Meet Tom Chi, May 21, 2016

We were very lucky to have Tom Chi share with Makerbay community some of his current work, thinking, challenges. Below are some notes from the discussion. |

Tom’s life these days

These days : Patent trolling Inventions across the board

Current research : Civilisation-level technologies

  • A. Change reflectivity of the earth
  • B. Coral reef restoration, 15% are being bleached. We have 18 – 30 years before 0
  • C. Plastic that can easily breaks with specific wavelength UV -> Dirt


  • “On behalf of humanity”
  • “I want humanity to be net positive to the environment”
  • “Pretty much everything in nature makes nature better except us” • “We’re the only being that is not net positive”
  • “Physics are pretty simple. If we just improve top soil (compostable waste), water , air , biodiversity should go up.”
  • “Unfucking up what we have fucked up”
  • “We cannot fix it up in our lifetime” 


  • >> What are the big things that need to be invented?
  • >> How are we going to this?
  • >> How to build a lab? How do you create a team? HR at GoogleX

Roberto > What stage are you at now (about geo-engineer climate modifying albedo) ? Volcanic gases, no ice cap earth, Modulating factor -.2% Pinatubo
Ref : []

Particulate Create Volcano Engineer jet fuel

Lady> You will have to collaborate with big entities to do this kind of projects? Betting on the megatrends []…

De Kai> Where is the tipping point to make enough of a difference? Ocean is a major C02 sink. Methane is pretty crappy.

Agriculture = transportation in term of greenhouse gases We need atmospheric projects Sequestration is a surface area issue

“Factory x” Company that creates companies Humanity relationship to nature is commerce Companies The future of work. Companies concentrate wealth
Top 62 richest people have as much as all the rest of the world. I know 6 of these people. Nice kind intelligent people. They accumulate more wealth but don’t necessarily create value for society.
6x compression in the next…. 5 years? (62 / 6) We built stuff that broke … the world. Nobody question these, as is it was religion. We made these rules in the first place. Alphabet (google) was created to make investment depending on their risks quality

De Kai> Hacking these 62 people -> why not? Some billionaire pledged a big part of their fortune … But It does not create a healthy ecosystem We need other rules that work…

Man> How does money play out in these evolution The way we manage money We need some abstraction of value Money is becoming all virtual, so changing the rules of money We created a set of inconsistent rules

Cesar> Bitcoin?
Grey and black market Tech utopists

Lady> What about Patagonia? They wrote their own bylaws This is our standard, our place in the world Is not that set in stone Raising the standard tends to not be illegal

Lady> How would you incentivise business to improve? You have a number of these companies trying to raise their bars becoming successful Grow up : Stay humans as you grow older Grow out : Old people die. Sorry, you are not going to change Example : Gay marriage, old folks needed to die for it to happen

Mandy Poon> Knowledge, practice and mastering. What are the factors for people ? 3 cognitive gaps

1) Knowledge
You know about bikes – crazy bike, cool! ⁃ I want to know everything about bikes! You know it all but you have no practice ⁃ We live in the belief that knowledge is paramount. Nope.

2) Practice

3) Mastery
Space between 1 – 3 is the knowledge to “mastery gap” Propagation bias It makes us smart sounding but not smarter Create an economy Caring, patience Much harder to be entrepreneur

Lady> Is it a first world problem ? In the developing world, they are stuck in the daily problem Developed world are better at the practice gap I’m more intellectual perhaps, maybe not very skilful – and that ok, because I am a first world person, I think, I don’t make

Tom Chi at MakerBay

Roberto Pirelli> Imagination is more important than knowledge Imagination is what masters do If you are the mastery band know there is no accomplishment Mastery is infinite

Ken Chew> The mastery gap is dictated by society.

De Kai> Reward function. Students don’t want the practice part. How can we change the reward function? I like the path is “I took some practice but this is how you do it” “There is no short cut” “It sounds so simple, it sounds dumb” “Value is created by the shortcut of value” We are defined more by our tragedies than our triumphs Tragedies

Major tragedies

  • Born in Taiwan. Parent never learnt english well. They had low wage income. 2-3 jobs to make ends meet. 1.5 USD / hour. I saw them working incredibly hard. Asian male applying for electric engineering – over-represented applicants. I worked 3 jobs during college. I got a job, 60K / year. ‘No, we won’t let you” who gives up Who will spend their lives, 2 lives for 1? I can pay you back but you will not even let me. They were farmers in Taiwan. These were my parents, 1 generation ago. Too poor to afford shoes to a man that develop self-driving cars. We have that possibility. We see uneducation. My name means “remember a good education”. My deal is to bring what to the world.

• I think my parents work harder than me. I started giving talk about the future of work. The amount of people wanting a new model of work is a mega-trend

Tom Chi at MakerBay

>> How to build a lab? How do you create a team? HR at GoogleX Pi shape people. Amazing at art and can code. Try to take the top 2%  it was a 200/1 hire ratio. Most google people did not make it. Layer questions

▪ What drives you in life? Deeply motivates youMaggie Lin
> 1. Talk to me briefly in the last 5 years that you were passionate about.
Nose HK, 2000 smell memories. Smell, memories> 2. Why were you passionate about it?
HK is about money / corporate… What represent HK Mindfulness for all in a non-meditation way Bridge between mindfulness through smell> 3. Why does it matter to you?
In my personal experience, bulimia, made me suffer and mindfulness helped me a lot. Because I believe a lot of our suffering is locked and can be unlocked through People cried a lot. Because what motivates people is often rooted in tragedy, that translate in the source of meaning.And to finish, an excellent talk Tom Chi gave at TEDxTaipei:

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Ms. Angie Zhou

Education Specialist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Angie Zhou is an Education Specialist at MIT App Inventor. She was the founder and CEO of Dreams Come True in Shenzhen, where she developed online coding courses for kids. She also has previous curriculum development, teaching and staff training experience at First Code Academy in Hong Kong.