The author and futurologist transports us from India to Germany through his top 5 Atlas projects – from teeny, tiny 3D printing to the Airbnb of energy. He knows how to do things differently.


1. Open Source Drug Discovery

Open source drug discovery

India challenges big pharma

“In New Delhi, OSDD takes the shamefully inefficient (5000:1) and expensive ($2.6 billion per drug) hit rate quoted by big pharma and turns it on its head. While the traditional players claim they can’t afford to make drugs for diseases that afflict the global poor, OSDD’s targeted and open source drug development, that’s done initially inside a computer rather than a petri dish, shows huge promise at a fraction of the cost. What’s not to like?”


2. Audi e-diesel


Mining in the sky

“Taking carbon out of the air and turning into fuel. In other words, a carbon neutral liquid fuel source. Commercial viability estimated within the next 10 to 15 years. I call it ‘sky mining’.”


3. Piclo


The Airbnb of energy

“One of the first attempts to layer an internet topology over the existing energy grid, creating an open market for renewables – allowing community energy to flood the system, driving down prices and carbon emissions at the same time. This East London-run online renewable energy marketplace could change everything.”


4. Hartsholme Academy


In pursuit of excellence

“How do you take one of the worst schools in the country from the brink of disaster to outstanding performance, revitalise the neighbourhood and become a world-leading model for progressive education, all without changing a single member of staff? Carl Jarvis knows. Driven by discrimination against him by the establishment, he’s passionate that every child in Lincoln’s Hartsholme Academy, no matter what their background, should enjoy high aspirations and achieve them.”


5. Nanoscribe


The next big (or really tiny) thing

“3D printing on the nanoscale, including components for microchips. One of the most successful recent startups in Germany points to a world where 3D printers will be able to make all the components for 3D printers.”

Mark Stevenson was talking to Atlas co-founder Cathy Runciman. Read his views on useful storytelling, the reasons he wants to be filed next to Beyoncé and why Batman doesn’t care about under-floor heating in his full FutureHero interview here.