Exquisite Observation: Learning How To See and Innovate from Nature

Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s saper vedere (“knowing how to see”), participants will learn from nature’s genius. They will practice their observation skills and see how the natural world can inspire design, as it did with da Vinci, and dig deeper to see how biomimicry can lead to sustainable design.

Leonardo da Vinci considered saper vedere (“knowing how to see”) the innovator’s most important skill. He practiced the art of seeing through his drawings: it is estimated that he created more than 100,000 in his lifetime, some 6,000 of which are extant. Among the most famous are meticulous renderings of nature: bat wings that inspired designs for gliding machines and detailed sketches of human muscles, joints, and bones that informed the engineering of mechanical robots. At Emerge, a team of biologists and designers will lead a series of workshops entitled “Exquisite Observation: Learning How To See and Innovate from Nature.” Under their guidance, participants will replicate da Vinci’s creative process using observation and drawing to explore the designs of a collection of natural history artifacts. Tapping these studies, participants will then be asked to develop potential design applications. Workshop participants will receive:

  • An introduction to a selection of Da Vinci’s bio-inspired design and engineering solutions
  • An introduction to the use of a variety of tools for visualizing natural history artifacts, including hand lenses, microscopes, and smartphone zoom lenses
  • Instruction in the ecology and natural history of select natural history artifacts
  • Instruction in the basics of observing and drawing from nature
  • Guidance in the protocols for developing bio-inspired applications

Future of Big Analytics

The future of big data becomes big analytics as we look at music used during major sporting events and how that will play a psychological role on players and fans alike. Dr. Lauren Hayes and Barry Bozeman create a multisensory experience using vibration and music to explore the links between sound and sensation, noting fans of the future will engage with sports more then just visually. Dr. Hayes’ Skin Music series playfully explores how music can touch us both physically and emotionally.

Sport 2040 Delphic Oracle – Interview with Ray Anderson


What is the future of sport in 2040? You’d be surprised how many big-time athletic directors have never thought about this. Well, maybe you wouldn’t. But Ray Anderson of Arizona State University, whose law degree is from Harvard, has. Recently he engaged in a “Delphic Oracle” exercise frequently used in futures thinking to focus CEOs on the long view. The idea is – suppose you were introduced to an entity who knows everything about how the future will turn out, but you only get to ask one question. What would be the most important thing you’d want to know?

Folk who participated in this brainstorming session included Ray Anderson, vice president for university athletics and athletic director of Arizona State University in the Pac-12; Rocky Harris, chief of staff, Sun Devil Athletics; Cyndi Coon, co-director and executive producer of “Emerge 2016: The Future of Sport 2040,” http://emerge.asu.edu/ , which will climax on April 29th in Wells Fargo Arena; and Joel Garreau, faculty in the ASU College of Law, affiliated faculty in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and founding co-director of Emerge and Future Tense.

This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.


Joel Garreau: Okay, imagine we are introducing you to the Oracle who knows everything about sport in 2040. But this entity will only allow you one question. What is it?

Ray Anderson: Will competitive tackle football exist in 2040?

Joel Garreau: Really? The amount of change we’ll see in the next 25 years – technologically at least, according to Moore’s Law – will be at least equal to the amount since the 1930s. Back then, the three biggest sports were baseball, boxing and horse racing. We’re talking about facing change that dramatic. And that’s your question?

Ray Anderson: I’m thinking about what drives fundamentally, financially, the rest of college athletics. Football funds and supports every other sport except for probably men’s basketball in most institutions. I want to know if the primary revenue driver for women’s basketball and lacrosse is going to still be there.

Joel Garreau: Your real question is how will college sports be funded in 2040?

Ray Anderson: Yeah.

Joel Garreau: You don’t really care that much about the football, you care about the funding?

Ray Anderson:  No, I care about the football tremendously because I think football is a great game and hopefully will continue to be one, and it teaches life lessons and it’s really good for the folks who play it, notwithstanding the injury. But without football at the college level, all these other sports that we love to go see and enjoy, like women’s volleyball, they don’t exist because they can’t financially support themselves. College football and basketball have probably been the only two sports at the collegiate level that have been able to do that.

Joel Garreau:  Never?

Ray Anderson: Ever.

Joel Garreau: Not even in the heyday of baseball in the ‘20s was that a big deal at the collegiate level?

Ray Anderson: I don’t believe so.

Rocky Harris: Collegiate football then was clubs basically going back and forth, Yale playing Harvard, and Williams playing Lehigh —.

Joel Garreau: Television fundamentally change the equation?

Ray Anderson: Big time. I think the driving question is what’s going to be the collegiate sport out there that’s going to provide the interest, that then will drive the revenue to support all the other sports.

Is basketball or baseball going to all of a sudden be perceived as a sport that’s become so popular that it’ll drive revenues to support men’s swimming and diving? Because that’s never going to support itself in my view. Track and field, cross country, women’s volleyball, wrestling, women’s tennis, men’s tennis. If it’s not at this level of men’s football, my concern is Mr. Oracle, Mrs. Oracle, what’s it going to be, and what do I have to start preparing for?

I’m not really worried about 2040, I’m worried about 10 years from now. Because unless there’s some dramatic changes, the trend line’s going to continue to go down. I think at the end of the day the quality of the tackle football that we’re presenting at the collegiate level and the pro-level, it’s going to go down, because there’s fewer skillful folks to choose from to come fill these rosters, because moms aren’t letting them play, fathers aren’t letting them play. You’ve got guys who made their living playing professional football who are now publicly coming out and saying, “I’m not so sure I want my child playing.”

When you get the Troy Aikmans and others who made a living doing it, but they’ve gotten their bell rung a few times, and now they’re getting the impact of it, they’re starting to verbalize, “Well, not so sure” –. It’s not 25 years from now for me.

 Joel Garreau: So you have a dismal future in 10 years in the scenario you just laid out?

Ray Anderson: I don’t think you would do it on ticket sales alone. I think you have to have sponsorships, philanthropy. We have a lot of work to do. We have a lot to think about.

Joel Garreau: Is there any sport in your mind right now that could explode the way football did?

Ray Anderson: That’s the big—could it be soccer? Maybe, but soccer’s been making efforts here for years and years, and it’s popular, but it’s not supporting anything now in terms of being able to generate the kind of revenues. Does it have the potential?

Joel Garreau: Is there any possibility of something that is now minor or just on the horizon that might explode?

Ray Anderson: No. I see the MMA and all that martial arts stuff. But I don’t see that rising to the point of being able to be a sport at the collegiate level that could elevate to where it could have people fill in 60,000 seat arenas and spend money at levels that will then provide support for the other 25 sports that we provide here.

 Joel Garreau: Of course in 2040, it’s not impossible to imagine a sport that attracts several billion spectators on a Saturday—

Ray Anderson: Yes. Because you’re reaching the whole world through your devices. Yes. Could that be ice hockey?

Rocky Harris: Hockey?

Ray Anderson: Hockey’s international.

Joel Garreau: Why hockey? Because of the violence?

Ray Anderson: It’s skillful though.

Cyndi Coon: Football on ice.

Ray Anderson: Men and women can play it, and compete at the highest level.

Joel Garreau: All right. You’ve got two variables here, the future of football and the future of television revenues, right?

Rocky Harris: Digital assets are at some point here and they will be as valuable as TV in the future—in the near future. Package it.

Ray Anderson: Yeah, package it. A lot of us—I still watch TV because I’m one of the older guys, but everybody else is on these laptops, these mobile devices.

Rocky Harris: The industry trend in the future with media is that fans have more engagement and control over what happens in the competition. Almost like fantasy football but live experience where you’re either virtually or really changing the way the game is played.

Ray Anderson: You want robots out there—

Rocky Harris: No, no.

Ray Anderson: – or you want live human beings out there? [Laughter]

Rocky Harris: Yeah, no, I mean, with virtual reality, at some point there’s going to be sports that are going to be managed by the masses versus a coach. That’s just my guess though, right?

The reason baseball was so popular in the ‘20s is, it’s a stat-driven game. Newspapers were media perfect for baseball because it was numbers; you could put a lot of information in there. As it shifted to radio, basketball became very popular because it’s quick paced. When TV came out, football was so well packaged with quick hitting moments. The future of whatever that media is will probably drive whatever the most popular sport is. Let’s take fantasy football and take it to a new level, which is not that you’re drafting players and they’re on your team, but we actually have in-helmet stuff that allows you to be one of the players for the game or switch among the players.

Joel Garreau: The fans?

Rocky Harris: Yes, as a fan you suddenly do that. So the game survives, but the funding mechanism of television suddenly is undercut by some new technology.

Joel Garreau: Concussions have been around for a long time. What’s new is functional magnetic resonance imaging that allows you to find out what is going on in your brain when you take a hit. 

Ray Anderson: Therefore, the potential threat to the game because mothers and influencers and families are not pushing them out there at four, five or six anymore. Which means the interest in the next generation in football’s going to go down.

Rocky Harris: Football’s trending flat in the last five years. It’s been replaced by alternative sports. Even video games and other things.

Ray Anderson: Skateboarding.

Cyndi Coon: The X Games stuff. Snowboarding.

Rocky Harris: Now it’s more lacrosse and even volleyball – huge increase among female participants.

Joel Garreau: Have you given thought to the rise of intentionally dangerous games?

Ray Anderson: We’ve talked about that – whether we get back to that gladiator type thing. Hunger Games or something. That’s scary. I’m glad I will be gone— 


– from this earth when that comes.

Joel Garreau: Okay, but automobile racing, people love the crash.

Ray Anderson: Absolutely. You lose, you lose big.

Joel Garreau: Suppose you have a technological breakthrough comparable to television. You have this immersion experience. Does that push things towards ever more edgy—?

Ray Anderson: Yeah, where you don’t have to die per se, but you are an actor and at some point during the contest it says, “You are now eliminated,” then you have to hit the ground. Like paintball. 

Joel Garreau: Experiencing a gladiator sport without actually having to personally die?

Cyndi Coon: One million people at a time with their own helmet, glasses, whatever it is, all over the world.

Joel Garreau: Okay, so suppose the Oracle has just given you an answer to your question. The popular future is not going to be wussy concussion-proof football. It’s probably going to involve deeply immersive fan technology. That’s going to be monetizable like you can’t believe. There’s still a premium—a huge extra premium— on face-to-face – ? 

Ray Anderson: For in-stadium and arena.

Rocky Harris: Right, the social component of it.

Joel Garreau: Okay, what do you do tomorrow?

Ray Anderson: I want to go to our innovation, our research and development, our folks who are over at SkySong, and get in front of it, and then take an equity position in all that new development. Because that will additionally drive us early into a revenue situation where we can, heck, hopefully endow the rest of these sports so we don’t have to worry about their finance going forward, and then be at the cutting edge of this and advance it, not just technologically, but make a whole bunch of revenue opportunity streams for this institution as the lead. That would be fun. Then to the extent that President Crow would allow some of us to take some equity positions personally – those of us in this room, we’d be doing that.

Emerge 2014: Ethical Footprint Report

We are delighted to present the first publication from ASU’s Emerge festival: a report gauging the ethical impact of our 2014 event, which investigated “The Future of Me” through a panoply of performances, installations, exhibits, and interactive experiences under an enormous carnival tent in Downtown Phoenix.

The ethical footprint report includes statistics that help assess our impact, but its primary focus is exploring how Emerge 2014’s immersive “visitations from the future” posed ethical quandaries about our relationships with technology and one another and challenged attendees and participants to grapple with them in a tangible, active manner.

Emerge 2015 will take place on March 6 and 7 at ASU’s SkySong Center in Scottsdale, AZ, and will explore “The Future of Choices and Values.”

Emerge 2014 Ethics Report by imaginationASU

D Faktion Nyne

Family band who come togather to share our own taste in the classic’s of waila as well as the new age and oreginals of our own. Dedicating our music in Loving Memory of our Sister, D Faktion Nyne is made up of four brothers and two sister (25 being the eldest and 12 the youngest) jamming along side of our dad doin what we love to do as we have fun with no rules, no boundaries, and equal say in everything we do in D Faktion Nyne.

Mumsigo Tribe

Mumsigo Tribe was founded in 2011. Our instruments consist of button accordion, bajo sexto, bass guitar, drums, electric guitar, keyboard, percussion and alto saxophone. The band was originated with Josh Enriquez, Scott Enriquez, Mekolo Enriquez and Jakob Enriquez whom are brothers and cousins and at the time were affiliated with the Cisco Band. Josh Enriquez recruited Alyssa Cruz to play Bass Guitar with the band and is now affiliated with Mumsigo Tribe and Juanios Boys y Familia. The band was in search of a bajo sexto player and recruited Deron Lopez. Deron at that time was affiliated with the Native Pride Waila Band.

In March 2011, Mumsigo Tribe made their 1st debut at the Mul-Chu-Tha Rodeo & Fair in Sacaton, Arizona. The band participated in the Battle of the Bands that was hosted by the Gila River Indian Community. Six months later, Mumsigo Tribe was in agreement to begin recording their first album and by September 2011, Mumsigo Tribe released their first recording C.D album titled “Lesson 1.” The C.D. title was in honor of a song that the Cisco Band had recorded; Mumsigo Tribe felt it was a good choice being that the band members were learning new things as a newly formed band. Soon after the release, Josh scouted and recruited Araya Valisto; whom was affiliated with the Native Pride Waila Band.

December 2011, Mumsigo Tribe had officially established a band of seven members. Mumsigo Tribe has provided music for different occasions including fundraisers and with much practice and feeling comfortable, Mumsigo Tribe was ready to promote more of their music. In August 2012, Mumsigo Tribe began recording their second C.D. album.

In September 2012, Mumsigo Tribe was informed that their first recording C.D album, “Lesson 1,” was nominated in the Native American Music Award under the Best Waila Category along with 5 other waila bands from the Tohono O’odham Nation. The award ceremony was to be held on November 30, 2012 in Niagara Falls, NY, however due to Hurricane Sandy it has been rescheduled for May 10, 2013.

On January 31, 2013, we released our second recording C.D album titled “On To the Next”. We selected this title as a group, having the understanding that we continue to learn and grow as a band, and whatever comes our way we deal with it and move on. We are a young group of musicians, our ages range from 14-23 years old. We reside on the Tohono O’odham Nation in the communities of Sells, Sikol Himtka, Santa Rosa, and Jackrabbit. We want to thank our family and friends for the love and support they have given us. We dedicate all of our music to them and also want to send out a special acknowledgement to Mr. Francis Enriquez for his guidance and support; we cannot thank him enough for everything he has done for Mumsigo Tribe.

Distinguished Guests

check back frequently to find out what most recently has been finalized

Betty Sue Flowers is North America’s greatest living thinker about myth, and how it always continues to shape our business, personal, and nation political affairs today.   Flowers is the editor of Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth.”   Her recent interview about “The Dueling Myths of Business” with the Strategy+Business is available here. She is also a pioneering scenario planner, inventing ways to systematically and rationally use story to think about the future worldwide.

Betty Sue Flowers is a highly decorated teacher and academic at the University of Texas, Austin.  She is also a critically acclaimed poet.


Michael M. Crow is a  knowledge enterprise architect.  He builds organizations around humanity’s uncanny ability to acquire, integrate, and apply truths.   In “None Dare Call It Hubris,” however, he dared to ask what the limits of knowledge might actually be.  He then detailed new ways to conceive of the pursuit of knowledge and innovation, to understand and build political institutions, and to endow philosophy with meaning for people other than philosophers.   Crow recently celebrated his tenth anniversary as president of Arizona State University.

Video: Michael Crow, Solve X for 2012


Buzz Bissinger writes non-fiction as story.  A Pulitzer Prize winner, he is the author of the wildly best-selling “Friday Night Lights,” which portrays the heroic quality of small-town Texas high-school football. It lead to the movie of the same name starring Billy Bob Thornton, as well as the Emmy-winning television series.  He also wrote “Shattered Glass” for Vanity Fair.  It’s an investigation into truth focused on Stephen Glass who, at only the age of 25, had become the most sought-after young reporter in Washington, producing knockout articles for journals from The New Republic to Rolling Stone. Trouble was, he made things up.   His career turned out to be the most sustained fraud in modern journalism.


Bruce Sterling is best known for his best-selling and award-winning science fiction from “Holy Fire” to “Taklamakan.” But he is primarily an instigator, troublemaker and intellectual crockery breaker across non-fiction, blogs, Wired magazine columns, fiction, design, futurism, fire-and-brimstone public speaking, teaching, neologism-coining (e.g. “major consensus narrative” as a synonym for “truth”), manifesto writing and movement launching.  He has a striking knack for scoring lengthy gigs in impressive time zones in which his title is often something like “Visionary in Residence.” Sterling was the inspiration for the original Emerge in 2012.  For his return in 2013, he and a partner will be taking native Arizona desert rock brought to campus especially for the occasion, and using ASU digitally controller laser cutters and crews to inscribe on them what he describes as “eternal truths.” It’s very “twenty-teens petroglyph,” he says.  We assume he is telling us the truth.


Natalie Jeremijenko is an artist and engineer whose background includes studies in biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering. She is an active member of the net.art movement, and her work primarily explores the interface between society, the environment and technology. She is currently an Associate Professor at New York University in the Visual Art Department, and has affiliated faculty appointments in Computer Science and Environmental Studies. Jeremijenko has alternatively described her work as ‘X Design’ (short for experimental design) and herself as a ‘thingker’.


Paul Davies is the theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and best-selling author, whose research interests focus on the “Big Questions,” ranging from the origin of the universe to the origin of life, the search for life beyond Earth, the possibility of time travel, and the nature of quantum reality. He also runs a major NCI-funded cancer research program, and has published a new theory of cancer based on tracing its deep evolutionary roots. Among his best sellers are The Eerie Silence, about the search for ET, How to Build a Time Machine, and The Goldilocks Enigma, about why the universe seems suspiciously well-suited for life.  Davies is director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and co-director of the Cosmology Initiative, both at Arizona State University.


Brian David Johnson. The future is Brian David Johnson’s business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation, his charter is to develop an actionable 10 -15 year vision for the future of technology. His work is called “future casting”—using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data, and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels (Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction, Screen Future: The Future of Entertainment Computing and the Devices we Love, Fake Plastic Love, and Nebulous Mechanisms: The Dr. Simon Egerton Stories). He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.


Syd Mead is a “visual futurist” and concept artist. One of the most famed figures in design, working on many of cinema’s biggest sci-fi films, Syd Mead is best known for his designs for science-fiction films such as Blade RunnerAliens and Tron. Of his work, Mead was once moved to comment: “I’ve called science fiction ‘reality ahead of schedule.'”

Mead attributes success in an astonishing range of creative activities to the premise that imagination…the idea, supersedes technique. “There are more people in the world who make things than there are people who think of things to make.”


Neil Harbisson. Born with the inability to see color, Neil Harbisson wears a prosthetic device — he calls it an “eyeborg” — that allows him to hear the spectrum, even those colors beyond the range of human sight. His unique experience of color informs his artwork — which, until he met cyberneticist Adam Montandon at a college lecture, was strictly black-and-white. By working with Montandon, and later with Peter Kese, Harbisson helped design a lightweight eyepiece that he wears on his forehead that transposes the light frequencies of color hues into sound frequencies. Harbisson’s artwork blurs the boundaries between sight and sound. In his Sound Portraits series, he listens to the colors of faces to create a microtonal chord. In the City Colours project, he expresses the capital cities of Europe in two colors (Monaco is azure and salmon pink; Bratislava yellow and turquoise).


Emily Anthes is a journalist whose articles have appeared in WiredDiscoverPsychology TodaySlateScientific American, and more.Her new book, Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts, will be published in March by Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

She holds a master’s degree in science writing from MIT and a bachelor’s degree in the history of science and medicine from Yale. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Will Oremus is a staff writer for Slate magazine and lead blogger for Future Tense, where he reports on emerging technologies, tech policy, and digital culture. A graduate of Stanford University and the Columbia Journalism School, he focuses on how technology shapes society, and has written about everything from the inner workings of Google’s servers to outer-space asteroid mining to a Somali terrorist group that you can talk to on Twitter. In addition to Slate, his work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and The New Yorker online.


Future Tense is a collaboration among Slate magazine, the New America Foundation and ASU that focuses on how emerging technologies are transforming policy and society.

At Emerge, the Future Tense panel revolves around the question: Will Cyborg Technology Change the Truth of the Human Experience?

For millennia, humans have created technology to master the world around us. Now we’re turning that builder mindset inward—fiddling with biology to enhance our abilities and quality of life. New technologies make it possible to add bionic parts to our bodies or to extend our senses beyond their natural limits. It’s easy to imagine a future in which this new toolbox for tinkering with life lets each of us customize the fundamental ways we experience the world. How will we find common truths when we can tailor our experiences to our liking? Can technology change what it means to be human, or even animal?


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