The past 18 months have brought waves of unforeseen challenges to individuals, communities, countries, and the world as a whole. From unemployment and isolation to masks and gallons of hand sanitizer, COVID-19 and its associated impacts have swept the world into shock and, often, despair. While many communities are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as vaccination rates increase and life returns to some semblance of “normal,” I found myself reflecting on the pandemic and its global impact(s) thus far.
With this in mind, I have discovered many innovations that are changing our world for the better across countless continents and industries! This made me realize that, even in the most unpredictable of circumstances, true innovation can be discovered and created, making a positive impact on individuals and communities around the world.
Below you will find my top five favourite social impact innovations that I have discovered since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope that they intrigue and inspire you. And please, feel free to comment below with any positive innovations you have discovered in the past year!
No one likes a smelly kitchen, and with more at-home cooking than ever thanks to COVID-19, this “Countertop Composter” from Pela is changing the waste game.
Lomi is an advanced compost bin that takes your food waste and, with the press of a button, turns it into nutrient-rich compost that can be used on indoor and outdoor plants. It’s quiet, convenient, and, frankly, just super cool. I have one on pre-order and I really hope it can help make my thumb a bit more green!
Even with a global pandemic, governments and political establishments at all levels need to keep engaging with civilians. This is where the genius of CitizenLab comes in.
Described as an “e-democracy platform for stronger communities,” CitizenLab is a tool that can be leveraged by local governments and organizations to engage with individuals and ensure that decision-making is happening while considering the voices of many. From town halls to project planning and so much more, 300+ organizations are using CitizenLab to strengthen their communities, even in these virtual times!
I am a HUGE seafood fan, but I am also aware of the fact that my crabcake or shrimp cocktail is not sustainable or eco-friendly for the long-term success of our planet and its ecosystems.
Sophie’s Kitchen is a plant-based seafood company that recently won The Liveability Challenge by creating a protein from microalgae that are affordable, nutritious, and low-impact on consumption.
This means that the future of “seafood” could be a lot less harmful to sea life and a lot more nutrient-dense, thanks to innovations like these that will ensure my “shrimp” cocktails don’t come at as high a cost.
I’m guilty of a long shower every now and then, but this innovation means that I don’t have to waste water while doing so! The Altered Company is a Swedish organization that creates products that can reduce your water waste by up to 98% thanks to their “Dual Flow” technology that turns water into a heavy mist, increasing the water’s surface area without giving up any pressure.
As a bonus - their prices are relatively affordable, meaning that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to wash your arms and legs in a more eco-friendly manner.
Electric Roads - Sweden
Electric cars have been making headlines for several years now, with one of the only drawbacks being the charging time required after driving your vehicle for a certain amount of time.
As of May, however, Sweden has shown the world that this isn’t an impossible challenge to crack, with the opening of an electrified road, which charges electric cars as they drive! The road is a 1.2-mile route from a logistics site to Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport, and both cars and lorries will be charged while driving.
It looks as if this project, run by eRoadArlanda, will be expanded throughout the rest of the country and hopefully the world in order to help Sweden achieve its 2030 goal of being fossil-fuel-free (say that 10 times fast) country.
So there you have it! Some of my favourite social impact innovations that I’ve discovered over the past 18 months. Proof that, even in the most challenging times, we can find positive inspiration and impact around the world. Stay tuned for more of RCIG’s social impact initiatives this year, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for more innovation-focused content.