Richard F. Schaden, Founder of Beyond The Edge, explains the need to help expansive thinkers bring their ideas to light and how Beyond The Edge aims to fill that void.
There are a lot of great ideas out there. How are we going to find them, and bring them out of the conceptual realm and into the real-world market? That’s the question that keeps me up at night. I lie awake thinking, how can I do this? One way that has proven very effective is creating competition, in the way that my good friend Peter Diamandis has done with the X-Prize Foundation. Offering a financial prize can be a powerful incentive to get the cutting-edge thinkers to step out of the shadows and share their ideas with the world. It provides great leverage to get a lot of people working creatively. Competition works really well, but I don’t think it’s the only way.
I think that there is a real change happening in humankind. There are a lot of people who really want to improve the culture that we live in, who want to think on a global scale and share ideas. I’m working every day on trying to find the best way to support that, to encourage the most expansive thinkers not just to compete but to collaborate. And every day, I find better ways to bring people together.
The issues we have to deal with in order to do this really come down to creating trust. People are afraid they will be taken advantage of, that their ideas will be stolen, that they won’t get the credit or reap the financial benefit from their work. A lot of it is about ego: people like to be connected with what they’ve created. And the need to make money and have power certainly gets in the way of people being willing to share and release their ideas. So what I’m trying to do is create a safe place for these people to collaborate and without the fear of losing their identity, losing their financial position, of somebody stepping on their ego. I’m trying to get people to evolve beyond that, especially mature scientists and innovators, so that together we can create a “safe space” for young people with good ideas.
What’s become clear to me is that we have to do this by raising the level of consciousness of people, particularly in the scientific world, to a point where they really believe that we have to improve our culture in order to get unstuck from where we are. When people start to care about this kind of change, they become less concerned with protecting their individual interests. Andrew Cohen, spiritual teacher and founder of EnlightenNext, who I recently met and have enjoyed spending time with, believes that this is how the next step in the evolution of our consciousness and culture will happen, when people start to care about our collective future in such a way that lifts us beyond more personal concerns. In the scientific community, this kind of spiritual message has very practical implications, because our future depends on innovation, and innovation depends on people expanding themselves to work for the good of their culture.
I have great faith we can make this shift. Every day I am meeting more people who care about these things, and I am working to find ways to bring them together. As I always say, when you get the right people in a room, the impossible becomes imaginable.