NAKFI is an experiment to examine, stimulate, and promote interdisciplinary research in exciting areas. The generative ideas that NAKFI creates are an important component of the pursuit of discovery and innovation that is necessary to fuel our prosperity and success as a nation for the next 50 years. NAKFI harnesses the intellectual horsepower of the brightest minds from diverse backgrounds who apply to attend an annual "think-tank" style conference to contemplate the real-world challenges of our day, having been prepared for deep conversations through conference tutorials. Seed grants are awarded to conference participants to enable further pursuit of new ideas and inspirations generated at the conference, conceptualized as "venture science," similar to start-up capital in the business world.
NAKFI conferences are intentionally crafted to allow multiple ways for attendees to interact. Some of the conference components are familiar -- such as poster sessions and plenary sessions -- but the expected gives way to the unconventional at a NAKFI conference. The format of Futures
Conferences evolved from a traditional program of lectures and panel discussions to a meeting focused on providing a variety of venues for conversation. The foundation of this approach is the appointement of conference participants to Interdisciplinary Research Teams (IDR Teams) charged with finding solutions to real-world problems. In addition to workin in these concurrent groups -- each of which reports on its work mid-way through the conference -- participants have many opportunities for information conversations and collaboration during "free times" and "meals."
NAKFI has inspired its diverse network to "think big" at the frontiers of science, engineering and medicine. And this is just the first step in its role as conversation shifter, idea incubator, career changer, and venture science funder. Read "The NAKFI Experience: An Integrative Story"
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