Try not to have horrible flashbacks of high school algebra! In this case, Solve for <X> is a new Google initiative, defined as “a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moon-shot thinking and teamwork”, and <X> is defined by as the intersections of “huge problem”, “radical solution”, and “breakthrough technology”. http://youtu.be/uDDy7QSdt6A
While the website is fairly vague, Solve for <X> sounds like a hub for crowdsourced solutions with a focus on innovative thinking and technologies. The website already has some brilliant talks online – as a visual person, I found Mary Lou Jepsen’s discussion on “Imaging the Mind’s Eye” fascinating.
Solve for <X> has a Google+ page to encourage and facilitate discussion; anyone with a relevant talk is invited to share it on the page as long as it meets the criteria (huge problem, radical solution, and breakthrough technology). Solve for <X> even hosted a conference in the beginning of February to bring together innovators to discuss major problems and solutions of the modern world. There’s a YouTube channel with more videos from the site and their conference, with presumably more on the way.
Crowdsource thinking like Solve for <X> and the TED talks certainly provide an interesting set of viewpoints on a wide range of topics. You can bet we’ll be watching to see how Solve for <X> has an affect on culture and the world of art.