Photo: Featherstone Media
The Search for Truth
Thousands of young people have earned graduate degrees and settled into university life as postdoctoral students or as junior faculty perfecting specialties while teaching and applying for laboratory grants and fellowships, currently funded by the government at less than 15% per annum. Thousands more have matriculated to industry and the professions in pursuit of careers, but many with latent aspirations to build a constructive enterprise of their own design. Many come from non traditional, diverse and immigrant backgrounds with low funding success rate. We believe these seekers to be change-makers* in an awakened economy.
Original Pursuit is a private initiative leveraging video to illuminate the search for truth. We are looking for people of unbridled imagination whose quest for a better society is unseen by funders and mainstream media. Many are hidden away in the legion of post-doctoral students and emerging scientists whose interdisciplinary research is sheltered by universities. Their pioneering research in physical, biological, behavioral, computer and social sciences promises material benefits to the welfare of the nation. Others may be research employees at government agencies, scientists employed by corporations, military officers, or inventors at home whose experiments offer a process of living that is more equitable, efficient, and sustainable. We all know someone whose relentless pursuit of novel ideas is waiting to be discovered. This initiative will answer their call for help.
Our plan is straightforward. First will be to raise seed capital from progressive investors who want to underwrite change in business and society following years lost to the pandemic. Some may seek a return of capital or recognition. Others pursue the honor of discovery and pride of constructive results. Next, we will employ venture philanthropy offering research grants to young ChangeMakers, i.e., original thinkers whose noble pursuit deserves to be shared. Finally, we plan to marry the skills of artists and filmmakers, both veterans and young creative documentarians, to capture the search for truth in short 5-to-15-minute films. These productions will introduce the constructive promise of ChangeMakers to investors, family foundations, industry, and the media. Success will be measured by the integrity of ventures launched, the capital sponsors they attract, and their impacts on the quality of life and community. Sustaining funds in the venture will be maintained by the sale of productions to mainstream media in all its forms.
Our goal is to ignite ChangeMakers for a changing world. First to advance their mission. Second to illuminate their original pursuit. Finally, to connect the most promising new ventures to national media and prospective sponsors. Our objectives for 2021 are to:
1. Establish Original Pursuit, a Benefit company, with a launch grant of $300,000, followed by pledges to the social venture for $3 million, contributions shared by 10 to 100 sponsors.
2. Place Requests for Proposals in academic publications to build a pipeline of qualified PIs and research entrepreneur candidates.
3. Invest $250k/yr. in 10 startup projects leveraging field videos to illuminate the mission, objectives, and character of project innovators.
4. Assemble a network of young documentarians on call for location work and film editing.
5. Create compelling short documentaries for use as promotional material in grant applications by the postdocs highlighting the broader environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts of their projects.
6. Format the short documentaries for local news, podcasts, cable broadcasters, streamers and digital education for sale to mainstream media looking for inspirational, fact-based news.
7. Partner with sponsors in project investments as conditions warrant.