In a Flow In Action Innovation & Impact Challenge Workshop at Soft-Space in Geneva, I worked with a group of bi-lingual children (French/English) with a challenge on cleaning the oceans of microplastics. Working in collaboration with Aurore Bui, Founder of Soft-Web, we explored SDG 14 - Life Under Water.
We took Sustainable Development Goal #14 as our inspiration, valuing each person’s imagination and creativity, as we played with ideas to solve the specific challenge of cleaning up microplastics.
There is an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of microplastics – pieces of 5mm or less - in our oceans and water systems. Explore this sustainability issue for yourself through the links below.
From ‘Flamotrash’ to the ‘Clean-o-rator’, ‘Poisson Man’ to ‘The Water Walker’ and ‘Robot Fish’ to ‘Pent-o-Pus’, the ideas were phenomenal.
I shared the children’s ideas and prototype descriptions with Prof. Jonathan Rossiter, Professor of Robotics at Bristol University, whose team is doing innovative work on robots cleaning up oil pollutants in the oceans. See his TED talk. This is what he had to say:
I am so impressed! They have come up with some amazing ideas which are at the cutting edge of technology. They have hit upon some pressing questions…please congratulate the children for doing a great job. Stretching the imagination and challenging conventional wisdom like this is what scientists and engineers do every day. It's so enjoyable and that's how the next generation will be able to solve tough scientific challenges like this.”
I also shared the children’s work with Keith Tuffley, Founder of Neuw.com, sustainability advocate, polar explorer, Board Member of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and environmental entrepreneur.
Wow these are fantastic. What great ideas - well thought through, inspiring, and exciting. And I love the videos with the explanations and presentations. The best ideas come from young people! Keep them flowing, so we can save our planet.”
All children have the capacity to be agents of change today. It always amazes and inspires me, seeing the enormous capacity of children and young people as they play in these Flow In Action ‘change-maker’ spaces, using design and innovation thinking to develop resilience, wellbeing and life-skills; and connecting to a sense of purpose and hope about using their creativity to make positive change happen.
Solution: Innovation & Impact Challenge Workshop
Topic: SDG 14, Creativity, Innovation
Collaborating with: Aurore Bui, Soft-Web
Date: February 2017
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