ASU project explores the future of publishing

October 3, 2013

How will people read in the future? What will books look and feel like? How will publishers adjust in the face of technological upheaval? In what new ways will authors engage with their readers?

To answer these questions and others, Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination is hosting the Sprint Beyond the Book at the Frankfurt Book Fair (Halle 8.0, Stand L171), Oct. 9-11. Sprint Beyond the Book Logo Download Full Image

Sprint Beyond the Book is an ambitious experiment that teams up writers, scholars, digital publishers and journalists to create a digital book featuring original writing, video and images in just 72 hours. The book will provide a diverse set of perspectives on the future of publishing and generate fresh insights on how reading, writing and literary culture will be reshaped by technological, economic and social change.

The event also will feature crowdsourced text and video responses to a variety of questions about the future of books and publishing collected through the project’s website, The project website will launch Oct. 7. Until then, more information is available at Once completed, the book will be available to download for free.

“When we read and write, we are tied together with millions of others through language, commerce and conversation. Our vision for the future of publishing is one that embraces the collective energy of readers,” says Ed Finn, director of the Center for Science and the Imagination and assistant professor at ASU’s School of Arts, Media and Engineering and Department of English.

“Sprint Beyond the Book is an experiment in opening up the traditionally closed processes of writing and publishing and inviting people from around the world to collaborate out in the open with our authors and editors.”

The project’s website allows people anywhere in the world to see the book take shape in real time and contribute their own ideas in writing or video.

On site at the Frankfurt Book Fair – the world’s largest book and media event – a small group of writers, editors and videographers will set up shop in a customized workspace on the show floor and collaboratively write, edit, curate and design a book using a collaborative media platform, currently in prototype form at Intel® Labs. The core team of writers includes:

• Jane Friedman, web editor for Virginia Quarterly Review and former publisher for Writer’s Digest

• Charles Stross, science fiction writer, futurist and contributor to Foreign Policy magazine

• Dan Gillmor, author and professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

• Lee Konstantinou, novelist, assistant professor of English at the University of Maryland and associate editor for fiction and criticism for the Los Angeles Review of Books

Additional writers contributing material remotely as part of the project’s global network include Brian David Johnson, Intel futurist and principal engineer; Corey Pressman, president of Exprima Media and co-founder and publisher of The Holocene magazine; John Risseeuw, director of ASU’s Pyracantha Press and proprietor of Cabbagehead Press; Christine Szuter, director of ASU’s Scholarly Publishing Graduate Certificate Program; Beverly Schlee, conservator at ASU Libraries; G. Pascal Zachary, professor of practice at ASU’s Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Mark Tebeau, director of ASU’s Public History; and Ariel Bogle, research associate at the New America Foundation.

The Sprint Beyond the Book is sponsored by Intel Corporation and is part of a larger collaboration between the Center for Science and the Imagination and Intel to explore the future of books and publishing, and the untapped potential of digital technology to make reading more social, collaborative, interactive and personalized.

“I’m excited by the live experiment at the Frankfurt Book Fair," says Brian David Johnson, Intel futurist and principal engineer. "It will give us a glimpse into the future as we explore a highly collaborative and engaging post-publishing experience. We are futurehunting a really different tomorrow for books, narrative, media and the interactions between people.”

“The Center for Science and the Imagination is exploring a number of activities around the future of the book, including our work with Intel and Project Hieroglyph,” Finn says. “New technologies have the potential to fundamentally transform our experience with the written word and we are just beginning to scratch the surface.”

The Center for Science and the Imagination invites readers, writers and publishers everywhere to contribute to the project at, both before and during the Oct. 9-11 writing process. Until the website launch on Oct. 7, visit to learn more.

Joey Eschrich

program manager, Center for Science and the Imagination


ASU receives grant for advanced manufacturing

October 3, 2013

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Arizona State University this week were awarded a $170,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The initiative, called the “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership,” seeks to accelerate manufacturing sectors and job creation in cities across the country.

The funds will be used to develop a plan to implement an Innovation and Commercialization Center for Advanced Manufacturing (ICCAM) in Greater Phoenix that advances the region’s manufacturing sector and improves its competitiveness for domestic and foreign investments, advances research commercialization and prepares workers for advanced manufacturing jobs. The center will focus on new growth opportunities, like advanced sensor and control technologies, and applications that leverage historic regional strengths like aerospace, semiconductor, electronics, precision and control technologies. Download Full Image

“This grant is crucial to the ICCAM’s success as we seek to support and grow high-tech manufacturing technologies and their respective supply chains by providing access to applied research, product development and design services, as well as access to global markets,” said Barry Broome, Greater Phoenix Economic Council president and CEO. “Creating a strategic plan to develop these technologies is important for retaining, upgrading and growing the region’s key industry clusters.”

“This award is further recognition of the significant opportunities for growth in the manufacturing sector in our region and our state,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president for ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “ASU is committed to ensuring the continued expansion of manufacturing in Arizona and has implemented several programs and initiatives, with community partners and organizations such as GPEC, which will encourage startup and established manufacturing, ensure students become more involved in manufacturing and spur the overall growth of this sector as a driver of Arizona’s economy.”

Together, the council and ASU will assemble a project team to implement the project in two phases over a one-year period. Phase I will focus on finalizing the ICCAM’s technical parameters, refining its programs and services, and developing performance metrics. Phase II will center on developing implementation strategies, identifying investment sources, building coalitions and finalizing a full implementation plan through the program’s launch.

Pending support from Congress, the ICCAM project will be eligible to compete for future large scale “Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership” grants that are 50 to 100 times the size of the implementation strategy grants. This would allow the region to execute on its proposed strategy for advancing manufacturing in Phoenix and beyond.

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council and ASU would like to recognize the following leaders and companies who were critical in helping to secure this grant:

• EDGE Innovation Network
• Honeywell
• Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies
• Intel
• U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick
• U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema
• U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar
• U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor
• U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon
• Maricopa County Manager Tom Manos
• Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers
• Mesa Mayor Scott Smith
• Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton