Alain Rostain

ALAIN ROSTAIN

Executive Director

The best approach to solving the great challenges we face is by starting with a foundation of shared understanding, based on truth.

Alain is a visionary and scientific thinker seemingly ahead of their time—exploring the edges, pioneering breakthroughs in multiple domains, even creating new fields of practice. Now they are weaving it all together to help society come together like never before, to help lead us to a better future.

Starting off in Physics (1978), Alain intuitively knew the field wasn’t embracing the right approach for figuring out the fundamental workings of our universe: knowledge-based engineering, not advanced math, would be more helpful. So they dove into Artificial Intelligence (1982),  through their undergraduate studies, early work life, and graduate studies at Yale. Alain was on the small team of developers and expert users who pioneered the first Knowledge Engineering Environment (KEE). 

Alain continued to expand their systems knowledge at Price Waterhouse, delivering complex information technology solutions for clients. After discovering the deep wealth of knowledge in improvisation, Alain engaged practitioners across the world to found the field of Applied Improvisation. With Creative Advantage, an innovation firm, Alain added facilitation, creativity, and innovation skills to become an innovation specialist. Birthing programs for executive and leadership teams globally in the public and private sectors, Alain served > 30 of the Fortune 500, including Bristol-Myers, Merck, Humana, Kraft, Starbucks, General Mills, General Electric, Saint-Gobain, Bank of America, and Intel. Along the way, Alain discovered the knowledge for how to articulate the power of unconditional love, bottling its healing power in a self-guided meditation app, LOVEx.com.

In 2018, with science-based sustainability solutions urgently needed, Alain started Clean Research, a non-profit designed initially to approach one sustainability opportunity area from a collaborative knowledge-building perspective from the start of the process. Leading 9 experts with > 30 scientists contributing complementary knowledge across organizational boundaries, Alain senior-authored a peer-reviewed scientific paper (2020), “A More Open Approach Is Needed to Develop Cell-Based Fish Technology.” The work, commissioned by One Earth, a top-tier sustainability science journal from Cell Press, demonstrates the value of truth-telling and collaboration in tackling our grand sustainability challenges.

In the process of working closely with the very knowledgeable editorial team of One Earth, Alain came to learn that most of our grand challenges aren’t addressed correctly. For one, they require fully transdisciplinary approaches, engaging the participation from many different types of experts with relevant knowledge from the start of the problem-solving process. Since today’s systems for advancing science, technology, and innovation do not support an ideal, speed-focused, virtually boundless, and knowledge-based approach, Alain blueprinted a new system for accelerating innovation. A 12-month facilitated innovation process is poised to deliver deep knowledge, breakthrough insights, and high value into multiple transdisciplinary challenge spaces such as carbon sequestration and grid-energy storage.

With everything at stake, we win together.

KEY EXPERTISE AREAS

  • Collaborative discovery of knowledge and insights for breakthrough innovation
  • Leadership, facilitation, collaboration, and co-creation
  • Navigating the unknown
  • Systems integration, software engineering, and scale-up
  • Whole-systems thinking