Today, innovators are making more than a living—they are making a difference, channeling their passion for design to make a better world.
Currently, one in 7 lives in a slum or refugee camp, and nearly half the world's population has no access to clean water or sanitation. Yet too often designers are desperately needed in the places where they can least be afforded. Meanwhile, the impact of dirty cook stoves, impoverished families, energy pollution and historical artifacts lost due to conflict are attracting the attention of motivated design professionals. In this session, Cameron Sinclair of Architecture for Humanity, will describe clever and pragmatic ways to raise living standards for communities worldwide. Ethan Kay of Biolite Stoves, will show how to take an entrepreneurial approach to solving health, energy, and social concerns. Eve Blossom of Lulan will describe how she trained impoverished designers on lucrative trends and then built a business that lifts them from poverty. Günter Waibel and the Smithsonian Institution will show how they applied reality capture technology to capture, archive, and share artifacts and specimens with researchers, students, and the public. Finally, Gia Schneider of Natel Energy will describe how environmentally safe hydroelectric systems can generate renewable power more broadly.