MetaVuMaking Sense of Data MetaVu
ECOInfosphere ECO-Infosphere
C-IQCollaborative Intelligence C-IQ
NASAMission-related projects BIOBOT
BEACONBio- Evolutionary Advanced Concepts BEACON
ESACEarth Science & Astrobiology Collaboratory ESAC
ALifeBio-inspired Solutions ALife X


DESYN Lab, and ECOdesyn Lab, which handles projects addressing complex sustainability challenges, is a federated network of senior consultants, with diverse expertise in distributed team-building, stakeholder enlistment, software platform development and agile project management.

catalyZer is our unique method, informed by an ecosystem model for distributed computer-human interaction to achieve collaborative intelligence.

catalyZer method
Zann Gill

Zann Gill received her M. Arch. from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Her research for Buckminster Fuller on lightweight, collapsible tensegrity configurations was followed by a DAAD Research Fellowship in Germany (work published in the IL series, Architectural Design, and l’Architecture d’Aujourd ‘hui). She has studied how design method can transform cross-disciplinary teams into effective problem-solving ecosystems. As a Research Scientist for RIACS (Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science) at NASA Ames Research Center, Gill proposed a series of NASA collaboratories as technology platforms and cross-disciplinary, self-improving ecosystems, harnessing principles of self-organization and collaborative intelligence found in living ecosystems. This research informs the catalyZer method used by MetaVu Network. At NASA she developed program plans for an Institute for Advanced Space Concepts (IASC), a collaboratory BEACON (Bio-Evolutionary Advanced Concepts) and an astrobiology program for NASA University (Incentive Award for Outstanding Performance). Her entry to the international competition, Kawasaki: Information City of the 21st Century, sponsored by the Japan Association for Planning Administration and Mainichi News, with cooperation of ten ministries and three agencies of the Japanese government, tied with Panasonic (then Matsushita Corp.) for first place and won the Award of the Mayor of Kawasaki. She proposed sixteen diverse interlinked initiatives comprising an Innovation Network, designed to evolve as a collaborative ecosystem. Through ECOdesyn Lab she consults on projects ranging from the Smart Systems–Eco-Cities initiative of Australia’s ICT Center of Excellence to World Class Execution and decision support for sustainable remediation — applications for the new field of collaborative intelligence. More at her website.

Dennis Britton – Agile Coach

Dennis Britton has extensive experience improving the effectiveness of technology development projects. This includes servant leadership, agile project shepherding, product vision alignment, feature prioritization, feature deconstruction and prototype construction. After over a decade of witnessing the tragic waste of human brilliance typical of software development projects, large and small, he was eager to find more effective methods. He trained in agile and lean methodologies 7 years ago with Ken Schwaber and Mary and Tom Poppendieck. In 2006 he spent a year at HP as an agile coach, transitioning a 50 developer distributed team towards more agile and lean practices resulting in greater fidelity with marketing, closer collaboration, higher morale and an on-time, on-budget results. He has continued to work in lean-agile consulting roles in finance, government and eCommerce. He also has been active as an organizer in the agile community, recently founding a well-attended meetup for agile leaders in Silicon Valley.   Shepherding the emergence of enthusiastic, value-delivering teams makes him smile. See MetaVu Network for more on method.

Scott Clearwater   Scott Clearwater has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University and has worked as a staff member and consultant to industry, government labs, and academia for the past two decades in areas spanning artificial intelligence, automated decision support systems, artificial intelligence for accelerator control, data analysis, decision support systems, economic pricing models, energy efficient control systems, model building, optimization, pricing models for data centers, quantum computing, simulation, and supercomputer queuing systems. While consulting for Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) he invented, developed, tested, and patented a market-based building energy control system that saved an additional 10% for a building that had won an award for energy savings the previous year. He holds a patent for a novel market-based method for saving energy in buildings. He also edited the first book on market-based control systems. He participated in the ECOdesyn Lab advisory panel on Smart Systems–Eco-cities for Australia's National Center of Excellence, NICTA. While at Hewlett-Packard Labs he developed more energy saving patents and also, while at HP Labs helped to develop a decision support system called BRAIN, which aggregates expert opinions to predict future performance outcomes. Dr. Clearwater co-authored the first two books devoted to quantum computing, a revolutionary computing paradigm. He worked on a project studying the effects of radiation on astronauts for a manned Mars mission, developed a computer program as part of an automated product recommendation system, and also developed a system for automatically aggregating the opinions of experts. He has worked on analysis of social media data and has extensive experience in analyzing financial data for risk and reward tradeoffs suitable for trading. Dr. Clearwater works with companies large and small, government labs, and universities on projects involving physics, computer science, economics, and management science. He is an author on more than sixty scientific papers and holds eight U.S. patents.

Seana McNamara  

Seana McNamara has done a range of design projects through Moody Studio and for MetaVu Network, including the catalyZer logo/ banner on this site, banner/ web design for Microbes-Mind Forum, book cover design for Oxford University Press, Pomona College Career Development Office Infographics, and publication and outreach materials for Castilleja School. She started as a science major in college before shifting to art, and so is comfortable in both worlds.



Dr. Richard Johnson Dr. Richard Johnson
Former Acting Science Advisor to the President of the United States, Advisor to NASA, Chairman of the Board of BASIC (Basic and Applied Spatial Information Collaborative) Dr. Johnson received the 1986 Space Sciences Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for research "culminating in the discovery of large fluxes of energetic oxygen ions in the magnetosphere, thereby showing that the ionosphere is a major source of space plasmas." He was a member of the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the National Academy of Sciences (1988-1990) and Vice Chairman of the White House Committee on Earth Sciences (1987 - 1990), twice invited speaker at Nobel Symposia on Space Plasma Physics, and Editor/ Contributor to a book on the composition of energetic ions in the Earth's magnetosphere. He was employed as a Consultant by RIACS (Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science) at NASA Ames Research Center to provide strategic direction, which included formulating recommendations for a "Disaster Infosphere." Since Hurricane Katrina, he has focused how the state of California can lead in prototyping a rapid responder system for natural and human-produced environmental catastrophes. He has conducted studies on global environmental issues and related inter-institutional relationships and research through the Aspen Global Change Institute and former Acting Science Advisor to the President (Reagan).

Dr. Chris McKay Dr. Chris McKay received his Ph.D. in Astro-Geophysics from the University of Colorado. He is a Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center studying planetary atmospheres, astrobiology, and terraforming and terrestrial analogs as vehicles to understand ecosystem sustainability. McKay has done extensive research on planetary atmospheres, particularly the atmospheres of Titan and Mars, and on the origin and evolution of life. He is a co-investigator on the Huygens probe, the Mars Phoenix lander, and the Mars Science Laboratory. He has also performed field research on extremophiles, in such locations as Death Valley, the Atacama Desert, Axel Heiberg Island, and ice-covered lakes in Antarctica. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Planetary Society and also works with the Mars Society and has written and spoken extensively on space exploration and terraforming. Chris McKay’s current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He’s also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions, including human settlements, and has conducted polar research since 1980, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys and more recently to the Siberian and Canadian Arctic to conduct research in these Mars-like environments. He won a 2004 NASA Exceptional Leadership Medal, a 2004 NASA Group Achievement Award for the ARES project, a 2005 NASA Ames Honor Award, was named in 2005 a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of the Origin Life, and in 2006 named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. As a world authority on terraforming Mars, Chris views this thought–simulation experiment as an ideal intellectual challenge in the synthesis of complex systems — a chance to learn about the intricacy of our co-dependent Earth ecosystems via this Mars analog and to recognize that shipping Earth civilization off to space will be, well, . . . not so easy.

Images courtesy:
Biobot - Mark Cutkosky, CDR, Stanford
Biomodels - Natalio Krasnogor
Cellular Automata - Wolfram Research
Golem robot - Jordan Pollack and Hod Lipson
Vesicles - Martin Hanczyc

©2006 - 2013. DESYN Lab.

catalyZer method of MetaVu Network