June 10, 2013
British Airways announced today that Tiffany Shlain, Gavin Newsom, Gina Bianchini, Craig Newmark, and other notable names will join UnGrounded’s inaugural Innovation Lab in the Sky. The flight is set to depart San Francisco for London on June 12, 2013.
During the 11-hour flight, participants will aim to tackle the global STEM skills gap that is limiting our planet’s forward progress.
“This flight of innovation is a perfect example of why I think people will look back on this era as The Age of Collaboration,” says Shlain. “Cross-pollinating 100 different perspectives, 30,000 feet in the air, where we see as far as we can see from the windows, is a fantastic environment for magic and new thinking to happen to solve problems.”
There are 100 participants total, and they will collaborate on ideas in two separate teams: Team Ground Control and Team Altitude. These individuals were chosen by Silicon Valley and London technology leaders based on previous experience and their level of passion for accelerating innovations within developed and emerging communities around the globe.
Upon landing, the collaborative work will be sent to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the DNA Summit.
The website for the project poses a question to the audience: “100 brilliant innovators. 11 hours. One plane. Can a single transatlantic flight help change the world?” It is definitely a solid start, and it will be exciting to see what other ways British Airlines engages the Silicon Valley startup community further down the road.
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