With everything that is going on in the world, sometimes all we want is to know that there are still kind-hearted people out there who want to do that right thing and who care for their fellow man. Especially when it comes to disruptive technologies that we may not yet fully understand the impacts of, it can be a sigh of relief knowing that there are people and companies creating projects that harness their power while making a positive impact on the world.
These motivated folks are doing just that–using our newest, most cutting edge technologies for the greater good. From artificial intelligence to blockchain to virtual reality and more, the companies on this list have thought of it all and serve to inspire us every day.
Check out the top 101 disruptive companies making a positive difference in the world today:
Pollinate Energy is bringing solar-powered products to the slums of India in order to improve the health both of the people there and Mother Earth. They provide high-quality products at low cost with easy installments to make these items more accessible to poor families while also offering knowledge, service, and a greater well-being. Some of the products they offer are better cookstoves, solar fans, and solar lanterns. This company is all about positive impact, not turning a profit.
Solar Village Project is a nonprofit that brings light and information into the homes of poor communities across the world. By providing durable solar power that can last for many years, Solar Village Project lowers the use of kerosene and improves life quality for these families. The people within the homes also benefit because they are able to charge their cell phones from within the comfort of their own home, which opens up vast informational possibilities to them. This sustainable project helps both people and the environment.
They have a presence in both Africa and India.
Renewable World creates locally-sourced systems to provide water and renewable energy to rural communities who could not otherwise afford them. By providing these resources, they benefit the health of the recipients since they no longer need to use potentially unsafe resources such as kerosene. Renewable World also helps to improve education and income opportunities by providing power.
WindAid Institute installs wind turbines in Peru with the help of volunteers. By providing clean, renewable energy, they help power homes and schools to increase education and healthy lifestyles. Beyond power the technology within Peruvian schools, these wind turbines help create long-term eco-friendly jobs while helping to sustain the atmosphere for everyone around the world. Anyone can take part in the project during a four-week period, but long-term volunteers are also gladly accepted.
SELF is a long-standing organization that has been providing innovative solar energy solutions since the 90’s to everywhere from Nigeria to Haiti to the Amazon rainforest. Their work is disruptive in that they go well beyond basic solutions, and instead offer up high-tech solar-powered solutions such as telemedicine, online learning, and microenterprise development, no matter how remote the location. In this way, they are saving the environment while bringing the whole world together to work and to live healthier, more sustainable lives.
Everybody Solar isn’t just helping the planet through providing renewable energy, they are also empowering those folks who have made it their mission to help their fellow man. Using donations, Everybody Solar provides solar energy to other companies and non-profits who are making a positive impact on our planet and society. They have raised money to install solar energy systems for a homeless shelter for veterans, a science center, and a group providing options for at-risk urban youth.
Solutions Project is harnessing the renewable resources of the planet–wind, water, and sun–in order to foster a global movement toward 100% sustainable energy. They celebrate leaders and match allies, invest in worthwhile projects, and create a palpable buzz around clean energy that can incite real, serious change for the planet. Their leadership skills and connective capacity is bringing the world together in a way that just might save us all.
SolarAid helps families by providing durable solar lights that provide hours of illumination at night. With their help, families in places such as Zambia, Malawi, and Uganda save money on expensive and unhealthy fuels such as kerosene.
This way, they grow richer while also gaining education and helping to sustain the environment. SolarAid is helping with poverty and climate change with their solar lights, and even the most remote communities can benefit from their efforts.
Energy Revolution takes donations which they then re-invest in promising energy initiatives and charities across the world. They have invested in projects like The Converging World–which helps make India’s power grid cleaner by converting to renewable energy sources–as well as the Bristol Energy Co-op which helps create solar farms for a brighter, cleaner world.
SunWork uses trained volunteers to help install solar panels on homes that have already cut their energy costs to a modest level. This allows them to offer solar adoption at only a third of the conventional cost of implementation. This keeps the planet healthier while also rewarding those folks who are already making a difference in the world by limiting their energy consumption and carbon footprint.
TechforTrade is bringing 3D printing to the communities that need it most which include some of the poorest areas in the world. Through ethical and sustainable methods, TechforTrade teaches people in these regions the skills needed to meet a demand for manufactured products that are not otherwise available in their communities.
By offering 3D printers and supplies such as filament as well as education, TechforTrade is opening an opportunity for communities to have the supplies and the devices needed to alleviate poverty and enter the world economy.
The Rapid Foundation is bringing high-tech solutions at very low costs to those people who can best use them to innovate and solve their own problems. They offer 3D printers, modeling software, VR, and low-cost electronics like the Raspberry Pi to help pique creativity in people who are ready to create solutions.
They have helped on a global scale including in India, Uganda, and Rwanda.
e-NABLE rounds up volunteers to help those in need of prosthetic hands. Alongside awareness campaigns that are geared toward safety regarding the actions that most commonly result in amputations, they also offer open source schematics for 3D printed prosthetic hands.
Anyone in need can sign up to receive a hand on their website, and makers can also sign up to create and donate a hand to someone in need. They’re open to volunteers of any technical skill level, and they even take unassembled 3D printed parts for prosthetic hands for others to put together.
According to Handsmith’s statistics, there are 5000 hand amputations per year in the U.S., but less than a thousand bionic hands are provided worldwide yearly. With the price of bionic hands soaring to $45K, most people who need them can’t afford them. However, Handsmith is helping fill this need. As a registered nonprofit, Handsmith uses donations to create 3D printed bionic hands for those in need, and anyone can apply from their site.
Those interested in helping can donate or participate in their many fundraising and community events. For example, in April 2017, they hosted a free-for-all bike ride on the New River trail.
Po creates prosthetic hands for those in need at only 1% percent of the cost of traditional models. This is great news for those in need since most people who actually need a prosthetic are unable to afford one due to extremely high costs.
Using 3D printing and a lot of love, they offer affordable prosthetics in colors that represent their wearers' likes and personalities. One little boy even got a red and gold Po hand that is reminiscent of his favorite superhero, Iron Man. Interested parties can donate to Po’s cause and give a hand to someone in need at this link.
The Ethical Filament Foundation is helping the world and its people rise out of poverty and create a more ethical, sustainable future. Within a network of waste pickers who traditionally have made only $2/day, entrepreneurs, and industry specialists, they have created a way to significantly reduce filament costs while sparking business development and a cleaner environment.
They help entrepreneurs build ethical businesses around creating 3D printer filament from recycled waste that costs less, brings money to the businesses and waste pickers alike, while also decreasing the world’s waste issue. They are helping to end the cycle of poverty and bring everyone into the world’s creation economy, so we can all create novel solutions for a smarter, cleaner world.
Have you ever wanted to live a 3D printed home that is also durable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable? Sunconomy has teamed up with Apis Cor to make this happen. They create energy-efficient homes that harness renewable energy sources to live a conscious life that is good for the mind, economy, and planet. They are even building their own eco-village in Montgomery, TX!
Anyone can contact them to learn more about building 3D printed homes, whether to live in themselves or for construction for others.
Apis Cor, Sunconomy’s partner in building 3D printed, efficient homes, supplies the construction robot that makes these homes possible. Using 3D printing techniques, highly durable homes can be built on-site very quickly. Architectural designs made possible by 3D printing plus work with Sunconomy makes their homes environmentally-conscious as well as more affordable which could help eliminate an increasing housing problem.
Stratasys sees the benefits of 3D printing in healthcare, especially when it comes to 3D printed heart models. Model hearts that are patient-specific help doctors and surgeons plan surgeries and identify issues before ever operating on a human patient. This can help ease patient concerns and create better surgery outcomes since procedures themselves can be more effective and less invasive than if planning only occurs using traditional imaging techniques.
Luckily, Stratasys is pairing up with a nonprofit called OpHeart to help quantify the benefits of using 3D printed hearts during surgical preparations. They are offering 3D printed heart models to the study.
Saphium Biotechnology has a solution to traditional plastics that can be very harmful for the environment, and their scope includes 3D printer filament. Their filament, called PHAbulous Philament, is a bioplastic made from non-toxic, all-natural, compostable ingredients.
It can be used in 3D printers but could also take the place of many other plastics such as those used in food packaging. Their filament is so natural that not only is it safe, it actually serves as a fertilizer during its 60-day breakdown period.
Robot Springboard is helping to expand the reach of robotics education in a way that is fun and benefits all involved. They are a registered nonprofit that employs something called “peer-to-peer learning” which increases engagement in robotics technology and ensures that everyone is learning along the way.
They offer insight on how to form your own robotics clubs and also bring robotics education to communities that may not have otherwise had the funding or exposure to this technology. Since robotics tech is increasingly relevant in the modern world, they are bridging the gaps to ensure we all have a fair chance at making a difference.
IBM is bringing their legacy of creating beneficial technologies to the robotics sectors with their Pepper Robot which can perceive and react to human emotions. This robot could fill a great need for an aging population, especially as people live for longer now than ever before thanks to advancements in medical technology.
Their Pepper Robot can offer companionship and help people retain their independence for longer all the while keeping them safer and healthier. As Susann Keohane, Senior Technologist at IBM, explained to Business Insider, robots that help in elderly care must be “wholly intuitive” and “frictionless” in their ease of use, and the Pepper Robot is trying to offer that level of functionality.
Blue Frog Robotics is also on a mission to help the elderly with their own robot, Buddy. Buddy can help aging people retain independence and remain in their homes for longer because it has features for both health and companionship. Buddy can detect falls and provide medication reminders, but it can also interact. Plus, Buddy makes accessing Skype and Facetime simple, so elderly people can video chat with family and friends, even when it is not convenient or feasible to leave their homes. With Buddy, both the elderly themselves and their families can feel more secure and confident about a decision to forego traditional assisted living arrangements.
Romibo is a social robot for kids. It can be used for learning in the classroom or in therapy to help children learn many skills from socialization to critical thinking. Romibo can interact and offer prompts and praise in a predictable way that makes children feel safe and confident in their interactions. Romibo’s blue, fuzzy appearance also makes it very approachable to children in even the most difficult situations.
Romibo can be effective for children with autism to learn to socialize in a comfortable and controlled environment as well as for other therapies such as those for children who have experienced traumas. Romibo can help with emotions, reciprocal conversations, and so much more.
Thanks to royalty-free licenses from Disney and a whole lot of creativity and love, Open Bionics has come to be known for their bionic prosthetic hands for kids. Their hands come in models like Queen Elsa Snowflake hand from Frozen, Iron Man hand, and Star Wars lightsaber hand.
Because their bionic hands are based after kids’ favorite characters, they help kids who need them feel more comfortable with their differences. Increasing the confidence of our children through their designs while advancing science is a definite plus in the positive karma books.
Boston Dynamics has created a robot, Atlas, that could be the one to save your life if you’re ever in a crisis situation that is too dangerous for another human to enter. At 1.5m tall and 75kg, Boston Dynamics claims that Atlas is the “world’s most dynamic humanoid.” Atlas can get back up if it is tipped or falls over, navigate over rough terrain, perceive its environment using LiDAR and stereo vision, and can even operate a utility vehicle if needed. Atlas can perform feats of balance and durability that are beyond the current scope of human reach.
RobotWorx is solving the problem of robotic waste by recycling, repurposing, and reintegrating old robotics parts into updated systems. If a company is upgrading their robotic workforce, they can send them to RobotWorx for cash. RobotWorx will then upgrade those older robotics parts and provide them to companies who need them.
By recycling in this way, RobotWorx is a major force in helping to save the environment, one robot at a time. They also accept trade-ins to keep the cycle going!
Roboteam creates durable, tactical ground robots that help save lives. Their perceptive bots can travel on difficult terrains and collect intelligence in the field in places where it may be unsafe for humans to venture. These robots keep military personnel safer and better informed and have been deployed in 32 countries worldwide. Some of their notable clients include the US Marines, Navy, and FBI.
The Foundation for Responsible Robotics is helping the world by creating the policies and standards in regards to the development of robots. By moving forward responsibly and strategically, we can help avoid the disaster scenarios of sci-fi movies that many futurists have begun to fear in regards to AI and robotics.
By helping to define what “responsible” is and then taking part in the creation of policies surrounding these context, the Foundation for Responsible Robotics may one day save our life from a threat we never even knew existed, thanks to their prevention efforts
Stanford + NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab
Stanford and NASA have made it their mission to work together to clean up our atmosphere. The amount of space junk we have floating around the Earth is making it increasingly hazardous to venture into space while also increasing our chances of a catastrophic and costly chain reaction called the “Kessler Syndrome” in which our space equipment smashes into one other, destroying many systems and leaving our orbit in a dangerous disarray.
Stanford and NASA have created a space robot with gecko-like grabbers that solves the gravity issues when it comes to space cleanup. Since tapes and other adhesives don’t work in space since you can’t press on an object as you would on earth, this gripper uses a biologically-inspired system to help clean up our orbit. You can read more about the technology behind this robot here.
The Mars Society is all about exploring and settling Mars, as you might expect. They work with both the government and private sectors with the help of generous donors. With humanity being so close to finally going to Mars, this organization is extremely important to humanity’s future endeavors.
This is a longstanding organization that will this year be hosting the 20th Annual International Mars Convention in Irvine, California. With a track record like that, it is safe to say that they are in part responsible for how far we have come already.
If things with AI don’t pan out quite the way we’d like, then Elon Musk has our back. Although his work with Neuralink is trying to bridge the gap between human and AI so we don’t become “other” from our creations which have the potential to turn against us. However, he is also planning a million-person colony on Mars, which may be our best hope should things on Earth take a turn for the worse.
Penny4NASA is a grassroots nonprofit that is trying to get Congress to raise NASA's budget from a little less than half a percent up to 1%. Through education and outreach, Penny4NASA inspires support from those who can see the vast benefits of space from a cultural and scientific standpoint. As space technology accelerates quickly, it is vital that we invest in those people who are helping us explore and understand that vast possibilities and complications that lie in space.
n3D Biosciences has teamed up with NASA to help cure cancer. Because cells are better able to hold their 3D shape in microgravity, the two are growing in vitro cancer cells aboard the ISS. n3D offers their “cell levitation” technology to the cause which harnesses magnetic bioparticles that are not known to interfere with the research, solving some of the problems that microgravity poses. Thanks to this high-tech company, we may be on the road to a cure.
Astronomers Without Borders is connecting people globally under the sky we all share. With them, participants can share first-world technology with countries all around the world, so we can all experience the wonders of our universe. Remote online viewings and true human connections are just two of the beneficial things they offer. They also sell low-cost equipment in their store of which all the proceeds go to the foundation. Basic membership is free, and they also accept donations and participation from interested parties.
SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute is a scientific nonprofit founded by Carl Sagan and Frank Drake in order to spot the signatures of other intelligent life in our universe. They participate in work such as analysis of astronomical radio signals for indicators of intelligence and technological advancement. SETI, with their team of more than 130 esteemed scientists, may be the first organization to alert us to the presence of alien life within our universe.
When you were a kid, did you ever build a cardboard rocket and pretend you were headed to space? Copenhagen Suborbitals is the grown-up version of that with just as much wonder and creativity–except they’re actually doing it. Their current mission is their biggest yet, a manned space mission on their rocketship SPICA. This nonprofit, crowdfunded organization consists of 50 geeks in their own amateur space agency who are determined to send one of them to the moon. Hats off to you, Copenhagen Suborbitals. You’re a huge inspiration.
Anyone can donate to help fund the cause for space exploration and citizen science.
The Google Lunar XPRIZE offers up a challenge to any privately funded group of engineers and entrepreneurs who can develop low-cost solutions to our space-based problems. The current challenge is offering $30M to the top three teams who can build a robot to send to the moon that can both travel 500m and transmit back HD images and video. This competition is known for being a hotbed for disruptive innovation and discovery.
The CEO of The Planetary Society is Bill Nye. If that’s not enough to win you over, know that they create, advocate, and educate on all things space so that the best minds in the world can come together to explore solutions for space-based problems.
They fund innovative space projects as well as advocate for organizations like NASA, all the while teaching people of all ages about space and its opportunities and providing the equipment they need to explore. Anyone can donate to The Planetary Society or purchase some sweet Bill Nye merchandise to support the cause. They also offer other ways to get involved on their website.
The Space Foundation is one of the longest standing organizations for space advocacy and education, and was founded in 1983. They have a very broad scope and wide reach that gives them a substantial impact on humanity’s direction when it comes to space. They offer up such awesome benefits as a discovery center, the annual Space Symposium, a magazine, certification courses, multiple websites, and outreach and education programs as well as a Space Certification and their Space Technology Hall of Fame.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Yard Creative is an agency that creates experiences that give longlasting impressions for brands and retailers. Now, they’ve brought their expertise to charity while employing IoT devices to create effective experiences that call to people’s humanity so that they are able to offer generosity when donating to a cause.
One such example of their work includes a mirror display that users touch to display a Ugandan girl who reaches out to meet hands.
While their hands connect, the girl tells of her hardships, and her story continues to the end so long as the touch remains. As the user’s hand warms the surface of the connected mirror, they are urged from within themselves to listen to the girl’s story and to donate generously.
HabitatMap is a nonprofit that helps crowdsource data surrounding pollution. Users can help by using their smart phone microphone to collect noise pollution data from their environment. HabitatMap also launched a crowdfunding campaign for a wearable IoT sensor called an AirBeam which collects data about temperature, humidity, and particulate matter from the air surrounding the wearer.
By collecting and aggregating this data, users are able to crowdsource information about their exposure to air pollution while also adding it to a map so others can also be aware of the effects of their environment.
Fuel poverty is a major concern that affects people across the globe, but very little data has been available to study the issue in order to rectify. The CharIoT energy kit which includes IoT wireless humidity, temperature, electricity, gas sensors and interactive apps, as well as a way to effectively gather data on the issues that occur alongside fuel poverty, may be the solution to finally aggregating the necessary information to put this problem to an end. This could save millions of people from having to deal with fuel poverty-related issues such cold homes, unaffordable bills, and other health issues such as mold and dampness within their homes.
Surtrac is using IoT and AI combined in order to address what for many of us is a pain point every single day–traffic congestion and long commutes. Not only do unnecessary wait times and crowded roads create for a more irritable population which no doubt proliferates even once drivers arrive safely at their destination, it is also problematic for the environment.
With Surtrac smart traffic lights, congestion is reduced and trip times are shortened thanks to the lights second-by-second real-time analysis of the traffic on the roadways. Not only does this keep drivers happier and safer, it also reduces emissions for a happier environment.
Amazon Web Services for Nonprofits opens the door to high-tech, scalable, budget-friendly solutions for nonprofits and charities so that they can focus their funding toward their goals. With these services, nonprofits can expand their creativity and reach using trusted and reliable technologies, offering opportunities for futuristic, tech-centric campaigns that wouldn’t be feasible if all of Amazon’s offerings had to instead be managed in-house.
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and Intel are using AWS as an integral part of their IoT collection and analysis process to offer researchers better data to understand this debilitating disease.
Amazon Web Services also touts major clients such as PBS and Change.org.
Plus, they regularly hold open office hours so charities can better understand best practices and the various ways AWS can help them on their missions for the greater good.
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research supported Intel in creating a platform that harnesses IoT and big data in the search for a cure. Data is gathered via users smartphones and aggregated for analysis for use by researchers to help understand this disease. This project employees Amazon Web Services to aggregate large amounts of sensor data.
For more information, please see their video on the subject:
Mendix created an IoT application with a Christmas theme that ended in a 4000 GBP donation to Action for Children. The application allowed users to light up a Christmas tree in the Mendix UK office while watching a livestream of the event. For each click that resulted in the tree lighting up, Mendix vowed to donate, and a counter kept track in real-time for users to track their progress.
The campaign was such a hit that sometimes up to 150 people were trying to light up the tree at once. Not only is this a creative use of IoT, but it is an amazing example of innovative fundraising using disruptive technology.
Mendix is truly setting the standard for merging high-tech solutions, marketing, and giving back to the world.
Imagine trying to collect donations door to door in a society that rarely carries cash. Rather than abandon this face-to-face method of collection, Tele2IoT and WhyDonate came together to create an innovative solution that provides benefits to charities and donors alike.
Their IoT device called the Collection Box can easily be taken from door-to-door to accept touchless payments from both credit cards and mobile phones. The device employees a SIM card to ensure connectivity, so donors can donate effortlessly and without the hassle of cash money.
Blue Cross for Pets is a UK charity that helps sick, injured, and homeless pets. They are also active in the community and employee many confident, friendly dogs at events to help raise awareness for the cause.
Now, those dogs have taken on an even more vital role as the “world’s first canine fundraisers.”
The Blue Cross dogs are attended by a volunteer and dressed in a blue coat that harnesses an IoT payment system that runs on Paypal Here.
Donors are able to pet the dog as well as send a donation using their credit card via either touch or swipe. The volunteers help by activating the IoT device to accept the payment as well as by providing receipts.
As humans, we all crave novel experiences, and the vast majority of us care about our fellow man and what we can do to make a difference in the world we live in.
Cancer Research UK with the help of Clear Channel Outdoor is banking on the crossroads of those two facets with their innovative IoT donation campaign.
Harnessing IoT technology-driven touchless payments, users are able to make a donation simply by touching their device to the glass windows of the building. This easy method of 24/7 donation paired with the interest such an idea generates is a game changer when it comes to creative, high-tech fundraising.
“The Source” immerses viewers in the lives of the people their donations seek to help. Donors’ money brings the equipment to provide clean drinking water and a lifetime of joy. This joyous moment can be shared by anyone who takes interest in the cause through “The Source” which shows the wonder and relief of people who Charity: Water has already helped.
It’s a powerful show that incites many to tears and also to open their wallets to aid their fellow man.
Testimony shows the power and resilience of sexual trauma survivors while offering a safe place to listen or to take a moment to regather for viewers. This VR experience shares the stories of survivors in their own words, highlighting a major problem while also tugging at the heartstrings of viewers.
The makers of Testimony understand that sexual abuse can be an overwhelming subject and so have implemented a feature where all a user must do is look away from a survivor and they will fade back into the distance while the viewer recollects their thoughts.
Although this brings to light a very startling issue in our world, it also provides a message of power and of healing.
All of us are created differently and exist with different sensations, senses, and methods of perceiving the world. This VR experiential film brings viewers into a 360-degree world that offers insight into what it is like to be blind. Users are not thrust into a world of darkness, but instead, see how the surrounding sounds paint a picture of the world in a way many of us do not perceive.
Viewers will find themselves taking notice of things that those with sight often take for granted and will walk away with a truly changed perspective.
Too Much Information is a virtual reality experience that seeks to engender empathy towards those with autism who frequently experience sensory overload. It thrusts viewers into a world where there are too many sights, sounds, colors, and distractions to offer insight into a different way of perceiving reality.
Viewers find themselves in a mall, a social place that is filled with sensory experiences that many neurotypical people filter out. By heightening these sensations, viewers gain an understanding that may help them if they are in a situation where a person with autism experiences this sort of overload.
While many people in the modern world are vaguely familiar with the problems that can come from mosquitos, many have never had a first-hand look. Nothing But Nets provides mosquito nets and malaria treatments to those in need and brings viewers along to view the problem and the impact of a solution on a young girl in a refugee camp in Tanzania.
In their VR film, “Under the Net”, viewers see for themselves where their money is going and why.
In this virtual reality film, viewers find themselves in Ghana, watching the impact of donations to Pencils of Promise. Children find relief from the heat and enter their brand new schoolhouse where they can learn in the shade in a classroom setting.
Pencils of Promise helps in countries such as Ghana, Laos, and Guatemala to bring modernized school houses and updated curriculum to students. In this way, PoP is uniting the world through better education and open-hearted humanity.
Homelessness is a problem all over the world that affects the young, old, mentally ill, well-educated, and veterans alike. In the cold month of January 2016 in the US, more than half a million people were homeless on any given night.
Although this problem affects people of every age, gender, race, and previous background, the homeless in many areas are treated in truly despicable and inhumane ways.
“A Day on the Streets” offers insight into what it is like to live on the street and, for many viewers, strikes a deep chord for empathy and action to make a change.
The thought of losing our memories and independence is among many people’s greatest fears. For those family and friends who have experienced a loved one entering dementia firsthand, it can be a terrifying and confusing situation for them as well, and one that very few people are prepared for. Often, this lack of education, preparedness, and empathy can result in actions that may not be the best for our loved ones.
A Walk Through Dementia helps viewers understand this ailment and to experience something similar for a short while. This understanding can lead to empathy and better treatment of our elderly as well as incite viewers to donate to help find a cure.
With global warming changing the environment of the Arctic, many people understand only in passing the effects of these changes on the wildlife in these areas, since they, themselves, have never traveled to the region.
Arctic VR Experience brings viewers closer to the Arctic to see its wonder for themselves as well as offering them insight into the issues that occur in direct correlation to our actions and impact on the environment. Through this virtual reality experience, Greenpeace helps people connect to this region and stay aware of the impact of their actions on this beautiful place.
World peace–it’s something many of us have pondered to some degree. What would it be like? And, more importantly, what could we do to help make that a reality?
The VR for Peace Museum highlights some of the greatest peacemakers in history and provides insight into their decisions. They also highlight the importance of peace and the methods of achieving it even in the modern world.
This virtual reality experience reignites a desire to be a positive force in the world for viewers and brings us back to some of our most innate, benevolent ideal of compassion and empathy.
Once known as Alipay, Ant Financial is harnessing blockchain technology to not only offer financial inclusion services, including credit, on a global scale, but they are also supporting those in the nonprofit sector. With low fees and added transparency, AntLove offers charities a high-tech blockchain solution for donations that help the charity itself as well as donors to feel safer and even better about the differences they are making in the world.
With BitGive’s solution for nonprofits, GiveTrack, blockchain benefits both charities and donors alike. Donors can feel more secure in what they are funding with a real-time tracking platform that shows how money is being spent by a nonprofit. By reducing friction and fears of fraud, friction is reduced for donors while funds are increased for nonprofits. Plus, they eliminate the long transaction times and excessive fees that come with traditional cross-border payments.
Hypergive offers a blockchain solution for donating to people who are going hungry. By using blockchain, donors can verify their donations are being spent for food for those in need. They can donate using traditional methods like credit cards and PayPal, and funds are pooled into a local fund. The money in that local fund is tracked and transparent, and donors can verifiably see that 100% of their money is going to feed the hungry. CareCards are given to those in need and can be spent at multiple retailers for food.
Using blockchain, Alice.si helps donors feel confident in donating to charity. Since their ultra-transparent system requires charities to meet their goals in order to receive donations, donors can feel safe that their money is being put to good use. Their system requires a validator to confirm the goals of charities, and using cutting edge technology to create a transparent, trackable system to help make a difference in the world.
Giveth uses Ethereum to connect communities around a common cause. This open source platform helps donors see transparently where their donations are going and what changes are happening in the world thanks to it. Their Dapp mixes blockchain and social accountability for a transparent, secure method of accepting donations and making a difference.
Plus, non-monetary resources can be counted as shares. The point of Giveth is more than money–it’s about connecting people around a cause and opening lines of communication as well.
Charitychain.io is bringing innovative and disruptive technologies to the charity sector. Like many blockchain-based charity projects, they offer transparency and security. However, they also offer a social aspect. Since they understand the decline in public trust regarding charitable organizations, they harness the power of the people who already know and trust you in order to complete donation campaigns.
For example, if you were to try to raise a funding goal for an organization, you might donate only 50% of the goal. Then, your friends and others in your network are able to help reach the full 100% goal by donating to the other 50%. The donations only go through if the entire goal is met. Otherwise, everyone is refunded. This sort of social accountability could make a major positive impact on the reach and trust of charities and nonprofits.
Benefactory is based on Ethereum, and lets anyone start a group for the causes they care about most. Because these groups are decentralized, it is simple to begin collecting donors and volunteers for any project. Since the group helps to set the priorities for their funds, donors can be sure that their money is going towards things that matter. The more you donate to a group, the more power you have, since you have more votes to use toward priorities. Benefactory lets users build economic power from scratch using a P2P, transparent network.
Charity DAO is working together with other disruptors who are using blockchain to make a difference such as Giveth, Benefactory, and Alice.si. They are working to build charitable communities that are “radically transparent” and governed by the donors themselves. Through the use of blockchain, donors can see where every last cent of their contributions go, and vote on the projects they care about most.
Charity Chain makes sure donations are used for their intended purpose and not misappropriated within an organization. Using blockchain, donors can verify how their donations are being spent via a tamper-proof, transparent system. One use case example is a connected water pump in Africa that allows users to spend donated CharityCoins to make water flow to those in need. As long as there is credit in the charity account, users can receive water as needed.
Moneo helps the people who want to change the world through the power of blockchain find the talent to make their dream a reality. This platform offers an easy way to search and hire top blockchain professionals from consultants to developers to marketers and more. Users can easily negotiate and pay their perfect team with cryptocurrency from right within the Moneo platform. Moneo is empowering the blockchain projects of tomorrow’s better world.
The good sock company is supporting children around the world while offering stylish, fun socks to adults that can be used to play augmented reality games. The owners of The Good Sock Company have a love for bright, fun socks, and it shows in their designs. But they also care about giving back. Ten percent of proceeds go to helping children.
The Royal British Legion has integrated augmented reality into their annual Poppy Appeal campaign to help serve active military, veterans, and their families.
Using codes on their advertising posters, donors and other interested folks are able to use Blippar’s scan function to open additional content such as photos and videos, ways to connect on social media, and a donation page to help support the cause.
CoppaFeel! Is a nonprofit that advocates the early detection of breast cancer through regular self-examinations. They regularly put on eye-catching displays and attend events to help remind people that breast self-examination can save their lives. They are currently undertaking a project called #BRAHIJACK which urges lingerie companies to place a tag in their bras to remind women to check their breasts daily.
Their augmented reality campaign used Blippar to let users scan codes on their 3D breast billboard to access information about breast cancer statistics, connect on social media, and to “Name Your Boobs” so women developed a healthy relationship with their breasts to remember to check them regularly.
Alder Hey helps kids through their Alder Hey Children’s Charity. While they work on cutting-edge treatments, they also help to mitigate the anxiety that often comes with a hospital stay. Alder Hey offers an interactive fish tank where kids can design their own sea creatures and watch them swim around. They are also working on an app that will let parents meet staff and explore the hospital campus before arriving. This app can include augmented reality games to help patients during their stay by keeping them distracted and entertained, alleviating stress for everyone.
Crisis is a national charity that is putting an end to homelessness, both directly and through campaigning to make policy changes that contribute to homelessness. Through the use of the Aurasma AR app, Crisis let users point their phones toward paintings in an exhibition to open interviews with the artists. The users were then able to donate directly from their phones to help homeless people in crisis.
In order to help stop domestic violence, brand.david helped create an augmented reality campaign that makes magazine pages come to life. What appears to be a photo of a beautiful woman can transform into a video using a smartphone. The videos show the reality of domestic violence, a punch to the face, and the injuries that ensue on the woman’s face. This is an eye-opening campaigning that uses AR to make a very bold statement to help put an end to this awful issue that plagues most of the world.
Save the Children is a children’s charity that also teamed up with Aurasma to bring print to life. In their print magazine, Children Now, users were prompted to scan a page with the app to view a video created by the charity that shows donor money in action and the lives that it helps change.
By bringing print readers to video, donors can feel more secure and excited that their hard-earned money is being used to make a serious positive impact in the world.
SapientNitro is an agency built for the digital world and our always-on society. Although the project is no longer available, SapientNitro used VR to help users see the damage that smoking could do to their lungs.
They combined a printable tag and a user’s camera to overlay medically-correct lungs onto a user’s body. Depending on how many cigarettes a user said they smoked per day and for how long, the lungs would appear brighter and healthier or darker and more shriveled. Being able to actually see the damage that smoking can cause can be a wake-up call for many smokers.
The RAF Benevolent Fund supports active and veteran Royal Air Force families with financial needs, bereavement counseling, and so much more.
RAF Benevolent Fund harnessed the power of augmented reality and the allure of the Spitfire to help raise money for their cause. After buying the app, users could simply point their phones toward various currency notes to view the Spitfire in 3D and interact in multiple ways such as by starting the engine for firing machine guns.
The Aurasma app has made many of these charitable campaigns possible through the use of their augmented reality technology. It is through their vision of interacting with the world with greater depth through AR that many of the charities on this list were able to achieve their visions and reach their user base in new and exciting ways. Aurasma offers a drag-and-drop web studio to make creating AR experiences simple and straightforward for users.
Financial Technology (FinTech)
Chuffed is crowdfunding for those who are ready to be the change they want to see in the world. In their own words, they’re for “non-profits, social enterprises, community groups, activists, politicians and individual citizens that are making the world better, that are helping others, that believe we have a responsibility to each other and to future generations.”
On Chuffed, organizations receive 100% of the funds that they raise, and donors pay the nominal fee and payment processing. Donors are also able to transparently leave a tip to Chuffed when they donate to any of the causes on the platform.
Goodworld makes social media donations to charitable causes easy and fast.
Using #donate on Facebook and @reply #donate and RT on Twitter lets users instantly signup to donate to causes, quickly, securely, and with confirmations.
Plus, Goodworld offers a refer-a-friend program that offers $5 for each friend referred, making it easier than ever to donate even more to the causes you care about most.
Nonprofits in the modern, digital age have growing needs that impact their sector specifically. Kindful has created a system to manage the needs of nonprofits and charities all within a single solution. Their services include fundraising tools that are easy to setup and have no transaction fees, a CRM to keep track of donor data, and automated reporting and analytics to always be improving within your organization so you can keep improving the world.
WeDidIt is a suite of tools for the most successful nonprofits to use to maximize their donations. Although they offer online fundraising tools that include donation pages and crowdfunding solutions, they also offer insight and analytics. Among the factors analyzed are “salary data, propensity to give, real-time social data, and more.” WeDidIt also has teaching resources including a blog, fundraising classes, and downloadable resources.
Humaniq is offering financial inclusion to more than 3.5 billion people worldwide through the use of a powerful, lightweight mobile app. The impact is reduced poverty and hunger in some of the world’s poorest emerging countries, instead of empowering these people to save, lend, raise money, and actively participate in the world economy. Their application offers no-fee payments, and open API, and biometric authentication.
Everex also seeks to offer financial inclusion on a global scale–to the underserved, to expats, migrant workers, governments, NGOs, and so much more. Through the power of blockchain technology, Everex offers low-cost transactions worldwide, instant remittance, microcredit in any currency, one-click mobile payments, and painless cashouts into any currency.
This microfinance and remittance platform has the capacity to empower billions of people globally to enter the world economy, manage their financial needs, and grow their wealth.
Pennies is the modern world’s answer the fact that very few people donate change because so few of us ever carry cash in the age of touchless payments and credit cards. Pennies offers retailers a chance to prompt users to donate the change from their purchases to charities while still keeping their personal information safe. And there’s not pressure either–customers must simply tap yes or no when they are completing their purchase just as they normally would.
Benevity brings the power of giving to workplaces. This software makes offering time and money to the causes workers care about simple and efficient. Charities, too, benefit, since they can sign up to receive funds electronically from major corporate donors, streamlining the process for everyone. Benevity supports more than monetary donations. It also helps users get involved by offering their time to the greater good as volunteers.
Watsi believes everyone in the world has a right to healthcare, even though it can sometimes be expensive. Through the Watsi platform, those in need can tell their stories. Donors are able to fund their healthcare to receive updates on their treatments and wellbeing. 100% of donations to Watsi go to healthcare, and Watsi can prove this through their “radical” transparency.
If everyone pitches in, perhaps we can all live healthy lives, all across the world.
Bstow creates branded donation apps for charities and churches. Through their platform, users can donate one time or set a recurring donation to help fund their favorite causes and organizations. With Bstow, users can use the web or native iPhone apps, share their campaigns however they choose, and even send push notifications to donors. Bstow also offers analytics to organization owners.
We expect RallyBound to be one of the first fundraising platforms to implement intelligent chatbots, thanks to posts like this one that bring the technology into the public eye. As chatbots become smarter, more human-like, and better able to negotiate and make decisions, they can substantially help charitable causes reach their audience, answer common questions, and help restore trust in charities.
The widely-used social media platform is using artificial intelligence to help the population (and perhaps also avoid bad PR) by helping to predict and prevent suicide. Their system helps flag potential signs of suicidal ideation to immediately alert the user of resources of help.
Beyond that, Facebook is also using AI to help make the platform more accessible, and the founder–Mark Zuckerberg’s–charity bought an AI company on a mission to eradicate disease.
FeedMee is a couple things. At face value, it’s a restaurant recommendation app that adapts to users’ preferences in order to recommend the best food.
However, for each booking using the app, FeedMee promises to donate a meal to charity. When you eat, so do those in need. That’s a refreshing concept.
Some might say this tech giant has their fingers in a little bit of everything, and, while they might be right, charity is no exception. Since Google now owns Youtube, the company is utilizing AI technology to make visual media more accessible to those with disabilities.
Advanced AIs are able to identify various facets of a video, both visual and auditory, from laughter to applause, enabling people who would not otherwise be able to consume the content a glimpse of what the many videos on the platform hold.
Drift is using AI to make energy more efficient by predicting the amount of energy needed on any given day based on usage statistics, weather predictions, and more.
This increased efficiency reduces energy costs, slowly lowering the chances of being left cold and without power in the winter time due to an inability to pay.
IBM – Content Clarifier
Content Clarifier harnesses the power of IBM’s Watson to make content easier to understand by splitting up long sentences and replacing idioms which can be difficult to comprehend.
Among their initial tests is to use this AI tech to clarify education documents for autistic high schoolers to make for them an easier transition into college.
Elon Musk has been described as a modern genius by some. Among his most important projects is his most recent, Neuralink, that hopes to keep AI and mankind from becoming separate, but instead unifying us using neural implants so we can function as one.
His work here may also offer us humans a form of technological telepathy whereby we can communicate with one another without ever moving our mouths. Not only could this save the future of humanity, but it could make great strides for those with disabilities as well.
FEDO is out to help save us from ourselves and our bad habits. Their AI platform helps prevent “lifestyle diseases” such as diabetes and hypertension by predicting the occurrence of such diseases based on a user’s habits and then go so far as to offer solutions.
Since many people are not aware when they are putting themselves at risk, this early warning and ensuring preventive measures can lower potential complications down the road for a happier, healthier population.
Tesla is another company from the mind of Elon Musk. In this one, artificial intelligence augments transportation through the use of self-driving cars. The use of AI in self-driving cars could make for safer roadways, faster travel times, more free time for humans, and higher efficiency all around when it comes to travel.
Plus, the vehicles at Tesla are electric which could help save our environment in the process.
Virta claims to help patients reverse the impacts of diabetes through the use of AI rather than more traditional medication or surgery. The Virta platform bridges the gap between patients and healthcare professionals to provide tailor-made treatment plans that can help patients reduce or eliminate altogether their need for insulin. Patients help with this process by logging their personal data in the system, so doctors can adjust and readjust as necessary until results are achieved.
MIRI is making sure artificial intelligence is able to have a positive, beneficial impact on the planet that leaves humanity intact. Their researchers help solve the problems that could prevent some of the more worrisome outcomes of artificial intelligence, and they regularly accept donations straight through their website.