OPEN SCIENCE
FOR AN ENJOYABLE
PLANET EARTH
“Facets” by Maxime Le Conte des Floris, courtesy of the artist / Color-adjusted from original

Archai is an open science platform that employs the idea of collective intelligence on finding a comprehensive solution to the problem of our changing climate.

We search for and engage the best brains on our planet—biological and artificial—and we facilitate their integration.

As such, Archai is a technology and knowledge venture by function and a humanitarian venture by heart.


MISSION

Cancel and Reverse the Detrimental Effects of Climate Change

“Fulton Center NYC” by Christian Perner is published under the Unsplash License / Color-adjusted and cropped from original

We envision planet Earth as being an enjoyable place to live.

We are committed to sustaining the beauty of our Earth for future generations and to making the planet a secure and healthy habitat for all living creatures.

Specifically, we aspire to cancel and reverse the detrimental effects of climate change caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. By detrimental effects, we mean the adverse impact of the human quest for prosperity throughout the era of the Industrial Age on both nature and society.

Lifting the burden of permanent concern about the threats arising from a changing climate and about the social upheaval that might follow as a consequence is a gift that we owe to ourselves—and it is a gift that we can only make collectively.

Going into the future, we that we are living today and those that will live their lives after us should be liberated from the liabilities of our messing with the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

At Archai, we are working hard to cultivate the solutions that will bring such peace of mind.

“Fulton Center NYC” by Christian Perner is published under the Unsplash License / Color-adjusted and cropped from original
GROUND INITIATIVES

To Accomplish Our Mission, We Are Seeking Heavyweights among the Solutions to the Climate Disaster

The Light-Harvesting Complex endows some photosynthetic organisms with Super Powers in that it increases the amount of sunlight being collected.
“Pea Light-Harvesting Complex” (Protein Data Bank PDB ID: 2BHW) as observed by Joerg Standfuss et al., (2005) Embo J. 24:919, graphics generated with the NGL Viewer from data deposited in the RCSB PDB / Unliganded structural model

SUPER POWERS

Under the Super Powers ground initiative, we aspire to create an industrial apparatus for high-capacity, low-risk generation of electrical power. That power must be supplied in a constant (that is, non-intermittent), and carbon-neutral manner.

Rubisco is an enzyme involved in the first major step of carbon fixation in photosynthetic organisms. It is responsible for capturing carbon dioxide.
“Rubisco from Arabidopsis Thaliana” (Protein Data Bank PDB ID: 5IUO) as observed by Karin Valegard et al., (2018) Acta Crystallogr D Struct Biol 74: 1-9, graphics generated with the NGL Viewer from data deposited in the RCSB PDB / Unliganded structural model

BOUNCE BACK

Under the Bounce Back ground initiative, we work towards building a system that incapacitates atmospheric greenhouse gases and allows for the attenuation of their combined global warming impact. That system must not compromise terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

“Triangles” by Simone Hutsch is published under the Unsplash License / Color-adjusted and cropped from original

LEITMOTIF

The Force of an Unwavering Crowd Compares to Nothing

“Triangles” by Simone Hutsch is published under the Unsplash License / Color-adjusted and cropped from original

Archai is the gathering place for those who are certain of the power of an unwavering crowd to be the only force capable of coming up with a solution to cancel and reverse the detrimental effects of climate change.

True to the idea of gaining knowledge through axiomatic principles, we very much rely on a set of fundamental beliefs and pledges. Collectively, our beliefs and pledges serve as our Leitmotif.

“Is having a Leitmotif not a bit of an esoteric thing? What does it help when only results count?” you might ask. Well, it helps a lot if it is specific and relevant. Especially if you have a crowd that relies on self-organization and if you are asking each contributor to be a leader and decider at some point, you must have a common understanding of what you stand up for and what you aspire to.

CHARACTER TRAITS

The Facets of Our Leitmotif Are Forged by Those Who Dare to Aim High and Grow by Sharing with Others

“Brain Searching” by akindo is licensed under iStock Standard / Cropped from original; background color-adjusted

BELIEFS

Every organization of any kind needs a moral compass for reference. So do we. Our set of beliefs points towards a vivid culture of ambitiousness and it sets the tone for our way of working.

ESSENTIALITY

We believe in axiomatic principles, and we are uncompromising in everything we do.

Much in the sense of Aristotle, who said that all men suppose what is called wisdom (sophia) to deal with the first causes (aitia) and the principles (archai) of things, we demand original reasoning in every subject we touch on. We put much effort into finding the essence of things, and we are uncompromising in rejecting unjustified belief.

Accordingly, we honor the doubt, we speak up, and we do not subordinate.

HOLISM

We bring together whatever is needed to deploy a comprehensive solution.

Confronted with a problem as multifaceted as climate change, piecemeal attempts will fail to affect any larger aim. We want to integrate all the scientific and artistic disciplines required for building solutions that are stable within the combined realms of the physical and the social realities. In an even broader sense, we aim to holistically engage everyone who can contribute to our purpose in whatever capacity they can and from whatever craft they spring.

Accordingly, we embrace the speculative, we invest in mutual understanding, and we do not exclude.

OPENNESS

We are open-minded and share what we have if it serves the purpose.

Only an open mind can recognize opportunities for insight when they arise. The idea or fact substantiating that opportunity may be laid out unsuspectingly by a colleague. Yet without that one open mind sitting at the table, it would go unnoticed. The openness demanded here allows us to grasp that opportunity. We invite everyone to participate by sharing ideas for critical evaluation and further elaboration.

Accordingly, we listen to the unconventional, we reach out, and we oppose any form of proprietary knowledge.

PLAYFULNESS

We think of ourselves as fearless explorers of the mind and the universe.

Our success depends on our ability to ingeniously play with ideas and on our courage to enjoy ourselves along the way. Intelligent play with thoughts can bring out an opportunity for insight that may not have emerged through deliberate discourse. Also, playfulness is not necessarily restricted to cognitive exuberance. Though we value highly the imaginative that springs from a vivid mind we put just as much emphasis on experimentally playing around with the manifestations of our universe (be it fundamental force or a computer code).

Accordingly, we enjoy ourselves, we try things out, and we do not take ourselves too seriously.

RESPONSIBILITY

We always put purpose before self. In that sense, we are true to the cause we follow.

Yet, it is important to note that taking responsibility for the cause does not mean being reckless toward anyone. The opposite is true. We are obliged to provide a secure environment for the most gifted individuals, and along these lines, we will work to protect the purpose of our cause and take responsibility for planet Earth as the place we live in. The notion of responsibility also impinges on the way in which we want to reach our goal. On that note, we must not indulge in pure academic thought but rather strive towards concrete output.

Accordingly, we are self-critical—collectively and as individuals, we do things, and we do not hesitate.

“Self Control” by akindo is licensed under iStock Standard / Cropped from original; background color-adjusted

PLEDGES

The sheer size of our endeavor demands humility to a point where it becomes stifling at times. You really can get lost in that maze of solution paths. Our pledges keep us on track and help us know what counts and what does not.

SEEKING IMPACT

We place impact center stage in everything we do, and we force the acceleration of incremental progress.

Everyone who is going to work with us must be dedicated to a utilitarian style of intellectual inquiry, and she or he must be tenacious when it comes to the practical implementation of ideas. We demand that the systems that are to be created make an immense difference regarding climate change. This obligation leaves no room for reluctance. While we do acknowledge the long-term aggregate potency of a large number of marginal contributions, Archai devotes its efforts to accelerate the evolution of knowledge. We have no regard for concerted attempts of a trifling nature.

Consequently, we invest our ingenuity and acquired knowledge into those concepts that have the potential of solving the problem of climate change once and for all.

CREATING RESULTS

We value potent results even more than our firm commitment to pure thought.

But beyond our cherishing of the virtues of reasoning from fundamental truths (after all, that reflects the deep meaning of our brand name), we think that using the mind must not translate to ignoring the hands. With Archai, if theoretical ambitions become too convoluted for the attendant practical work to proceed smoothly, tangible outcomes will top the bill.

Consequently, we explicitly reach out to those craftsmen, manufacturers, and artisans that will help to make things happen.

THINKING AND ACTING BIG

We put a strong emphasis on working systems that are deployable on a very large scale.

Scientific insights and gains in engineering expertise are considered mere precursors of what we want to achieve. Even though such progress on the developmental level is regarded as the base on which the ultimate solutions are built, isolated fundamental work is often ineffective in the realm of the real world. At Archai, we go beyond raw findings and evidence for practical feasibility at the pilot-scale. Any system’s true effectiveness relies on whether it can be scaled up to relevant dimensions.

Consequently, we strive for big solutions, and we act boldly to achieve them.

FUSING IMMENSITY AND BRILLIANCE

We beat the problem of climate change at its own game.

For effectively being pushed back, a problem as massive and intricate as climate change calls for a force of equal strength. From our perspective, the only force capable of beating that colossal problem at its own game is an enormous number of outstandingly smart people acting as one. Hence, we attempt to push back by fusing immensity and brilliance. Here, the factor of immensity means the large-format integration of problem-solvers of biological and artificial descent. The factor of brilliance then suggests the adamant obligation to create results of outstanding quality. Note, however, that we do not expect the most exceptional insights to be delivered invariably by the most highly decorated individuals or the most prominent entities. At Archai we think that it is often the marginal contributor who will forge supreme quality.

Consequently, we reach out to those brains that carry alternative knowledge, and we solicit the support of individuals who are far from the focal field of a given task.


OPEN SCIENCE

Harnessing the Benefits of Collective Intelligence

“Grey Triangles on a Facade” by Joel Filipe is published under the Unsplash License / Color-adjusted and cropped from original

Akin to many other fields of scientific inquiry, the process of knowledge generation on the issue of climate change is a step-by-step venture conducted in a fragmented way within narrow boundaries of academic disciplines. However, the severity and nature of the problem call for a resolute approach sustained by an eclectic composite of gifted minds.

Advancement in increments carried out by a disjointed horde does not solve that problem in due time.

In addressing the challenges that arise from climate change—particularly from global warming—Archai seeks to find a comprehensive solution through the advancement of creative machines and by making open science platforms available for the coordination of the efforts made by a community of gifted minds.

Consequently, a reasonable share of our resources is allocated to developing and maintaining technologies and systems that allow for harnessing the benefits of collective intelligence. Also, we will curate a congenial collection of smart contributors who are willing to offer their intellectual capacity to the venture.

“Grey Triangles on a Facade” by Joel Filipe is published under the Unsplash License / Color-adjusted and cropped from original
TOOLS OF OUR TRADE

Opening up to Surpass the Capabilities of a Single Brain Towards an Intelligence of the Many

“Luke Skywalker with R2‑D2” by Zaidi Razak is licensed under Shutterstock Standard, Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 are characters from the Star Wars franchise owned by Lucasfilm Ltd., Lego minifigures are manufactured by The LEGO Group / Original background replaced by polka dot pattern

CREATIVE MACHINES

On a very general level (not necessarily bound to the field of climate change), we will develop and implement technologies that allow tapping into the collective wisdom of many.

It is through the connection of a huge number of brains—biological and artificial—that these machines can help evoke solutions from totally unexpected origins, and they may even produce novel ideas on their own.

We need synthetic friends.

“Rock Band with Darth Vader as Lead Singer and Two Stormtroopers as Guitarists” by Zaidi Razak is licensed under Shutterstock Standard, Darth Vader and Stormtroopers are characters from the Star Wars franchise owned by Lucasfilm Ltd., Lego minifigures are manufactured by The LEGO Group / Left Stormtrooper moved to the right; original background replaced by polka dot pattern

OPEN SCIENCE PLATFORMS

Albeit being a very speculative idea, we think that Archai must provide for two platforms that invigorate congenial collaboration and open exchange of information across the confines of established academic disciplines and other frontiers.

Moreover, these platforms will help in creating a shared consciousness for the challenges that we are confronted with.

Chime in!

“Obi Takes BA-253 to Meet Everyone” by Robert McGoldrick is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0, Obi-Wan Kenobi, BA-253, and other creatures presented in image are characters from the Star Wars franchise owned by Lucasfilm Ltd., Lego minifigures are manufactured by The LEGO Group / Original background replaced by polka dot pattern

COMMUNITY OF GIFTED MINDS

This is about you and everybody else. This is about the individuals that can—collectively—unleash a force so powerful that it will uplift us to conquering even the most intricate problems.

The one ultimate building block for any knowledge-centered venture relying on the effort of a collective is the vast number of people participating. We call this collective of individuals, working groups, and other organizational entities the community of gifted minds.

Variety is the force.

“Curved Ceiling Ribs” by Erik Eastman is published under the Unsplash License / Cropped from original

TEAM

Being Inventive and Acting Fast as a Team of Teams

“Curved Ceiling Ribs” by Erik Eastman is published under the Unsplash License / Cropped from original

Apart from missing out on the opportunity to tap into the most original of ideas that often come from quite unexpected places, we know that hierarchical leadership-schemes with someone being the boss, and someone else being the subordinate slows things down. With larger organizations, things get even worse. But to solve climate change, we must be imaginative and versatile, and we must be fast!

At Archai, the power to decide and act resides with small teams of equals.

How small? Well, taking a shot from the hip we would say that it is typically four to seven biological or artificial brains working together—depending on the task at hand. Complement these creation teams by a team that ensures cohesiveness of the entire endeavor and is aware of the decisions made on different levels in the organization, and you end up with an inventive and focused team of teams that can act fast while still being big.

FOUNDING MEMBERS

The Team in Charge of Advancing the Mission—But Still Just Three among Many

Philip Gross

Mission Engineer

Edy Portmann

Faculty Curator

Michael Stuber

Crowd Facilitator

Akin to an engineer who designs and builds a ship with its final purpose in mind, Philip creates the structure and inner workings of Archai to best possibly serve our Mission.

In more formal terms, Philip is in charge of devising and enforcing our operating model.

Accordingly, he oversees the crafting of our branding and outreach activities, the formulation of a robust legal and financial framework, and the setup of a viable organization.

Philip obtained his master’s degree in engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), and he has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Hannover (Germany). He is a founding partner at Axonalliance, a business model innovation consultancy.

Edy is the embodiment of Archai’s attitude towards the academic world. For one thing, he is a firm believer in its inherent potential for innovation. For another thing, he knows that borders between disciplines of academic research annihilate ideas that are genuinely bold.

But bold ideas are what we call for at Archai, and that is why Edy serves as our Faculty Curator. In that role, he composes a multifaceted ensemble of top-tier academics, and he guides them towards massive collaboration.

Practicing what he preaches, Edy’s research on cognitive computing and its application to cities comes with a high magnitude of transdisciplinarity. As the Swiss Post Professor of Computer Science at the Human-IST Institute of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), he integrates the computer and information sciences, with economics and the social sciences. Edy has also worked at the Universities of Singapore, Berkeley, and Berne.

New challenges have always been a driving force in Michael’s professional life. In particular, he thrives whenever these challenges call for enabling individuals and organizations to think anew, to accept challenges, and to consistently focus on the needs and strengths of people.

Thus, Michael is in charge of building Archai’s band of Mavericks, an array of crowd contributors who collectively act as the mission’s intelligence. Additionally, he inspires the design and construction of Creative Machines that will support the Mavericks in networking and collective idea generation.

Michael is an entrepreneur who brings more than ten years of experience in strategic management and business operations to the table. Currently, he is a partner at Howard where he accompanies organizations in strategic innovation and transformation projects.

Philip Gross

Mission Engineer

Akin to an engineer who designs and builds a ship with its final purpose in mind, Philip creates the structure and inner workings of Archai to best possibly serve our Mission.

In more formal terms, Philip is in charge of devising and enforcing our operating model.

Accordingly, he oversees the crafting of our branding and outreach activities, the formulation of a robust legal and financial framework, and the setup of a viable organization.

Philip obtained his master’s degree in engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), and he has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Hannover (Germany). He is a founding partner at Axonalliance, a business model innovation consultancy.

Edy Portmann

Faculty Curator

Edy is the embodiment of Archai’s attitude towards the academic world. For one thing, he is a firm believer in its inherent potential for innovation. For another thing, he knows that borders between disciplines of academic research annihilate ideas that are genuinely bold.

But bold ideas are what we call for at Archai, and that is why Edy serves as our Faculty Curator. In that role, he composes a multifaceted ensemble of top-tier academics, and he guides them towards massive collaboration.

Practicing what he preaches, Edy’s research on cognitive computing and its application to cities comes with a high magnitude of transdisciplinarity. As the Swiss Post Professor of Computer Science at the Human-IST Institute of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), he integrates the computer and information sciences, with economics and the social sciences. Edy has also worked at the Universities of Singapore, Berkeley, and Berne.

Michael Stuber

Crowd Facilitator

New challenges have always been a driving force in Michael’s professional life. In particular, he thrives whenever these challenges call for enabling individuals and organizations to think anew, to accept challenges, and to consistently focus on the needs and strengths of people.

Thus, Michael is in charge of building Archai’s band of Mavericks, an array of crowd contributors who collectively act as the mission’s intelligence. Additionally, he inspires the design and construction of Creative Machines that will support the Mavericks in networking and collective idea generation.

Michael is an entrepreneur who brings more than ten years of experience in strategic management and business operations to the table. Currently, he is a partner at Howard where he accompanies organizations in strategic innovation and transformation projects.