Many great ideas and innovations come about as a result of error or failure. Aviation is a field where error sometimes results in lethal consequence. Soaring flight is a type of aviation with its own unique challenges and safety concerns. Soaring is a recreational (and sometimes competitive sport) in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft known as sailplanes or gliders. Sailplanes are typically towed aloft by a tow plane, and then released at an altitude of 1000′ to 2000′ feet. Sailplane pilots utilize lift (regions of rising air) to stay aloft, and often can fly hundreds of miles for many hours.
The Delphi Method is a systematic problem solving and decision making technique developed to address complex problem using a group of subject matter experts, and was originally developed as a forecasting method (2007, Cialkowska et al).
The Delphi Method is based on the presumption that decision from an organized and structured group are more accurate than decisions from individuals or non-structured groups. It is an anonymous and iterative process overseen by a facilitator. The facilitator is responsible for gathering responses to surveys or forms from the anonymous participants, and analyses those responses to find common viewpoints and conflicting viewpoints. The process of gathering and analyzing responses is repeated until consensus is achieved.
In his 2010 TED talk, Gary Wolf discusses the concept of “Self Quantification.” Wolf asserts that numbers can be used for more than advertising, governance, management, or even searches. Wolf believes that they can also be used by individuals as they “reflect, learn, remember and want to improve.”
He discusses the growing trend of individuals tracking self-information in the years leading up to his talk, beyond the typical (such as tracking weight on a scale). People began to track things on mobile devices such as food consumption, spending, moods, exercise, and even health issues and treatments (2010, Wolf).
At the time of Wolf’s talk, 1st generation fitness trackers were just beginning to emerge, such as the original Fitbit and Nike’s predecessor to today’s Nike Fuel Band, the Nike+ tracker. Since then, dozens of different health and fitness tracker have come to market, with a much wider array of sensors and data available than ever before. For a few hundred dollars, it is possible to wear a device that reliably tracks motion and exercise, continuous heart rate, electrodermal response (a.k.a. EDA), heart rate variability, skin temperature, GPS location, exercise intensity and duration, and sleep quantity and quality. Continue Reading →