An Out of Body Innovation Experience

An Out of Body Innovation ExperiencePeople are fascinated with the idea of human cloning after researchers cloned a sheep in 1997. The debate about the risks and benefits of human cloning rages on. What if you could clone yourself in a virtual sense? Even better, imagine cloning yourself into another person’s body? What would you feel? What would you learn? How would your life be better?

Dr. Henrik Ehrsson, a neuroscientist from Karolinska Institute in Sweden, has pioneered a method of allowing us to get out of our bodies and into the body of someone else…virtually…so that you sense whatever the other person senses. We “clone” ourselves everyday with simple technologies like a mirror or camera. But this is different. This technique clones you into another form so you can experience life from that point-of-view. From CNN:

This is an example of the innovation template, Multiplication. It works by taking a component of a product or service, then creating copies of it that are different in some way. Using SOLUTION-TO-PROBLEM innovation, we imagine potential benefits of the hypothetical solution. Dr. Ehrsson believes this technique could help us improve our self-esteem. It might help amputees put a sense of feeling into a prosthetic limb. Or it might help us identify with other cultural, racial, or gender groups by “living” in their bodies.

This last idea is particularly intriguing. Imagine you had the ability to mandate when someone else uses the technique to become YOU. You would use this is critical situations when it is essential the other person understands your point-of-view: spouse, lawyer, negotiating partner, customer, boss, etc. The ultimate cloning experience is not making another copy of yourself, but rather having others clone to become you.

Drew BoydDrew Boyd is Director of Marketing Mastery for Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon Endo-Surgery division). He is also Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing and Innovation at the University of Cincinnati and Executive Director of the MS-Marketing program. Follow him at and at

Drew Boyd




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