Kickstart these Kickstarter projects
If you haven’t heard of Kickstarter yet, it is a fantastic mechanism that essentially funds innovation. The website hosts a number of projects that the public can back and support. If the project attains its funding goal, it will receive all the donated monies and the project is on its way to fruition. Here are some of my current favorites (what are yours?):
Robotboat Mark VI : an autonomous sailboat meant to take measurements of our oceans including how much CO2 is entering the water, how much and what kinds of runoff is coming from farms and cities, monitoring oil spills, and tracking the source of pollutants. Learn more.
Magnetic bike lights : Bike lights that attach to any steel frame, designed with LEDs that turn on when the magnetic strip is activated by attaching to your bike, and off when you remove from the bike. In a city like Copenhagen with such an avid bike culture, but also long periods of darkness, bike lights are a necessity and these are designed to function well and look good. Learn more.
Sprout (a pencil with a seed) : Nice way to keep a product alive. When you have used most of a pencil and would ordinarily throw the stub away, you can plant it instead, add water, and watch it sprout. With seeds to start basil, cilantro, eggplant, radish, thyme, tomato, and many others, this seems like a cool project for schools, so kids can think about product design and bring food education and gardening into the classroom. Learn more. (one of my favorite local projects out of Cambridge, MA!)
Detroit Lives! : A documentary using two case-studies, Detroit, Michigan, and Lodz, Poland, to discuss the human and economic factors driving these two cities forward and solutions for their re-invention. With stories from urban planners, artists, and others, this seems like an interesting discussion about the city and what we can do to create vibrant, dynamic spaces. Learn more.