How Innovation is Becoming the Cure for COVID-19

Josh Linkner
March 29, 2020

Josh Linkner

Five-time tech entrepreneur, hyper-growth CEO, NY Times bestselling author and venture capitalist.
Safety Medical Leadership Creativity & Innovation

These days, I often wake up thinking it was all a dream. But by the first scan of the morning's headlines, I realize we're still in the zombie horror movie known as the coronavirus. Just like in most low-budget cult flicks, an unlikely hero is emerging who will conquer the threat and save the day. Her name is Human Creativity.

As politicians pick fights and scrabble over turf, creative minds around the world are getting down to business. Their north star question: how can we defeat the virus with our superpower of imagination? A few uplifting examples of that powerful force in action:

Facing a life-threatening shortage of ventilators, engineers in Italy took a brilliant creative leap. They retrofitted readily available scuba masks to work as ventilator masks through a series of modifications and 3D-printed connectors. These crudely constructed devices provide desperately needed relief to healthcare workers in their fight to save lives.

The University of Washington's Center for Game Science is also using wide-scale creativity to attack the pandemic. They created a free online game called FoldIt, where players fold proteins in a puzzle-like experience to try to match the shape of Coronavirus molecules, thereby inventing a medicine that could block the virus from attacking cells. As players from around the world compete, a new treatment may emerge.

Billionaire James Dyson is also lending a creative hand. With his company's expertise designing vacuum cleaners, blow dryers, and fans, he was able to develop a new type of ventilator – the Dyson CoVent – in just 10 days. “This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume,” Dyson said in a statement. The machine is designed to “address the specific needs” of coronavirus patients, with the first 15,000 units arriving in hospitals in early April.

Speaking of hospitals and 10-day periods of invention, when the virus broke out in Wuhan, China, officials used creative problem solving to fight back. Recognizing the desperate need for a new hospital, they realized that pursuing a typical multi-year construction project would be futile. Instead, creative leaders in government, industry, and healthcare all rallied together in solidarity, building the two-story, 1,000 bed, 366,000-square-foot Huoshenshan Hospital in just ten days.

The quote that "necessity is the mother of invention (Plato, circa 400 BCE)" continues to stand the test of time. One bright spot in these challenging times is how the human spirit can conquer any obstacle by leveraging the imagination. The insidious coronavirus is a formidable opponent, to be sure, but my bet is on the dynamic duo of inventive thinking and creative problem-solving to defeat the evil warlord and save humanity.

The perfect ending to my zombie horror flick.


To book Josh Linkner for your event, visit https://premierespeakers.com/josh_linkner

The post How Innovation is Becoming the Cure for COVID-19 appeared first on Josh Linkner.

Josh Linkner

Want Josh Linkner for your next event?

Find out more information, including fees and availability.
Find Out More
Keep Reading
Transcript Josh Linkner - Creative Quarantine
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
May 12, 2020
TRANSCRIPT: Brian Lord: Hi, I'm Brian Lord, your host to the Beyond Speaking podcast and ...
How to Avoid Negative Thoughts During a Crisis
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
April 05, 2020
Stuck in COVID-19 isolation, it's easy to veer into the deep end of negative thoughts. Many ...
How Innovation is Becoming the Cure for COVID-19
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
March 29, 2020
These days, I often wake up thinking it was all a dream. But by the first scan of the ...
Transcript Josh Linkner - Creative Quarantine
TRANSCRIPT: Brian Lord: Hi, I'm Brian Lord, your host to the Beyond Speaking podcast and today we have on a proud, creative troublemaker, Josh Linkner. So Josh has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies that sold for a combined value of over two hundred million. He's the author of four books, including The New York Times bestseller D...
Read More
How to Avoid Negative Thoughts During a Crisis
Stuck in COVID-19 isolation, it's easy to veer into the deep end of negative thoughts. Many of us are dealing with profound, real-world challenges such as job loss, health crises, and protecting our children. The reality of the situation is difficult enough, but when we allow widespread fear and negativity to enter the picture, the emotional tol...
Read More
How Innovation is Becoming the Cure for COVID-19
These days, I often wake up thinking it was all a dream. But by the first scan of the morning's headlines, I realize we're still in the zombie horror movie known as the coronavirus. Just like in most low-budget cult flicks, an unlikely hero is emerging who will conquer the threat and savethe day. Her name is Human Creativity. As politicians p...
Read More
Can Quarantines be Productive? What to do During a Crisis.
Just before every flight departs, the safety announcement offers a specific instruction: "In the event of an emergency, please secure your own oxygen mask before helping others." We've heard it so many times that we tend to tune it out, but this advice can be helpful to us all during the COVID-19 crisis. We must first take care of ourselves i...
Read More
A 3-Step Formula to Perfectly Communicate Your Value to Customers
As business leaders, we're often faced with the challenge of explaining what we do. It could be in a casual setting like a dinner party, or a more formal sales presentation to that big new potential account. The problem is, most of us get it all wrong. We tend to explain what we do in the context of our product or service. We tell people we manu...
Read More
Don't Be Afraid to Get a Little Crazy
We're often told to follow the rules, do what we're told, and for goodness sake, don't make waves. But in today's hyper-competitive economy, isn't that a surefire path to mediocrity? Look at those that we celebrate - from Thomas Edison to Elon Musk; from Sheryl Sandberg to Tony Robbins. The ones that make history have one thing in common: they'r...
Read More
If You Want Growth, Your Company Must Have These Three Non-Traditional Roles
From the local barbershop to the giant, multinational corporation, businesses of all shapes and sizes desperately want one thing: growth. Regardless of industry, geography, or scale, a company's ability to grow is directly linked to the inherent enterprise value. In working closely with organizations around the world, I've noticed that the ones ...
Read More
7 Surprising Things That Ultra-Successful People Don't Do
There's been plenty written about the habits of highly successful people. They set goals and they follow through. They learn and listen. We get it. But what do the most successful people avoid? From celebrity entrepreneurs to captains of industry, here are seven surprising things that top achievers prefer to skip: Don't have a Plan B. We're tau...
Read More
How To Master Any Skill
No one represents mastery more than Pablo Picasso. His masterpiece Women of Algiers sold at auction in New York for over $179 million in 2015, shattering all previous records. His most famous works are instantly recognizable, and he pioneered several styles and genres of modern art throughout his prolific career. We think of Picasso's creative ...
Read More
How to Find the Best Parking Spot, Every Time
As you drive up to a crowded shopping plaza, your blood pressure rises quickly. Circling the parking lot, you search for the closest possible space. It quickly becomes a fierce competition, filling you with stress and sometimes anger if someone beats you to that one spot that should have been yours. Several laps and minutes later, you land in a ...
Read More