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Foresight Institute Stage 2: Implementation

Archival Page—Content Superseded

Foresight Institute Adopts New Mission

The proposals described on this page were developed in late 2003 and announced in Foresight Update 53. The proposals below, however, were eventually altered after leadership changes and as a result of a reevaluation of Foresight's strategic plan that was done during the second half of 2004. Recently, Foresight announced a new mission. For more details, see About the Foresight Nanotech Institute and the Foresight Nanotechnology Challenges. If you would like to contribute to specific projects and initiatives that Foresight is developing: see Foresight projects for directed giving. To personally experience Foresight in action, attend Foresight's next conference: Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology: Focusing on the Cutting Edge, 13th Foresight Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology.

Relaunching Foresight Institute:

Shaping the future with a focus on molecular factories

Community Building Budget: $500,000 one time

by Brian Wang

Nanotechnology is receiving billions of dollars in government funding and millions in corporate funding. Many developments are occurring in the field. There are many new organizations that are influencing various aspects of nanotechnology. The funders and other organizations are not focused on molecular manufacturing. Foresight needs to grow in order to continue being an important factor in shaping future nanotechnology directions.

Foresight will have the objective of advocating and pursuing molecular factories and computational chemistry. Foresight will remain a leader in bringing together those working at the nanoscale to compare notes and find collaborators/funding. Foresight will hasten the day that molecular factories are created.

Foresight will become a more inclusive organization. Charters, rules and support processes will be created for regional chapters and SIGs. Non-bay area members will need to be as involved and well served as local members. should be used to help Senior Associates organize and moderate local nano-schmoozes.

Foresight will apply for appropriate government grants for societal impact studies and public education.

$500,000 needs to be raised to fund new initiatives and to hire the extra staff needed to support new and existing programs. Foresight has metrics it is using to measure the effectiveness of its influence on ideas and how visible it is in the media.

Staffing Up

Recruit new board members:

  1. Board members who will be active and assist in establishing the Research Fund
  2. Video media and broadcast expert
  3. Board members who can provide volunteers and close connections to major new co-membership organizations

Hire paid staff for the following roles:

  1. Executive director
  2. Office administrator
  3. Grant proposal writer   Fundraising manager
  4. Video content creator
  5. Marketing and communications Director

Recruit people for unpaid roles:

  1. Liaisons to other organizations
  2. New conference chairs
  3. New regional chapter Presidents and staff


The following projects are to increase Foresights ability to influence policy, improve public education and promote the vision of molecular factories.

  1. Create communication and training materials for media, professors, teachers and students
    Budget: $50,000
    Create DVDs, Mpeg and streaming video of molecular factories tutorials. Distribute the DVDs for free to teachers and students. Sell copies to others.
  2. Provide additional teaching support via the website.
    Budget: $50,000
    Benefit: Increase awareness and get students interested in joining the field
    Goal: Create after-school or in-school programs in high schools and universities
    Logistics: Create a self-serve system online for volunteers in remote locations to get online courses, kits, information, training and support.
  3. Public policy white papers: writing and distribution
    Budget: $50,000
  4. Fund new book to update Engines of Creation
    Budget: $100,000
  5. Fund new organizational outreach position and program.
    Pay for direct mail campaigns to recruit individuals. Contact other organizations for joint events and exchanges (Churchill Club, Planetary Society, etc.). Make more international partnerships and exchanges. Restructure organization, site and processes and dedicate staff and resources to support partnerships and exchanges. A major effort will be to grow the membership to over 50,000 members in 2 years. Having more members will improve the financial and organizational strength of Foresight.
    Budget: $150,000
    Goal: increase membership
  6. Support senior associates and others to create topic-based special interest groups (SIGs, including medical, environmental, space) and regional Foresight chapters
    Budget: $100,000
    Benefit: grow the membership, give supporters of specific applications a voice in the media and elsewhere
    Goal: get local chapters in the largest cities, both in North America and beyond.
    This is to go beyond local nano-schmoozes mentioned above. It includes a share of salary of new and current staff, who will need to put their efforts and resources to this task.

Projects that increase the membership should provide a return in new annual membership fees and more donations from members. These funds will be used to restore the financial strength of Foresight, pay the salaries of the new staff hires that have been recommended and other funds will be re-invested into further organizational growth.

The budget numbers above include approximately $250K to cover the first six monthsı salary for new hires; after six months, these are assumed to be covered by increased membership, continued fundraising, and new grants.


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