The HIVE Tink Tank in Fall 2016 inspired Andrew Welken, Mary Luddington, Matt Spector and Dr. Pete Gittens to look to MMO—massively multiplayer online games–to understand the lives of bees. Throughout the months following the innovation workshop, the artists and scientist continued to meet; bringing in game developer Ryan Richards, content designer/artist Sal “The Dark Cloak”, and sustainable business consultant Stephen Rueff.
Organized now as Colony 23 LLC (website pending) and working with partner organization Digital Watershed http://www.digitalwatershed.org/, fellow Tink Tanker Dr. Marla Spivak, Bee Squad lead Rebecca Masterman and Sarah Bergmann, founder of the Pollinator Pathway, along with Gittens, Spector, Rueff, Richards and Sal “the Dark Cloak,” developed a proposal for the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change Grant.
The award amount is $100 million, and for the October deadline, 1904 applications were submitted. In December the group learned their submission had made it through the first round along with 845 others.