One photographer is changing the world

imgresHumans of New York is a facebook site started as a photography project by Brandon in 2010, shortly after being fired from his finance job.  Brandon started HONY to create a catalogue of New York City’s inhabitants, setting out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. Somewhere along the way, he began to interview his subjects in addition to photographing them, and alongside their portraits, would include quotes and short stories from their lives.

The facebook site now has over 11 million followers, and has recently turned a corner from an art site to creating social impact in a major way, with the photo and story of a boy named Vidal, from the HONY facebook page:

“Who’s influenced you the most in your life?”
“My principal, Ms. Lopez.”
“How has she influenced you?”
“When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter.”

Vidal’s simple comment sent photographer Brandon to Mott Hall Bridges Academy to meet Ms. Lopez.  Which then led to learning more about the school, and what they needed from Ms. Lopez and her team.  Which led to an indiegogo campaign to send the 6th grade class to visit Harvard.  Which led to thousands of people in the comments sections of these posts and follow up posts offering to help not only the kids in this school, but the kids in neighboring schools and kids in schools around the world.

And the story isn’t done yet.  Brandon keeps taking photos of kids, teachers, administrators – hearing their stories, giving them names and voices and a platform for positive change.  And people all over the world are responding with strength and encouragement and resources and networking.  See a video here.

One photographer is changing the world.  One face, one story at a time.

Transport and purify water at the same time

The Midomo Water Purifier transports and purifies water at the same time.

A Rational Response to Homelessness

Utah is tackling the homeless problem.  Their plan is already saving taxpayer money AND is improving the economy, plus they are on track to eliminate homelessness by 2015.

 

Jerry the Bear helps kids with type 1 diabetes

Jerry the Bear is an interactive teaching tool for kids with type 1 diabetes. The bear needs the same thing a child does:  checking blood sugar levels, choices on what to eat, and even helping kids master their medical procedures through play.

To learn more about Jerry the Bear, click here.  If you don’t know a child with type 1 diabetes, you can still play a part in helping those who do here.

Utopia for those with Dementia

The Netherlands has a unique eldercare community built specifically for dementia patients, called Dementia Village.  Dementia Village is a safe 4 acre indoor/outdoor community where residents can enjoy the seasons, visit a restaurant, drink a cup of tea, get their hair done, go shopping, and are free to go wherever they want (within the save indoor/outdoor village with a ratio of 2 staff per resident).

This 4 acre complex is home to 23 housing units with 7 different ‘lifestyle themes’, the goal being to create a space where each resident can enjoy life and feel welcome.  On a physical level people here require fewer medications, eat better, live longer.  On a mental level they also seem to experience more joy.

Thanks to CNN’s World’s Untold Stories for this video.

Medicine and Science Using Origami Algorithms

Origami algorithms are being used to create medical implants and space telescopes. I wonder if origami algorithms might be used to create the build-a-building, using plastic, wood, and mesh sheets that can be folded differently to create different shaped useful small buildings?  Learn more about this amazing new technology that combines art, science, and history in this Ted Talk.

 

 

Indoor forts just got a whole lot more fun

Indoor forts for kids (and adults) just got a whole lot easier – and more fun. Made from recycled cardboard, these lay flat for storage, but can be folded into lego-like blocks for easy stacking.  But the genius is the ‘mortar’ that holds the blocks together, and the easy-on roofs.  Take a look – and be a part of the kick starter program if you like what you see.

This is a possible step towards an outdoor building system for reusable small buildings as well.