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.