HackingBullipedia: Creativity in Progress

The Challenge of HackingBullipedia advances at a good pace.

One of my duties as a coordinator of the HackingBullipedia Challenge is to keep in contact with the registered teams all over the world. It is a pleasure to interact with people of such creativity and knowledge. Recently I had several meetings face to face or online with teams from different universities (Oslo, Eindhoven, Toronto, UPC). I have seen how the Bullipedia Challenge activates creativity everywhere.

What caught my attention most is the effect of the clash between the elBulliFoundation culture and the university and professional cultures. The good news is that it is a positive one!.

I think the most interesting thing happens when I can communicate how the group of Ferran Adrià approaches their challenges and projects. Sometimes they start imagining the ultimate impact of what is still not there. This is a kind of  ”thinking  backwards” process. In that way, you connect the final, unrealized, vision with what you know to do. Then, you become really creative in bridging the gap. Here is where truly creative leaps happen.

An aside. Observing the “leap” happening in person either with elBulliFoundation people or the registered groups has made me think about how we limit the formation of future engineers. We train them to be more “problem solvers” than “problem framers” and even less so as creative leap creators. So, I am encouraged to see that in response to the challenge of Telefónica I + D and elBulliFoundation some old mental models and ingrained practices are broken apart and creativity emerges, making room for an audacity that seemed far away from the usual training.

Teams that come from schools of design, are closer to the ” elBulli ” way of thinking but I think that new schemes have been activated too.

We have found also various groups of independent professionals (design, technology, cooking , … ) who contibute with a lot of practical experience in response to the challenges of HackingBullipedia. Perhaps they are not so bold conceptually speaking but their realism is very useful. Some of them (chefs, culinary students, etc.), however, limit themselves because they lack the technological resources that they think this Challenge requires. To these ones we recommend to find new teammates among the ” techies “. We created a hashtag for to discover and connect them via Twitter: ‪#TeamtoHackbullipedia.

Here is a “snapshot” of a recent conversation between different users who are looking for teammates.

(The mention of IBM comes from the possibility of using a “bot” that has been developed as any IBM, see, here, for example)

In relation to technology, it is also important to remark very clearly that the current Challenge is not only a technological one but, above all, an opportunity to generate new ideas that eventually will be useful for building and improving Bullipedia. Conceptual proposals are welcome!.

One final remark is that many people, when thinking on their new proposal, focus  themselves on the concepts of ” dish”, “recipe” or ” ingredient. It is important to remember that the impact of elBulli and its creativity come from the combination of techniques, technology, creative methods, philosophy and styles. Also of workgroup practices for reviewing and improving the creativity of the group. Focusing on these aspects opens up new possibilities for daring proposals.

Next week we go to London to see what’s going on with teams there (and to work on other “Mandarinic” projects and research projects that we will disclose “in due time”).

We will keep you informed .



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