We just got back from Mumbai, India, where Cycle Technologies Founder Leslie Heyer spoke at the World CSR Congress on “Innovative Solutions to Address Family Planning Needs Globally.” The presentation focused on how technology is bringing new options to family planning and the critical factors for impactful innovation. We think understanding the problem you’re trying to solve is key, and this month we’ve chosen to highlight social impact companies that are working to address clearly defined problems and developing brilliantly simple solutions in the process.
Here are our February favorite picks for sustainable development technologies.
1. Kite Patch
Mosquito-repellents have been around for decades but one company is developing a mosquito-repellent patch that combats mosquitos in a very different way. Kite Patch is a “sticker” that is applied to clothing (like a decal) that keeps mosquitos from detecting your presence for up to 48hrs. The project was backed by 11,254 supporters and reached an impressive 743% of its goal on Indiegogo. The science-based technology has been in the works since 2013 based on research conducted at the University of California, Riverside. According to KitePatch’s Facebook page, field testing (Phase 1) to see how well the decals performed took place in Uganda in April and May 2015, and as of December 2015, the new technology is “getting close to completion” We look forward to seeing this at work!
There have been a lot of portable lights around but Luci offers something different. For every Luci purchased, MPOWERD gives a light for someone in need. According to their website, the company created Luci to “empower the 1.5 billion people in the developing world who still live without electricity.” When folks purchase Luci, NGO partners distribute the lights directly to people in areas where they are needed the most – including Kenya, Haiti, Philippines and Nepal. Luci is inflatable, waterproof, lightweight (4 ounces), shatterproof, and can provide up to 12 hours of light per solar charge.
We stumbled across an interesting article published in Fast Company recently about a group of textile students from the Royal College of Art in London who designed a “jacket” that transforms into a tent for Syrian refugees. Led by Dr. Harriet Harriss, the students wanted to create something that was light enough to wear throughout the day to protect then from the elements but also expand into a durable tent that allows for a parent and a child to have shelter at night. The jacket is made out of Tyvek which is waterproof and fully recyclable. The student chose to keep the white color in order for the jacket-tent to act as a canvas so that the families can draw on them with markers or personalize their shelters. We hope to see this project reach its potential.
We believe that these “innovations at work” have the potential to address some of the most challenging problems we face today. Connect with us regularly and don’t forget to follow us on twitter, facebook, and email. If you have an innovation or idea that may help address a global problem, please let us know and contact us.
Cycle Technologies is a socially-minded, consumer and technology company that creates brilliantly simple global health solutions that help address complex needs. To learn more about us, visit www.CycleTechnologies.com