grow from zero to an economy relevant size. But we feel it’s better to start now than hoping for a majical shortcut to become “rich in 30 days”. NGO projects usually go 1 – 4 years. Far too short to actually get anything notable done. And so we are looking for philanthropists, donors and other giving organization that go this long path with us. If you like to help as a volunteer, donor, international investor (investing in promising startups) or in any other capacity – your support is deeply appreciated.

 

Meeting with the ITP leadership team of the University of Ho Chi Minh City. An impressive presentation where Vietnam is planning to go what innovative businesses concerns.  We also had some great meetings with students, who are very ambitious and eager to learn everything possible about innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs Workshop with roughly 20 top startups and scaleups from Ho Chi Minh City. It was great fun to work with these super engaged and highly competitive teams. One of the things that all of them have in common with any top startup in the world: determination to win.

Investors meetings at the Kova facility. We discussed investor strategies, ways to select startups, due diligence processes and post investment mentoring. We also talked about the necessity to keep top companies in the country to not loose the innovative edge to somebody else.

A wonderful and very personal dinner at the Kova house. We enjoyed traditional Vietnamese food cooked by the lady of the house herself. This was an unforgettable evening.

Great discussions about innovative thinking, investment opportunities, ways to stimulate more innovation and getting startups better supported to be able to compete on a global scale. It was an amazing evening with amazing people.


HANOI

The future of innovation in Vietnam, Conference. Great and an amazing diverse speakers, high energy and very ambitious. We talked about the innovation paradigm and the value of going global for the national prosperity and wealth development.

We were invited by the University of Hanoi to speak about the Innovation Paradigm, the value creation for the national economy and what Vietnam can do to create an innovation economy within the country.

Interesting discussions about how to stimulate innovation and making innovation an even stronger point within an economy. Also we spoke about the value of speaking English as a prerequisite to participate in the global economy.

Meanwhile, Marita ran a workshop for female entrepreneurs. The interest to participate was so overwhelming that the initial 12 people roundtable had to be turned into a 70 attendee  presentation and podiums discussion.

Full house at the female entrepreneurs meeting in Hanoi

A very interesting meeting at one of the largest mobile phone providers. The organization is determined to innovate and bring all new ideas to their customers. It is absolutely amazing to see how Vietnam turned from a rather poor country, dependent on donations, just three decades ago, into a vibrant emerging country.


An equally great meeting at one of the top business banks of Vietnam. Also here, business transformation, innovation and moving from an industry follower to an industry leader is an amazing transition. We talked about how innovative thinking is not just improving the status quo but how to get to an idealistic model and back to reality.

One week with great teams, jar dropping innovation spaces and top notch universities.

Our work in South Korea, with our ambassador and team was very exciting. South Korea is certainly no longer an “emerging country”. It bypassed many of the developed countries.

Startup ecosystem of the superlative. South Korea’s brand new Innovation hub is certainly the most mondain, most modern and best equipped incubation campus in the world. Startups, scaleUps and SME’s on hypergrowth don’t miss anything here. Whether its a photo and video studio, conference rooms of any size, offices of any shape, restaurants and countless other amenities. This is very hard to top.

Introduction to the Seoul Innovation Ecosystem, it’s focus to take business global and its quest to build more Samsung, LG or Hyundai type companies.

Entrepreneurs Workshop at the University of Seoul. A variety of students, even from foreign countries participated to learn all about innovative thinking, the innovation paradigm and how most innovative companies became the core of a country’s economy.

Investor Workshop for South Korean Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists and institutional investors.

A great view onto Seoul by night from one of the largest towers in the South Korean metropoly

Private World Innovations Forum Dinner with industry leaders from both Asia and Europe. We were discussing how Innovation is not just a way to build new technologies but innovation being the economic foundation of any leading nation.

And a final Entrepreneurs Event with pitching contest in the Seoul Startup Hub. This incubator just complete the expansion and is now good for almost 1,000 startups. Five selected startups pitched in front of an audience from the SSH and showed their ability to innovate.

Do you really need a vision for your business? You don’t NEED anything, it’s YOUR business! But here is what a VISION can do for you.

  1. You don’t “create” a vision for yourself
    Hopefully, you already envision where you want to take your business. And if you don’t have one, ask yourself why you are doing it? Why would you risk your employees careers? Why would you risk your investor’s money? Why would you risk to waste the time of your customers? Why would you jeopardise all the people’s time and money you will deal with?
    But given you have your vision, here is what it can do for you:
  2. Have a vision to attract co-founders
    If you have a very interesting case or cause you may attract people joining you on your journey that you would never ever be able to hire otherwise. You will need top notch people to create an amazing business – any business. You only can get those if you have a powerful and very meaningful vision.
  3. Have a vision for your customers
    Customers get asked to buy a gazillion products every day. Why should they buy yours? There is always a cheaper product around the corner. If not today tomorrow somebody gets up and makes it even less expensive than anybody else in the world. But your amazing idea and long term view of the impact of what you and your exceptional team is doing, will help your customers also tomorrow, next year and the years to come. Customers buy either the cheapest or the most compelling product or service. And if it is your vision to make sure you will be always the cheapest – well than that is your vision.
  4. Have a vision to attract top talents
    As a startup you usually have a very tough time to attract these amazingly smart top talents who seem to walk on water, get things done while others still wonder what the best way would be or try to consult others how to even start. You want talents that are almost impossible to employ by anybody. You look for people, where everybody is afraid of to even train them because they would be hired away in no time. But if you have an impressive vision and show a way to get there, you find the very people you even need to get there. And you find people who know it’s them to shape the organization, it’s them who makes it happen. You may ask: Why don’t they do it on their own? Because what you bring to the party is an amazing VISION that makes them tick. Of course, they will ask to get a piece of the cake – and that is totally ok.
  5. Have a vision for your market
    People in your industry or market should know about you and your amazing business. You will never have enough money to advertise. But your amazing vision will be carried around by media and other people. Let them know how you change the world for the better by doing what you do.
  6. Have a vision to attract investors
    If you have no vision where this business can grow to, why should anybody invest? Why should people risk their hard earned money, no matter how much they have, to put it i your business and not in some of the other 1 million startups around the world? Your vision gives the indication of the opportunity down the road.
  7. Have a vision to attract anybody who matters to you
    There are millions of businesses out there. All competing for a tiny slice of the market. Most struggle to keep their business alive – because why them and not somebody else. Do not use the buzz words of the day – don’t even TRY to be attractive. You ARE attractive when you explain what matters most yo you and why you believe what you are doing is important to many others – more important than what is out there today.

You can only lead a market if you can actually ‘envision’ where you want to lead it to. And a very personal super positive ‘side effect’:  You even have a MUCH more fulfilling life if you know what it is that you really really really care about and make it happen — no matter what, and no matter how impossible it may appear. In the end it makes the difference between LIVING or just EXISTING.

@AxelS

 

Instead of trying to help 3 Billion people from the 75 poorest countries to survive, we decided we want to focus on 1,500 innovative minds, the 20 best from each country to build their own self propelled economy.

PAST DEVELOPMENT AID EFFORTS
Since more than 50 years, the developed world is helping less developed countries by donating money. In a large portion of the world, even though donations have been increased, poverty has risen. In many cases due to corruption or bad management or due to the fact that we actually educated societies how to receive more donation and failed to educate them how they can become autonomous. In those poorest countries the main innovation is to find better ways to increase the level of donations.

It’s not about a possible waste of money – the old model is simply not sustainable when the population is growing as fast as it does.

NOT ALL NATIONS SEEK TO GROW
We – the World Innovations Forum leadership team – decided to split the world into two groups: Those who desire to bring their country to more prosperity and industrialization and those who decided to continue live their lives as their past generations did. There are countless tribes and even nations who just do not want to enter into a “developed life”. We see this even as part of some developed countries like the Amish in the United States. We feel nobody should have the right or ambition to force them into “our way of living”.

GROWTH NATION DEVELOPMENT
For those who are interested in rapidly evolving and catching up with the developed world, we see a chance to help them build their own economy from the ground up themselves and with their own ideas. By working with literally thousands of startups from around the planet we saw brilliant entrepreneurs from Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Bosnia and pretty much any country. Today they leave their country and let a nation behind with no way of getting their innovation potential in order.

SUCCESS PATTERN
Whether it was Silicon Valley in the 1960’s, Germany in the mid/late 1800’s or recently South Korea after the year 2000, all innovative countries have the same pattern: An astounding small number of entrepreneurs started the innovation era in the respective country. All those nations were open to let them do their experimentation and had investors one way or the other to finance their growth. And if capital was not locally available FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) have been possible. The real wealth in all those countries have been driven be their ability to create a solid brand and then export into any conceivable market.

MISSION & ACTION
Based on our learning, we decided to embark on a mission to help build innovation ecosystems, train and select the best possible innovators and help them build a brand and export their solutions as good as humanly possible. To help finance their  growth, we started to build a global investor network and also work with local investors to invest through those top talents until they are globally successful. We focus on helping develop some handful of global minded entrepreneurs of the likes of Benz, Intel or Samsung. Rather than remotely trying to help billions of people, we are trying to build up an economy that is strong enough to help their population themselves.

TIMELINE
We believe for the next 15 years we still need development aid organizations who help in immediate support cases. At the same time, the World Innovations Forum is trying to create the basis for any country that wants to grow into prosperity. While doing so we help develop the next generation entrepreneurship that makes those countries self sufficient down the road. By 2035, we envision that all nations are on eye-level with each other and have similar levels of prosperity.