In the world of creativity, if you're not starting a fire, then what's the point? So, we've created a portal to celebrate the most revolutionary and thought-provoking ideas we're seeing in the world today. Some are ideas we've recognized from others and we're tipping our hats to, and others are ones we thought of (go figure). Either way you cut it, you won't find a dull moment here, and hopefully we've inspired you to start your own fire.
Developing countries have a problem: roughly 20% of the world’s population lacks access to electricity, and kerosene lamps are both dangerous to the environment and hazardous to health.
GravityLight, whose motto is “Doing more with less,” has come up with a clever new way to bring light to poverty-stricken rural areas–without electricity. The lamp operates on gravity, by using the falling motion of a weight to one side to generate light. It began as a project on IndieGogo, and launched in 26 different countries. Now, after crowdfunding almost $400,000 (that’s 727% of its original goal funded), the company is releasing a redesign, which includes a sturdier, less breakable shell, a lighter weight, and a new pulley system.
Best of all, the lamp only costs $20, but will provide free lighting to families all over the world. This proves valuable in places that are generally without electricity, or “off the grid,” or too poor to pay for it. Not to mention that it conserves natural resources, which is always a plus.
What Sparks Our Fire: Creative design that helps move the world forward.
Forsman & Bodenfors wants to make sure drivers “drive 25 to keep kids alive,” and they’ve found an ingenious way to do it. Talking GPS are standard features in modern vehicles, but the agency has conceptualized an app that will switch the voice on the GPS to a child’s when within range of a school, daycare, or other area populated by children.
It’s currently available in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, and comes pre-loaded with all schools and daycare centers in the Nordic region.
The agency hopes that this will serve as an audio reminder to drive carefully and watch for children, reducing the number of accidents in school zones and other kid-friendly areas.
What Sparks Our Fire:Using innovation and unconventional problem-solving to draw attention to an often-ignored safety hazard
Vaccination has been a highly controversial topic in recent years, resulting in a slew of “Anti-Vaxxers” and the School Vaccination Law in California, which mandates that children that attend public school must be vaccinated.
British Columbia’s ImmunizeBC and agency Rethink Vancouver have teamed up to create a unique mailing campaign to promote vaccination, appropriately called “Viral”. The trailer for the campaign states that “Measles is one of the most contagious diseases on the planet, but as you know, it’s making a comeback.”
However, the kicker is the actual mailing campaign: when exposed to sunlight, the UV-responsive ink on the paper appears suddenly in a rash of bright red spots, reminiscent of–you guessed it–measles. The alarming card shows how fast measles can spread, and reminds recipients that “not vaccinating your children puts us all at risk”.
This comes after particularly alarming reports of measles spreading throughout the United States, including an outbreak at Disneyland, and reminds parents to vaccinate their children or risk them being a public health hazard.
What Sparks Our Fire: Ingenious campaigns that post important public health reminders
Sustainability has been a growing trend in business for years now as climate change becomes a more prevalent threat, however, now technology companies especially have realized that sustainability is a good investment.
Sustainability “ensures business continuity by conserving resources,” and now more than ever, economic and environmental sustainability are vital to businesses’ longevity and productivity.
In 2014, Unilever CEO Paul Polman declared that climate change-related natural disasters are costing Unilever at least $300 million a year. To combat this, several companies have come up with ways to conserve energy and other natural resources.
Creating environmental products is one such step. Samsung, for example, has taken the lead and released a solar-powered laptop, as well as three “green” mobile phones made of corn starch bioplastic and have energy-efficient chargers and recyclable packaging.
In order to ensure the future of the planet–and technology–it’s up to other companies to follow in Samsung’s small carbon footprints.
What Sparks Our Fire: Companies taking on a greater accountability for their sustainability and making moves to make sustainability a universal practice.
The next step for global connectivity? A smartphone for the developing world. And it’s designed by none other than John Sculley, former Apple executive and Robert Brunner, the designer behind Beats by Dre headphones.
The Obi Worldphone marks a greater push toward accessible technology–Sculley aims to provide developing countries in places like Africa and Southeast Asia with high-powered, affordable smartphones, which he predicts will replace their needs for personal computers.
In addition to its sleek design, the phone is tailored to its target consumers’ preferences. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa, texting, taking photos, and banking are popular uses for smartphones, so the Obi Worldphone has features like a 13-megapixel camera and a diverse marketplace of applications.
The phone will retail for $200, a reasonable price to most first-world Americans, but still may be a problem for the standard income in a developing country.
What Sparks Our Fire: A quest for a high-powered but inexpensive smartphone that makes technology more available on a global scale.