Saul Griffith: Onya Cycles
A Renaissance man if ever there was one, Saul Griffith is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant, and a renowned inventor, entrepreneur, and environmental activist. He has founded several start-ups that explore outside-the-box s olutions to environmental problems. Onya Cycles, one of his current ventures, offers a healthy and low-impact solution for short-range commuting and urban transportation. Saul's unique approaches to problem-solving, and his many impress ive inventions, have made him extremely influential in the green and maker communities. In early fall 2010, he was a guest on The Colbert Report.
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Sachi DeCou: Sol Design Labs
Conceived by Beth Ferguson, an Austin-based designer and social entrepreneur, the SolarPump is meant to be both practical and thought-provoking. The mission of the Lab is "to create interactive and inspiring solutions for urban sustainability." In that effort, they do ecological design, fabrication and consulting, ecological public art installations and educational workshops. The SolarPump uses vintage gasoline-era technology to demonstrate the possibility of transforming unsustainable products into part of our green future. These eye-catching and innovative charging stations also serve as conversation-starters about the shift towards renewable energy and sustainable transportation options.
Limor Fried: Adafruit Industries
Limor Fried is the founder and engineer behind Adafruit Industries which makes electronics kits that teach soldering, tinkering, and technology exploration. One of their projects, the Tweet-a-Watt, is a wireless modification to a common off-the-shelf home energy monitor, the Kill-a-Watt. The Tweet-a-Watt not only monitors your energy consumption, it sends the information to Twitter so you can track it online, which reveals usage trends over time. Besides selling a Tweet-a-Watt kit, Adafruit has also put the open source plans online for all to freely build and share, creating a network of makers watching their usage and swapping energy-saving tips.
Ben Dubin-Thaler: BioBus
Conceived by Ben Dubin-Thaler, the Cell Motion BioBus is a self-powered mobile microscopy lab that brings hands-on science education to students in New York City lacking such resources at school. Built inside of a decommissioned San Francisco transit bus, the BioBus runs on power from its solar panels, wind turbine, and engine burning waste vegetable oil. Students not only discover the microscopic world around them, but learn about the green tech on-board that powers the lab.
Kurt Fleischer: Water Totter
Kurt Fleischer is a senior research scientist at Pixar, where he worked on building filmmaking software and directly on such films as Cars and WALL-E, before becoming a member of the research team. On his off time, he likes to apply his engineering skills to work on projects with his daughter, Lena, such as the Water Totter seen here. He used this project, which turns an old-style seesaw into a water pump, as an opportunity to teach Lena about concepts in engineering, conservation, energy generation, and a few important life lessons.