In this generation, with computers and technology all around us, it’s hard to imagine a problem that we can’t solve. We are living in the information renaissance, where any problem is just a search query away from being solved. With so much power at our fingertips, civilization depends on innovation that originates with inventors. Inventors are not divine geniuses who grace us with their other-worldly knowledge; instead, they are the practical thinkers who see a problem and devise a solution using only the seed of an idea. Bringing their ideas to fruition has produced the most life-changing technological and medical advances in modern history.
Water is the most basic necessities of life on Earth. Yet, it is not an infinite resource. No one has invented a way to address this issue better than Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, a Swedish-based designer whose idea to create a more efficient shower head, called OrbSys, just might be the key to solving the world’s water crises. The system recycles most of the water that falls down the shower drain and forms a closed-loop that wastes practically no water at all. Mehrdad was inspired by technology developed by NASA scientists for use in space, where water is scarce.
Ideas aren’t always forward thinking in nature. This next inventor has gone back in time to help solve the complex modern day problems that arise from eating processed foods. Dr. Loren Cordain, Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University, was fascinated by the hunter-gatherer tribes he read about as a young child. This led to the idea of eating foods naturally occurring in our environment, free from processed ingredients, known as the Paleo Diet. Dr. Cordain was introduced to the idea in 1987 through an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Paleolithic Nutrition”. The Paleo Diet effectively eliminates all the ingredients known to cause obesity, diabetes, and other ailments.
Like Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, William McDonough’s Cradle to Cradle theory lessens the impact on the environment through architectural design. As a thought leader, he took his vision for sustainable and regenerative design and helped society at a time when we needed to discover renewable resources the most. McDonough takes his own step towards creating completely self-sufficient products that can reproduce once they reach their shelf life.
Finally, an idea so powerful, it changed the course of human civilization. Dr. Alexander Fleming, a Scottish Bacteriologist, was captivated by the reactions of human blood when exposed to different types of bacteria and antiseptics. In 1945, Dr. Fleming earned the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his most valuable contribution to medical science, penicillin. The antibiotic was accidentally discovered while working with a strain of influenza that became cross-contaminated by a mold on a petri dish. The mold formed resistance to the flu strain and formed the basis for Dr. Fleming’s further studies.
These inventions have radically changed the way each industry runs and the way we live. Any entrepreneur in some way can relate to these stories. No matter what field we all have a story to tell.
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