tks activate 2022

10 month human accelerator helping increase the ambition of the most ambitious by training how to solve the world’s biggest problems with weekly sessions and global community.


why this program?

in my role as a director

unconventional highlights

note these are not the main focus of the program, but these are results of those who put in the work and trusted the process. intentionally, i'm sharing these first to set the stage and to celebrate

collective milestones

  • 25+ presentations on stages, including web summit, sxsw, global citizens forum, eth amsterdam, ibm evoke, and collision. listen to feature talks →
  • 8 students selected for global fellowship at villars institute (think wef davos summit for gen z with a focus on climate). update coming soon →
  • 7 international masason foundation scholars. read announcement →
  • 3 finalists for patrick collier not impossible $1M award. read announcement →
  • 2 week long sprint with twelve activates on google x's moonshot campus. update coming soon →
  • research collaborations with mit labs, cornell, new harvest, and others. listen to ashley's mit project pitch →

personal peak moments

  • sofi is a finalist in global earthshot competition representing top sustainable innovations in mexico for her work in lab grown cotton. check out winning grant application →
  • valkyrie wins first 776 fellowship (think thiel but sustainability) for project firefly, and one of the youngest for an internship at space x. update coming soon →
  • bj, aleem, jake and team raise $400k for padawanDAO sending 100+ students to conferences and research opportunities. check out twitter →
  • naila nominated for top 100 women in canada for her research in flexible solar cells as well as 3d printing bio plastics. read feature →
  • aryan recognized by Schmidt futures and forbes as top global innovator for rise program for his builds across digital healthcare and web3. read forbes feature →

i got more tools to analyze problems and the chance to train on them every session. i was also able to commit to a project to make it as real as possible, something that i hadn't been able to do in innovate. activate was challenging, interesting and different.

sofia sanchez

mexico city, mexico

trusting the process

featured highlights from the three main projects this year

1. second focus built more skills in focused projects in emerging technologies and sciences

2. pie challenge collaborated with shell on a net zero carbon economy challenge

3. earthshots went through an earthshot sprint for understand and try to solve some of the world's biggest problems

shreya, zayn, sualeha, and nic thriving as a team building in AR x education post earthshots.

1. second focus

everyone focused on building more skills in different areas of emerging tech and science.

project highlights

raina exploring what non invasive optogenetics could look like for treatments of neurological disorders, like parkinson's disease. she received mentorship from an mit lab

read more →

sri building end to end learning system to increase efficiency in self driving cars. he got feedback from a team at cruise.

check out twitter thread →

activate has been a catalyst for more exponential growth than I ever imagined I could achieve in just ten months. it has been one of the most incredible and life-changing experiences of my life, and has been incredibly mece in the opportunities it gave me and lessons it taught me.

raina bornstein

boston, us

2. pie challenge

we ran a global challenge with shell this year for net zero carbon economy ideas.

pie = problems incentivized by economics.

project highlights

mikael and aahaan have a hypothesis to capture the ~20k MWh of wasted heat in refineries and researched to see if it could be used to produce green hydrogen.

check out deck →

naila and team look to repurpose oil platforms into electrical substations for wind energy systems, potentially saving $4.65M in decomissioning costs.

check out deck →

eye-opening. i've learned so much more about myself and the world.

sri anumakonda

toronto, ca

3. earthshots

understanding and creating hypotheses to try to solve some of the world's biggest problems.

highlight projects

zayn and team are building literacy teaching tools for kids in augmented reality with an ambition of making a fully mobile 21st education system.

check out their pitch →

ashley and team are researching a way to make a low cost microfluidic device to identify micronutrient deficiencies, starting with vitamin b12.

check out their pitch →

a 10xed growth experience.

zayn patel

seattle, us

the program journey

in this section learn about weekly sessions, coaching, community, and demo day.

weekly sessions

build intentional environments for 1) exposure, 2) high performance team + skillset training, and 3) seed insights for future projects.

i designed and ran 100+ sessions across the world's biggest problems (wbp), world's most difficult technical challenges (wtp), as well as mindsets, skillsets, and philosophy in life sessions.

world's biggest problems

skills: root cause analysis, gap analysis, hypothesis driven ideas, memo writing

topics: reducing medical errors, ending human trafficking, increasing the livlihood of rural indian farmers

check out medical error session memo →

world's largest technical challenges

skills: reading patents, vision setting, identify gaps

topics: decreasing cost per kwh in batteries, identify economic opportunities in the metaverse, and early detection in cancer

check out battery session debrief →

life in wisdom sessions

skills: story telling, building life principles, philosophical discussions

topics: what makes a fulfilling life? what is death?

check out reflection →

the most unparalleled growth curve I have ever experienced so far. full of kindness, good memories, and many lessons in every dimension on life.

manasi gajjalapurna

san francisco, us

on top of all of that, we tried a new 2 week style of sessions without cohorts and individual students could choose their own adventure across 22 different topics.

check out experimental session schedule here →


alongside the program director hat, i also helped guide all of the students through their individual journeys as a high performance coach.

the main theme for activate was personalization, making sure every individual student got what they wanted.


open office hours for personal blockers, life updates, goals, and interesting ideas

skillset training

extra sessions on time management, project managing, applying mental models and more


helped set up and manage a squad based culture with peer to peer master mind groups

mindset training

extra sessions on extreme ownership, anti-comparison, activator and more


weekly sessions for the most engaged activates with growth, philosophy, and okr training

weekly team calls

host challenge check ins for accountability, feedback, and team mamangement

activate has helped me find a project i want to make real, the directors give life-changing personalized and group support, my thinking and understanding of the world have transformed through the weekly problem-solving sessions and i have 4 weekly/ biweekly squad syncs with some of my favourite people ever. life is great.

amy li

toronto, ca

global community

building meaningful relationships across different cities

meeting eric schmidt @ built with bio.

spontaneous global hangout.

philosophy discussions

monthly talks on nitezche, aristotle, epicurus, while questioning the good life


weekly games or friday night jams


weekly growth syncs

guest speakers

talks about industry specific opportunities with

  • product manager @ grail
  • product designer @ meta
  • inventor @ seaweed battery startup
  • vp @ ev connect

and other investors, and founders.

i met an incredible community of friends, gained very valuable mentorship, and worked on building out my projects!

naila moloo

ottawa, ca

demo day

two hour interactive event hosted on gather town to showcase the top projects as well as include invited founders, investors, and guests to meet activate.

featured projects

  1. sriya is working to get 100,000 Ukrainian refugees employed through automated credentialing.
  2. simran is focusing on drug repurposing mechanisms for developing a non hormonal male birth control pill.
  3. aryan is testing no code smart contract investment infrastructure in web3 space.

post mortem

what i would keep doing

what i would do differently

it takes an olympic level village to raise olympic level innovators

so a huge thank you and s/o to

resources to explore more

21 lessons for the 21st century by harari

as a founder and investor, naveen reveals a creative take on questioning fundamental industries that have seen little change in the last 30 years, including space tech and education.

check out the book →

crossing the unknown sea by david whyte

as a philosopher and poet, whyte captures exactly what it means to be on a journey in life figuring out one's purpose and agency for accomplishing something meaningful.

check out the book →

axios daily newsletter

learning about the world takes active daily exploration. axios offers a great newsletter in executive memo format to learn about politics, current events, and tech updates.

check out the newsletter →

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🌎 michael raspuzzi



made with 🖤 in sf.