The future belongs to the connectors of dots
"At Huminn we look at problems as multifaceted yet one in essence, with researchers from different fields working together, sharing insights, and studying a problem from all perspectives simultaneously," writes Sam Salman, the Chairman & CEO of Huminn
As the 21st century unfolds, the challenges facing humanity seem to only grow in scope, complexity, and severity. From fixing food and supply chains to mastering disease control or addressing the fate of our natural environment, the respectable efforts emanating from technology, science, and governments appear unfathomably ill-equipped. At this crucial juncture, I suggest we start asking ourselves why, despite immense gains in scientific knowledge, we are still confounded by the ineffectiveness of our solutions in so many vital areas of life.
As we at Huminn see it, at least part of the answer lies in the way we conceptualize, organize and employ knowledge itself.
A new way of innovating
For centuries now, human knowledge has been organized along rigid, sometimes arbitrary lines: biology, physics, and chemistry, for instance, are not only thought of as separate, but within each respective field a multitude of expertise exists, getting more and more focused, therefore isolated.
The result has been the compartmentalization of not only knowledge but talent as well. In practical terms, this means problems are not solved effectively because teams, companies, and agencies with different expertise both define and then operate mostly independently from each other. The way we organize knowledge relating to complex problems has become a barrier to progress.
At Huminn we look at problems as multifaceted yet one in essence, with researchers from different fields working together, sharing insights, and studying a problem from all perspectives simultaneously. We call this method convergence innovation. We even developed our unique data science, with systems trained for minimal bias, namely reading actual signals instead of assuming based on prior knowledge.
By drawing on the immense talent found in Israeli faculties and research institutes, we recognize groundbreaking research opportunities and build subsidiaries functioning as platforms around them. Huminn Poultry, created in collaboration with Volcani Institute, solves problems for the industry growing one the world’s leading protein sources. Genome editing that blocks male chicks from hatching already transforms the poultry industry by eliminating the culling of day-old male chicks and saving precious resources. Huminn RumenEra, a joint endeavor with Ben Gurion University, is exploring a way to measure and then reduce Methane emissions using cows’ microbiome. And, finally, Huminn Plantae, co-founded with the Weizmann Institute of Science, synergizes cutting-edge plant biotechnology disciplines to develop sustainable plant-based solutions for food, health, and the environment.
The way we eat, age, feel, and interact as a community
If there's something we learned from Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, it’s probably the degree to which cultures and communities globally are interlinked epidemiologically as well as economically. In the past two and a half years we have seen policies and realities in one country disrupt everyday activity, and even psychology, in other parts of the world.
With huge industries and supply chains operating across multiple continents, the best next big solutions in agriculture, sustainability, and disease control will transcend compartmentalized, traditional thinking in all respects. A philosophy of removing unnecessary barriers, in other words, will not be limited to ideas and industries, but holds immense potential socially and geopolitically too. With better, more reliable solutions for the major challenges of our times, individuals, and communities will be and feel safer, encouraging an atmosphere of trust and cooperation.
For me, Zionism and the Israel success story (or rather stories) serve as a source of endless inspiration. As a member of multiple communities and as a frequent traveler, I see something decidedly exhilarating about Israel. A passion and drive to lead and succeed that are quite unmatched.
For the past decade or two, the amazing success of Israeli hi-tech has led to numerous impressive exits, which I think of as a growth phase. Now comes time for building large-ticket, world-leading Israeli brands and names. Apart from collaborating with this country’s mind-bogglingly rich talent pool, Huminn is also Zionism suited for our times.
Sam Salman is the Chairman & CEO of Huminn