A game changer for the changemakers!

The masterclasses are part of Moonshot, EIT Manufacturing’s programme to foster environmental sustainability in European industries. 

The aim of these masterclasses is to raise awareness of moonshots in the EIT Manufacturing community members and provide them with tools so that they can actively participate in the Moonshot Programme.The workshops focus on how to apply moonshot thinking in manufacturing​ to achieve a more sustainable production.  

In November 2022, a new Moonshot Thinking Masterclass took place. The masterclass, conducted by Futur/io through AGORA, the EIT Manufacturing social network and open innovation platform, introduced the Moonshot concept to the community.

Game changer for the changemakers!

During the session, the participants, changemakers and members of the EIT Manufacturing community, were able to deepen their knowledge of disruptive innovation, emerging technologies, sustainable development, future literacy or purpose driven leadership. 

Participants learned, through inspirational talks, about the importance of applying moonshot thinking to disruptive projects to tackle big societal challenges. Conventional solutions are often ineffective when facing big problems. Moonshot thinking invites people to think big: thinking the impossible is possible, thinking without barriers and letting your imagination run wild, no matter how crazy it may seem.   

This moonshot mindset invites you to put the cart before the horse: think first about the outcome and then create the technology and conditions that will make it possible, to achieve innovative and disruptive solutions that if they worked – however improbable that is – would be capable of changing the world. 

“We must rethink what we manufacture and how we manufacture.”

The event was introduced by Klaus Beetz, CEO of EIT Manufacturing who emphasised the importance of manufacturing for everybody of us.

Manufacturing things are around us every moment: the food on our plate, the plate itself, the table. At the end of the day, everything is the result of a manufacturing process. If we want to change something in our daily lives, it’s a good thing to start changing it in manufacturing. So, we have to rethink manufacturing, considering sustainability at the same level as cost and time, especially the decrease of the energy consumption and, of course, also the decarbonisation of industry.

We must rethink what we manufacture and how we manufacture. We need thinking from multiple perspectives and disruptive ideas. Because how manufacturing worked over the last decades or even centuries will not achieve the European Green Deal. This is why we start this Moonshot Program.

Klaus Beetz, CEO of EIT Manufacturing

“The impact of manufacturing provokes 45% of the pollution in the world.”

Teresa Hernández, Innovation Manager and Head of the Moonshot programme at EIT Manufacturing, explained that manufacturing is the most polluting industry in the world. The impact of producing things also provokes 45% of the pollution in the world

That is the reason we decided to run the Moonshot programme, to support the changemakers in trying to transform manufacturing into a more sustainable, regenerative and green system. 

EIT Manufacturing it’s the perfect place to support and foster Moonshots. We are a big community with the most relevant players in manufacturing in Europe and they work collaboratively with us. And this brings an extremely powerful network to accelerate disruptive innovation and moonshots. 

Teresa Hernández, Innovation Manager and Head of Moonshot programme at EIT Manufacturing

The urgency of moonshots

After the introduction, the masterclass was conducted by Harald Neidhardt, Founder & CEO of Futur/io. He spoke about the urgency of moonshots. A good moonshot idea can’t be executed by tomorrow. The goal of a moonshot is far beyond today’s stage of development, and it focuses on shaping a desirable future that might only come to full fruition a decade from now. A moonshot seems daring, bold – maybe even impossible – but it has the pull of a mission that aims beyond our horizon and common understanding. 

According to Mr Neidhardt we are now facing a similar challenge to the one the United States faced when it challenged the world to put a man on the moon and return him back to Earth healthy. We have less than a decade to meet the UN’s 2030 Agenda and fulfil the commitments made in the Paris Agreement.

Before this decade is out, we need to solve the climate crisis, to solve the UN SDGs, listen a little bit more to our youth and scientists,” he said and gave some examples of how to implement moonshot thinking to achieve desirable futures in different sectors such as in the automotive industry, industrial processes and the circular economy, and recycling e.g. lithium batteries or plastics.

Harald encouraged the masterclass attendees to ask themselves about the change they want to be.

Facing these big challenges is not easy, it is not something that can be solved in the next one or two years, but we must start now. Time is running out and we have to start with ourselves. By training, educating ourselves and exploring with others in workshops how to bring these ideas into companies and working on concepts that are more inclusive and more innovative, and go one step further.

Harald Neidhardt, Founder & CEO of Futur/io

Exponential technologies and the manufacturing industry.

In a second talk, Maks Giordano, Futurist & Strategic Corporate Advisor talked about how exponential technologies, sustainable developments goals and disruptive change could impact the manufacturing industry.  

Through futuristic images in which 50, 60, 70 or 100 years ago people tried to imagine the future, Giordano illustrated how close we are to these formerly distant futures.

At some point, our imagination thought that one day the future would be like this, and in many cases, they were right or very close to the reality in which we now live, where technology empowers us and helps us in our daily lives.

The way technology evolves is totally exponential, it starts very slowly, but then it grows exponentially. Technology usually becomes more reliable, smaller, more powerful and were able to manufacture it in ways that feels almost like science fiction.

Maks Giordano, Futurist & Strategic Corporate Advisor

Moonshot thinking workshop.

Following a presentation of examples of how technology can help the industry to address societal challenges, the masterclass participants worked in groups to think collaboratively about how to realise a moonshot project and create a factory in 2035.  

They first discussed the most important factor on the way to a sustainable factory. After presenting and defending their ideas, they designed a moonshot project: What is the name of the industry? In which sector is it located? What would be the strategic alliances? What are the obstacles that will be faced to develop the industry or what are the desirable futures to be achieved with the project? The groups came up with a variety of ideas such as edible clothes or tiles made with reused materials for the building industry, that also produce energy.

Teresa Hernández encouraged all participants to carry their workshop experience over into their daily lives. She pointed to the Moonshot Sphere on AGORA for them to be aware of all the latest news on the programme, the calls, as well as networking with the EIT manufacturing community.  

In this regard, she assured that the Moonshot will have a very positive impact on the industry. “The goal of this program is not only supporting the people with good ideas to create good things, but also we have the target to change the minds of the relevant actors in manufacturing to make them be the change that they need to be”, she said.

Get a dedicated masterclass for your organisation!

The masterclasses are activities from the Innovation and Education teams of EIT Manufacturing. If you would like to know more or if you would like a dedicated masterclass for your organisation, please, contact us at: moonshot@eitmanufacturing.eu 

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