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Product, Service & Design Innovation
26 World-Changing Ideas:
Improving Everything from Food to Health to Materials to Transport

How nice to stop thinking about COVID for a minute and revel in the potential of some truly groundbreaking creations! Here are some of Fast Company’s most recent list of 26 World-Changing Ideas that we’re especially excited about …

General Excellence: Vulcan II (Icon) – a massive 3D printer that can extrude the walls of a house in just 24 hours; new 3D-printed communities in southern Mexico and Austin, Texas offer large-scale proof that 3D-printing tech could be a viable solution for quickly building affordable housing for those in need.

Company of the Year: Abbott – From a new implant to keep babies’ hearts healthy, to fighting malaria, to addressing the social determinants of health through its Future Well Kids and Future Well Communities programs.

App: Food Rescue Hero (412 Food Rescue) – A ‘DoorDash for surplus food’ that connects extra food from restaurants to hunger-fighting organizations — and will now offer rides to people in need, as well.

Art and Design: Aguahoja (Neri Oxman and the Mediated Matter Group, MIT Media Lab) – An installation project utilizing 3D-printed “biopolymers” — materials from the natural world that could replace plastic and degrade at the end of life, eliminating the need for recycling.

Consumer Products: Evrythng – the IoT platform that makes every consumer product intelligent, interactive and trackable now lets consumers scan a package for visibility into their purchase’s entire supply chain

Food: Full Harvest – An online marketplace that connects food companies with farms to buy ugly and surplus produce to fight waste

Impact Investing: As You Sow – the nation’s leading nonprofit shareholder advocacy organization has long been persuading corporates to improve their policies on everything from packaging to energy to textiles. It also offers a suite of online tools to help average investors find mutual funds that invest in companies they believe in.

Transportation: Convoy – The company developed a program that eliminates the millions of tons of shipping emissions produced each year produced by truckers driving around with no cargo.

Global:

  • Asia-Pacific: Oacis (Phononic) – the system keeps spaces cool without the energy use and toxic coolants of traditional air conditioning.

  • EMEA: Youmma Solar Fridge (Youmma, Nidec Global Appliance) – A refrigerator designed to run on solar power to make it easier for developing-world households to keep perishable goods

  • North America: Etsy’s carbon-offset shipping – creating a new model for e-commerce sustainability

  • South America: Fazendo FuturoBrazil’s answer to Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat; if that beef-heavy market can embrace plant-based alternatives, there may be hope for us after all.

Read about all of 2020’s World Changing Ideas, as well as the finalists and honorable mentions, here.

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