TIME Innovation

The 5 Skills of Disruptive Innovators

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Shane Parrish writes Farnam Street

In The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators, authors Jeffrey Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton Christensen uncover the origins of “innovative-and often disruptive-business ideas.”

Five primary discovery skills—skills that compose what we call the innovator’s DNA—surfaced from our conversations. We found that innovators “Think Different,” to use a well-known Apple slogan. Their minds excel at linking together ideas that aren’t obviously related to produce original ideas (we call this cognitive skill “associational thinking” or “associating”). But to think different, innovators had to “act different.” All were questioners, frequently asking questions that punctured the status quo. Some observed the world with intensity beyond the ordinary. Others networked with the most diverse people on the face of the earth. Still others placed experimentation at the center of their innovative activity. When engaged in consistently, these actions—questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting—triggered associational thinking to deliver new businesses, products, services, and/or processes.

The ability to look at problems in a non-standard way might be the most sought after competency of the future.

Most of us believe that the ability to think creatively is genetic. It’s not.

Most of us believe that some people, like (Steve) Jobs, are simply born with creative genes, while others are not. Innovators are supposedly right brained, meaning that they are genetically endowed with creative abilities. The rest of us are left brained—logical, linear thinkers, with little or no ability to think creatively. … (You’re wrong!) At least within the realm of business innovation, virtually everyone has some capacity for creativity and innovative thinking. Even you.

Behaviors drive innovation.

A critical insight from our research is that one’s ability to generate innovative ideas is not merely a function of the mind, but also a function of behaviors. This is good news for us all because it means that if we change our behaviors, we can improve our creative impact.

The five skills of disruptive innovators are:

  1. Associating: Innovators associate ideas that are previously unconnected either to solve problems or create something new. This is how Gutenberg created the printing press. When forming teams, keep cross-pollination of experiences and perspectives in mind. But you also need the glue. You need someone in the room with loose associations who can pull ideas together.
  2. Questioning: Innovators ask a ton of questions. In fact, they treat the world as a question. Managers ask ‘how’ questions — how are we going to speed that up, how are we going to stop this from happening. Innovators ask ‘why.’ They are the kid at the back of the class the teacher hates (and often, the person in the meeting the manager hates.) Not only does this help you filter bullshit, but it helps jolt people from the status quo.
  3. Observing: You can’t learn if you don’t observe. You need to always be observing. This mindfulness is what allowed Sherlock Holmes to solve cases.
  4. Networking: Talking to people is a great source of ideas. People offer different perspectives. They may have just failed at something but you may be able to apply the same idea to a different problem. You need to be open to these perspectives, even if you just file them away for another day. (see #1)
  5. Experimenting: If the world is their question it is also their lab. Fail often. Fail fast. Fail Cheap. Try again. Never give up.

You can see how these are somewhat synergistic. They all fit together, each one making the other parts stronger. If you can only pick two focus on asking questions and networking.

The Innovator’s DNA is fascinating throughout.

This piece originally appeared on Farnam Street.

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Workplace Rudeness Is Contagious

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. It’s not your imagination. Workplace rudeness is contagious.

By Alisson Clark at the University of Florida

2. Here’s why it makes sense to help prisoners get a college education.

By Ellen Condliffe Lagemann in the Conversation

3. It just got easier to tell companies not to track your every move online.

By Aaron Sankin in the Daily Dot

4. We should secure the web today against the quantum computers of tomorrow.

By Tom Simonite in MIT Technology Review

5. Could your child’s picky eating be a sign of depression?

By Alice Park in Time

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.


Hitchhiking Robot’s Final Moments Caught in Surveillance Footage

The globe trotting robot lasted only 2 weeks in the U.S., thanks to a Philadelphia assailant

Video footage of a hitchhiking robot’s untimely demise at the hands of an American assailant surfaced online Monday.

Surveillance camera footage obtained by YouTube vlogger Jesse Wellens shows an unidentified Philadelphia man stomping on the robot early Saturday morning at 5:46 am. Wellens had previously posted a video of himself ferrying Hitchbot around Philadelphia.

Hitchbot was found last weekend with its arms torn free and its head missing. The amiable robot, which safely hitchhiked across Germany and Canada, lasted only two weeks in the U.S.

Canadian researchers designed Hitchbot to test the frontiers of human-robot relations.

TIME Innovation

This New Watch Lets Blind People Read Real-Time Smartphone Data in Braille

The Dot uses a moveable braille interface made of magnets and pins strapped to the wrist like a watch

Until now, visually impaired smartphone users have had to rely on Siri and other readers to find their way around the Internet and digital world, but a new device in development in South Korea may change their experience completely by instantly turning text messages and other information into braille.

The Dot, a device that straps around the wrist like a watch, uses magnets and a grid of pins to create four braille characters at a time that change at adjustable speeds, allowing users to read text messages and use apps on any device via Bluetooth.

Eric Ju Yoon Kim, co-founder and CEO of startup Dot, told Tech in Asia he hopes his company’s innovation will free blind people to interact with their devices on their own terms. “Until now, if you got a message on iOS from your girlfriend, for example, you had to listen to Siri read it to you in that voice, which is impersonal,” he said. “Wouldn’t you rather read it yourself and hear your girlfriend’s voice saying it in your head?”

That kind of technology is not groundbreaking, but transferring it to a mobile device certainly is — just like the price: computers using so-called “active Braille technology” can cost $3,000, while Kim says that when the watch arrives in the U.S. this December it will sell for less than $300.

“Ninety percent of blind people become blind after birth, and there’s nothing for them right now — they lose their access to information so suddenly,” Kim told Tech in Asia. “Dot can be their lifeline, so they can learn Braille and access everyday information through their fingers.”

[Tech in Asia]

TIME Innovation

Why Some District Attorneys Are Trying to Prove Themselves Wrong

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. Some district attorneys have dedicated units working to prove them wrong.

By Nicole Porette with Dean Meminger in the Crime Report

2. Find out why the U.S. unskilled labor visa program is like a new American slavery.

By Jessica Garrison, Ken Bensinger and Jeremy Singer-Vine in BuzzFeed

3. For Turkey, the fight against ISIS upends a fragile peace with the Kurds.

By Kaya Genç in Pacific Standard

4. The next billion entrepreneurs will be women.

By Carol Leaman in the Next Web

5. What is your attention really worth?

By Manoush Zomorodi in Note to Self from WNYC

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

This is Why Most Etsy Sellers are Women

Woman Laptop
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Women are opening Etsy shops at a much higher rate than they are starting other types of small business

At Etsy, women rule. According to the company’s second annual seller report, 86% of Etsy sellers are female. That’s a dramatic departure from overall trend: Only about a third of U.S. small businesses are women-owned, according a report from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research.

But does an Etsy shop really count as a business? According to 76% of sellers, the answer is yes. And while many do supplement their income in other ways, around 30% of sellers say their store is their sole occupation. The report doesn’t specify how much Etsy sellers are taking in from their shops, but does list their average household income: $56,180. It also notes than more than half would consider scaling their shop by, say, buying new equipment or renting additional space.

So, assuming it’s fair to consider these sellers business owners, what is it about running an Etsy shop that makes it more accessible to women their other types of small businesses? To find out, Fortune reached out to some Etsy experts.

Staying home: 26% of sellers had no paid employment before starting their business

Julie Persons was a stay-at-home mother of two when she joined Etsy in 2006. She began by selling the needle felting pieces she made for fun. When that shop started getting traction she expanded, opening a series of shops selling vintage finds and her original photography.

One of Persons’ stores, “Chicks in Hats,” which sells photographs of, well, chicks wearing hats, began as a project with her then-7-year-old daughter. Persons’ daughter makes the hats; Persons takes the photos. Aside from being a great excuse to spend time with her daughter, Persons says she wanted “show [her daughter] that there’s a way to take any creative idea and take it further.”

About a third of American mothers do not work outside the home, according to the Pew Research Center. This number has been increasing steadily for the past fifteen years, a trend that’s attributed to a range of factors, including high unemployment rates and increasingly unaffordable childcare. According to Etsy, 26% of sellers on the site had no paid employment before starting their stores and 38% were homemakers.

Based in rural Maine, Persons says she makes $40,000 to $45,000 per year on Etsy. And while she says she works full-time hours, she is able to stay home with her kids. “Women are still mainly the ones who stay home,” she says. “Having an online store is a way to do that, while still pursuing other passions and supporting my family.”

No financing required: Less than 1% of sellers took out a loan to start their businesses

Before launching their Etsy shop, friends Ericka Wright and Jessica Herning both had flourishing boutique sewing lines. However, the women found that success to be a mixed bag: While the businesses did well, Wright and Herning said they ended up spending all their time sewing. Both wanted to shift their focus to design rather than production, so they joined forces, opening an Etsy shop selling paper and PDF patterns.

Today, Wright and Herning’s Nashville-based shop Violette Field Threads employs four people and three freelance designers. The pair say Etsy business brings in about $70,000 a year. Still, they have not sought out additional financing to grow their business, choosing to finance it themselves. “We’ve thought about finding an investor and trying to start selling clothes ourselves, but that’s just such a big risk,” says Wright.

Wright and Herning are not unique: Less than 1% of sellers took out a loan to start their businesses, according to Etsy. That’s not terribly surprising given that sellers are mostly women, and women are less likely to tap outside financing over their lifetime, according to a study by the US Department of Commerce. On average, women-owned firms launch with just 64% of the capital of male-owned firms.

While experts can’t quite settle on a reason for the financing gap, most researchers agree that several factors are in play. Studies have found that women are less likely to be approved for loans or to get less favorable terms than men do. They’re also less likely to apply for those loans in the first place and, according to Experian, are likely to have slightly lower credit scores.

Prioritizing happiness: 64%of sellers think that doing something they enjoy is more important than making money

When Rebecca Plotnick was laid off from her job in apparel merchandising in 2008, she took the opportunity to step back and re-evaluate her career goals. A self-taught photographer based in Chicago, she started experimenting with selling her work on Etsy. Now, she says she’s making as much as she did in her old job and has no intention of going back.

“Etsy has allowed me to live my dream,” she says of her frequent photography trips to Paris. “Right now, I’m single, so I use the flexibility to travel. But I see myself having a family and I can do that too.”

Like Rebecca, 74% of sellers were motivated to start their creative business because they want to do something they enjoy, according to the Etsy survey. Nearly two-thirds of sellers agreed that doing something they like is more important than making money.

Etsy sellers aren’t alone. According to a joint study by Fleishman Hillard and Hearst Magazines, when asked to define success, women most frequently cited financial security, family and happiness and deprioritized wealth, luxury and being a senior executive. Women are also slightly more likely to say that enjoying their jobs is extremely important than men are, according to Pew.

“I just came back from 6 weeks of traveling,” Plotnick says. “What other job would let me do that?”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Innovation

Hitchhiking Robot That Crossed Nations Fails to Last 2 Weeks in U.S.

anthropomorphic robot hitchBOT
Paul Darrow—Reuters The anthropomorphic robot named hitchBOT, seen here during its cross-Canada trek in 2014, was destroyed on Aug. 1, 2015 two weeks into its attempted trip across the U.S., according to its creators

Vandals in Philadelphia bring Hitchbot's adventure to an untimely end

A hitchhiking robot eager to explore America has met its demise just two weeks into its cross-country journey.

HitchBOT was vandalized in Philadelphia overnight on Saturday after exploring parts of Massachusetts and New York, Canadian researchers David Smith and Frauke Zeller shared on the project’s website. The friendly robot, who sports yellow polka dot boots and a smiley-face LED screen, had hoped American humans would shuttle it around the country to see Times Square, pose with the Lincoln Statue and tour Walt Disney World, among other destinations on its bucket list.

“Sometimes bad things happen to good robots,” HitchBot’s creators wrote. “We know that many of hitchBOT’s fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over. For now we will focus on the question ‘what can be learned from this?’ and explore future adventures for robots and humans.”

The hitchhiking robot is an experiment to see how humans interact with robots. HitchBOT previously journeyed across Canada and Germany without incident, in addition to enjoying a three-week vacation in the Netherlands.


TIME Education

How To Be More Innovative in 21st Century Learning

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Try connecting the dots between science and humanities

Today’s college students may benefit from an exciting array of subjects to study. But they seem to miss the most important education of all: how to relate their specialization to others in an increasingly interconnected world.

The National Academy of Engineering has categorically stated that today’s engineers need to be more than individuals who simply “like math and science.” They must be “creative problem-solvers” who help “shape our future” by improving our “health, happiness, and safety.”

And in 2001, the engineering accreditation body ABET added a new criterion so as to ensure that students get “the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.”

The point is that the connections between humanities and science have been lost in today’s separation of disciplines. Indeed, a recent report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences discovered that humanities and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) training majors largely dwell in different silos.

So, where and how did we lose our way? And how can educators and institutions change things?

Separation of disciplines

The founders of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) were well aware of the critical nature of this interdependence.

When the NEH and the National Science Foundation (NSF) were established in the 1950s and ‘60s, the NEH founders wrote:

If the interdependence of science and the humanities were more generally understood, men would be more likely to become masters of their technology and not its unthinking servants.

These founders, hailing from leading universities as well as the US Atomic Energy Commission, IBM Corp and New York Life Insurance, knew that connecting the humanities and sciences helps us make informed judgments about our control of nature, ourselves and our destiny.

But, since the 1980s, political rhetoric has emphasized the need for less humanities and more STEM education. STEM is painted as a more profitable investment, in terms of job creation and research dollars generated.

A notable example is the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” initiative, which both isolates and prioritizes the STEM disciplines from the humanities, arts and social sciences.

This rhetoric is also evident in the creation of separate political education organizations such as the bipartisan STEM Education Caucus founded several years ago by congressional representatives to strengthen STEM education from kindergarten to the workforce.

This separation of disciplines actually hurts education, and it also hurts our ability to innovate and solve big problems.

Connecting STEM with humanities doesn’t just provide the well-rounded education today’s employers want. As the American Academy of Arts and Science’s 2013 “The Heart of the Matter” report observes, connecting these fields is necessary to solve the world’s biggest problems such as “the provision of clean air and water, food, health, energy, universal education, human rights, and the assurance of physical safety.”

So, separating and prioritizing STEM from humanities ignores the fact that we live in a complex social and cultural world. And many different disciplines must combine to address this world’s needs and challenges.

Bringing the disciplines together

To address this gap, four years ago the faculty from materials engineering and liberal arts at the University of Florida began working with the Materials Research Society. We wanted to put together a new course on “materials.”

Why did we choose materials? Because everything is made of them, every discipline studies them and they are tangible (quite literally) to the average freshman.

After all, grade school students still learn about the Stone, Bronze, and Iron ages. The Industrial and Information revolutions revolved around new uses for steel, aluminum and silicon. The human past has been shaped by harnessing and consuming materials and energy.

Materials will be important for our collective future as well. So, we thought, this is the future for which we should be preparing students.

And thus our course, The Impact of Materials on Society (IMOS), was born. Taught by a team of nine faculty from engineering, humanities and social sciences, the course explores the close connection between the “stuff” in our lives and our experiences as social beings.

Students discuss how materials benefit global trade and communication but also risk resource exploitation and political conflict. For example, we depend upon rare earths for our cellphones, iPads and wind farms, but accessing these rare earths from limited sources is not sustainable.

So, some of the questions that the course raises are: what materials do we depend upon in our daily lives? Does this dependence have social consequences? What social relationships form around the production and use of these materials? And how do our current uses of materials affect our ability to discover new uses for them?

Students are also asked to consider how our values shape our willingness to adopt new technologies. For example, Earl Tupper may have invented Tupperware, but it was Brownie Wise and her home parties with other women who first made his polymer famous!

Each week covers a different material (eg, clay, glass, gold, plastic), its scientific properties, demonstrations, and its past and present impacts.

Working together in multidisciplinary groups, students then contemplate the development of future materials. These include flexible electronic materials that can be used to create wearable sensors that can transmit important information, such as body hydration levels during athletic training. New polymer (plastic) materials made from renewable sources instead of petroleum may have fewer health risks and are more sustainable than today’s plastic cups and bottles.

At the same time, they discuss the ethical and social considerations that might affect the successful production and adoption of these new materials in different contexts.

Gap in education

The course is different from other freshman-oriented courses. It is not a “history course for engineers.” And it is not an “engineering course for humanists.”

It is an interdisciplinary course that uses multiple perspectives to understand materials innovation. A wide range of departments including engineering, anthropology, classics, history, English, sociology and philosophy participate in its teaching.

Students refer to IMOS as a “bridge course” that provides the “connecting dots” between different classes.

And the responses come from students across the different majors. For instance, one engineering major noted, “This class just further proves that you have to understand different aspects of how our world works and not just engineering to be a great engineer.”

Meanwhile a history major observed, “This class gives me a leg up in my other history courses because it reminds me to think about the properties of materials and how they shape our lives.”

These experiences point to a gaping hole in modern education: discipline-specific and general education courses provide important knowledge, but “bridging courses” are needed for students to capitalize upon that knowledge.

To engineer useful technologies, we need to connect scientific study with the cultural competencies of the humanities and social sciences.

Challenges of 21st-century learning

The “Renaissance” ideal was to produce elite men whose broad training prepared them for any endeavor. Thankfully, 21st-century education is more inclusive.

But it still requires intellectual and cognitive flexibility to harness large amounts of data.

This doesn’t mean simply knowing everything, even though we live in the “Age of Google.” Today, students need the ability to make connections across disciplines.

Celebrated innovators such as Einstein, Ada Lovelace and Steve Jobs credit the intersection of disciplines for their inventive thinking.

More boundary-crossing opportunities in higher education can break open the disciplinary silos. And that alone will unleash critical thinking and innovation.

Additional contributors to this article are University of Florida faculty Sean Adams, Marsha Bryant, Florin Curta, Mary Ann Eaverly, Bonnie Effros and Ken Sassaman, and Materials Research Society Outreach Coordinator Pamela Hupp.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME technology

Drones Can Be Used To Enforce Property Rights

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Drones have become a revolutionary tool in the defense of property rights of disenfranchised people

When most people imagine what a drone expert looks like, more than likely they see a scene from TV or a film of a drone strike: a man in front of a screen controlling a joystick and then, an explosion. They almost certainly do not imagine Gregor MacLennan.

Yet in the fall of 2014, he arrived in Guyana’s dense forest with a backpack full of motors, glue, and soldering irons in tow, intent upon building a drone that local communities in the Wapichana region could use to monitor and document how small-scale gold miners were rapidly destroying large sections of treasured rainforest. MacLennan—the program director for Digital Democracy, a non-profit focused on empowering marginalized communities through the use of technology— spent several months working with the people of Guyana to construct a drone that they could independently fly, repair, and use as a “tool of reflection” to start community discussions on land use and resource management.

In recent years, drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have become a revolutionary tool in the defense of property rights of disenfranchised people such as the villagers in Wapichana. “These people find it difficult to find the information that they need to prove that they live on this land and that they have the right to it. UAVs help these people level the proverbial playing field,” explained Faine Greenwood, an avid drone hobbyist and field analyst for New America’s International Security Program. She and MacLennan, along with other experts, spoke at a recent daylong event at New America convened for discussion of critical issues around drones and aerial observation.

MacLennan and Greenwood both spoke on a panel devoted to the question of using drones to map property rights. In the Wapichana territory, MacLennan explained, villagers have been able to capture aerial images using a quadrocopter and then overlay them onto older images to demonstrate the deteriorating condition of the rainforests.

Empowerment from within, rather than involvement from outside actors, is Digital Democracy’s goal. “We want working with technology to be something that reduces inequality and makes them feel like they’re participating more in something that’s happening on their land,” he said. “This was not my technology that I was bringing in or the white man’s technology being brought in from the outside,” he reflected, “This was the Wapichana drone.”

MacLennan’s experience in Guyana crystallized a common belief expressed by other participants: UAV technology has clear benefits for community empowerment. Whether through strides in the realm of land use and management or through the advancement of mapping techniques, the conference participants demonstrated that drones undeniably have the potential to mold the future for the better for many people.

Another related theme that emerged was a need for increased local engagement with these new technologies—an ambition often foiled by negative public perceptions about drones.

For example, although MacLennan described positive reactions to the drone technology from the Wapichana villagers, other members of the same property rights panel, recalled facing apprehension about UAVs from the very communities they were trying to help with them. Dr. Janina Mera, who uses drones for a land-titling project in small regions of southern Peru, met resistance from local residents who feared this technology would replace their jobs on the ground by automating them. Convincing these villagers that they “were still needed to analyze, interpret, and contextualize the images collected by the drones” was imperative to the success of Dr. Mera’s work.

For Abi Weaver of the Red Cross, the future success of drones in disaster response will hinge on the success of these efforts to foster local engagement with dronesand to neutralize negative assumptions about them. In communities where these negative assumptions have been replaced by optimism and even excitement, residents have come up with applications of drone technologies that humanitarian workers, “never could have dreamed of,” says Weaver. Future progress depends on the ability of international organizations like hers to encourage this community leadership and to develop these technological capacities in regions affected by disaster.

According to Weaver, however, many efforts by the Red Cross to deploy UAVs for humanitarian purposes have also been met with suspicion and distrust. After facilitating extensive discussions with residents in disaster stricken areas, the Red Cross learned that people had an enhanced aversion to UAVs in post-conflict communities where drones had been weaponized to cause destruction and in areas with increased access to popular media because of the portrayal of drones in film and television. Weaver described one particular discussion in a slum in Nairobi, which found that many people thought “drones were taking over.”

“Communities don’t feel connected to the benefit that humanitarians are deriving from UAVs. They feel like there’s a flight that goes over the community and all the information is sent to a database or a headquarters elsewhere and they never see the results of that activity,” she noted. As part of an effort to bridge this gap between the “aspirations of helpers” and the “rights of victims,” the Red Cross has launched projects across the globe to experiment with what Weaver describes as “use cases,” collaborations between the Red Cross and local partners that are intended to experiment with new uses for UAV technology that can address local priorities and improve the perceptions around what drones can do.

Weaver described one such project, based in Peru, that linked the Red Cross with community partners to stitch plastic bags and trash together to create balloons that can assess weather data and in turn help with climate mitigation and adaptation. She also cited a Red Cross team launched drones in the Netherlands that monitor marathons and large sporting events to try to identify injuries sooner, dispatch medical responders faster, and transport critical first aid supplies more efficiently.

On this same panel on disaster response, Patrick Meier, a leader in humanitarian technology and innovation, cited the union of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a Swiss non-profit called Drone Adventures, and local Haitians in 2012 as another successful example of this kind of collaboration in a real disaster scenario. In 2012, after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Haitian slum of Cité Soleil, the IOM worked with Drone Adventures to train Haitian pilots to fly and maintain drones that could be deployed to conduct initial damage assessments in the region. Within 24 hours, the team had images that could be used to create point clouds and digital terrain models to determine what houses had been destroyed and to assess areas prone to flooding.

Without these kinds of collaborations, concluded Meier, Weaver, and MacLennan, people will continue to shy away from and resist the use of drones in their communities, losing out on the enormous benefits the technology could provide them. Meier and Greenwood, along with Konstantin Kakaes, Matthew Lippincott, Shannon Dosemagen, and Serge Wich, have co-authored a primer, Drones and Aerial Observation: New Technologies for Property Rights, Human Rights, and Global Development.

For many of the experts at the event, the future of drone technologies is an exciting and seemingly boundless prospect—with the proper strategies for community engagement in place. Aldo Watanave—whose work uses drone imagery to preserve archaeological sites in Peru—put it concisely. “As we say in Peru,” he explained, “you can’t love what you don’t understand.”

This piece was originally published in New America’s digital magazine, The Weekly Wonk. Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox each Thursday here, and follow @New America on Twitter

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

The Downside of the Death of Mullah Omar

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. The U.S. put a $10 million bounty on Mullah Omar. But his death might spell disaster for peace talks in Afghanistan.

By David Rohde in Defense One

2. If you think women in tech is just a pipeline problem, you haven’t been paying attention.

By Rachel Thomas in Medium

3. Politicians propping up food prices are playing with fire.

By Joseph Weinberg in Political Violence at a Glance

4. There are still more than four million unexploded mines in Cambodia. These rats are sniffing them out.

By Linda Poon in CityLab

5. Robot umpires aren’t perfect, but they’re better than humans at calling strikes and balls.

By Joseph Stromberg in Vox

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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