—Awards drew more than 270 submissions, representing over 40 countries—
LOS ANGELES, CA, December 22, 2016—Not Impossible, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, has named the six category finalists for the first annual Not Impossible Awards, which recognize and celebrate the people, companies, technology and transformational inventions that help bring positive change to the global community. The winner will be announced on January 5 during CES® 2017 in Las Vegas.
“These awards drew an incredibly strong and diverse group of organizations and innovators and we were truly inspired by the scope and creativity of the projects,” said Mick Ebeling, Founder and CEO of Not Impossible. “With projects ranging from remote online learning tools to literal and recyclable container stores, it’s truly amazing to see the impact technology can have on the lives of those in need and realize our potential to make a difference on a global level. These Not Impossible Awards are just a glimpse of what’s actually possible.”
The Not Impossible Awards honor innovations that celebrate technology for the sake of humanity worldwide and align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which represent progress towards a better planet. One finalist was selected from each of the following six categories – Communication, Education, Energy, Healthcare, Mobility and Transportation. They include:
COMMUNICATION – REFUNITE – REFUNITE reconnects refugee families across the globe with missing loved ones through a global database of over 560,000 profiles. The company empowers refugees and displaced people to take the search for missing loved ones into their own hands, whether through a mobile phone, a computer or free help lines. The company is partnered with Ericsson and the United Nations, with locations in Denmark, Kenya and the United States.
EDUCATION – Rumie – Based in Toronto, Canada, Rumie has developed the “LearnCloud,” a new and affordable model of education designed to support underserved communities worldwide. The program and its free, high-quality learning tools can be accessed by anyone using Rumie tablets and is designed specifically for those located remote, resource-constrained communities.
ENERGY – SkyCool – Air conditioning & refrigeration systems consume 17% of electricity generated worldwide and are responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The future of cooling and refrigeration, SkyCool uses breakthrough technology to make cooling more sustainable and cost-effective by reducing electricity use and ensuring zero water loss. The company is based in San Francisco, California.
HEALTHCARE – ECOLOO – This green innovation company, based in Sweden, has created a patented toilet system, called ECOLOO, that is odorless, waterless, and sewage and maintenance free. It employs bacterial culture to treat waste and create organic fertilizer that is pathogen free and rich with nutrition, and requires no energy to operate.
MOBILITY – Imhanya – Based in Harare, Zimbabwe, Imhanya provides poverty alleviation solutions that include recycled shipping containers that are repurposed to serve as booths or shopping centers. These container solutions are safe, secure, weather-proof structures that operate via solar energy and liquefied petroleum gas.
TRANSPORTATION – Drones4Humanity – Drones4Humanity, based in Toronto, Canada, has developed an artificial intelligence-driven guidance drone, known as the “HumanityONE Drone,” which surveys damaged areas, delivers humanitarian aid supplies and transports portable rescuing equipment.
Learn more about the awards from Mick Ebeling in this video.
These companies were recognized for their ability to address global issues through original, cutting-edge technologies. “When you look at the wonderful submissions we received – and this is only a snapshot of what’s happening in breakthrough technology around the globe – it’s just further proof that inspired minds can accomplish great things, and that the sky really is the limit,” said Kathy Calvin, President and CEO of the UN Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Not Impossible to honor these innovations.”
Judges for the Not Impossible Awards included:
Kathy Calvin: President & CEO, UN Foundation
Shepard Fairey: Founder, OBEY Clothing
Dan Hilferty: President & CEO, Independence Blue Cross, Inc.
Daniel Kraft, M.D.: Founding Executive Director & Chair, Exponential Medicine
Kate Krukiel: Director of Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft
Jessica O. Matthews: Founder and CEO, Uncharted Play
Nicholas Negroponte: Founder & Chair, MIT Media Lab. Founder, One Laptop per Child Association
Jean Oelwang: President and Trustee, Virgin Unite
Britt Zarling: Vice President of Corporate Communications, Fiserv
About Not Impossible: Launched in 2009, Not Impossible Labs makes the impossible possible by creating accessible technology-based solutions primarily in the areas of health, mobility and communication. Not Impossible’s first project The Eyewriter is an open source, low-cost, DIY device that enable individuals with paralysis to communicate and create using only the movement of their eyes. Time Magazine named the Eyewriter one of the "Top 50 Inventions of 2010" and the device is now part of MoMA's permanent collection. Project Daniel inspired the first 3D-printed prosthetic arm for those impacted by war in South Sudan. The Don’s Voice project resulted in a digital communications interface for ALS patient Don Moir, allowing him to audibly communicate. Both projects were awarded SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Learn more at www.notimpossible.com.
Molly Wade, Lori Neuman
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