#1 Travel youtuber Louis Cole ( and social entrepreneur Dave Erasmus ( Friday 1st April 2016 launch Solvey (, the world’s first search for solutions from across the globe to tackle poverty and social injustice.

The duo, who have a reach of over 1 million viewers in 200 countries, are seeking video applications via their youtube channels from fresh talent from any country in the world with any idea that could help to encourage human flourishing, measured by the Social Progress Index and framed by the UN Global Goals initiative.

They fly to Ethiopia Friday 1st April to begin the first of their ‘Idea Jam Sessions’ to encourage and help develop the ideas of those who attend, before continuing to fly east round the world in 30 days to raise awareness of the project in 7 more global territories. The global tour completes in Iceland on April 28th where they will be joined by Iceland’s Prime Minister, who will press the ‘Publish’ button on Louis’ youtube channel to upload the video announcing that the application window is officially open.  Eventually closing 2 weeks later on 3pm GMT May 15th.

David Erasmus said: “We have all seen the reality shows pitching business ideas and performing pop artists but we wanted to create a show via youtube that was community based, global and worth doing, so we are looking for small voices with big ideas, compassionate problem solvers who want to change the world. We want our kids to aspire to be brave, creative leaders not be limited to being just another pop artist or money maker.”

Louis Cole said: “I have spent the last three years daily filming my life, making over 1000 videos and sharing them with people in 200 countries, I have always been passionate about following my dreams and ‘living the adventure’.  Joining with Dave to do Solvey is an exciting opportunity to connect with my youtube community in a new deeper way that really could help make a difference in the world!” 

The pair will select 7 winning ideas to put in the ‘Solvey Spotlight’, where the ideas will all receive a combination of intellectual, financial and social capital to help get the ideas to the next stage in their evolution.

Dave Erasmus Said : “We decided on 7 teams because there are 7 continents, 7 billion people and 7 is a number small enough we can dutifully care about and big enough to build a real fellowship.”

In 2015 Cole and Erasmus ran a successful pilot which received applications from 20 countries and Awarded One Wave (, an Australian team helping make a dent in our global mental health problem through taking people surfing, funds, social exposure and mentorship as well as a trip to LA to receive global exposure on stage at Vidcon, the iconic youtube convention.

Notes to editors

  • For more information please email the Solvey team on
  • Deadline for Applications : 3pm GMT 15th May
  • To apply : post application video on youtube and submit link on
  • Dave, Louis and A board of mentors will select winners who will receive any where from $1,000 – $10,000 in funding
  • Funding partner enquiries welcomed at

About Dave Erasmus

David Erasmus is a serial social entrepreneur will 3 tech and marketing company exits, selling his first online marketing company at 21 and recently passing CEOship of,  which he founded, to Neil Mehta. He is an experienced public speaker with talks for Google, UCL, Oxford University, and 4 different TEDx Talks.  He has a youtube channel where he shares his learnings and experiments And blogs at and on the Huffington Post

About Louis Cole

Louis Cole is a video maker and world traveller, with 4.5 million followers across his social platforms. He has made over 1000 daily videos on youtube  viewed over 200 million times. He is the founder of ‘’ and is currently working on plans to build a treehouse eco village.

Please email for more information

Dave & Bleu

So I wrote a post a few days ago called Notes on Work

Check it here :

And then AlphaGo smashed up Lee Sedol 4-1 at Go and all of Asia watched.

Check it here :

The modern history of machine intelligence has been marked by moments of ‘victory’ by machines over biology. With Deep Blue taking down Kasparov at chess in 1997. Watson Winning at Jeopardy in 2011 and now AlphaGo birthed by DeepMind taking down Lee Sedol in 2016 – A feat until recently predicted only to happen in 10 years time.

The thing I enjoy about the WIRED article is the focus on the beauty of both competitors, the Alpha’s ability to learn the game in a way no human has, using reinforcement learning to play itself and learn through a different pedagogy. As well as celebrating Sedol’s transcendent moments of biological brilliance helping him to his solitary win.

However I feel there are two bigger themes being propagated, implicit in the analogies we are creating to show the world how machines are developing

Control & Competition

I am concerned.

Almost all the terrible moments in history come from the elites ability to divide the people,  and we unfortunately can see some of these methods being used today in US politics

Tim Wise does a good job of increasing our consciousness of this that is deeply embedded in our history.

But what I am concerned about is that, as we continue to venture into one of the most important evolutionary moments in all of existence that we will carry on these childish themes of control and competition that have abused and pillaged our global communities and the result would be more damaging than anything previously encountered.

I am concerned that if we don’t also create ‘moments’ on the journey to mixed-matter intelligence that speak to the values of the future that we so desperately need, that we will fall foul to the ideas that trapped our grandparents in cycles of hate and fear.

It is not enough for the writers to comment on the beauty within the competitive frame of the game that has winners and losers. Don’t get me wrong, I love games and sports and it’s a great way to create clear goals and push each other to develop but we also need respectful signals that help us to imagine an interdependent, collaborative future where we can create more and differently with MM Intelligence than ever before.

So my little ideas is……Drum roolllll please.

Dave & Bleu

Me performing some bluesy type music in partnership with a machine! Not in competition but hopefully Bleu will grow to a place of making music in ways that I could, nor any human could have ever imagined.

As I explained the idea, my friend Alan told me there is a field call ‘Computational Creativity’

I googled it, he was right! 🙂

I found David Cope former professor at Santa Cruz california in music, I emailed, he responded….

Screenshot 2016-03-16 14.16.07

I suggested the following..Screenshot 2016-03-16 14.17.28

he added,

Screenshot 2016-03-16 14.18.30

So this is my task (should I choose to accept it)

To find 100 awesome blues songs and build a model including these ingredients

– Key

– Chords


– Phrasing

– Rhythm

– Arrangement

– Loudness

– Meter

– Melodic Motive

(I don’t yet know what melodic motive is but I will find out)

Then I Bleu and me ever did perform and bleu got to a self governing, self developing state and you enjoyed it you would be appreciating a mixed-matter intelligence music performance.

In summary, I would LOVE to see some press releases about machines and biology working together to create unprecedented results! not just one beating another!

Watch out for Bleu 🙂

Notes on Work

In a conversation with Alonso Vera a PhD in Machine Intelligence and Head of Computer – Human interaction at NASA Ames in Silicon Valley we came to the idea that there are 3 layers of work.

1. Ideation
2. Analysis
3. Execution

The philosophical dilemmas and robotic challenges currently being grappled with in the creation of the drone ecosystem all occur in what the experts all ‘the last 50 feet’

Technology, almost by definition annihilates time and space to create percieved efficiencies

If you think about ‘work’ as a song, an orchestral composition, there is a start, a middle and the end.  Whether completed by an individual or a group, without all of it’s necessary components it is not effective work.

My observation is that technology & automation is burning our ‘Work Wick’ from the middle out, rather than from at both ends. My belief is that technology will continue to do so until a far smaller pair of wicks remain.


I believe it’s good for our quality of life to burn this wick but I see the work song as a bell curve and there is a point where we are in danger of under-appreciating the value humans bring to our global community of work.

So where will this leave us?

The value of skills is always changing as our environment and supply and demand curves undulate as they consistently do, but with the rise of smart machines I think the space that the ‘being human’ definition occupies is coming into focus, getting scrutinised, and this I believe is a wonderful thing.

The definition, on one hand getting narrowed down, like when Jane Goodall found out that we aren’t the only tool makers, but on the other hand a growing appreciation for the nuanced skills that make our boutique biological make up and human capacity so special.

It is good to work, and in an ideal world everyone will get to operate from a place of saying ‘What is the work that only I can do?’ rather than settling for ‘What can I do?’ or worse still, never being given the opportunity to contribute express anything in accordance with what they have been designed to do.

In our environment in 2016 I believe the value of humans doing ‘Planned & Canned’ work is down and the value of excellent ideation and physical movement is up.

I hope that through we will help explore this with a wider community and help ensure that this good work is paired with stories that matter, in essence, taking the appropriate risks we are designed for. I wrote about ‘Risk’ Here after speaking at Oxford’s Said business school.

Both of the presently valuable types of human work are brought to life beautifully by these 2 experts, Firstly Ido Portal, a real master of movement who I hope to spend some time with, learning from in his movement camps. 

James Altucher, a great thinker and writer talks about the value of ideas nicely here although, it seems, still thinking very nationalistically about the economic benefits.

In the light of machines doing work we used to do I think more credit and focus should be given to our ability to function in novel ways in the ‘Last 50 Feet’

I see the definition of work being ‘A meaningful and tangible contribution to our global community of environment, animals, machines and humans’. This can be executed through a variety of disciplines in the arts and sciences.

Wikipedia describes 2 common understanding on ‘Work as a noun’

Screenshot 2016-03-06 15.37.24

I think that whilst the second definition is important, as in our worlds full of complexity and specialism we do need to have some chips to trade with or give.  I think the true essence of ‘Work’, captured in definition 1 gets too often squashed and pulled out of focus  by our western, capitalistic mindsets.

As irony would have it, one of the most enjoyable songs to dance to within the blues fusion dancing community I am a part of in the UK and CA is Hozier’s beautiful ‘Work Song’

Music Film for NYFA (end of 4 week program) from Jude Abadi on Vimeo.

Here these dancers demonstrate extremely fine motor control, intuitive sensory perception and rapid musical processing, and the appearance of good emotional engagement, extremely difficult for a machine to replicate this act even if it could beat me at chess. Hozier also shows incredible creative powers to create a song which has inspired thousands of dancers around the world to create ontop of their audio platform. These are great examples of type 3 work : physical execution and type 1 work : creative ideation.

I believe the greatest complement of any art’s value is that it serves as a platform for another to make a creative leap from.

On the plane on the way to Phoenix Arizona, where I am writing to you from now. I listened to Eva Cassidy’s final live at blues alley recording for the first time! IT WAS AMAZING! Other than a couple of songs, the album was completely novel to me

Screenshot 2016-03-06 15.45.58and throughout the album there was space for each of the musicians, including Eva to riff, jam and ad-lib something they felt was fitting as a solo in the symphony.

The only way to make the dancing moment more novel, scarce and as humanly hard as possible to replicate as work, would be to respond to live novel music. If you haven’t listened to Eva’s album  it I highly recommend it with a glass of red wine, comfortable chair and lights turned low.

Our capacity to do ‘Good Work’ depends on our ability to engage with agency in our environment and gain awareness of the systems in operation. Some could call this our ‘intelligence’ however I will save that discussion for another time. 🙂

What is commonly agreed is that we have two part to our general intelligence, crystallised and fluid. (google it for more) The issue for humans is that fluid intelligence tends to deteriorate currently at around 40 years old, so we rely on remembering previously learn skills and memories to function in the second half of life,

Shaie’s longitudinal study below casts some light on this life journey.

FullSizeRender 4When you add the fact that machines are burning the middle of our work wick, our planned work, our crystallised intelligence then it begs the question, ‘How do we prepare the next generation for a work of valuable work?’

It seems all roads lead to hacking fluid intelligence to mitigate the losses

Therefore practises like blues dancing to novel music with novel partners keeps active, all parts of what makes us particularly human.

My bet is that dancing switch to live blues music is the among the most Neurostimulating and plasticising activity we can participate in. Effectively a full body neural fireworks display!

So all that said, here is a moment which I imagine and excites me about our future!

Sharing a dance with someone new, to live music in a tree house, designed by machines and built by humans!

This future excites me! I think the more our ever refined appreciation for human capacity comes into focus more of us will experience flourishing more often!

Any questions, or for further unpacking please let me know on

Cheers Dave