I just finished a very exciting call with Sander van der Leeuw, possibly the highest profile scholar I know personally. Sander is a Santa Fe Institute professor, and the Dean of the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. He is interdisciplinary to an extent that would make most people seasick, and make most academic recoil in horror. Watch this video on the archaeology of innovation and prepare to have your mind blown to bits (the interviewer is Stewart Brand – just saying).
We agreed Sander would come on board on the Edgeryders team working on POPREBEL. He will have a wizardly role: no deliverables or anything like this. He will help us set us a sort of digital ethnography skunkworks: explore together wild, "out there" possible directions for research, from a complex systems perspective. We will start out by organizing a small (< 10 people) two-days seminar in March. Having one-two such seminars a year might be the way to go.
Where does this go? It will keep POPREBEL on its toes; and, hopefully, it will lead to some future proposal, more advanced and radical than POPREBEL itself, and anything we are doing now.
Sander, a European by birth with an American affiliation, is in Europe to lead a brand new foundation started by ASU and Uni Louisiana to do research in Europe, funded by the EU. This kind of complex systems-inspired, high quality, high interdisciplinarity research is part of ASU's long term strategy in Europe and elsewhere. I would very much like Edgeryders to be a strategic partner for them, at least as long as Sander is at the helm.