“I guess one of the things that sets us apart from other animals is our dreams and our plans.”

Ernest Hemingway


Created by: the (re) institute llc                All Rights Reserved 2011-2015



(re) the place

there isn’t another organization that looks exactly like (re). that said, (re) borrows a number of successful elements from several unique organizations. in so doing, it creates its own unique ‘quilt’.


1. a reminder: the opportunity

progress, rather than resulting from  singular ‘big ideas’, is a result of many ideas, generated by many people and the ability to turn those ideas into actual, tangible, lasting value.

since we firmly believe that creative thought is the ultimate seed of progress and key therefore to ultimately creating and realizing value, (re) is focused on:

constantly exploring creative thought - in all its applications, connected to all the forms of value it produces, and in all the places it occurs - to deepen our collective understanding.

expanding access to this deeper understanding, to the stories and knowledge of how creative thought is applied, and to the environments conducive to its development and further application.

experimenting with the lessons and learnings by applying them to tangible issues and opportunities, seeking new solutions and new and expanded forms of value.

keeping the emphasis always on creative thought and sharing the value derived from doing so with the broadest possible audience, while continuously exploring, expanding, and experimenting.

2. a framework

to accomplish its goals, (re) is structured to be a lean, adaptive, learning organization, characteristics we view as vital to creative thought and to our focus.

the alpha version of (re) follows this framework:

a core team

  1. -the small group of people who anchor (re)

  2. -meant to provide leadership, support, infrastructure management and care, and communications

  3. -not intended to grow with time, because there isn’t a need nor goal

a change team

  1. -a dynamic, constantly refreshing team of collaborators from the outside

  2. -meant to challenge the core of (re)

  3. -intended to come from fellows, partners, clients and as secondments (think sabbatical takers in a broader sense)

the (re)assets

  1. -the items shown in green in the graphic are the life, the connectors, between (re) and the world. they are (re)’s living assets

  2. -each is a method of sharing, gathering, or exchanging learnings in a dynamic way

  3. -each is an ‘asset’ because each brings out and shares the value of creative thought, lessons in how and where it’s applied, and more

the (re) dynamic

think about this ‘org map’ in its totality...

  1. -what it’s really describing is a dynamic

  2. -in this dynamic, the primary mission is to give humanity greater access to creative thought, the seed and the root of human progress itself

  3. -(re) then is formed to stay focused on that end and needs to be adaptive, dynamic, and a true learning organization

  4. -that said, (re) understands first that to be such it must be constantly challenged and (re)thought [consider the change team]...

offshoots from (re)

  1. -(re) and creative thought are ultimately about the creation of value that has lasting impact and leads to human progress

  2. -to fully tap value often means digging deeply and even narrowly - for example, forming a new, separate organization to pursue a more specific form of value or audience

  3. -while (re) is intended to be a dynamic organization, it will keep its focus on offering access to creative thought rather than getting caught up in the pursuit of any ‘one’: venture, idea, form of value...

  4. -as such, (re) fully expects offshoot ventures based on opportunities and ideas will be generated within (re) or out of (re) and while benefiting from (re)’s insights, will be separate from (re)

  1. -(re) recognizes that superior ideas and solutions will be created within its walls - virtual and physical - ideas and solutions worthy and valuable in their own right

  2. -what (re) uniquely does is to balance all of the above in a manner that allows it to simultaneously: stay focused, stay small, and still tangentially pursue opportunities to pursue and to reap what it helps sow

3. a frame of reference

when trying to picture a new organization, it’s often helpful to reference an existing one. (re) is a coming together of the best elements of several.

think of a quilt.

the image to the right features examples that point to what we’re after in designing (re).

you’ll see names of places: Bell Labs. The Santa Fe Institute. 3M.  each of these places represents an environment where creative thought is (or was) a focus.

there are also names of projects or experiments that took place within larger organizational formats or goals: FoldIt. Google 20% time. Nike GreenXchange. several organizations here offer unique views of value: In-Q-Tel. the early Hoover Institute.

there are even a few people listed, people who helped take us and their organizations in (re)-like directions: Herb Kelleher at Southwest Airlines. Lorenzo de Medici at his dinner table.

many of these people and places are included in the stories and case studies in the ‘feel’ section of this website. they are brought together here as a frame of reference for understanding what (re), the place, looks like. you can learn more about our quilt in the ‘feel’ section, but in summary:

  1. Bullet(re) is dedicated to exploring the depths of creative thought and the outer edges of what could be (see the story what are you saying? as an example of what can happen when people are allowed to do just that).

  2. Bulletwe believe that both our exploration and the application of our learnings will find the most value at the intersections (see the Q: what’s for dinner? A: human progress story of Lorenzo de Medici’s dinner table as well as the case studies of Janelia Farm, the Santa Fe Institute, and Bell Labs for insights).

  3. Bulletwe see value as bigger than a single measure of value and will measure (re)’s progress and our return on investment in that manner (see the In-Q-Tel case study for a unique example).

  4. Bulletwe have our audience firmly in mind and it is their benefit we seek (FoldIt is a great example as is the case study of Nike Green Xchange as a unique view of an expanded audience).

while there’s more, we hope this begins to give you a sense of the place that is the (re) institute.

what (re) looks like

how the framework comes to life