Hessel is an advocate of open genetic engineering, believing that the field will increasingly resemble the software industry and give rise to open source, single purpose (app), and ‘freemium’ applications, and that it will be spearheaded by younger programmer-entrepreneurs. He is active in the iGEM and DIYbio (do-it-yourself) communities and frequently works with students and young entrepreneurs to help them be successful. At the Singularity University, he educates graduate students and executive participants on the disruptive shifts underway in life science and helps them become actively engaged in these changes. In November, 2011, he was also appointed a fellow at the University of Ottawa, Institute for Science, Society, and Policy, focusing on how next-generation technologies shape society’s future.
In the embedded TEDx video, Hessel discusses what the next 50 years may be like.