Ep 187: Action Engines and Random Collisions – Broadening Our Social Purpose

Ep 187: Action Engines and Random Collisions – Broadening Our Social Purpose

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The Impossible Network
Ep 187: Action Engines and Random Collisions - Broadening Our Social Purpose

Mark Fallows welcomes you back to THE IMPOSSIBLE NETWORK

It’s been 7 months since our last drop and four years since I began the podcast. So before season 5 kicks off, I wanted to explain the changes to the type of guests we will interview and the outcomes we are hoping to effect. 

Back in July last year, I paused the podcast, and during this hiatus, I worked with creative elder, coach,  mentor, and award-winning ex-ad guy, Paul ‘Nobby’ Davies on my underlying mission and vision for the Impossible Network. 

During one of my Creative Coaching calls, I recounted how a previous pod guest Jeremy Hymans in his book New Power, co-authored with Henry Timms, stated that the event series TED had cornered ideas worth spreading. But what we need in the world are people focused on the problems that need solving.  Now, if there is one thing I have learned over the years is that when all great problems were solved, serendipity played a part. 

This got me thinking, let’s make the podcast a genuine serendipity experiment. 

So I started with this question.  If we have all these problems that need solving, instead of think tanks publishing papers on possible solutions, surely we should have Action Engines doing real work to solve the problem? And could the Impossible Network Podcast play its part and be a catalyst for creating Action Engines to accelerate problem-solving and progress? 

Why not try?

So here’s what we’ll do. 

We will interview three types of people – what we are calling 

The Difference Makers – Those on the ground change agents working to make an impact on a particular social problem 

The Domain Experts –  respected people of authority with specialist knowledge or skills whose ideas could have value in finding solutions to  problems.

Finally, The Storytellers – creative folk, those able to shape or change attitudes and behavior through the compelling or emotive stories they tell, committed to improving the world in which we live. 

Then every two to three months, we will create Action Engine events where we will challenge these guests to collide with each other, those with different perspectives, skills, and experiences in what we are calling Random Collision interviews and participate in structured design thinking workshops where we will explore alternative ways to solve the problems they care about. For example, educational innovation, criminal justice reform, mental health, decarbonization, transportation, electrification, food insecurity, homelessness, artificial intelligence risks, or building sustainable cities.

And finally, we will build an Action Engine community and database. A place to easily discover and connect with change-makers, domain experts, and storytellers, filterable by experience, skills, and areas of focus.   

It might sound like a crazy experiment, but I think it’s going to be a blast. 

Ok.  Let’s get started. 


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