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Real Problems, Real Solutions

This new feature builds on several principles espoused by Project Renaissance:
  • Creative problem-solving techniques to discover good answers to problems, questions, difficulties, conflicts and issues.
  • The Socratic Method of drawing out through questioning
  • The core mission of Project Renaissance to empower people
  • Finding real-world solutions to real-world problems
  • Being an inspiration to the world for what is possible when people set their mind to ingenious and innovative discoveries
Now, therefore, we set a two-fold challenge to our readers and our members:
1.   Propose questions to which solutions are being sought.
2.   Propose answers to the published questions.

This is by way of being a contest as well, because we will award special prizes to the proposers whose questions are selected, and to the individuals who come up with an answer proven successful after implementation.

You may use any means for deriving either questions or answers — any of the creative problem-solving techniques described in this website, or other techniques you may know, or even consulting experts in relevant fields.

Win Wenger recommends using these two methods to get past long-held opinions into fresh insights:

  • Windtunnel run twice as long as for regular questions to be sure to use up all the expectations of what the answer ought to be.

  • High Thinktank, running the question in such a way that you won't consciously know until afterward what was the question you were answering.

You may submit questions for which you would like others to find answers, and you may propose answers to others' questions, or you may just ask further questions in a Socratic manner to assist the questioners themselves to find a solution.

This Question Quest is being coordinated by Project Renaissance as a public service and as an exploration into practical applications of creativity. Email your questions and recommended solutions to:   Question Quest. Please include a note as to what problem-solving method, if any, you used in arriving at your answers.

The topics for questions are very far-ranging — any subject you can think of, from political to business problems, from health to drug intolerance problems, from design to artistic problems, anything at all whose resolution would enhance the quality of life and increase the positive elements in the world.

The proposer of the question would thus have a whole repertoire of potential solutions to choose from and try, and report back on their effectiveness.

Any question that is successfully resolved through this process will also be reported in the Solutions section of the Project Renaissance website.

Questions will be numbered. Please reference the question numbers when writing to us about them.

We hereby launch this feature with a question about a physical problem suffered by a 17-year-old young man:

Question No. 1
The young man has extreme difficulty breathing because of a concave rib cage which prevents his lungs from expanding properly. He has to take about 31 breaths a minute to survive. He is considering surgery to have his rib cage altered. Is there a less drastic measure that would offer him relief?

Answer 1-1.D.A. Schat, 2-21-04
Answer 1-2.Johnson, 2-26-04
Answer 1-3.Brian Bijdeveldt, Melbourne. Australia, 3-9-04
Answer 1-4.Carol Shireena Sakai, Ph.D., Medical Physiology, 3-9-04
Answer 1-5.Win Wenger, 3-15-04
Answer 1-6.Mastaky Salim, Belgium, 3-19-04
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Question No. 2
How can we persuade scientists to employ creative methods (specifically Project Renaissance methods) to see if they'll make new discoveries they would otherwise not have made — even if it means breaking the rules of their conditioning and risking skepticism from their peers?
Kate Jones

Answer 2-1.Georg Parlow, 4-9-04
Answer 2-2.Kathy Carroll, 4-6-04
Answer 2-3.Michael Maneha, 5-18-04
Answer 2-4.Juan Carlos Calderón, 5-2-04
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Question No. 3
How would one notice that one becomes a genius? What are the physical and para-physical manifestations by which one's own genius can be seen?
Mastaky Salim, Belgium
Answer 3-1.Johnius 4-11-04
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Question No. 4

Given these premises, how can we give "the changers" — their ideas, judgments and opinions — enough influence so as to bring about change?
Georg Parlow
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Question No. 5

How can countries with high unemployment achieve full employment and move towards economic self-sufficiency without upsetting the powers that be?
Louis B Brown
Answer 5-1.C. Gooch, 8-12-04
Answer 5-2.Dave Farquhar, 8-13-04
Answer 5-3.Steve Wallis, 8-17-04 Return to top of page

Question No. 6

I have a new, 55,000-square foot class A office building (more information) with only one tenant since 2001, in a major University town that has no other core industry. When we started to build, there was a momentum for companies to locate here or expand. This momentum dried up after 9/11. How can I create a market for class A space and entice companies to locate here?
Greg DeVilbiss
Answer 6-1.Mike Jelley, 4-23-04
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Question No. 7

As a college student, I face the daunting task of discovering my place in the world; yet rather than simply ending up somewhere, I want to determine where I will go. However, because all I have ever known in my life is school, I have no idea where my true passions lie. So my question is, as a young man soon to enter the working world, how can I discover what I really want to do with my life?
Jonathan Horn
Answer 7-1.Kevin Longshore, 4-30-04
Answer 7-2.Louis B. Brown, 5-10-04
Answer 7-3.Kate Jones, 5-24-04
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Question No. 8

In these perilous times, and with the fate of the world placed into the hands of the head of state of the arguably most powerful nation on earth, what questions should we Americans be asking as we consider our election choices — both of ourselves and of our politicians?
Kate Jones
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Please send your proposed answers or any new questions to:
Question Quest


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Contact:   Project Renaissance
PO Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332
Fax   301-977-4712

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