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IN REVIEW

A five year view of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program


Copyright © 2017 by Synbio LEAP All rights reserved. First Printing, 2017 ISBN 978-0-9988122-0-5


SynbioLeap.org


Letter from the Executive Director LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | THE LEAP EXPERIMENT: GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

The LEAP Experiment: Global Technology Leadership Technology plays a complex and powerful role in shaping our lives, our understanding of ourselves and our world. This is especially true of biotechnology, which is creating new ways of feeding, fueling and healing, and new understandings of the living world and our role within it. Technology promises to make the world a better place, but underlying this promise are complex social, political and ethical judgments about what makes the world better. Leading technology development to fulfill its promises therefore requires much more than technical savvy. It requires leadership to develop new ways of working together and negotiating conflicting societal needs and values on global scales. LEAP (Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program) is an experiment in global technology leadership and governance. Our hypothesis is that change in socio-technical systems begins with individuals, and that creating and sustaining leaders requires transformational experiences and new communities of practice. This experiment involves some big questions: Leadership in practice: Can a technology leadership program facilitate the development of ethical practices that encourage the constructive questioning of goals and values? Community accountability: Can a network support and sustain individual leaders’ commitment to ethical practices, and transform an individual’s relationship to and role within a field? Network effects: Can a small group of practitioners act as leaders that inspire a larger community and field? Systems change: Can we understand and measure whether individual efforts transcend traditional institutions, enable others, and improve outcomes for people and the planet?


Executive Director Megan Palmer speaking about the vision for LEAP at BioFabricate 2016


LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | THE LEAP EXPERIMENT: GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

Biotechnology as an Essential Testbed We embarked on this experiment in the context of synthetic biology, an emerging field focused on the development of foundational tools in biotechnology. These tools are being developed by people from a variety of backgrounds that believe creating (i.e., synthesizing) biological systems from their molecular components (e.g., DNA) is a powerful way to discover how these systems work and how they might be used. Synthetic biology has features that make it an ideal proving ground for an experiment in developing technology leadership in the public interest: Messy: Biotechnology involves transforming our relationship with the living world, including how humans can and should interact with the very stuff we’re made of, making ethical decisions inescapable. Malleable: As an emerging field in the development of biotechnology, there is space and opportunity to create new institutions, communities and practices. Mindful: Many of the field’s founders recognize the interconnectedness of scientific and social change and have already fostered a culture of experimentation, providing receptiveness to new approaches. Matters: Biotechnology offers great promise to address important societal needs and opportunities—from fighting disease to meeting demands for food, water, materials and energy. In essence, we believe that public interest leadership is not only important, but essential, for a field that endeavors to make biology engineerable with impacts at global scales.


CATALYZING LEADERSHIP FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST


LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | THE LEAP EXPERIMENT: GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

The First Experiment In 2012, we piloted Synthetic Biology LEAP as an experiment in global technology leadership development. Our efforts were made possible thanks to visionary investments in community and leadership development by the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc), the largest consortium of synthetic biology laboratories supported by the US National Science Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Our vision was big: catalyze a community of next generation leaders in biotechnology development. Our approach was simple: select a group of emerging leaders who aspired to serve public interests; provide them with time, space and new peers and processes to reflect on their goals and activities; and work on self-initiated projects in which these leaders sought to put their reflections into practice beyond the program. The inaugural LEAP program: • Selected nineteen Fellows working across diverse organizations including universities, national labs, government, industry, think tanks, nongovernmental organizations, and community labs. • Held a weeklong interactive workshop in which Fellows worked with professional facilitators and a network of mentors from across disciplines and sectors. • Facilitated production of thirteen Strategic Action Plans that outlined Fellow-led initiatives for advancing biotechnology in the public interest. This first experiment exceeded our expectations in catalyzing new relationships, visions and strategies for reflecting upon and realizing biotechnology’s promise. LEAP Fellows have since collaborated on many self-sustaining initiatives that engage broad communities and inspire others to grapple with difficult questions about what can make the future of biotechnology better, and how to get there (See our Alumni updates, page 163).


The team from the 2012 inaugural LEAP program


A Bigger, Bolder Experiment With the success of the first program, we ran a second bigger, bolder experiment. Our aim was to test and refine our approach, and expand our reach. SynbiCITE, a major synthetic biology center in the United Kingdom, joined our inaugural sponsoring partners to recruit Fellows from networks in Europe. Meanwhile, the organizing team

LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | THE LEAP EXPERIMENT: GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

recruited new partners to mentor Fellows, help develop their ideas, and put those ideas into action. Working with an expanded team, we developed LEAP into a year-long Fellowship. This book tells the story of the LEAP experiment in four parts that highlight the fundamentals of our efforts. Community: People are at the heart of LEAP. The twenty-three Fellows from our 2015 class each have unique visions for putting responsible biotechnology development into practice. They also share a commitment to working together to improve collective efforts and public outcomes. They join a rich network of mentors, supporters and organizers who have created a community that both supports and challenges its members. Program: Since the first class in 2012, we have re-envisioned LEAP from the bottom up, drawing the best elements from the first program and creating new experiences and opportunities. The new program featured two intensive workshops: a new landscaping workshop to survey key activities and priorities of the field, and a revised leadership workshop to co-develop initiatives that can lead efforts in new and valuable directions. Products: Through the program, Fellows iteratively develop Strategic Action Plans outlining actionable strategies for developing biotechnology in the public interest. This class co-developed twelve plans that address a diversity of needs and opportunities, and four insight papers sharing their key learnings. The Fellows have already begun to bring these plans to life, and four received Catalyst Grants to help launch their efforts. Outcomes: We evaluated the program to test our approach and demonstrate reflection on our own goals as a program.This included surveys of Fellows, embedded ethnographers, and tracking activities of our alumni. Though the far-reaching effects of LEAP can only be measured over time, our early data tells a story of meaningful and lasting impact on Fellows. It shows how leadership investments can have outsized impacts on a community and a field. We are excited to share highlights from LEAP. The challenges and questions in synthetic biology that LEAP explored are shared by the larger biotechnology community and many other global industries. There is a need and an opportunity to develop leadership in the public interest in many new communities and fields. As the program and Fellows’ plans continue to evolve, we welcome your ideas and engagements and look forward to future experiments. Megan J. Palmer Executive Director, Synthetic Biology LEAP


Fellows listening to perspectives from the NGO community at the 2015 Leadership Workshop in Asilomar


The Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program (LEAP) provides mentorship, practical skills and a sustaining network to help emerging leaders guide a socially responsible future for synthetic biology.

The 2015 LEAP Fellows at the Landscaping Workshop


The Vision for LEAP Catalyzing leadership for biotechnology in the public interest Synthetic biology is maturing into a globally significant enterprise with potentially far-reaching impacts across energy, the environment and health. Yet the network of people working in synthetic biology is increasingly diverse and distributed, making it ever more challenging to orient and organize efforts to deliver meaningful public goods. To best advance synthetic biology, and biotechnology more broadly, we need new leaders and strategies for effectively engaging across academic, industry, government and public-benefit organizations. The Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program (LEAP) envisions catalyzing a next generation of leaders in biotechnology to drive the responsible development of the field. In addition to building a cadre of young professionals taking on leadership roles in the synthetic biology community, LEAP aims to create sustainable tools and mechanisms for engaging a broader range of practitioners in the societal role of biotechnology development. LEAP does this by implementing the following initiatives: 1. Investing in a community of individuals who can shape this diverse, growing and globally distributed technology 2. Creating new tools and networks essential to developing their visions for promoting innovation responsibly in practice 3. Acting as a sustaining nexus of resources and support as leaders assume their roles Our vision is to empower and inspire a human infrastructure to assess and steer the development of synthetic biology in a global context. In essence, LEAP is preparing leaders to lead.


Fellows and mentors visiting offices at the United States Congress


“Most of biotechnology has yet to be imagined, let alone made true. LEAP uniquely enables the world’s best and brightest to reflect on what might be done and whether to proceed. The LEAP Fellowship is the key leadership community for shaping and realizing a future in which all people and nature flourish in partnership via biology.”

Drew Endy Associate Professor, Stanford Bioengineering President, BioBricks Foundation Voting Member, National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity Voting Member, WHO Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research

“Synthetic biology, and the global democratization of gene editing tools such as CRISPR/Cas9, have the potential to profoundly alter the world we live in for the better. With commendable foresight, the LEAP program has considered this revolutionary science in the context of the broader social, political, economic, legal, ethical and the bio-threat landscape. Above all, LEAP is preeminent in developing the thought leaders and future policy makers who not only understand the technology and promise of synthetic biology, but also the complexity of guiding its governance and rational use for a safer, more equitable and scientifically enhanced future.”

Kenneth Bernard Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General, US Public Health Service (Ret.) Former Special Assistant to the President for Health, Security and Biodefense “Synthetic biology helps address the grand challenges of the twenty-first century by providing tools that strengthen the fundamentals of pure and applied sciences. The Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program (LEAP) provides science-based and policy-guided skillsets for researchers to develop a socially responsible future for synthetic biology, which in turn will accelerate the development of new advancements in industrial biotechnology, agriculture, food and healthcare.”

Rina Singh Managing Director, Industrial and Environmental Section Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)


“Transforming the many ideas and possibilities now emerging from the expanding field of synthetic biology into the delivery of sustainable solutions to urgent and challenging local and global needs requires highly informed and effective leadership. The SynBio LEAP program provides an excellent basis for inspiring and developing future leaders in synthetic biology and its applications within a broad framework of social awareness, responsible innovation and public policy.”

Lionel Clarke Co-Chairman, UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council Visiting Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College, London Honorary Chair, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, UK. “Engineering biology has enormous potential to solve global-scale problems, and LEAP is helping this technology achieve its potential by growing the leaders necessary to realize this vision. The program fulfills the vital role of engaging and training future leaders to think critically about balancing the needs of society, technology and public policy. It provides an atmosphere for collaborative and thoughtful decision-making and is paving the way for engineering biology to make meaningful contributions to the world.”

Dan Widmaier CEO, Bolt Threads

“Synthetic biology can be thought of as ‘the new software’: a powerful tool with near-limitless applications. What is created from these vast possibilities relies on the dreams and pursuits of real people working in the field. LEAP has developed a unique community that spans the many disciplines that make up the field, and also the disciplines that bridge synthetic biology to the world. The program has nurtured this community by catalyzing bonds of understanding and empathy that are imperative to having the hard discussions that loom in our future. Our world can be a better place because of the possibilities provided by engineering biology, and LEAP helps us ensure that future is one in which we collectively flourish.”

Cady Coleman Astronaut US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


Fellows introducing their project proposals at the Landscaping Workshop


Table of Contents Community

18

Products

100

Partners

21

Strategic Action Plans

103

Program Sponsors Program Supporters

22 24

Strategic Action Plan Abstracts

106

Fellows

27

Community Action Plans

120

Mentors

41

Insight Papers

123

Insight Paper Abstracts

124

Organizers

47

Catalyst Grants

129

Catalyst Grant Abstracts

130

Outcomes

134

Program Reflections

137

Program Evaluation

143

Overview Overall Program Value Key Benefits Leadership Perspectives Leadership Attributes Leadership Skills Leadership Knowledge Leadership Goals and Plans

144 146 148 150 154 156 158 160

Alumni Updates

163

Alumni Vignettes

164

The Next Experiments

176

Advisors and Assistants

53

Program

54

Philosophy

56

Principles

58

Program Design

61

Program Overview Fellow Selection Landscaping Workshop Leadership Workshop Strategic Action Plan Development

62 64 66 68 70

Workshop Agendas

75

Landscaping Workshop Leadership Workshop

76 88


COMMUNITY LEAP is a community of leaders committed to working together to shape biotechnology development in the public interest.


“The group of Fellows was simultaneously both incredibly honest and positive with each other. This has inspired me to reach for larger goals.”

“I was very pleased to see the breadth and diversity of backgrounds and experiences . . . all the Fellows are certainly experts in their own field, but, unlike more traditional conferences and meetings, they were a) genuinely interested in broadening their view, often beyond their comfort zones and b) so generous in sharing their own expertise.”


Program partners and mentors sharing lessons at the Landscaping Workshop


Partners

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LEAP is made possible through the support of our visionary Program Sponsors and Supporters.

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Program Sponsors Program Sponsors provide financial support to the program, and representatives from these organizations serve on our advisory board.

PAULA OLSIEWSKI Program Director / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Laying the groundwork for a robust examination of, and a sustainable approach to synthetic biology with transformative potential for both science and industry

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RICHARD KITNEY & PAUL FREEMONT Co-Directors /Synthetic Biology Innovation Commercial and Industrial Translation Engine (SynbiCITE) Creating a resource of interacting partners from academia, industry and business to promote the commercialization of synthetic biology

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JAY KEASLING Director / Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc) Developing the foundational understanding and technology needed to design and build biological solutions for the most challenging problems of our time

FBI

EDWARD YOU Supervisory Special Agent, Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, Biological Countermeasures Unit / Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

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Building a cohesive and coordinated approach to incidents involving biological weapons—with an overriding focus on prevention

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Program Supporters Program Supporters provide in-kind support to the program and Fellows, and representatives from these organizations serve on our advisory board.

DREW ENDY Co-Founder and Board Member / Biobricks Foundation Ensuring that the engineering of biology is conducted in an open and ethical manner to benefit all people and the planet

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RANDY RETTBERG & MEAGAN LIZRAZO President and Vice President / iGEM Foundation Promoting education and competition, advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of open community and collaboration

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DAVID REJESKI Director, Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP), Woodrow Wilson Center Tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable ideas for the policy community

AMY TAYLER Manager / UK Knowledge Transfer Network Delivering economic growth by connecting people to speed up innovation, solve problems and find markets for new ideas

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Stanford University DAVID RELMAN Co-Director / Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), Stanford University Generating knowledge to build a safer world

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Fellows working on a collaborative mapping exercise during the Landscaping Workshop


Fellows

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The LEAP Fellows are emerging leaders competitively selected for their leadership potential and visions for shaping the future of biotechnology in the public interest.

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AFKE (WIEKE) BETTEN is a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Athena Institute at the VU University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her main (research) interests include bioethics, sociology of science and technology, and transdisciplinary research. Wieke’s PhD project aims to contribute to responsible innovation of synthetic biology by facilitating learning processes between different stakeholders (such as citizens, students, artists and researchers) and exploring their individual and collective sense-making. She also co-organizes events for the Open Wetlab at Waag Society Amsterdam. Since 2011, Wieke has been involved in the iGEM competition, both as an advisor and a judge. She was recently involved in the SYNENERGENE project, collaborating with iGEM teams in “real-time” technology assessments. Wieke obtained an MSc in medicine and an MSc in management, policy analysis and entrepreneurship in the Health and Life Sciences, both from the VU University in Amsterdam. In 2015, she finished her training program at The Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC).

MAC COWELL is a biotechnologist working on low-cost molecular biology tools. Previously, Mac worked for the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition at MIT; co-founded DIYbio.org, an online community for biotechnologists; started BOSSlab.org, a public wetlab in Somerville, MA; and researched patent use in the genetic diagnostic industry at the Berkman Center at Harvard University. In 2011, he co-founded Cofactor Bio and developed an innovative $25 PCR + DNA sequencing reagent kit for consumers and educators. Currently, Cowell works at Genefoo LLC, an R&D lab in San Francisco, CA, which is focused on developing and sourcing low-cost, open source molecular biology equipment. Most recently, Genefoo developed an innovative Synthetic Biology exhibit at the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation that involved hands-on

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transformation and measurement of a three-color reporter system. Cowell has a BS in biology from Davidson College.


CAMILLE DELEBECQUE is an entrepreneur and biotechnologist. He is passionate about taming wild microbes to do great things, running on big mountains for long times, and very good sustainable food. Camille is an advocate of using biology as technology and has been working on fostering biotechnological innovations with organizations across the private, public and social sectors. He is the founder and CEO of SynBio Consulting and an advisor in Synthetic Biology for the European Commission. His latest venture, Afineur, crafts better and more sustainable food using disruptive fermentations. Prior to founding Afineur and SynBio Consulting, Camille worked at Puretech Ventures, consulted for the Harvard Office of Technology Development, and worked for the Life Science division of UNESCO. Camille is trained as a bioengineer and earned his PhD in synthetic biology with the highest distinctions between Harvard and Paris University. His thesis work has been published in leading scientific journals and made the cover of Science.

KIM DE MORA is the judging coordinator and director of development for the iGEM Foundation. After beginning his career in engineering, Kim received his PhD in synthetic biology from the University of Edinburgh. During this time, Kim was awarded the Lessels Scholarship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh to spend a year working on yeast synthetic biology at Harvard Medical School under the guidance of Professor Pam Silver. He was also a member of the first iGEM team from Scotland, developing a functional arsenic biosensor that won the inaugural “Best Real World Application” prize. This project set the tone at iGEM for years to come and now many teams seek to solve local challenges that remain unaddressed in their communities. After a decade in synthetic biology, Kim now runs the judging program at the iGEM foundation and has recruited

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over 1,000 senior members of the community to participate in Jamborees worldwide. He also manages development and builds partnerships with organizations and sponsors to engage with the iGEM Foundation’s 30,000+ member community.

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CONNOR DICKIE co-founded Synbiota Inc. to accelerate biotechnology R&D. Synbiota is a rapid prototyping software/wetware platform for synthetic biology that puts the power of life into the hands of enthusiasts and researchers around the globe. Connor is a former student of the MIT Media Lab, where he created context-sensitive and attention-aware computers that have since been commercialized by Samsung. Connor is an alumnus of Mozilla’s WebFWD program, and winner of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Accelerator. Connor is also a co-founder of DIYBio communities in Toronto and Montreal.

KEVIN ESVELT is an assistant professor and leader of the Sculpting Evolution Group at the MIT Media Lab, Kevin Esvelt studies ways of using molecular tools to alter populations and ecosystems. He received his PhD from Harvard University for inventing PACE, a synthetic microbial ecosystem for rapidly evolving useful biomolecules. At Wyss Institute, he helped pioneer the development of a powerful new method of genome engineering based on CRISPR/Cas9, an enzyme that can cut DNA at almost any desired sequence. Kevin outlined how CRISPR might be used to alter wild populations of sexually reproducing organisms by building evolutionarily stable “gene drives.” Kevin is deeply concerned with ensuring that research involving gene drives and other shared-impact technologies is open and

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responsive. In addition to devising novel solutions to evolutionary problems, his work at the Media Lab focuses on inventing and stress-testing technologies that will empower local communities to make decisions about their own environments.


JAMES FIELD is CEO and co-founder of LabGenius, a synthetic biology startup based in London, UK. LabGenius was conceived during James’s PhD studies at Imperial College London, where his research was focused on re-engineering protein nanocages for biotechnological applications. Prior to his PhD, James completed a BSc in biology with microbiology (1st Class) and an MRes in systems and synthetic biology (Distinction) at Imperial College London. James is an active member of the synthetic biology community and has participated in the iGEM competition both as an undergraduate (2009) and an advisor (2011).

TED FJÄLLMAN

is CEO of Prokarium, a UK SynBio company that has

transformed Salmonella into a SynBio tool for oral delivery and production of vaccines from within the body’s own immune cells—a technology currently in clinical trials. Ted has a wide international background, earning his degrees on three different continents. During his PhD in Canada, he developed a method to bind toxins in filter paper using genetically modified antibodies. Afterward, Ted worked for one of Sweden’s leading think tanks where he coordinated the writing of a national innovation strategy for the Minister of Enterprise and organized delegation visits with prime ministers and top industry leaders. In 2009, he was one of 45 European astronaut finalists, and the last Swedish candidate out of 8,300 European applicants. He also

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co-founded Tekiu and Citizens without Borders, and when he has spare time enjoys learning languages, playing strategy games and rock climbing.

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KEIRA HAVENS is a synthetic-biologist-turned-entrepreneur dedicated to making biotechnology beautiful and accessible. She is currently the director of the One Sky Initiative, an independent voice dedicated to impact assessment of applied biology. This initiative, which asks the question “How do we apply biology well?”, grew out of an effort to bridge the gap between the perceptions, potential and reality of plant genetic engineering, starting with flowers that change color throughout the day. Revolution Bioengineering now works with artists, bioethicists, engineers and scientists to introduce the potential and possibility of synthetic biology through these flowers. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2004, Havens accepted a commission in the United States Air Force. She left active duty to pursue a degree in a synthetic biology laboratory and received an MS from Colorado State University in 2014.

ANDREW HERR is the CEO of Helicase, a leader in human performance enhancement. Helicase leverages cutting-edge science and technology to enhance mental and physical performance. Helicase also conducts groundbreaking research and development to push the frontiers of the field through its Mind Plus Matter division. To give back, Andrew teaches and conducts research as an adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University, as an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and as co-director of the Herr Hands-On Learning Award program also at Georgetown. Prior to his current positions, Andrew led efforts on the future of human performance and biotechnology for the US Department of Defense. Andrew received master’s degrees in health physics, microbiology and immunology, and security studies from Georgetown University,

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along with his bachelor’s in science, technology and international affairs and a certificate in Eurasian, Russian, and East European studies.


KAREN INGRAM

is a creative director, designer and artist who uses her

skill set to promote scientific awareness. Karen co-authored Biobuilder: Synthetic Biology in the Lab (O’Reilly, 2015), a synthetic biology curriculum. She also served as a design track judge at IGEM in 2015. For more than four years, she has co-organized Brooklyn-based science cabaret The Empiricist League. She is a longtime planning committee member of SXSW Interactive, where she focuses on the overlap of science and art, emerging biotechnologies, and their effects on society. She is also a creative strategy instructor for NYU SHERP’s Entrepreneurial Science Journalism course. A veteran in the world of digital design, advertising and marketing, Ingram has worked at Campfire, McCann Erikson and UNICEF, to name a few. Her work has appeared in many publications, including titles from Die Gestalten, Scientific American, and The FWA, where she was named a “Digital Pioneer.” Ingram has written tutorials on digital design for Computer Arts magazine and New Riders publications. She has presented her work globally in venues such as Synbiobeta, the AIGA, Flash in the Can, Biofabricate, Synberc, and SXSW.

JASON KAKOYIANNIS is Business Development Director at Ginkgo Bioworks and founder of Bioscentric, a consultancy at the nexus of synthetic biology, technology and ingredients made by the fragrance, flavor, food and cosmetic industries. He has held strategic and creative roles in the global fragrance industry developing both business-to-business and consumer-facing platforms for companies such as Givaudan, Natura, Procter & Gamble and the Estée Lauder Companies, among others. Jason’s expertise straddles creative and executive roles and he is passionate about sensory experience, consumer engagement, and

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messaging around products that come from biology.

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CAMERON KEYS is a Presidential Management Fellow in the US Department of Defense. He evaluates defense laboratory management practices for the Laboratories Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering) and performs financial management analyses of logistics operations for US Army Headquarters (G-4). He is an Army Logistics University-Certified Operations Researcher/Systems Analyst and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Cameron studied biotechnology law while earning a master’s degree in science and technology policy from Arizona State University. His master’s thesis focused on designing and testing R&D management policies that incentivize social business model innovation. He performed ethnographic research at Japanese Materials Science laboratories for the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU upon graduation, which led to projects in documentary film, moderated public debate, broadcast journalism and an art exhibition. Throughout this period, Cameron wrote about grassroots cultural responses to converging technologies as a journalist with the Prevail Project at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

MICHAEL KOERIS is the CEO and co-founder of Sample6, a hybrid wetware/software startup leveraging synthetic biology and Big Data approaches to improve the health and safety of global consumers. Sample6 is developing leading-edge solutions for food safety, coupled with the world’s fastest pathogen testing to detect harmful and unwanted bacteria in the food, healthcare and other industries. Michael also co-founded the nonprofit BiotechStart. org to facilitate the dissemination of successful business models for biotech startups, increase awareness among prospective founders, and help start more biotech companies. Before starting Sample6 and BiotechStart, Michael completed doctoral work on network approaches to combat antibiotic-tolerant bacteria with Professor James Collins at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

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and Boston University. Michael remains a visiting scholar with the Synthetic Biology Group at MIT. He also sits on the boards of both nonprofit (AddGene) and for-profit companies (Xeno Bio). Mike graduated with an MS in biochemistry from the Free University of Berlin and was a recipient of the German Academic Exchange Fellowship (DAAD) to study at MIT. In addition to his scientific work, Mike previously worked at KPMG Consulting and McKinsey & Company in Germany, as well as Flagship Ventures in Cambridge.


JON MARLES-WRIGHTis a senior lecturer in microbial biotechnology in the School of Biology, Newcastle University. Prior to this appointment, he was a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Institute for Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, and Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology at the University of Edinburgh. He trained as a biochemist and structural biologist, working on diverse projects including immune recognition of bacterial lipids, environmental sensors in Gram positive bacteria and plant cell wall degradation. His current research employs structural biology methods complemented with biochemistry, biophysics and synthetic biology tools to understand metabolic compartmentalization in bacteria. Through an understanding of the basic biology and design principles of metabolic compartments, he hopes to use these as synthetic biology platforms for the production of valuable natural products, and to refactor these systems for use as containers and scaffolds for biotechnology applications. Jon teaches biotechnology, biochemistry and synthetic biology to both undergraduates and postgraduates.

AMOR MENEZES is an associate project scientist in the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a QB3 Postdoctoral Scholar from 2011 to 2016. He was a Research Fellow between 2010 and 2011 in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, where he received a PhD. as an NSERC Post-Graduate Scholar and Michigan Teaching Fellow in 2010, and a Master of Science in Engineering as a Milo E. Oliphant Fellow in 2006. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2005 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering with Distinction, Dean’s Honors (top 10%), and the Sandford Fleming Co-op Medal. His research interests are in dynamical systems theory and control, with applications to the fields

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of systems biology and synthetic biology. Most recently, he pioneered a control-oriented dynamical systems approach to modeling trauma coagulation to help tailor the resuscitation of severely injured patients, and quantified why biomanufacturing technologies are more useful for space exploration than traditional chemical and mechanical techniques. He was a 2015 Emerging Leader in Biosecurity.

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MATTHEW MUNSON is focused on the implementation of microfluidic technologies to establish robust metrological frameworks in the area of bioanalytical chemistry. The applications of these technologies within synthetic biology include genetic parts characterization, investigation of coupling between genetic elements, bioprocess feedstock characterization, and development of real-time measures of strain performance. He was a co-founder of NIST’s efforts to launch and host a Synthetic Biology Standards Consortium whose aim is to develop consensus standards and metrology infrastructure with both academic and industrial partners. He is currently a senior engineer at Purigen Biosystems. He received a PhD in bioengineering from the University of Washington, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Chicago and NIST.

NICOLA PATRON is a research group leader in synthetic biology at The Earlham Institute, UK, developing molecular tools and genome engineering technologies for photosynthetic organisms. Her current projects aim at tailoring photosynthetic organisms for the efficient production of valuable products for health and industry, and improving the yield and nutritional value of crops. Nicola’s broader scientific interests lie in the regulation of gene expression and the mechanisms and impact of gene transfers. She has a desire to help innovations in the laboratory have positive social impact and participates in several international working groups exploring the complex questions of access and ownership that surround genetic sequences, enabling technologies, and biomolecules. Nicola is an investigator

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in the OpenPlant Synthetic Biology Research Centre and faculty lead for the Earlham Plant and Microbe DNA Foundry. She has a PhD in plant molecular biology and pursued postdoctoral research at the John Innes Centre and the University of British Columbia.


EDWARD PERELLO is a biologist and founder of Desktop Genetics, a software company creating AI tools for CRISPR genome engineering. Edward works to bring a new generation of powerful software tools to researchers curing cancer and genetic illnesses. Edward has long been interested in the future of advanced biotechnologies and seeks to foster deeper ties and understanding between the biological sciences and professionals who need to engage with life science advances, including developers, designers, and policy makers. Edward is also a trustee of the SynBio Info Foundation, a for-benefit corporation committed to creating better ways to support lateral entrants into the world of synthetic biology. Edward previously worked for the European Union and VERTIC.

SANJANA RAVI is a senior analyst at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. She is an associate editor of the peer-reviewed journal Health Security and editor of the weekly newsletter “Preparedness Pulsepoints.” Sanjana also serves as analyst manager for Center projects examining biosecurity policy, global health security, and public health preparedness. She has contributed to projects exploring synthetic biology, global health security, healthcare preparedness and risk communication around medical countermeasure delivery. Sanjana’s research interests include global health systems and infectious disease policy. Sanjana received a Master of Public Health Degree in Infectious Disease Management from the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013, as well as a BA in biology from Saint

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Louis University in 2011. She has served as a Global Impact Fellow with Unite for Sight in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, delivering basic eye care to underserved regions.

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SARAH RICHARDSON earned a BS in biology from the University of Maryland in 2004 and a PhD in human genetics and molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2011. She was awarded a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship to pursue research on algorithms for the design of synthetic nucleotide sequences and the engineering and assembly of a synthetic yeast genome. Sarah joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2012 as a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in Genomics at the DOE Joint Genome Institute and Joint BioEnergy Institute to work on massive-scale synthetic biology projects and the genomics of non-model bacteria. In 2015 she was awarded a L’Oréal Women in Science postdoctoral fellowship to pursue her work on cryptic CRISPR systems. As chief scientist of Ignition Genomics, she is dedicated to the development of clever genetic tools for overlooked or underexploited bacteria.

LALITHA SUNDARAM received her primary introduction to synthetic biology was with the University of Cambridge and Edinburgh’s Arsenic Biosensor Collaboration which devised a bacterial biosensor to detect groundwater arsenic in LMICs. Lalitha developed a strategy to take this novel synthetic biology product from bench to field, focusing on the international regulatory landscape and responsible research and innovation. Lalitha has subsequently been awarded a Postdoctoral Research Project Fellowship at King’s College London, where she investigates the opportunities and challenges facing emerging biotechnologies in global health more broadly. Upon completion of this fellowship, she is slated to take up a post at the

COMMUNITY: FELLOWS

University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, where her portfolio will include investigating biorisks such as engineered pathogens, DIY-bio and gene synthesis as well as the risks posed by not exploiting emerging biotechnologies to tackle emerging concerns. Lalitha’s PhD research, also at the University of Cambridge, used a combination of bioinformatic, next-generation sequencing and molecular biology tools to explore host-cell metabolic and microRNA changes following infection by the pathogenic parasite Toxoplasma gondii.


SEAN WARD is a serial entrepreneur, first in the music industry with Relatable, and currently in synthetic biology with Synthace. At Synthace, one of the UK’s leading synbio companies, Sean is driving the work on Antha, a high-level language for the reproducible and transferable execution of biological working practices. Before founding Synthace, Sean was a research associate in Bioinformatics at University College London, where he conducted research into protein folding, protein structure prediction and gene coding. Prior to his work in bioinformatics, Sean was the co-founder and CTO of Relatable, a leading US-based acoustic fingerprinting company, whose customers included major peer-to-peer companies such as Napster, as well as consumer electronics manufacturers, royalty collection agencies and major labels. Sean has a BSc in computer science from UCL. Sean is also an advisor on synthetic biology to the UK’s

COMMUNITY: FELLOWS

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

39


Fellows receiving feedback on their Strategic Action Plans from mentors


Mentors LEAP convenes leaders across the synthetic biology ecosystem who serve as mentors to Fellows and assist in the development of their Strategic Action Plans. Mentors serve in a number of capacities including selecting Fellows, participating in our workshops, and reviewing Fellows’ Strategic Action

COMMUNITY: MENTORS

Plans. Mentor affiliations listed are at the time of the program.

41


AP PL IC AN TR LA EV ND IE SC W AP ER LE IN S AD G W ER O SH RK ST IP SH RA W OP OR PL TE AN GI KS C H RE AC OP VI TIO EW N ER S

ALAN PEARSON

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

ALEX DEHGAN

Conservation X Labs

ALICIA JACKSON

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

ANDREW MAYNARD

Arizona State University (ASU)

ANDREW ROBERTSON

Merck

ANDREW ZOLLI

PopTech

ANNE-MARIE MAZZA

The National Academies

BARBARA GERRATANA

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

BENJAMIN CORB

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

CATHERINE COLEMAN

National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA)

CAMILLE ACEY

Boundless

CHRISTINA AGAPAKIS

Ginkgo Bioworks

DAHLIA SOKOLOV

US House of Representatives Committee Staff (D)

DAN WIDMAIER

Bolt Threads

DANA PERLS

Friends of the Earth

DANIEL GRUSHKIN

Biodesign Challenge

DAVID SUN KONG

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

DAVID REJESKI

Woodrow Wilson Center

COMMUNITY: MENTORS

DENNEAL JAMISON-MCCLUNG University of California, Davis

42

DIRK STEMERDING

Rathenau Instituut

DREW ENDY

BioBricks Foundation

EDWARD YOU

US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

EMMA FROW

Arizona State University (ASU)

FRANK STEIN

IBM


US Small Business Administration (SBA)

GABRIEL HARP

XPlane

GARY BENZION

US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

GENYA DANYA

US Department of State

GREGORY KOBLENTZ

George Mason University

GWEN MCCLUNG

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

HEMAI PARTHASARATHY

Thiel Foundation

JANE CALVERT

Edinburgh University

JASON KELLY

Ginkgo Bioworks

JEANNE BRAHA

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

JEFF MORRIS

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

JENNY BRYAN

Arizona State University (ASU)

JESSICA TUCKER

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

JIM AJIOKA

Cambrige University

JOHN CUMBERS

SynBioBeta

KARMELLA HAYNES

Arizona State University (ASU)

KELLY DRINKWATER

iGEM Foundation

KEN OYE

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

KENNETH BERNARD

Independent

KIM MONTGOMERY

US House of Representatives Committee Staff (D)

KINKEAD REILING

Independent

LARISA RUDENKO

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

LINDA KAHL

BioBricks Foundation

LINDSAY CHURA

UK Science and Innovation Network

COMMUNITY: MENTORS

AP PL IC AN TR LA EV ND IE SC W AP ER LE IN S AD G W ER O SH RK SA IP SH P W OP RE OR VI KS EW HO ER P S

G. NAGESH RAO

43


AP PL IC AN TR LA EV ND IE SC W AP ER LE IN S AD G W ER O SH RK ST IP SH RA W OP OR PL TE AN GI KS C H RE AC OP VI TIO EW N ER S

COMMUNITY: MENTORS 44

LIONEL CLARKE

UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council (SBLC)

LLOYD TIMBERLAKE

Independent

MAHMUD FAROOQUE

Center for Science Policy and Outcomes

MARC FACCIOTTI

University of California, Davis

MARGARET MELLON

Union of Concerned Scientists

MARK BÃœNGER

Lux Research

MARK SEGAL

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

MICHAL GALDZICKI

Arzeda, Sound Bio

NANCY BURGESS

US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

NATALIE KULDELL

BioBuilder Educational Foundation

NATHAN HILLSON

Joint BioEnergy Institute

PABLO RABINOWICZ

US Department of Energy (DoE)

PATRICK BOYLE

Ginkgo BioWorks

PATRICK WINDHAM

Technology Policy International

PAUL FREEMONT

SynbiCITE

PIERS MILLET

Biosecure Ltd., Woodrow Wilson Center

REID WILLIAMS

Ideo

RICHARD JOHNSON

Global Helix

RICHARD KITNEY

SynbiCITE

RICHARD MURRAY

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

RICHARD YAMADA

US House of Representatives Committee Staff (R)

RINA SINGH

Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)

ROBBIE BARBERO

US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)


Bioeconomy Capital

ROCCO CASSAGRANDE

Gryphon Scientific

RYAN RITTERSON

Gryphon Scientific

SAMUEL WEISS EVANS

Harvard Kennedy School

SARA OLSEN

Social Venture Technology (SVT)

SARAH CARTER

J Craig Venter Institute (JCVI)

SARAH MUNRO

US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

SCOTT SCHWARZ

SNP Communications

SPENCER ADLER

BioEconomy Capital

STEPHAN HERRERA

Evolva

STEPHEN LADERMAN

Agilent Technologies

STEVE BATES

UK BioIndustry Association (BIA)

STEVE EVANS

Dow AgroSciences

THERESA GOOD

US National Science Foundation (NSF)

TIM DAFFORN

UK Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

TODD KHOZEIN

Second Muse

TODD KUIKEN

Woodrow Wilson Center

TOM ARMEL

Quantitative Scientific Solutions (DARPA Contractor)

VEL PRAKHANTREE

EchoUser

WALTER VALDIVIA

Brookings Institution

WILLIAM BONVILLIAN

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

WILLIAM SO

US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

COMMUNITY: MENTORS

AP PL IC AN TR LA EV ND IE SC W AP ER LE IN S AD G W ER O SH RK SA IP SH P W OP RE OR VI KS EW HO ER P S

ROB CARLSON

45


The Organizing Team huddles during the Landscaping Workshop


Organizing Team The LEAP organizing team is the foundation that anchors LEAP and its activities. MEGAN J. PALMER Founder, Executive Director

RACHEL LAWLEY Managing Director

JEFF HAMAOUI Strategy Director

JEREMY KAMO Finance Director

VRUNDA RATHOD Program Director COMMUNITY: ORGANIZING TEAM

JAMES BROWN UK Partnership Director

47


MEGAN J. PALMER, Founder, Executive Director Megan’s work seeks to advance practices and policies for the responsible development of biotechnology. She is the founder and executive director of LEAP, which she envisioned while serving as Deputy Director of Policy and Practices for the multi-university Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc). Within this role, Megan led and contributed to projects in safety and security, property rights, and community organization and governance. Megan is now a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University, where she leads a program focused on risk governance in biotechnology and other emerging technologies. She has held positions as the William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at CISAC, a research scientist at the University of California Berkeley, and a postdoctoral scholar in Bioengineering at Stanford University. Megan advises organizations in industry, academia and government on their approach to issues in biotechnology policy, including leading safety and responsible innovation programs with the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. She holds a PhD in biological engineering from MIT and a BScE in engineering chemistry from Queen’s University, Canada.

RACHEL LAWLEY, Managing Director Rachel is an innovation facilitator with expertise convening systems of stakeholders around complex challenges. She has spent her career supporting the development and growth of organizations looking to change the world, most recently leading the network-centered LAUNCH Food program, and

COMMUNITY: ORGANIZING TEAM

supporting the Synthetic Biology Leadership Accelerator Program (LEAP). Her work has spanned water, health, energy, waste, closed-loop manufacturing and food. Previously, Rachel served as Vice Consul for the British Government, building connections between biotechnology companies, researchers, funders, regulators, and government agencies in the US and UK. She started her career as a research analyst in the social enterprise space. Rachel received her BS in Psychology from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.

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JEFF HAMAOUI, Strategy Director Jeff is a partner at SecondMuse, a company exploring network-centered approaches to accelerating high impact innovation. Jeff has been a leader in sustainable business and innovation for the last twenty years. He has worked as an impact investor and grant maker in Latin America with the Avina Foundation and Grupo Nueva, with Fortune 500s at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development exploring base of the pyramid business models, with government agencies including USAID and US Department of State on global partnership strategies, and with NASA’s leadership team on its grand challenges and innovation strategy. Jeff has pioneered strategies for network-centered innovation through platforms such as LAUNCH, Conservation X Labs and LEAP. He was a founding partner of Origo, an online social capital marketplace, and also supported the creation of the Institute of Global Health and Development in partnership with UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley. Jeff is an active board member of bio-materials company Checkerspot, as well as TechSoup Global, Conservation X Labs, and ADOPT International.

JEREMY KAMO, Finance Director Jeremy’s expertise is in designing and managing open innovation programs and convening complex systems to identify and implement solutions to hard challenges. Jeremy’s portfolio spans both private and public clients, including managing accelerators for Nike, USAID, the US Department of State, NASA, IKEA and

COMMUNITY: ORGANIZING TEAM

Australia’s DFAT through LAUNCH.org; launching the inaugural Solar Decathlon program in China with Applied Materials; developing early education markets in the US with the Kellogg and Packard Foundations; and working with PEMEX to reduce emissions from flaring and venting. Jeremy also sits on the board of Included.org, an international nonprofit that builds more inclusive communities for migrants in urban slums globally through community centers, education and advocacy.

49


VRUNDA RATHOD, Program Director Vrunda Rathod has years of innovation and health policy experience. With LEAP, Vrunda helped design and implement the second iteration of the fellowship program. Previously, Vrunda worked for US Congresswoman Diane Watson as a legislative aide focusing on both national and global health care, foreign affairs and environmental policy. She led the Congresswoman’s global health policy on issues including IP, foreign aid, and programmatic developments. When the Congresswoman retired, she decided to move back to California and spent time consulting for Kaiser Permanente until an exciting opportunity in Liberia came along. She worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative to research maternal and newborn deaths in the country. Her research helped the country win a multi-million-dollar grant focused on improving maternal care in the country. She is currently working to bring a low-cost treatment for postpartum hemorrhage to low-income countries. Vrunda holds an undergraduate degree from USC in biomedical engineering and a graduate degree in biomedical science policy from Georgetown University.

JAMES BROWN, UK Partnership Director James Brown is a principal scientist with Cambridge Consultants where he works with clients to understand the business opportunities and applications for synthetic biology and realistic routes to market. James previously served as Director of the UK’s Synthetic Biology Special interest Group (SIG). The SIG helps catalyze the

COMMUNITY: ORGANIZING TEAM

establishment of a synthetic biology industry in the UK through knowledge and technology transfer, and as Secretariat to UK’s Synthetic Biology Leadership Council, supports the implementation of the UK’s Strategic Roadmap. James previously worked in Microsoft Research’s Biological Computation Group. He was an iGEM Ambassador during the formative years of the competition, and was an advisor to the University of Cambridge iGEM team from 2007 through 2010, including when the team won the Grand Prize in 2009. He helped to organize Bio SysBio conference series and led the 2012 Cambridge BioDesign Forum. James hold a PhD in synthetic biology and self-organizing systems from the University of Cambridge, where he developed tools for the design and characterization of a new generation of genetic circuits. He also hold an MA and MEng from the University of Cambridge.

50


Members of the Organizing Team

facilitating a workshop


Fellows, mentors and organizers in an interactive session at the Landscaping Workshop


Advisors and Assistants LEAP receives guidance and assistance from a team of exceptional individuals. BRADEN BROOK SUZANNE MOLINARO ROBERT NOAKES ELIZABETH STEWART

GABRIEL HARP

Website Design and Production

Designer

AASHA JOSHI

GILLIAN MCGARVEY

Program Evaluator

Editor

TODD KUIKEN

PIERS MILLETT

Workshop Facilitator and Host

Workshop Facilitator

DAVID KONG

RACHEL OLNEY

Alumni Program Advisor, Photographer

Editing Assistant

Program Advisor, Journalist-in-Residence

SAMUEL EVANS

KAREN INGRAM

COMMUNITY: ADVISORS AND ASSISTANTS

DANIEL GRUSHKIN

Workshop Facilitator

LEXIE ROSS Workshop Facilitator, Rapporteur

ISHAN SHAPIRO Workshop Facilitator

Program Advisor, Ethnographer-in-Residence

53


PROGRAM LEAP is a leadership program in responsible biotechnology development.


“The workshops were invaluable to me in regards to seeing how my interests and skills fit into the broader community. I was fluctuating on my plans before the program, and the workshops really helped me revise the vision.”

“New ideas kept arising through discussion with other fellows and with mentors and guest speakers—really good new ideas. So I rode the wave. I fell off a few times and started again. My ideas got stronger.”


Philosophy LEAP aims to build processes and communities that actively question, evaluate and respond to emerging challenges in the development of biotechnology. Everyone has a stake in ensuring that biotechnology creates the most good for the most people. Through biotechnology, we have the potential to transform important segments of science and industry, as well as our fundamental relationships with nature and ourselves. Such powerful transformations demand active reflection on how our individual and collective actions serve diverse—and sometimes conflicting—public interests and values. Unfortunately, training in biotechnology, and science and technology more broadly, rarely teaches individuals how to evaluate the impact of their decisions on society, much less empowers them to explore their concerns and work with others to alter the course during development. By empowering practitioners to recognize and engender their public roles, we believe we can develop a culture of active reflection on biotechnology’s goals and means, and that this culture can lead to better outcomes. We believe that developing a practice of active reflection requires time and space, new skills, and a community that both supports and challenges one’s ideas and actions. We also believe it requires reflecting on ourselves as much as we reflect on the world around us. By working with a small but diverse community of emerging leaders, we aim to demonstrate the value and outcomes of active reflection, and catalyze communities and projects that can scale

PROGRAM: PHILOSOPHY

and sustain a positive relationship between biotechnology and the public interest on a global scale.

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SOCIAL JUSTICE

WISDOM

EQUALITY A VARIED LIFE

A WORLD AT PEACE AN EXCITING LIFE

STIMULATION UNIVERSALISM DETACHMENT TRUE FRIENDSHIP

TRADITION MEANING IN LIFE

BENEVOLENCE SELF DIRECTION FREEDOM

ACHIEVEMENT

SECURITY INDEPENDENT

INFLUENTIAL

AMBITIOUS CURIOUS HEALTHY

Map of personal values recognized by Fellows as part of a reflection exercise at the Leadership Workshop

FAMILY SECURITY


Principles LEAP has developed an evolving set of principles to convey our values and guide our work. • Anyone can lead: We believe that everyone has the potential to lead, but many people lack critical skills, networks and resources to help them succeed. LEAP aims to provide support to empower Fellows at key stages in their careers and enable them to grow both professionally and personally. • Leaders inspire: LEAP aims to inspire Fellows to question, evaluate and lead the course of social and technical development. Through their actions, we believe these Fellows will serve as inspiring examples to others in their communities. • Processes over prescription: LEAP aims to develop critical-process thinking and reflection, rather than prescribing rules and boundaries. We act as neutral mediators and create safe, inclusive and collaborative environments in which Fellows can grow, learn and thrive. • Diversity matters: We believe we have a good deal to learn from other geographies, sectors, disciplines and interests. LEAP aims to seek diversity among its Fellows and mentors, and the stakeholders and thought leaders it convenes, to inform and influence visions for the field. • Communities catalyze: We believe that no one leads alone and that the best ideas are developed together. LEAP aims to foster a community that shares experiences and lessons, and responds to important issues that influence the field and the world.

PROGRAM: PRINCIPLES

• Partnerships scale: Biotechnology affects diverse and emerging communities and sectors. LEAP believes that partnerships are the most effective mechanism to shape and realize the community’s vision and scale the impact of the program. • Institutions must learn: Needs change over time, especially in an emerging field. We believe that constant, active learning is essential, and we will continue to evolve LEAP to meet the needs of an ever-changing field.

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BIOSCIENCE (6)

BIOENGINEERING (6)

BACHELOR’S (3)

OTHER ENGINEERING (3)

JD (1)

START-UPS (8)

LARGE CORPORATIONS (2)

OTHER (1)

UNIVERSITIES (5)

NATIONAL LABORATORIES (1) MASTERS (7)

OTHER SCIENCE (2)

POSTDOC (4)

COMMUNITY LABS (2)

NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (3)

COMMUNICATIONS (1)

GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS (2) OTHER (1)

PhD (7)

SOCIAL SCIENCE (2)

TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONS Backgrounds of the 2015 Fellows

PUBLIC POLICY (1)

AREAS OF EXPERTISE / TRAINING

HIGHEST LEVEL OF TRAINING


Fellows discussing national biotechnology strategies at the Landscaping Workshop


Program Design LEAP is a program designed to facilitate leadership development and catalyze new initiatives to advance biotechnology in the public interest. The program includes the following components: • Landscaping Workshop reviewing the social, technical, economic and political state of the field • Leadership Workshop developing professional skills and Strategic Actions Plans • Intensive Mentoring by a world-class network of leaders across sectors and disciplines • Strategic Action Plans developed by Fellows which aim to address

PROGRAM: PROGRAM DESIGN

key issues for the field • Catalyst Grants to support the top Strategic Action Plans aimed at catalyzing new initiatives

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Program Overview LEAP is a fellowship in responsible biotechnology development for emerging leaders working across organizations, disciplines and sectors. LEAP brings together established and emerging leaders in synthetic biology who are invested in shaping the direction of biotechnology in alignment with public interests. Such forward-reaching integration of biotechnology and public interests requires vision, strategy and commitment. The LEAP Fellowship Program aims to create a supportive professional community in which emerging leaders across disciplines and sectors work together to develop their skills and insights, and put them into action. Established in 2012, LEAP has evolved to now operate as a year-long nonresidential fellowship program. Fellows self-nominate and are competitively selected. Along with ongoing collaboration throughout the year, Fellows participate in residential facilitated workshops. The workshops provide emerging leaders with a practical overview of the political, economic, social and technical landscape of biotechnology and current challenges associated with this landscape, offer participants hands-on experience in framing these real-world challenges as solvable problems, and cultivate a professional network of peers and mentors. The first retreat, the Landscaping Workshop, focuses on exposing fellows to a broad social, political and economic overview of the field and the diverse stakeholders in biotechnology. The second retreat, the Leadership Workshop, concentrates on how to engage with these stakeholders and their sometimes competing needs when leading

PROGRAM: PROGRAM OVERVIEW

projects in the public interest. Ultimately, the workshops guide the LEAP Fellows in creating and developing Strategic Action Plans that articulate key challenges present at the intersections of biotechnology and public interests, and that outline actionable steps as they seek to lead in resolving these challenges. A selection of these proposals receive Catalyst Grants to seed their next steps in their development. The following sections describe how we select Fellows, the workshop designs, our process for facilitating strategic action plans, and awarding catalyst grants.

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FELLOW S ANNO UNCED

SE OF RELEA GIC TRATE S WS' S FELLO CTION PLAN A

WS LO FEL TIFIED NO

G IN AP OP C S H ND KS LA OR W

2016 2015

DE A AP DLI PL NE ICA FO TIO R NS

2014

er

ERS ARTN RS/P O S SPON NG I MEET

October

No ve m b

Fe br ua ry

rch Ma

ber tem Sep

April

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

January

ber cem De

Ma y

N PLA ION EWS I REV

ACT

Au gu st

e Jun July

T SIGH W IN D LLO E P FE RELEAS LEA ERS PAP IP ERSH LEAD SHOP K WOR RANTS

G CATALYST D AWARDE

The three-year program timeline from planning through to the launch of new initiatives


Fellow Selection LEAP competitively selects a small but diverse group of emerging leaders committed to pursuing biotechnology in the public interest. Each LEAP cycle, 20–25 Fellows are competitively selected to participate. Participation is open to anyone and is by self-nomination. Whereas the first cycle of LEAP focused on recruiting North American participants, this cycle we worked with our UK partners to also solicit applicants from Europe. Our hope is that by working with new international partners, the program’s geographic reach will expand with each program cycle. We seek Fellows who: • aspire to be leaders in advancing biotechnology in the public interest; • articulate a community need or opportunity they are motivated to address; • seek mentorship and partnership to help turn their ideas into action; • want to develop knowledge, skills and capacities for working more effectively across social and organizational contexts. Applications are reviewed by a panel of distinguished leaders from across sectors. For the 2015 program, sixteen reviewers (including LEAP Alumni) selected applicants based on four key criteria: • Person: Does this candidate show the potential to lead? • Project: Does this candidate present a compelling project?

PROGRAM: FELLOW SELECTION

• Position: Is this candidate well-positioned to participate in LEAP? • Program: Will this candidate benefit from LEAP? Of the 100 applicants, 23 Fellows from a diversity of disciplinary and organizational backgrounds (see page 59) were selected.

64


100 INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS. 23 FELLOWS SELECTED.

To move toward increasingly international representation, this program cycle focused on recruiting Fellows from North America and Europe


Landscaping Workshop The LEAP Landscaping Workshop provides a strategic overview of the visions, interests and organizations shaping biotechnology. A new program element, the Landscaping Workshop, introduces Fellows to the social, economic and political state of the field. The goals of the Landscaping Workshop are to: • provide an overview of the field that highlights different visions and interests in the field, offering exposure to major themes that may shape Fellows’ action plans and career decisions; • illuminate key gaps in the field and explore opportunities for individual and collective impact; • build a sense of community among Fellows, and between Fellows and mentors. The 2015 Landscaping Workshop was held at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC. Over four days, Fellows received briefings and participated in roundtable discussions and facilitated activities with key officials from government, nongovernmental organizations, academia and industry. These officials included representatives from major US government funding and regulatory agencies for synthetic biology research and products, and a delegation from the UK, the international partner for the

PROGRAM: LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP

2015 program. The meeting concluded with a visit to the US congressional offices. Following the Landscaping Workshop, Fellows published Insight Papers reflecting on their experiences and conveying key lessons (see Products section).

66


The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC hosted the Landscaping Workshop


Leadership Workshop The LEAP Leadership Workshop provides intensive facilitation to guide the development of personal skills, and action plans to put those skills to use. The week-long residential Leadership Workshop focuses on developing strategies to address Fellows’ top challenges for the responsible development of biotechnology. Fellows receive intensive mentoring as they participate in facilitated leadership development activities, and work together to develop Strategic Action Plans that address self-proposed individual and community issues. The goals of the Leadership Workshop are to: • produce shareable action plans for cross-organizational initiatives to advance biotechnology in the public benefit; • build a community of leaders responsive to public and social needs; • facilitate active reflection on societal values and outcomes; • build a skill base in ethical and moral reasoning, mapping social needs and perspectives, communication and engagement, big-picture future visioning, and strategic planning. Hosted at Asilomar, the 2015 Leadership Workshop took inspiration from the Asilomar Conference held in the same location in 1975, which resulted in the creation of a set of voluntary guidelines to ensure the safe development of recombinant DNA technology. The workshop concluded with a community showcase at Stanford University in which

PROGRAM: LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP

Fellows shared their collaborative projects with a panel of sponsors and other invited guests.

68


Pioneers of molecular biology in the 1970s at Asilomar, site of the Leadership Workshop


Strategic Action Plan Development The development of Strategic Action Plans is one mechanism through which Fellows integrate their learnings from the program and translate them into action. LEAP is designed to catalyze initiatives through which Fellows put their learnings into practice and empower others. As part of their application, Fellows outline a project idea articulating an important need or opportunity they are motivated to tackle during—and beyond—LEAP. This idea becomes the foundation of their Strategic Action Plan. As the program progresses, Fellows have the following opportunities to evolve, discard or merge their plans in response to the LEAP program curriculum and the insights of other Fellows, mentors, stakeholders and the wider community. The process, depicted on the following page, includes several stages: 1. Fellows draft Strategic Action Plan proposals articulating key needs, stakeholders, and areas of uncertainty to guide their interactions during the Landscaping Workshop.

PROGRAM: STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN DEVELOPMENT

2. The proposals undergo a self-directed peer review process. 3. Fellows develop a draft Strategic Action Plan including options for implementation. The Leadership Workshop facilitates week-long rapid iteration of plans via daily presentations and feedback sessions, facilitated activities and a final presentation to a public audience. 4. Fellows write up their plans in the form of “white” or “vision” papers intended as public documents for a broad public audience, as well as a personal implementation plan. 5. These papers undergo formal external review by 3–6 reviewers from the LEAP network who provide critical feedback and potential resources. Reviewers also recommend plans to receive Catalyst Grants. 6. Fellows develop a final Strategic Action Plan draft of their action plan in consultation with a professional editor. 7. The final collection of Strategic Action Plans is published online as living documents for wider community input. 8 . Catalyst Grants are awarded based on input from reviewers and the LEAP board. The collection of Strategic Action Plans can be found in the Products section.

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Strategic Action Plan Review Criteria 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Does this plan articulate an important need? Does this plan provide a compelling vision? Does this plan have a clear public value proposition? Does this plan have a clear path to implementation? Does this plan engage key thought leaders and stakeholders? Does this plan embody the ethos of LEAP? Does this plan need catalyst support to move forward?

Catalyst Grant Review Criteria 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Does this project represent the LEAP brand? Is this project likely to be successful? Will this project have a significant impact? Will this project enable others? Would this project move ahead without LEAP funding? Does this project plan for sustainability?


MEETINGS & WORKSHOPS LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP

LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP

FELLOWS SELECTED

2014

OCT

2015

FEB

JUN

INTERNAL PEER RAPID ITERATION REVIEW AND EXPERT CONSULTATIONS 1ST DRAFT

STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN DEVELOPMENT The Strategic Action Plan development and implementation process

2ND DRAFT & PITCH


FELLOW-LED COMMUNITY MEET-UPS (IGEM, SXSW, SXSW ECO, SYNBIO BETA, BIOHTP, ETC.)

SEP

DEC

EXTERNAL PEER REVIEW

3RD DRAFT

DEC

2016

EDITING

FULL DRAFT & CATALYST GRANT PROPOSAL

FINAL PAPERS CATALYST AWARDS


The historic Asilomar Conference Grounds in California was the site of the Leadership Workshop


Workshop Agendas

PROGRAM: WORKSHOP AGENDAS

The LEAP Landscaping and Leadership Workshops are interactive, facilitated meetings that convene emerging leaders in synthetic biology with mentors and stakeholders.

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The Landscaping Workshop

“The speakers—great selection! Also the quality of the fellows—everyone was outstanding and very accomplished.”

Fellows visiting the United States Congress during the Landscaping Workshop

- 2015 LEAP Fellow


Sunday, February 1, 2015 AFTERNOON

Fireside Chat Overview of the LEAP Fellowship. What does it mean to be a

PROGRAM: LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP | FEBRUARY 1-4, 2015 | THE WILSON CENTER | WASHINGTON, DC

LEAP Fellow?

“Speed-Dating” Meet and Greet Navigating your network. EVENING

Welcome Dinner and Keynote Address Synthetic biology’s promise and pitfalls: How can we innovate responsibly? Megan Palmer, LEAP Executive Director Drew Endy, BioBricks Foundation and Stanford University Richard Kitney, SynbiCITE and Imperial College London Paul Freemont, SynbiCITE and Imperial College London Paula Olsiewski, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

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Sponsors shared their leadership aspirations and challenges at the opening dinner to the Landscaping Workshop


Monday, February 2, 2015 MORNING

Picture This: Fellow Introductions Fellows partner up to draw and introduce their

PROGRAM: LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP | FEBRUARY 1-4, 2015 | THE WILSON CENTER | WASHINGTON, DC

aspirations and challenges.

Mapping the Synthetic Biology Landscape Fellows collaboratively map the communities working in synthetic biology and key relationships. David Rejeski, Woodrow Wilson Center Todd Kuiken, Woodrow Wilson Center AFTERNOON

State of Play: Key Policy Trends and Needs How does synthetic biology fit into national and international priorities for science and technology? What are key policy needs and trends domestically and internationally? Richard Johnson, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Genya Dana, US Department of State Alex Dehgan, Conservation X Labs Robbie Barbero, US Office of Science and Technology Policy Lionel Clarke, UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council Tim Dafforn, UK Business, Innovation and Skills

State of Play: Key Industry Trends and Needs How is the biotechnology industry developing? What are key trends and challenges for research, development and commercialization? Richard Kitney, SynbiCITE Spencer Adler, BioEconomy Capital Nagesh Rao, US Small Business Administration Rina Singh, Biotechnology Industry Organization Frank Stein, IBM EVENING

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Happy Hour and Dinner with Speakers at Zaytinya


Fellows working on a collaborative needs assessment during the Landscaping Workshop


Tuesday, February 3, 2015 MORNING

Mapping the Synthetic Biology Landscape: Part 2 Fellows continue to collaboratively map the communities working in synthetic biology and key relationships, adding new organizations

PROGRAM: LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP | FEBRUARY 1-4, 2015 | THE WILSON CENTER | WASHINGTON, DC

and relationships.

Applications and Markets Where is synthetic biology poised to have an impact? What are key opportunities and challenges today and in the future? Who are key players driving development? David Rejeski, Woodrow Wilson Center Todd Kuiken, Woodrow Wilson Center

State of Play: Key Policy Trends and Needs How does synthetic biology fit into national and international priorities for science and technology? What are key policy needs and trends domestically and internationally? Knowledge and Tools: Theresa Good, National Science Foundation Health: Jessica Tucker & Barbara Gerratana, National Institutes of Health Environment: Todd Kuiken, Woodrow Wilson Center Materials: Lionel Clarke, UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council Energy: Pablo Rabinowicz, US Department of Energy Defense: Tom Armel, Quantitative Scientific Solutions (DARPA contractor) Preparedness: Nancy Burgess, US Department of Health and Human Services

Special Guest: Science and Collaboration in Space Lessons from a NASA astronaut on how to work well with people from diverse backgrounds—even under the most extreme circumstances— and the opportunities for synthetic biology in space. Catherine (Cady) Coleman

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Fellows get early feedback on their project ideas from mentors, including representatives from funding and regulatory agencies


Tuesday, February 3, 2015 AFTERNOON

Responsible Innovation What are key considerations in leading socially responsible approaches to biotechnology development? How do you develop, disseminate and

PROGRAM: LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP | FEBRUARY 1-4, 2015 | THE WILSON CENTER | WASHINGTON, DC

police these considerations in a diverse and distributed community? Ken Oye, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Edward You, US Federal Bureau of Investigation David Rejeski, Woodrow Wilson Center Mahmud Farooque, ASU Center for Science Policy and Outcomes Lloyd Timberlake, Independent Margaret Mellon, Union of Concerned Scientists

Regulation and Oversight What is the current regulatory environment for biotechnology? Where are there ambiguities? How do we ensure checks and balances? What do regulators need from the synthetic biology community? Jeff Morris, Gwen McClung, Mark Segal, US Environmental Protection Agency Larisa Rudenko, US Food and Drug Administration Alan Pearson, US Department of Agriculture Gary Benzion, US Patent and Trademark Office Sarah Carter, J. Craig Venter Institute Rocco Cassagrande, Gryphon Scientific Andrew Robertson, Merck Pharmaceuticals

Anticipating and Responding to the Headlines Fellows work with invited speakers to anticipate and respond to potential future newsworthy developments in biotechnology. EVENING

Keynote Address: Solving Problems That Matter Alicia Jackson, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Happy Hour with Invited Guests Fellows Private Dinner at Driftwood 84


Fellows learning about key trends, needs and opportunities in synthetic biology during a panel at the Landscaping Workshop


Wednesday, February 4, 2015 MORNING

Mapping the Synthetic Biology Landscape: Part 3 Fellows collaboratively map the communities working in synthetic biology and the key relationships between these communities to discuss: Where

PROGRAM: LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP | FEBRUARY 1-4, 2015 | THE WILSON CENTER | WASHINGTON, DC

are the gaps? What do we need to do to fill them? How do we align the goals and trends we have learned about?

Evaluation and Reflection Fellows reflect on key ideas from the workshop and discuss: Who didn’t you learn from? What were you surprised to learn? What was missing?

Coordination and Collaboration What key opportunities (and models) are coordinating efforts across distributed communities? How can we support pre-competitive activities in biotechnology? What infrastructure is critical to collaborative efforts? Benjamin Corb, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Jeanne Braha, American Association for the Advancement of Science William Bonvillian, MIT Washington Office Patrick Windham, Technology Policy International Lindsay Chura, UK Science Innovation Networky

LEAPing Forward: Program Planning AFTERNOON

Discussion of plans leading up to the second workshop.

Visit to US Capitol Buildings Engineering Biology and the US Congress What are current legislative initiatives in Congress related to synthetic biology? How can science and technology communities effectively engage with policy makers? Richard Yamada, US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (R) Jennifer Wickre, US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (R) Dahlia Sokolov, US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (D)

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Fellows speaking with staff of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology at the United States Capitol Building


The Leadership Workshop

“My expectations were high but very unspecific. Which is to say I didn’t have expectations as to what would happen, but I expected it to be awesome. It was in fact better than awesome.”

The closing dinner of the Leadership Workshop at Asilomar

- 2015 LEAP Fellow


PROGRAM: LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP | JUNE 14-19, 2015 | ASILOMAR CONFERENCE CENTER | MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

Sunday, June 14, 2015 EVENING

Leadership: Inspiration and Preparation Welcome Cocktail Reception Welcome Dinner The organizing team introduces goals for the week.

Perspectives from Past Fellows Fellows from the inaugural LEAP introduce their project and lessons from the first program. Nathan Hillson, Teselagen and DOE Joint Genomics Institute Sarah Munro, US National Institute of Standards and Technology John Cumbers, SynBioBeta Marc Facciotti, University of California, Davis David Kong, MIT Lincoln Laboratories

Fireside Chat Discussion of expectations for the week and Fellows’ hopes and fears.

Monday June 15, 2015 MORNING

Motivation and Mission: Goals, Motivations and Public Value Elevator Pitches: Strategic Action Plans Fellows’ pitch their Strategic Action Plans and receive feedback from peers, special guests and past Fellows. Facilitators perform real-time mapping and clustering of action plan topics. Ishan Shapiro, Metamaps Sarah Munro, US National Institute of Standards and Technology John Cumbers, SynBioBeta Marc Facciotti, University of California, Davis David Kong, MIT Lincoln Laboratories

Go Forth and Cluster Fellows assemble into small groups around their clusters and continue to provide each other feedback and explore opportunities for collaboration.

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Small group feedback sessions during the Leadership Workshop


PROGRAM: LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP | JUNE 14-19, 2015 | ASILOMAR CONFERENCE CENTER | MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

Monday, June 15, 2015 AFTERNOON

Challenging Assumptions Identifying the personal and professional drivers behind your personal work and interrogating the assumptions upon which these are built.

What Defines “Value”? Definitions and metrics of “value” and strategies to assess the merits of Fellows’ Strategic Action Plans within a societal context. Gabriel Harp, XPLANE and CoClimate Jeff Hamaoui, Further by Design Samuel Evans, Harvard Dana Perls, Friends of the Earth Sara Olsen, Social Venture Technology Piers Millett, Woodrow Wilson Center, World Health Organization EVENING

Values Discussions and Mapping Mapping of Fellows’ individual and collective values.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 MORNING

Vision: Exploring Future Scenarios, Recognizing Influence and Uncertainty Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone Improvisation techniques for leadership in the face of uncertainty.

AFTERNOON

Scenario Building: Futurecasting and Forecasting Tools for anticipating the future in order to make better decisions today. Fellows collaboratively work through case studies around potentially significant advances in the field.

Acting Under Uncertainty: Decisions, Design and Interventions Fellows construct both a project and a personal/professional forecast, listing future scenarios, and key drivers and uncertainties. Fellows draft timelines for their action plans.

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Fellow-led improvisation workshop during the Leadership Workshop


PROGRAM: LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP | JUNE 14-19, 2015 | ASILOMAR CONFERENCE CENTER | MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 AFTERNOON, CONTINUED

What Constitutes “Progress”? Participants brainstorm how they can reach/reconcile decisions on how to act based on the scenarios and value proposition for their work. Gabriel Harp, XPLANE and CoClimate Jeff Hamaoui, Further by Design

EVENING

Quick Pitches: Flagging Needs and Offering Assistance Fellows give quick updates to their action plan pitches and identify key needs. Other Fellows offer assistance by identifying connections and resources.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 MORNING

Strategies and Tactics: Moving from Goals to Actions Identifying and Engaging with Diverse Stakeholders Identifying and mapping broader stakeholder networks and strategies to understand their value and values. Groups create engagement strategies to better understand the stakeholders for their project.

Creatively Effecting Social Change Fellows explore emerging venues for innovation in biotechnology that leverage increasingly globalized communities and access to information. Andrew Zolli, PopTech Todd Khozein, SecondMuse Stephan Herrera, Evolva Vel Prakhantree, Echouser Camille Acey, Boundless William So, US Federal Bureau of Investigation Jim Ajioka, University of Cambridge AFTERNOON

Unstructured Time to Work on Strategic Action Plans Fellow-Led Breakout Discussions

EVENING

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Movie: Jurassic World


Organizers share key observations from the Leadership Workshop


PROGRAM: LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP | JUNE 14-19, 2015 | ASILOMAR CONFERENCE CENTER | MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

Thursday, June 18, 2015 MORNING

Review: Vetting and Iterating Plans Action Plan Rapid Validation and Vetting Fellows have the opportunity to discuss and vet their action plans through open office hours with mentors, either by telephone, video conference or in-person clinics. Kinkead Reiling, Independent Kenneth Bernard, Independent James Ajioka, University of Cambridge Rob Carlson, Biodesic and BioEconomy Capital Piers Millet, Biosecu.re Drew Endy, Stanford University and BioBrick Foundation Todd Khozein, SecondMuse Others participating remotely

AFTERNOON

Communication Workshop Fellows learn and practice essential communication skills. Scott Schwartz, SNP Communications

Group or Individual Work on Plans EVENING

Closing Dinner Community Conversation: Leadership as a Practice The community of Fellows and special guests reflect on their experiences through the program and discuss how they can sustain and grow the community of practice.

Bonfire on the Beach

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Bonfire at Asilomar State Beach on the final evening of the Leadership Workshop


PROGRAM: LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP | JUNE 14-19, 2015 | ASILOMAR CONFERENCE CENTER | MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

Friday, June 19, 2015 MORNING

Sharing and Feedback Travel to Stanford University Assessing and Reflecting Fellows revisit their expectations for the week and compare their initial project framing with the final pitch.

AFTERNOON

LEAP Community Showcase at Stanford University Fellows give five-minute pitches of their action plans to a group of special guests from across the synthetic biology community. Guests have a chance to provide constructive feedback and support to the Fellows during an open session and to vote on the best action plans. Fellows also award a community prize to the Fellow who best exemplified the spirit of the program.

Program Close

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Fellows and guests at the community showcase at Stanford on the final day of the Leadership Workshop


PRODUCTS LEAP generates products to raise attention to key needs and opportunities and to engage a wider community in advancing biotechnology in the public interest.


“Reviewing others’ plans and speaking to external thought leaders helped me realize that my own plan needed to be more action-oriented as opposed to conceptual…I revised my plan accordingly to include actionable steps and tangible deliverables.”

“From discussions with the fellowship group, I have new ideas and new pools of expertise that helped me to define specific actions.”


A set of co-authored Strategic Action Plans developed through the Fellowship


Strategic Action Plans Strategic Action Plans are proposals for Fellow-led initiatives to advance biotechnology in alignment with the public interest. A key output from LEAP is the growing collection of Strategic Action Plans shared publicly at synbioleap.org. Taking the form of “white” or “vision” papers, Strategic Action Plans aim to articulate compelling and actionable visions for responsible leadership in biotechnology. They serve to raise the visibility of Fellows’ ideas so that they may solicit feedback and support, and showcase what can result from investment in leadership development.

Strategic Action Plan Criteria PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS

1. Articulates an important need 2. Provides a compelling vision 3. States a clear value proposition 4. Has a strong implementation plan 5. Engages stakeholders 6. Embodies the ethos of LEAP The full versions of the Strategic Action Plans can be found at synbioleap.org

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Strategic Action Plans Organization and Collaboration • CoLabFutures: Collaborations to Open Up the Future of Biotechnology – Karen Ingram, Wieke Betten • The One Sky Initiative: An Independent Nonprofit Articulating Applied Biology Done Well – Keira Havens, Jason Kakoyiannis, Ted Fjallman, Michael Koeris

Education and Community • Putting the Tech in Biotech – Edward Perello

Governance and Responsibility • Responsible Innovation and the Future of Distributed Production in Synthetic Biology – Cameron Keys • Democratizing Gene Drives – Kevin Esvelt • Synthetic Biology Without Borders: Working Towards Global Regulatory Coherence – Lalitha Sundaram

Risk Research and Practice • Better by Design, Safer through Practice – Jon Marles Wright

PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS

• The Case for Bioresilience – Sean Ward

Standards and Sharing • Fab.bio - Open Experiment Documentation Platform – Mac Cowell • Feeding the Future: The Case for Open Source Technology and an Inclusive Plant Bioengineering Community – Nicola Patron • A Grassroots Initiative for Library-Based Genetic Design – James Field

Research Needs and Opportunities • A Synthetic Biology Blueprint for Countering Biological Threats to the United States – Sanjana Ravi, Amor Mendez • We’ll Use a Teeny Tiny Lasso: Building an Infrastructure for the Domestication of Microorganisms – Sarah Richardson

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EDUCATION COMMUNITY TECH

BIOSECURITY PREPAREDNESS MEDICAL COUNTERMEASURES POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT APPLIED BIOLOGY INTERNATIONAL COORDINATION

BIOSECURITY BIOSAFETY PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRIBUTED RESPONSE

RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH RESPONSIBLE INNOVATION AND INNOVATION BIOSAFETY BIOSAFETY ACCELERATED COMMERCIALIZATION REGULATION RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION INNOVATION CORPS BIOSECURITY GENETIC MODIFICATION

PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY FOOD SECURITY AGRICULTURE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OPEN SOURCE

Keywords of the collection of Strategic Action Plans developed through the program

HOST ENGINEERING DOMESTICATION INFRASTRUCTURE GENETIC DESIGN GENETIC TOOLKITS SYNTHETIC DNA LIBRARIES BACTERIA IGEM COLLABORATION PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT CREATIVITY

GENE DRIVE CRISPR RESPONSIVE SCIENCE OPEN SCIENCE


PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

Integrating Responsible Innovation Research into Emerging Commercialization Practices for Synthetic Biology

Cameron Keys

Research universities are de facto science and technology policy laboratories attempting to reconcile powerful incentives to accelerate R&D commercialization with ethical and democratic commitments to responsible innovation (RI). Social scientists have called for applying RI research tools to education programs that teach university scientists about entrepreneurship (e.g., Innovation Corps), but silos separating RI research from commercialization practices persist in national legislation and in practice. It is time for university administrators, grant agencies, and principal investigators to integrate these activities. This action plan aims at an administrative vision to guide this integration, taking synthetic biology R&D as a focus. R&D commercialization entails a push and pull of competing commitments to investors, regulators, consumers, inventors, varied ethical perspectives, and public values. Technology transfer experts emphasize that “whoever gets it to market in the fastest and most effective manner wins,� but accelerated commercialization is only part of the story. The bigger situation is that research universities are in a position to redesign the DNA of corporate personhood and the ethos of responsible innovation, shaping the transformative potential of emerging technologies by paying equal attention to the material and social sides of innovation.

RESPONSIBLE INNOVATION ACCELERATED COMMERCIALIZATION 106

RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION INNOVATION CORPS


PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

Putting the Tech in Biotech

Edward Perello

A growing community of software developers and designers is becoming increasingly inspired by and eager to get involved in biology. Though participating in the “next digital revolution� is attractive, lateral entrants to the field face a steep learning curve before they can effectively discuss many core concepts of biological engineering with professional synthetic biologists. We propose a project that builds and makes freely available a body of knowledge to encourage bioliteracy among emerging biocoders, biodesigners, and other professionals, alongside a longer-term effort to create an institute that trains lateral entrants on synthetic biology, its many technical disciplines, and related socioeconomic ethics and policy issues. We believe that this initiative will help bring more stakeholders into the emerging bioeconomy, encourage effective autonomous learning, foster new commercial and social collaborations, and ultimately shape the development of the synthetic biology field in a fair and open manner.

EDUCATION COMMUNITY TECH 107


PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

A Grassroots Initiative for Library-Based Genetic Design

James Fields

Synthetic DNA libraries can be used to rapidly engineer novel biological systems. Unfortunately, many young synthetic biology practitioners don’t know what a synthetic DNA library is or how it can be used. To address this problem, we will ship a synthetic DNA library to every International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team, along with accompanying educational material. My company, LabGenius, will cover the cost of the design and synthesis of the synthetic DNA library.

GENETIC DESIGN SYNTHETIC DNA LIBRARIES iGEM

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PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

Better by Design, Safer through Practice

Jon Marles-Wright

Consideration of biosafety and compliance with local rules and relevant legislation is a vital aspect of good practice in any laboratory that performs molecular biology. With advances in DNA synthesis and assembly, recombineering, and the widespread adoption of Cas nucleases for genome editing, our ability to program cellular behaviours is advancing at an unprecedented rate. The current policy debate over whether these methods should be considered enough of an advance over the traditional molecular biology tools to require updated legislation highlights the need to reconsider how we approach our engagement with biosafety and biosecurity in our laboratories. In this paper, I examine current approaches to biosafety training and compliance in the academic context and propose the development of community standards and tools for risk assessment and biosafety reporting. My goal is to empower scientists to consider and communicate this underappreciated dimension of their work.

BIOSAFETY BIOSECURITY GENETIC MODIFICATION

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PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

CoLabFutures: Collaborations to Open Up the Future of Biotechnology

Karen Ingram A.W. Betten

Surveying public opinion on GMOs and genetic modification reveals responses like: I don’t know. No clue. Complicated. Health. Improvement. Doubt. Wrong. Food. Scary. A Google image search on the term “synthetic biology” results in textbook charts, dissected bacterium, and gears—society doesn’t seem to be part of the picture. Looking for information on GMOs, we often only find either huge promises or red flags. We recognize this polarized narrative as an opportunity to responsibly guide and enrich the development of perceptions and awareness of engineering with biology. A large part of the possible successful applications of synthetic biology revolves around society, yet we have no visual language to convey this in a nuanced manner. Across disciplines, scientists, artists, ethicists and policy makers can collaborate to create scientifically literate and socially sensitive images, stories, films, engagements, and concepts. Our goal is to create a context for synthetic biology that is productive and accessible, and that continuously improves through collaborations between practitioners and the public.

COLLABORATION PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT CREATIVITY 110


PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

iGEM Entrepreneur: A Pipeline for Teams to Build Startups

Kim de Mora

iGEM teams are known for incredible innovation and for achieving an amazing volume of work in short periods of time. Though several teams have gone on to form startups, they represent a small percentage of the overall number of participants. Incubators and accelerators for startups exist, but not all iGEM teams have fully formed ideas or are ready or able to drop out of college to participate. The iGEM Entrepreneur program aims to fill the gap in both time and knowledge for iGEM teams who want to start a business but aren’t quite ready. This virtual accelerator will allow teams to continue to work on their ideas and provide them with resources from community members who have already gone through the process. The program would greatly benefit from the SynBio entrepreneurship community’s help with creating a series of videos, providing a mentorship program, and participating in the final evaluation. This evaluation could be virtual, or it could take the form of onsite presentations so teams have a final “demo day” on which to focus their efforts. The overall aim of the program is to allow iGEMers to leverage our brand and network to raise funds for their company while preparing them to enter a business accelerator.

iGEM ENTREPRENEURSHIP

EARLY-STAGE COMMERCIALIZATION SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY 111


PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

Towards Open and Responsive Gene Drive Science

Kevin M. Esvelt

RNA-guided gene drives have the power to single-handedly alter shared ecosystems, yet they are accessible to individual researchers. Applications of gene drive and other ecotechnologies could save millions of lives and numerous species, but development, social acceptance, and use pose ethical and practical challenges due to the difficulty of obtaining communal consent. If the public is to have a voice in decisions that affect the shared environment, we must conduct all gene drive research in the open from the earliest stages. Through scientific leadership, invention, advocacy, outreach, and the judicious use of intellectual property, I will ensure that gene drive development is open and responsive to a diverse community of citizens aiming to freely discuss concerns, identify potential flaws, and determine whether, when, and how candidate gene drives should be used. Success will provide highly visible real-world benefits while encouraging a broader shift toward open science.

GENE DRIVE CRISPR RESPONSIVE SCIENCE OPEN SCIENCE

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PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

Synthetic Biology in a Global Context: Regulation, Standards and Best Practice

Lalitha S. Sundaram

The promise and potential of synthetic biology in addressing some of the world’s most critical problems is being increasingly recognized the world over. Synthetic biology products and projects could hold the key to sustainably “heal us, feed us, and fuel us.” For these technologies to be truly effective, however, they need to make the critical transition from lab bench to field. I am particularly interested in how this transition is managed to ensure it is done in a considered, thoughtful, and appropriate manner. I believe that there are two interconnected areas here that need careful consideration: managing responsible research and innovation (RRI) and navigating the regulatory landscape. Given that RRI and regulatory issues are inherently linked to public perception, I believe that the way we operate here is crucial to how the field as a whole is perceived: by the public, policy makers, and investors. Having a clear framework for how RRI underpins research and development, and how safety and security issues are being addressed within this framework, could facilitate public engagement and allow synthetic biology innovations to reach and address their most important users in a context-appropriate and safe manner.

INTERNATIONAL COORDINATION BIOSAFETY

RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION REGULATION 113


PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

Feeding the Future: The Case for Open Source Technology and an Inclusive Plant Bioengineering Community

Nicola J. Patron

World population is growing by 74 million people per year. We may need to produce as much as 70 percent more food by 2050 without increasing agricultural resources. Bioengineering is not a silver bullet for preventing food scarcity—synthetic biology cannot make the rain come or ensure fair distribution of food—but it can be used to detect and respond to disease outbreaks, reduce the use of agrochemicals, and improve nutritional value. Laboratories worldwide pursue plant biotechnology, yet most biotech crops on the market are aimed at increasing margins in developed economies. The fact that just a few companies control much of global agriculture undoubtedly fuels resistance to bioengineering. At the same time, the strategic use of patent rights has delayed the uptake of some technologies, and the need to navigate extensive suites of proprietary technologies has curbed entrepreneurship. In order for plant bioengineering to flourish and address grand challenges, we must confront questions of ownership, facilitate access to genetic sequences and enabling technologies, and promote locally led solutions.

PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY FOOD SECURITY AGRICULTURE 114

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OPEN SOURCE


PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

Towards a Synthetic Biology Blueprint for Countering Biological Threats to the United States

Sanjana J. Ravi Amor A. Menezes

We propose identifying how US federal agencies can integrate synthetic biological technologies to enhance biosecurity. Our proposal is motivated by inadequate technical and policy approaches to tackle biological threats (including naturally occurring outbreaks, accidental contaminations and bioreleases, and bioterrorism) that jeopardize public health and national security. Synthetic biology is a promising tool to address these inadequacies. Our work will deliver a comprehensive blueprint that details relevant synthetic biology products for federal scientists, health/biosecurity experts, and policy makers. For example, our blueprint will: (1) explain synthetic biology outcomes that enhance diagnostic capabilities and accelerate drug and vaccine production; (2) suggest actionable policies and regulatory approaches to govern, facilitate, and incentivize these efforts; and (3) weigh the posited benefits of recently developed or technically feasible synthetic biology solutions against the merits of existing technologies. A proof-of- concept blueprint will focus on two federal agencies. Ultimately, the proposed effort could advance both scientific innovation and national biodefense.

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY BIOSECURITY PREPAREDNESS

MEDICAL COUNTERMEASURES POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

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PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

We’ll Use a Teeny Tiny Lasso: Building an Infrastructure for the Domestication of Microorganisms

Sarah Richardson

Only two microbes are practically available to nonprofit researchers as platforms for genetic modification, a restriction that has profoundly delayed the progress of synthetic biology. A tiny fraction of interesting microbes has genetic toolkits—and though it is possible to build toolkits, current incentive structures in research and biotechnology seem to preclude the involvement of academic scientists or the disclosure of methods or strains by industrial scientists. A serious investment must be made to establish an infrastructure for the creation of new, manipulable strains of non-model microbes. I propose a high-throughput characterization and domestication pipeline for bacteria and an open database to capture, organize, and present the cultivation and manipulability of data so gathered. This pipeline would operate as a user facility, building toolkits and protocols for new and diverse domesticates with all of the genetic flexibility engineers have come to expect from E. coli, but with a much broader range of applications.

HOST ENGINEERING DOMESTICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

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GENETIC TOOLKITS BACTERIA


PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

The Case for Bioresilience

Sean Ward

Rapid advances in the enabling technologies for genome editing are sparking a global dialogue about the potential consequences of these technologies. In particular, concerns exist about the potential biosecurity implications of engineering—previously only within the remit of state-sponsored bodies—becoming available to well-trained individuals and small groups. These same technologies offer an opportunity to learn from other security areas such as cybersecurity and to rethink the core tenets of biosecurity, which will be required to move us to a world where we can respond rapidly and effectively to emergent threats, both manmade and natural.

BIOSECURITY BIOSAFETY PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRIBUTED RESPONSE

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PRODUCTS: STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS | VIEW FULL PLANS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

The One Sky Initiative: An Independent Nonprofit Articulating a Vision of Applied Biology Done Well

Keira Havens Jason Kakoyiannis Mike Koeris Ted Fjällman

The plan for responsible biological innovation sounds simple in theory: design thoughtfully, communicate effectively, listen carefully, and provide tangible benefits to all stakeholders. In practice, however, we have seen this process fail time and time again as companies, consumers, and advocacy groups talk at cross purposes. This leaves the synthetic biology industry, in particular, fragmented and isolated from the larger economy, unable to engage in productive discussion and benefit from more frequent exposure to and information exchange with various stakeholders. To alleviate this, we propose a nonprofit organization, the One Sky Initiative, committed to moderating a multi-stakeholder discussion around the broader field of applied biology (to include synthetic biology), expanding the conversation beyond polarizing hyperbole and allowing for honest assessment of risk and benefit.

RESPONSIBLE INNOVATION APPLIED BIOLOGY SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

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ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT


Fellows catching the early morning surf at Asilomar State Beach during the leadership workshop. ##


Community Action Plans Community Action Plans are vision papers that describe initiatives inspired by the LEAP Fellowship and advanced by our community of Fellows, mentors, advisors and supporters.


The Biodesign Challenge: Seeding a Generation of Biodesigners to Shape Future Synthetic Biology Products and Applications

Daniel Grushkin, LEAP Advisor and Journalist-in-Residence

Structured as a multi-university competition, the Biodesign Challenge is an education program that partners

PRODUCTS: COMMUNITY ACTION PLANS

biologists with art and design students to envision the future of biotech. It seeks to educate a generation of biodesigners—biotechnology professionals working at the intersection of biotech and society. The program is building a community of scientists, artists, and designers who explore how biotech can create new industries, fit into and change existing industries, and reveal biotech’s ethical, social, and environmental implications. In addition, BDC displays student projects at galleries and museums—including the Museum of Modern Art—to foster public dialogue about desired futures. The program piloted in 2016 in nine US universities and is now in twenty-three universities worldwide.

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Mentors from the United States and United Kingdom discuss national strategies for biotechnology


Insight Papers The LEAP Insight Papers offer Fellows’ insights and reflections on synthetic biology based on their interactions during the Landscaping Workshop. During the Landscaping Workshop, Fellows had the opportunity hear the perspectives of more than forty leaders and stakeholders working across diverse organizations involved in biotechnology. After this workshop, one Fellow noted that they had “learnt things they didn’t even know they needed to know.” To share these learnings with the broader community, Fellows were invited to author short papers that captured key insights. Technology Doesn’t Sound Like the Problem Sanjana Ravi, Nicola Patron, Ted Fjällman, Karen Ingram Perspectives on US Military Synbio

OUTCOMES PRODUCTS: INSIGHT PAPERS

Cameron Keys UK Academic SynBio Landscape Jon Marles-Wright and Sarah Richardson Synbio Infrastructure and Platforms Camille Delebecque The full versions of the papers can be found at synbioleap.org

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PRODUCTS: INSIGHT PAPERS | VIEW FULL PAPERS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

Technology Doesn’t Sound Like the Problem

Sanjana Ravi Nicola Patron Ted Fjällman Karen Ingram

Though significant technological leaps are still yet to be made, the main obstacles to synthetic biology making the world a better place do not lie in the laboratory. We, as a community of emerging leaders in synbio, must listen with a collective ear, develop socially responsible practices, engage with international agencies that have a mandate to improve lives, and provide a conduit for information on how synbio can be used to addressed local and global problems. We also need to prove that synbio can solve problems faster and better than other approaches, such as genetic modification. By engaging with security, regulatory, and risk assessment communities every step of the way, we can ensure that synbio evolves as a tool for preparedness and societal benefit rather than as a threat. Finally, public engagement is vital to allaying fears of new and emerging biotechnologies: poor usage of the tools is inevitable, but the fear of misuse should not eclipse the promise that synthetic biology holds.

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PRODUCTS: INSIGHT PAPERS | VIEW FULL PAPERS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

Perspectives on US Military Synbio

Cameron Keys

The US military has tremendous leverage in many aspects of the US and global economies. What might happen if, over the next few decades, the US Department of Defense (DoD) were to develop and apply synthetic biology methods at scale for applications such as acquiring and sustaining propellants, purified water, food, lubricants, coatings, plastics, clothing, medical supplies, and technologies for waste management and environmental remediation? The resulting investment in synbio would be far-reaching. The DoD’s strategic preoccupation with national security shapes and will continue to shape applications of engineering biology. Changes in scientific knowledge, public perceptions of risk, international affairs, and domestic politics will define the ethical dimensions of synbio in unique geographical settings worldwide. It will likely be immensely difficult to nudge the DoD toward integrating critical ethical perspectives into synbio R&D management and innovation ecosystems. Nevertheless, making DoD into a testbed where flexible ecosystems are desired and taken seriously is a worthy task for the next generation of synbio leaders.

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UK Academic Synbio Landscape

Jon Marles-Wright Sarah Richardson

In the face of talk of continued austerity from both sides of the political spectrum, community and the synthetic biology community in particular, we must present a strong case for investment in science and its social and economic benefits. Looking at the potential applications and markets for synthetic biology from a UK academic perspective, the Synthetic Biology Roadmap provides a clear overview of the opportunities and challenges for the field over the next ten years. The Roadmap was conceived and produced by the UK government with stakeholders from academia, industry, and policy groups. It sets out a vision for the development of synthetic biology in the UK, makes a series of recommendations for additional investment in the field, and identifies technologies and application areas where the field has the potential to make significant impacts.

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Synbio Infrastructure and Platforms

Camille Delebecque

Even though synthetic biology is a young field, it is already a global endeavor with research and development programs in many countries. Synbio is unique in its highly multidisciplinary nature and in that it makes it easy for people who are not considered professional experts in the field to contribute scientific innovations to it nonetheless. In this unique context, how can we support pre-competitive activities in biotechnology? What infrastructure is critical to collaborative efforts? What are potential organizational models? Some valuable models already exist, such as iGEM, distributed innovation through gamification, and education and access to seed funding for entrepreneurs. New organizational models are bound to revolutionize synbio, and should be done so with care in order to efficiently sprout new green bioeconomies around the world.

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One of three collaborative sessions at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016 in which Fellows discussed their Strategic Action Plan visions


Catalyst Grants The LEAP Catalyst Grants provide seed funding for strategic initiatives that have been developed through the program. LEAP projects often span the boundaries between disciplines and sectors, making it difficult to attract funding from traditional sources. For this reason, LEAP provides non-dilutive funding to catalyze the implementation of key projects and facilitate the procurement of additional resources. This program cycle, LEAP made four $10,000 awards to Fellows or groups of Fellows to support the implementation of their Strategic Action Plans.

Catalyst Grant Review Criteria 1. Does this project represent the LEAP brand? 2. Is this project likely to be successful? 3. Will this project have a significant impact? 4. Will it enable others?

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5. Would this project move ahead without LEAP funding? 6. Does this project plan for sustainability?

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We’ll Use a Teeny Tiny Lasso: Building an Infrastructure for the Domestication of Microorganisms Sarah Richardson Precise information about prokaryotic husbandry is currently the sorry preserve of oral history and undigitized literature. We built a crowd-sourceable strain manipulation, relation, and cultivation database (SMRC). This exhaustive interrogation of phenotype—a type of search available nowhere else—should become the standard by which all microbe characterization is measured. In this iPhone age, if your software doesn’t have a pretty, flexible interface, nobody will use it, let alone make it a crowdsourced

PRODUCTS: CATALYST GRANTS | VIEW PROPOSALS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

powerhouse. This catalyst grant gives us a way to provide a user interface that will get the ball rolling on adoption and data collection.

Bringing Together ARTISANS + ETHICISTS to Stimulate a Nuanced Conversation about the Future of Biotechnology Wieke Betten and Karen Ingram The “future of biotechnology” as well as “in the public interest” are both complex concepts characterized by scientific uncertainty and value plurality. We (as a creative and an ethicist) want to stimulate a nuanced conversation about biotechnology by highlighting the personal behind the professional, and the strength of connection in communities. By engaging with artisans of different areas of expertise, we will underscore the notion that bioethics is an issue that touches us all. We feel that an appropriate ethics framework— reflective of all ethical families—should be developed. The framework will allow for input to be culled from those involved and affected, and will be sensitive to local context and issues.

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Open Source Foundational Tools Nicola J. Patron The debate on plant biotechnology has been heavily influenced by questions of ownership as well as by disillusionment in the engineered traits that have reached market. At the same time, the strategic use of patent rights has delayed the uptake of some technologies, and the need to navigate thickets of proprietary technologies has curbed entrepreneurship. I aim to assess current models of ownership and access to enabling technologies and to pursue the creation of alternatives that can be openly shared, particularly in less-developed world regions. I will also engage with legal, regulatory and political

PRODUCTS: CATALYST GRANTS | VIEW PROPOSALS ON SYNBIOLEAP.ORG

mechanisms that determine access and benefit sharing to plant biotechnologies and genetic resources.

Putting the Tech in Biotech Edward Perello A growing number of software developers and designers are becoming increasingly inspired and eager to work in biology. However, lateral entrants to the field face a steep learning curve to climb before they can have effective discussions with professional biologists. This Catalyst Grant will help to develop the training resources on SynBio.info that encourage bioliteracy among a diverse range of stakeholders. These resources will also be used to create a formal organization that can solicit and received support from individual contributors and partner organizations that share our passion to bridge the gap between tech and biotech and expand the bio-economy.

Edward Perello

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A selection of LEAP community meet-ups around the world


OUTCOMES LEAP conducts ongoing evaluations of the program to assess how we can adapt our approach to best serve our community and the world.


“LEAP taught me how vital it was to see the bigger picture and how my work fits into it. It encouraged me to be adventurous with my plans and ambitions, and then gave me tools and tricks for how to realize them.”

“LEAP was a critical factor that helped me get the job that I hold now. Without the program and the network of contacts formed through it, I likely would not have been hired for it.”


Fellow photos on a board at the Leadership Workshop


Program Reflections An ethnographer and journalist embedded in the Fellowship captured the experience and provided reflections on the program design and outcomes. In designing LEAP, the organizers sought ways to implement the type of active reflection that we seek to foster in our Fellows. In addition to survey-based program evaluation, we also invited an ethnographer, Sam Weiss Evans, and a journalist, Dan Grushkin, to experience the fellowship from a participant’s viewpoint. Their perspectives have helped the organizing team better understand the assumptions in the program design and how it is situated within existing theory and practice. They have also assisted in conveying the program and its more nuanced outcomes to the wider community. Here, they share

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brief reflections on their experience.

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The Program is an Experiment Sam Weiss Evans, Ethnographer-in-Residence How do we develop a capacity for “active reflection” among those responsible for decisions about the content, direction and practice of synthetic biology? That is the experiment Megan Palmer and her team, including me, set for ourselves in the design of LEAP. The main emphasis of the approach has been to invest in the human capital of synthetic biology, where relatively small investments in a next generation of emerging leaders will hopefully have broad payouts in the years to come. In a field that has an unusually high amount of interaction with the social science community, this approach is notable for the depth of integration of social science thinking. While the impact of the program will only be seen over time, two aspects of this integration are already useful

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM REFLECTIONS | SAM WEISS EVANS

to learn from: living the skill set you are trying to pass on, and providing space and time for mutual learning and compromising.

Living the skill set you are trying to pass on The team involved me from the outset of the 2015 program planning, as Megan and I had already worked together on several projects since 2011. This early integration and past productive collaboration was valuable in two ways: as an ethnographer and as a designer. From an ethnographic standpoint, I had near total access to the conception and execution of LEAP. As a designer, I was able to be a partner in integrating lessons from Science and Technology Studies (STS) into the design of the program. This engagement started with the program team’s planning process, which was then reflected in the Fellowship itself. The team actively reflected on the choices we were making about the design of LEAP, such as how to present the innovation process, structure of knowledge, and types of expertise that emerging leaders would find value in engaging. The same process that the team underwent was then built into the Fellows’ experience. As a result, the LEAP Fellows encountered a program that eschewed much of the dogma of traditional scientific training about societal issues, such as the linear model of innovation, necessity of academic freedom, and need to only consider ethical, security and other aspects of knowledge production “downstream.” I found the level of kindness and genuineness in this interaction to be novel, necessary, and entirely refreshing.

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Providing space and time for mutual learning and compromise The team built space and time into the program planning process in which they could share, learn and engage on a personal, professional and academic level, and that process was re-created for the Fellows to experience. The Fellows’ space and time took place largely during the week spent at Asilomar, a Pacific Coast conference center set in the dunes south of Silicon Valley. The Washington retreat earlier in the year was a rapid-fire occasion to learn and meet most of the major players in the American political and regulatory scene around the life sciences. Asilomar, by contrast, was an opportunity to reflect and to generate ideas and relationships. The week was in sharp contrast to the Asilomar genetic engineering conference at the same site in the 1970s, which solidified a

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM REFLECTIONS | SAM WEISS EVANS

“science-first, society-second” view of innovation. This week focused on how our knowledge and the type of society we want to live in are inextricably interconnected. As each Fellow fleshed out an action plan, we encouraged everyone to consider how his or her own expertise might be employed to clarify, modify or abandon the plan. We encouraged thinking especially around questions like “Who will be harmed by this work and how might we address those harms in a fair way?” and “What assumptions are we making about our idea and the society and environment it will live in?” While each Fellow undertook active reflection in a different way and to differing degrees, the team set a clear expectation and norm for this practice that distinguished the experience from other settings. LEAP is an experiment in restructuring deep-seated ways of governing and moving from an initial idea to a project that resonates with society. In a year’s work with a busload of Fellows, we were not expecting to change the policies, academic incentives or industry structure of the life sciences. Instead, we laid seeds in the human capital of this system. I believe these seeds will grow and flourish if programs like LEAP continue to strengthen our muscles to question why we innovate the way we do, and how we might do so more responsibly. LEAP has been an important step in building capacity for active reflection, and I look forward to playing a part in the initiatives it has fostered.

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Privileging Interdisciplinarity to Forge Synthetic Biology Leadership Daniel Grushkin, Journalist-in-Residence In February 2015, twenty-three Synbio LEAP Fellows arrived in Washington, DC for a series of meetings that brought them face-to-face with dozens of thought leaders, policy makers, entrepreneurs, scientists, and even an astronaut. The goal: to discuss synthetic biology, how it should develop as a science and technology, what policies could make it flourish, and how to best to introduce it to the public. The cohort discussed the bridges and scaffolding necessary to progress the field. In the course of a few days, I saw terms like “progress” and “better” questioned, torn down, and reconstructed to mean new things. This imperative to recalibrate the goals of the field of synthetic biology in a multidisciplinary environment was one

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM REFLECTIONS | DANIEL GRUSHKIN

of the most meaningful aspects of the Fellowship. I was invited to join LEAP as a journalist who has written about synthetic biology for a decade. As much as I was an observer, I also acted as a participant, sharing thoughts, ideas and critiques. During my time with the Fellows, I watched them share and germinate project plans, and over the course of five months when they finally arrived at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in California, I watched them introduce their plans, tear them down, and redevelop them. The LEAP team challenged Fellows to question assumptions about synthetic biology’s unique status to address specific social and economic issues. It asked Fellows how synthetic biology can reach beyond the walls of elite institutions. This process of ideation and assessment was impressive, even more so because the ideas were forged in an environment that fostered collaborations that wouldn’t—probably couldn’t—happen in a lab environment. The organizers of the LEAP program had recruited a cohort that embraced a multiplicity of perspectives. Of the twenty-three fellows—considered emerging leaders in the field of synthetic biology—six (or more than a quarter) came from backgrounds outside of science. It was significant increase from the 2012 LEAP cohort, which only had two Fellows from disciplines outside of biology. 140


In this shift, LEAP’s lesson for synthetic biology is clear: only a diverse community with specialties in many areas can shepherd the technology from the lab into the marketplace and finally into people’s lives in meaningful ways. Diversity has always been a striking feature of the synthetic biology community. The community has attracted a broad cohort—ranging among biologists, social scientists, computer scientists, artists, designers, and others. This diversity reflects the field’s origins. Many of the early pioneers in synthetic biology came from computer science and engineering backgrounds rather than traditional biology. This outsider status drew others from a variety of disciplines. I would argue that interdisciplinarity has been “baked” into synthetic biology. The challenge has been

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM REFLECTIONS | DANIEL GRUSHKIN

for community members to understand the value of each other’s perspectives. In a white paper called, “Technology Doesn’t Sound Like the Problem” published on the LEAP website, three scientists and a designer outlined hurdles outside of science that slow synthetic biology’s development. Many of these hurdles relate to public engagement and creating meaningful scientific agendas that the public would willingly support. A number of the Fellows’ Strategic Action Plans were doubtlessly influenced by these provocations. For example, a group including scientists and a communications specialist proposed the One Sky Initiative as a method to create multi-stakeholder dialogue around emerging synthetic biology products. Another fellow, Nicola Patron, a plant scientist at Earlham Institute in the United Kingdom, proposed the development of an open and inclusive plant bioengineering community. The intense questioning of ideas, the interdisciplinarity of the cohort, and multiday workshops that fostered camaraderie make LEAP a valuable program for forging future leaders in synthetic biology. Alongside understanding the technical feasibility of projects, an implicit lesson in LEAP is that teams working with synthetic biology must also deepen their understanding of the economic and cultural feasibility of their projects. As such, the work of synthetic biology is not just a scientific practice but one that requires a diversity of skills. 141


LEAP community members at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016 Photo: Daily Swa Laurel


Program Evaluation LEAP conducted a review of the fellowship participants to assess the most valuable elements of the program and how it might evolve. LEAP aims to build a supportive community and provide professional development to emerging leaders. Is LEAP on track to fulfilling its goals? While meeting these goals is an ongoing process, there are early indicators we can use to evaluate the program’s success, including whether this class of Fellows: • found the program valuable; • developed proposals to translate their ideas into action; • refined their definitions of leadership and the public interest; • honed their knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities.

OUTCOMES OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION

Fellows submitted five surveys throughout the program—before and after each workshop, and several months after the end of the Fellowship year. An independent professional specializing in educational program evaluation assessed the results.

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Overview LEAP derives its value from processes that create trust and accountability among a diverse community of peers and a wider network of mentors and stakeholders. Our survey analysis revealed some important trends among this class of LEAP Fellows about the most valued aspect of the program and areas of improvement. Details can be found in the following pages, but in summary: • The program was highly valuable for Fellows’ personal and professional development. The most valuable aspect of the program was creating a network among the Fellows and the broader LEAP mentor and organizer community. Fellows also highly valued the facilitation of feedback and professional skills development provided by the Leadership Workshop and peer reviews of their Strategic Action Plans. They also appreciated the accountability for advancing their ideas and plans that resulted from participating in the program. • Fellows’ ideas on opportunities and needs evolved over the course of the program as evidenced by changes in the goals and execution of their Strategic Action Plans. Some Fellows formed new collaborative teams, and most reported increased confidence in their plans. The majority of Fellows intend to pursue their projects past the program’s end.

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION

• Participants’ definitions of leadership in the public interest evolved and expanded over the course of the program. Fellows came to recognize and appreciate more interpersonal leadership attributes and a greater diversity of leadership roles. • The program was able to provide Fellows with an enhanced awareness of the broader context of the field and professional leadership skills, although the specific areas of learning varied among Fellows. Fellows felt they had high leadership aspirations throughout the program and many felt more equipped to take on that role by the program end. The program was able to provide them with a greater situational awareness for the field and its social context and new ideas and strategies for how to shape its evolution. However, the most lasting value was the community of trusted peers across organizations that will last far beyond the program’s end.

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�LEAP provided a space for unfettered imagination, for dreaming big ideas to change the world for the better and, crucially, resources and mentorship to help realize those ideas. It was a transformational experience.�


Overall Program Value Did the LEAP Fellows find the LEAP Fellowship valuable? Which elements were the most valuable? At the end of the Fellowship, Fellows were asked to rate the extent to which they found the program valuable and which elements were the most valuable (Not Valuable, A Little Valuable, Somewhat Valuable, Very Valuable or Extremely Valuable). Fellows overwhelmingly thought that the program was very or extremely valuable as a whole, and in furthering both their personal and professional development. Networking was the most valued part of the program, with connections to other Fellows, the organizing team, and the mentors and invited guests rated as very or extremely valuable. The Leadership Workshop was the most highly rated program element, with the preparation and review of

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION

Strategic Action Plans before and after the workshop also highly rated.

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0%

PROGRAM VALUE

20%

OVERALL VALUE OF THE PROGRAM PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ELEMENTS APPLICATION PROCESS LANDSCAPING WORKSHOP DEVELOPMENT OF INSIGHT PAPERS PREPARATION FOR LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP COMMUNITY PITCH SESSION STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN REVIEWS WRITING UP STRATEGIC ACTION PLANS INFORMAL LEAP COMMUNITY MEETUPS PROGRAM NETWORK NETWORKING WITH OTHER FELLOWS NETWORKING WITH THE LEAP TEAM NETWORKING WITH MENTORS AND INVITED GUESTS NONE OR LITTLE

SOMEWHAT

VERY OR EXTREMELY

40%

60%

80%

100%


Key Benefits What did the LEAP Fellows see as the key benefits of the program as a whole? As a leadership incubator, LEAP aims to increase Fellows’ broader awareness and appreciation of the people, ideas, and challenges in biotechnology, and give them an opportunity to reflect on their current and future role within the field. Fellows were asked to rate the extent to which the workshops and program as a whole led to a number of benefits and outcomes (Not At All, To A Slight Extent, To A Moderate Extent, To A Great Extent, or To An Exceptional Extent). Fellows felt the program benefitted them in a number of areas to a great or exceptional extent. The benefits the program was best able to provide were an expanded professional network, and an increased awareness of key people, organizations and challenges facing the field. The Fellows also felt they had new ideas and strategies for advancing their goals, the goals of the field, and societal goals; an opportunity to reflect on their own goals and values; and an appreciation of the connections between science, technology and society. They also felt an increased

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION

confidence in their ideas and abilities.

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0%

20%

An expanded professional network An increased awareness of key people and organizations shaping biotechnology activities An increased awareness of key challenges in advancing the field’s positive outcomes A greater appreciation for the broader context of the field New ideas and strategies for advancing the goals of the synbio community An opportunity to reflect on my goals and values A greater appreciation for the connections between science, technology and society Increased confidence in my ideas and abilities New ideas and strategies for advancing societal goals New ideas and strategies for advancing my personal and professional goals

NONE OR SLIGHT

MODERATE

GREAT OR EXCEPTIONAL

40%

60%

80%

100%


Leadership Perspectives What were LEAP Fellows’ definitions of leadership? Did they change while participating in the Fellowship program? The heart of the LEAP Fellowship Program is leadership in the public interest. LEAP Fellows are expected to have initial—at least notional—views on the meaning of “leadership” and “public interest,” and their active reflection on these complex concepts are used as indicators of the programs’ value. Throughout the fellowship year, Fellows were prompted to list three key attributes of leaders. Over the program, the Fellows’ perspectives on leadership became less focused on individual characteristics (vision, confidence and persistence) and more on relational characteristics (communication, empathy and inspiration). In open-ended responses at the end of the program, half of the Fellows reported that their views on the meaning of leadership changed. They noted an expansion in their definition of leadership, with one Fellow noting that “leadership comes in many different forms and shapes.” Another learned that “leadership doesn’t have to be standing in front of a crowd, speaking persuasively. It can also look like consideration, collaboration, helping other groups see the vision you have for the future by helping them achieve their goals.” It can include leading by example, as one Fellow newly recognized: “Leadership is not limited to leading people directly through being a

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION

capital-L Leader with a badge. . . My failures and successes act as a model to others who may follow.”

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“I used to think of leadership primarily as picking a direction to go and marshalling resources to move in that direction. I have a much greater appreciation for the skills involved in choosing a worthy direction, inspiring people to travel with you, and generating useful outcomes along the way.�


COMMUNICATION

VISION ORGANIZATION

TRUSTWORTHY

ENCOURAGING ORGANIZATIONAL

CLARITY

REACTIVE

ARTICULATE

GOOD

SUCCESS ASPIRATIONS

COMPELLING

RESPONSE

COURAGE

CONFIDENCE SUFFERING

TRUST

INNOVATIVE

CHARISMATIC

THOUGHTFUL

CONFIDENCE

INDEFATIGABLE

EXAMPLE

CREATIVE

PERSISTENCE PASSION

LEADERS DRIVE

WORDS

DRIVEN MOTIVATIONAL JUSTICE

THREE

RESOLVE

VISIONARY CHARISMA

STRATEGY

EMPATHETIC

INSPIRATION

INSPIRING ABILITY

DILIGENT

TRUST

HUMILITY LISTENERS

IMPORTANT

MASTERY

COLLABORATION

STRENGTH

PRAGMATIC

EXPECTATIONS

PERSPECTIVE OPEN

OPEN-ENDED

WISDOM PRIORITIZING

HUMILITY RESPONSIBILITY

Frequency with which Fellows listed three key attributes of leaders before the program

DESCRIBING

FOCUS

CONFIDENT

RESPONSIBLE

IMPLEMENTATION

LOYALTY ETHICS

CUNNING

COMPASSION LOUD

REFLECTION

CREATING


INCLUSIVENESS

COURAGE

COLLABORATIVE HUMILITY EXPERIMENTALIST THOUGHTFUL EYE

ASK

FLEXIBLE

CONFIDENCE

INCLUSIVE

CARING

FORESIGHT

PROBLEM ATTENTIVE CAPACITY COMPASSION

PERSUASIVE

VISION TRUSTWORTHY INSPIRATION

EMPATHY

SOLVERS

REACTIVE

KNOWLEDGEABLE ORGANIZATION

ASPIRATION

CONVINCING

LEGISLATIVE

VISIONARY ETHICAL

SPEAK

SHOW

INTEGRITY

PERSISTENCE

INSPIRING

RESPONSIBLE

TELL

COMPROMISE

INSPIRATIONAL

STRATEGY

DELEGATION HONEST

THINKING

GOOD BIGGER

Frequency with which Fellows listed three key attributes of leaders after the program

DETAIL

OPEN

LISTENER

EXECUTION THINK AUTHENTIC

COMPASSIONATE EXPECTATIONS

FORWARD


Leadership Attributes Did the LEAP Fellows’ leadership attributes change while participating in the program? LEAP aims to develop Fellows’ leadership attributes, starting with the belief that leadership is predicated on one’s own internal resources, as well as external supports. Fellows were asked to rate their agreement with statements related to their vision, position, confidence, networks and interest in public service. Most Fellows agreed or strongly agreed with each leadership statement throughout the entire program, and there was a mild increase in agreement throughout the Fellowship year. The two biggest increases referred to

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION

Fellows’ professional networks and their preparation for leadership.

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0%

I HAVE A VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF THE FIELD

I HAVE A VISION FOR THE ROLE I WANT TO PLAY IN SHAPING THE FIELD

I AM EQUIPPED TO TAKE A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN SHAPING FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR THE FIELD

I AM CONFIDENT IN MY SKILLS AND ABILITIES AS A LEADER

I HAVE A TRUSTED PROFESSIONAL NETWORK THAT I CAN ASK FOR HELP AND ADVICE

I AM COMFORTABLE ASSESSING WHETHER MY ACTIONS ARE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

BEFORE

AFTER

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%


Leadership Skills Did the LEAP Fellows’ professional leadership skills change while participating the program? Leading successful projects in the public interest requires thinking through the outcomes, and implications of these projects, as well as working with and generating support from others. Fellows were asked about their skills in areas related to project development (No or Minimal Skills, I’ve Had Some Practice But Haven’t Used It Much, I Use This Skill On A Daily Basis, I’d Be Confident Running Activities, or I Am Creating New Ways Of Working In This Area). A greater number of Fellows reported higher-level leadership skills at the end of program than at the start of the program, with fewer Fellows indicating low skills. The greatest increases in skill building were in the areas of system thinking, ethical reasoning, forecasting and stakeholder engagement. By the end of the program, more than half of the Fellows reported that they were actively creating new ways of working in each of the areas, or that

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION

they would be confident running activities focused on them.

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0%

SYSTEMS THINKING BEFORE AFTER ETHICAL REASONING BEFORE AFTER FORECASTING BEFORE AFTER STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT BEFORE AFTER STRATEGIC PLANNING BEFORE AFTER COLLABORATIVE WORK BEFORE AFTER COMMUNICATION BEFORE AFTER NONE OR LITTLE

SENSE

GOOD OR EXPERT

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%


Leadership Knowledge Did the LEAP Fellows’ contextual knowledge of the field change while participating the program? Leadership requires situational awareness about the state of the field and its societal context in order to make wise decisions. Fellows were asked to rate their knowledge in a number of topic areas related to biotechnology (No Knowledge, Limited Knowledge, I Have A Sense Of This Area, I Know This Area Well, or This Is My Area Of Expertise). The number of Fellows reporting that they knew key topic areas in the field well, or had expertise, increased after the Landscaping Workshop. The number of Fellows having no or limited knowledge decreased. The two

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION

biggest increases were Fellows’ knowledge of responsible innovation and their knowledge of regulation and oversight.

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0%

INDUSTRY TRENDS BEFORE AFTER TECHNOLOGY TRENDS BEFORE AFTER POLITICAL PROCESSES BEFORE AFTER APPLICATIONS AND MARKETS BEFORE AFTER RESPONSIBLE INNOVATION BEFORE AFTER REGULATION AND OVERSIGHT BEFORE AFTER ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIES BEFORE AFTER NONE OR LITTLE

SENSE

GOOD OR EXPERT

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%


Leadership Goals and Plans Did LEAP Fellows’ Strategic Action Plans mature over the course of their Fellowship year? When applying to the LEAP Fellowship, applicants submitted individual ideas related to advancing biotechnology in the public interest that they wanted to develop through the program. During the Fellowship year, the Fellows created Strategic Action Plans to refine (or change altogether), develop and implement their ideas. Fellows were asked to rate their agreement with statements regarding their action plan development (Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree). The revision of ideas and goals, and development of plans are used as indicators that the Fellows were able to integrate program learnings. Fellows reported changes in the goals and execution of their Strategic Action Plans, and their confidence in the plans, over the course of the Fellowship. At the end of the program, the majority of the Fellows reporting said that both the goals and execution of their plans changed. Moreover, most felt confident about their Strategic Action Plan goals and execution. They also said they intended to pursue the activities outlined in their final plans. One clear indicator of changes in plans is the development of collaborative projects. Whereas each Fellow started with an individual project idea, three group plans emerged from the program—two collaborations of two Fellows

OUTCOMES: PROGRAM EVALUATION

and one collaboration of four Fellows. These plans were interdisciplinary, interorganizational and international.

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100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

GOAL CHANGED PRE-LEADERSHIP

EXECUTION CHANGED POST-LEADERSHIP

WILL FELLOWS PURSUE THEIR ACTION PLANS AFTER LEAP?

CONFIDENT IN GOAL

CONFIDENT IN EXECUTION

FELLOWSHIP END

YES MAYBE

NO


The inaugural class of LEAP Fellows


Alumni Updates LEAP maintains strong connections with LEAP Fellow Alumni to understand the longterm impact of the program, including the plans they shaped through the fellowship. The LEAP Fellow Alumni are an influential, collaborative and networked group of leaders across sectors and disciplines who reflect and act upon synthetic biology’s role in society. Fellows remain active participants in the LEAP program, acting as mentors, speakers, funders and connectors, as well as program advisors. Their efforts have catalyzed new initiatives that address a wide variety of needs and enable new communities to shape the future

OUTCOMES OUTCOMES: ALUMNI UPDATES

of biotechnology.

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DEVELOPING STANDARDS FOR THE SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY COMMUNITY During the inaugural LEAP program, Fellows Sarah Munro, Patrick Boyle, Michal Galdzicki and Jeff Ubersax developed a vision for standards development as an effective way of ensuring the responsible development of the industry. NIST has since convened the Synthetic Biology Standard Consortium (SBSC), a multistakeholder consortium for development of standards for synthetic biology. Sarah Munro has taken on the role of leader of the California NIST team supporting the SBSC effort as part of the new Joint Initiative for Metrology in Biology (JIMB) at Stanford. JIMB unites people, platforms and projects to underpin standards-based research and innovation in biometrology. Many LEAP Fellows and mentors have been active participants in the SBSC’s working groups.

CREATING A NEXUS FOR THE SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY INDUSTRY LEAP Alumnus John Cumbers founded SynBioBeta, which held its inaugural meeting during the fall of 2012, right after the inaugural LEAP program. SynBioBeta has since grown to be the leading community of entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers and enthusiasts devoted to the responsible growth of the synthetic biology field. Their international conferences and events bring this

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community together several times a year and have featured many LEAP Fellows and mentors.

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DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND SECURITY Several LEAP Alumni Fellows have gone on to be selected as Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI) fellows: Patrick Boyle, Nathan Hillson, Dan Grushkin and Anne Cheever. ELBI, a program run by the UPMC Center for Health Security and sponsored by the Open Philanthropy Foundation, competitively selects a yearly class of emerging leaders in biosecurity working across organizations in the US, UK, and Canada. The LEAP Fellows have become important bridges between biotechnology and security communities. The InterAcademy Partnership, a global network of Science Academies, also featured LEAP as an exemplary program in their 2015 report on advances in science and technology relevant to the biological weapons convention

ANALYZING THE RISKS AND BENEFITS OF DUAL USE BIOTECHNOLOGY LEAP Alumnus Ryan Ritterson joined Gryphon Scientific, which provides data-driven and scientific analysis for infectious disease, biosafety, biosecurity, and other global policy challenges. Ryan served as a lead analyst on the Risk and Benefit Analysis of Gain-of-Function Research commissioned by the US National

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Scientific Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), including developing a comprehensive quantitative framework for analyzing the biosafety risk of virological research. Ryan has since led and contributed to multiple projects related to safety, security and strategy in the development of advanced biotechnologies.

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DESIGNING THE SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY INDUSTRY In her Strategic Action Plan, LEAP Alumnus Christina Agapakis described the need for diverse perspectives in exploring the role of biotechnology in the world. Christina has created many forums that advance new partnerships in biotechnology. She developed new models for interdisciplinary training at the Art Center College of Design and UCLA. She continues to write extensively on biology, technology and culture, and created a platform for others to share their stories through the founding of Method Quarterly, a magazine about science in the making. Christina joined Ginkgo Bioworks as their creative director, and has leveraged the position to catalyze projects that involve new stakeholders in the biotechnology industry. She has received much acclaim for her work, including being awarded a L’Oreal Women in Science fellowship and being named one of the 2016 Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business.

DEVELOPING BIOTECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE AND OVERSIGHT As head of Biodesign at Berkeley National Lab, LEAP Alumnus Nathan Hillson is the principal investigator of the Agile Biofoundry, a consortium of nine US national labs working towards reducing biomanufacturing commercialization timelines and costs. He is also contributing to commercial platforms that

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support the industry as founder and chief scientific officer of Teselagen. At the Joint Genomics Institute (JGI), Nathan spearheaded the institutionalization of a review process that covers the broader aspects and implications (e.g., biosafety, biosecurity, environmental, ethical, legal, social) of proposed synthetic biology projects, which has drawn on the expertise of LEAP Fellows and mentors. Recognized as a thought leader in the field, Nathan served on the committee of the National Academies study on the Industrialization of Biotechnology.

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CREATING NEW BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH NETWORKS LEAP Alumnus Louise Horsfall collaborated on a LEAP Strategic Action Plan to enable an international synthetic biology society. After presenting their concept at SB6.0, Louise founded a new Bioprocessing and Bioengineering section within the European Federation of Biotechnology to represent those working at the boundary between biotechnology and engineering, and was elected co-chair. She received the University of Edinburgh’s 2015 Chancellor’s Rising Star Award and is a member of the EPSRC’s Early Career Forum in Manufacturing Research. Louise has leveraged her leadership role in the community to help inform scientific and policy agendas, such as organizing scientific input to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

ADVANCING NEW MODELS FOR EXCELLENCE IN BIOTECHNOLOGY EDUCATION LEAP Alumnus Marc Facciotti’s Strategic Action Plan described the need for new educational models for synthetic biology, including the integration of concepts of responsible innovation. Marc raised support to create a new BioInnovation Lab at the University of California, Davis, where Marc is an associate professor. Marc

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and colleague Andrew Yao have developed and co-taught new courses, some with other LEAP Fellows and mentors. They have helped students launch three start-up companies and advised the UC Davis iGEM teams, including the 2014 team, which won the Overgraduate Grand Prize and the Best Policy and Practices Award. They are now partnering with the UC Davis Freshman Seminars, giving first-year students access to experiences in responsible biotechnology.

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CREATING PLATFORMS FOR DATA SHARING AND TRAINING LEAP Alumnus Karmella Haynes’s Strategic Action Plan described the development of platforms to stimulate and sustain data sharing to support the characterization of biological components and to enable the field and its trainees. Karmella received an award from Women and Philanthropy to support this work via the SB.ASU project at Arizona State University, where Karmella is an assistant professor. In collaboration with investigators of DNASU, a world-class repository for shared DNA materials, she launched the SB.ASU parts collection in 2017. Karmella has also led important efforts to support training in the field. She was a faculty co-founder of the Cold Spring Harbor Synthetic Biology Course, which is now entering its fifth year, and served as head judge of the iGEM competition. She has been recognized as a leader in the field, including being named a “Scientist to Watch” by The Scientist magazine and serving on the board of directors for the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC).

EXPLORING BIOTECHNOLOGY’S ROLE IN GLOBAL HEALTH LEAP Alumnus Keith Tyo’s Strategic Action Plan focused on the role of biotechnology in solving global health challenges, and the need for a problemfocused approach. Keith went on to develop a research and educational program in this area as an assistant professor at Northwestern University, including establishing a certificate in Sustainability and Global Health

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Technologies within Northwestern’s Master of Science in Biotechnology program. Two classes have now visited Cape Town, South Africa to conduct a technoeconomic analysis of biotechnology strategies for mine waste remediation, sustainable fuels and tuberculosis diagnostics. The program was supported in part by a National Science Foundation CAREER grant awarded to Keith in 2015.

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PRODUCING STRATEGIES FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT As a LEAP participant, Michael Fisher advocated for the intensification of efforts to creatively and productively engage with the public on synthetic biology and biotechnology. Just over a year later, Michael joined the STEM education faculty at Liberty Science Center (LSC) in Jersey City, New Jersey to focus full-time on science outreach. During his time at LSC, Michael designed and executed several high-school-level laboratory workshops emphasizing molecular biology experiments and computational protein design. Michael is now using synthetic biology tools to investigate parasitic disease at Rutgers–New Jersey Medical School, and has continued his public engagement efforts in collaboration with North Dover Elementary School’s STEAM DREAM project.

DEVELOPING BLUEPRINTS FOR RESPONSIBLE INNOVATION LEAP Aalumnus Walter Valdivia is now a senior fellow at the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) and a non-resident fellow at Brookings. Working in the think tank world, he has focused on the practical dimensions of the governance of emerging technologies. Distilling the lessons from the last few decades of technological development, Valdivia and his co-author proposed a

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blueprint for responsible innovation. The blueprint provides useful lessons useful for developers and regulators of synthetic biology pursuing innovation of the innovation process itself, such as increasing demands for public participation and the distributed character of knowledge at the outer frontiers of science and engineering.

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DEVELOPING A MODEL FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND EDUCATION LEAP Alumnus Ellen Jorgenson’s Strategic Action Plan described developing platforms for DIY biolabs to develop resources for community engagement and education. As co-founder and director of Genspace, Ellen has continued to develop a haven for entrepreneurship, innovation and citizen science. Her efforts have been widely chronicled, including in Science, Wired, and The New York Times, and her TED Talks have received millions of views, making Genspace an inspiration for similar spaces worldwide. In 2014 Fast Company named Genspace one of the World’s Top 10 Innovative Companies in Education, and in 2016 Genspace was awarded a grant from the Simons Foundation to expand their programming.

BUILDING PLATFORMS FOR ACCESS TO NEW BIOTECHNOLOGY TOOLS In his Strategic Action Plan, LEAP Alumnus David Sun Kong laid out a vision for infrastructure to empower diverse communities around the world to participate in biotechnology. His “metafluidics” project, an open repository of fluidic tools for biotechnology, received funding through the Technology Office at MIT Lincoln

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Laboratory (www.metafluidics.org). As the founder and director of EMW—an art, technology, and community center in Cambridge, Massachusetts—David is also enabling communities to contribute creatively to biotechnology through his “Street Bio” program. This community recently competed in the iGEM competition, where David co-founded the Hardware Track. David is also the co-founder and managing faculty member of “How To Grow (Almost) Anything,” a distributed biotechnology course taught in maker spaces and community labs around the world. Many past and current LEAP Fellows serve as faculty.

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CREATING NEW SPACES FOR PUBLIC INQUIRY In 2013 LEAP Alumnus Michal Galdzicki joined Arzeda, an industrial biotechnology company in Seattle, where he develops a software platform to enable engineering of novel biochemical pathways. In Seattle, Michal has become a leader in developing new spaces and projects aimed at fostering public engagement with biotechnology. He volunteers and teaches at SoundBio Lab, a new nonprofit DIYbio laboratory he co-founded to provide hands-on biotechnology workshops and projects for students of all ages. Among other projects, he leads the Citizen Salmon project, which is designing genotyping methods to find out where the salmon we eat were born. The project aims to seek a deeper knowledge of local food origins and provide the same opportunity for inquiry to the public.

FORGING NEW PARTNERSHIPS FOR GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY LEAP Alumnus Ryan Morhard developed a Strategic Action Plan with the aim of ensuring protections against the misuse of new biotechnology and applying technological developments to strengthen preparedness and response to public health emergencies. This plan included recommendations to improve communications

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and coordination among the life sciences and policymaking communities. Ryan has since continued to leverage partnerships to strengthen global health security, both as Branch Chief for International Partnerships within the US Department of Health and Human Services and now at the World Economic Forum, where he serves as Project Lead for Global Health Security. In this role, Ryan develops and leads innovative, cross-industry and cross-sectorial public-private cooperation to manage risks associated with emerging infectious diseases of pandemic potential.

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CONTRIBUTING SCIENTIFIC EXPERTISE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY LEAP Alumnus Anne Cheever is a lead scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, supporting the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the areas of biosecurity, emerging infectious diseases, and synthetic biology. Anne has leveraged knowledge gained and contacts made during the Fellowship to help inform programs aimed at safely advancing the field of genome editing for the Department of Defense. While a LEAP Fellow, she collaborated on a LEAP Strategic Action Plan to develop an international synthetic biology society. She leveraged those conversations and development process for international engagement on emerging technologies, including synthetic biology, during her time as a foreign affairs officer at the US Department of State. She is also a current fellow in the UPMC Center for Health Security’s Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity (ELBI) Fellowship program.

NAVIGATING PROPERTY RIGHTS FRAMEWORKS FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY LEAP Alumnus Andrew Chang is now a patent agent and scientific advisor at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide. Andrew works in patent and innovation strategies, which specializes in patent preparation and prosecution;

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patentability, patent validity, and freedom-to-operate analyses; and investor due diligence matters. Drawing from his PhD studies in chemistry and research in synthetic biology at Stanford, Andy focuses primarily in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, chemical, food, healthcare, and medical device industries. Before leaving Stanford, Andrew co-founded a PhD-wide mentoring program to pair PhD students with Stanford PhD alumni and mentors. He also oversaw training of 150+ teaching assistants in Stanford’s department of chemistry, and volunteered with the San Jose Tech Museum.

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ENGINEERING PLATFORMS TO MEET GLOBAL NEEDS As vice president of research and development (R&D) at Amyris, LEAP Alumnus Jeff Ubersax has been advancing the company’s scientific leadership in genome and protein engineering by combining advances in automation, biology and computing. He is the R&D representative on the collaborations development team where he plays a key role in translating how Amyris’s technology platform can both impact potential collaborators’ businesses and make the world a better place. Prior to this role, he led the high-throughput screening group where he helped build the automation and computational tools the group now depends on, including driving the development of platforms and methods to rapidly engineer yeast and other microbes.

BUILDING THE BIODESIGN INDUSTRY AND BRIDGES WITH BIOSECURITY LEAP Alumnus Patrick Boyle is now head of design at Ginkgo Bioworks. The design team is responsible for designing and optimizing genetic constructs for Ginkgo’s foundries. In 2017, these designs are expected to require hundreds of millions of base pairs of new DNA synthesis. As a continuation of his LEAP

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efforts, Patrick has been an active member of the NIST Synthetic Biology Standards Committee, and is working with synthesis companies on megabasescale DNA ordering standards and application programming interfaces (APIs). Patrick is also involved in efforts to assess and recommend improved biosecurity measures for synthetic biology, including a 2013 fellowship in the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI), and membership in the 2017 National Academies Biodefense Synthetic Biology Committee.

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“The strong sense of community our cohort developed at LEAP was truly extraordinary; that, along with the experiences and advice shared with us by senior personnel, allowed us to mold our fledgling ideas into more meaningful proposals. Intense and inspiring, LEAP gave me the opportunity to learn efficient problem-solving strategies, collaborate with my peers, contribute to the synthetic biology community and clarify my next steps.”

Michael Fisher LEAP Alumnus

“LEAP helped me bridge my interest in policy with my background in the life sciences and synthetic biology. Without the Fellowship, I would have been lost trying to make the jump into policy work from where I was, but LEAP allowed me to understand the policy landscape and help me form a network of people in the policy space.”

Ryan Ritterson LEAP Alumnus

“LEAP had a significant impact on me professionally and personally. The LEAP retreat gave me a toolset to formulate and pitch ‘big ideas.’ The reflection essays/white papers forced me to put pen to paper to move forward on my global health program. In short, LEAP transformed a passion and a foggy idea about global health into a certificate program on Sustainability and Global Health Biotechnologies.”

Keith Tyo OUTCOMES: ALUMNI QUOTES

LEAP Alumnus

“I think LEAP came at the perfect time in my career, when I was just starting out as a PI. It made me think more strategically about the research direction of my lab and that it was my job to ensure I trained my students to think beyond the bench.”

Louise Horsfall LEAP Alumnus

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“For me, the most rewarding opportunity that resulted from participating in LEAP—among many good opportunities—was the chance to meet and work closely with the other participants and organizers. Learning about and from their collective experiences, ideas and ambitions was extraordinarily enriching and inspiring. Their influence, without a doubt, contributed greatly to the success of my own LEAP project and continues to influence other areas of my professional development.”

Marc Facciotti LEAP Alumnus “The thought exercises crystallized great actionable plans around an ambitious goal that I was personally excited about. Being in the same space with other big thinkers and doers was inspiring, an experience unlike any I’ve had before.”

Karmella Haynes LEAP Alumnus

“I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in LEAP. Personal relationships and thought processes solidified at LEAP have been instrumental to my professional development to date.”

Nathan Hillson

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LEAP Alumnus

“Being part of a new community of leaders that thinks differently about the future of engineered biology was so refreshing.”

John Cumbers LEAP Alumnus

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The Next Experiments: LEAPing Ahead Technology and the people who lead its development have an increasingly important role in shaping our ways of life and well-being. LEAP started from the idea that governing a global field of technology development begins with individual leadership, and this leadership requires strong ethical engagement and early, powerful leadership experiences and networks. Our first experiments convinced us of the value of developing examples of individuals who make commitments to public service and share it with others. The challenges and questions LEAP explores in synthetic biology are shared by the larger biotechnology industry and many other global industries. There is a need and an opportunity to take the insights and learnings from LEAP and scale and apply them within new communities and fields. In LEAPing ahead to the next experiment, there are some opportunities that we think can and should be developed, sustained and amplified both within and beyond synthetic biology: • Resources for leadership: Can we create resources to enable us and others to test and evolve approaches to leadership development through experiences in new contexts and communities? • Engagement platforms: Can we facilitate a broader community actively contributing new ideas and feedback through new publication and review platforms? • Diversified networks: Can we enrich our approach by engaging a greater diversity of emerging leaders from across organizations, disciplines and regions? • Understanding impacts: Can we better understand and assess the near-and long-term impacts of leadership programs on individuals, the field, and broader outcomes? • Setting an example: Can we inspire more people by sharing these visions and stories with broader audiences through new venues and channels? • Sustaining venues: Can we create a sustaining organization to support leadership development and new initiatives across many other organizations? • Investing in leadership: Can we create new mechanisms to support leadership development both financially and otherwise, and accelerate the ideas and work of emerging leaders? We welcome your ideas and engagement, and hope we can continue to experiment with new approaches to leading global technology development in the public interest.

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Informal feedback sesions during the Leadership Workshop


Thanks to Our Supporters The Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program (LEAP) is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc, funded by the US National Science Foundation), and the Synthetic Biology Innovation Commercial and Industrial Translation Engine (SynbiCITE, funded by the UK Research Councils, EPSRC and BBSRC, and Innovate UK) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). LEAP also receives in-kind support from the BioBricks Foundation, the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the UK Knowledge Transfer Network. For more information, please visit www.synbioleap.org.

Sponsoring Partners

FBI Design Partners

Stanford University


CATALYZING LEADERSHIP FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST


Dedicated to LEAP Alumnus Derek Lindstrom. Derek inspired us and many others through his wisdom, care and leadership. He is greatly missed.


ISBN 978-0-9988122-0-5

LEAP IN REVIEW | A five year view of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program  

LEAP (Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program) is an experiment in global technology leadership and governance. Our hypothesis is that cha...

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