Upskilling Youth for the 21st Century Bioeconomy

Natalie Kuldell, Executive Director & founder, BioBuilder Educational Foundation, interviewed by Trond Arne Undheim, futurist, investor, and author.

In this conversation, we talk about synthetic biology for all, bringing engineering into life science and about deep science in classrooms. We discuss disruptive forces (tech, regulation, business models, social dynamics). We discuss skills shortage initiatives, biomanufacturing jobs, business models, exciting startups such as Ginkgo Bioworks and Asimov. She explains’s pivot to online during COVID-19, scaling the efforts to the rust belt, community science, and community labs such as Genspace, BosLabs, BioCurious, Biogen Community Lab, Bricobio, and (iGEM) Foundation Jamboree. Finally, we discuss next decade’s self-taught scientists and agri-bio revolution in rust belt farming communities.

Having listened to this episode, check out BioBuilder Educational Foundation as well as Natalie Kuldell’s online profile:

My takeaway is that synthetic biology must become a skillset of every young person. They need it to understand the world they will grow up in. It will increasingly become a life skill, perhaps even a survival skill depending on how the world goes. “Citizen science is more than looking at stars, and looking at birds”, says Natalie. For sure. Deep science is cool and it needs to be cool for a while. That much is certain.

Thanks for listening. If you liked the show, subscribe at or in your preferred podcast player, and rate us with five stars. If you like this topic, you may enjoy other episodes of Futurized, such as episode 22 The Future of Engineering Education, episode 36, The Future of Cultured Meat, or episode 81, 2x Community Science — Cancer Map and COVID-19 Testing in Schools.

Futurized—preparing YOU to deal with disruption.