Much is made of the young person’s imperative to change the world. Startups ought to think sustainably. Artists ought to think globally. Companies ought to give back. And yet how easy it is to do nothing? To head back to our social profiles or photo filters? At a time when people are more connected than they have ever been, we have simultaneously entered an age of narcissism, turning the social world into a tool to self-brand, self-define, and self-promote. And yet there is another groundswell building, one made up of young people who not only want to give back but also see the value in social innovation
Here, we’ve profiled six industry-leading organizations, companies that are bleeding the boundaries of product, design, and social good. The hardest part, in all cases, is how to tie that good work in with products and causes that people find compelling, exciting even. For too long, “charity” has been a gray, dutiful endeavor, but this new class is injecting, more than anything, a shot of creative adrenaline into how we can solve pressing problems and start meaningful movements. From headphones that give the gift of hearing, yarn that abolishes poverty, and flash sales that provide disaster relief to toys that educate, solar panels that work longer, and a network that allows our generation to donate our skills rather than our cash, this innovation portfolio features companies that, as much as they are changing the world, are just as much changing how we give.
- Catchafire: Helping creatives donate skill instead of money.
- Krochet Kids Intl.: Lifting women out of poverty with quality, handmade hats and bags.
- Fashion Girls for Humanity: Four fashion executives raising millions for crisis relief efforts.
- SunSaluter: An innovative solar panel that create drinking water.
- LSTN: Headphones that give the gift of hearing with every purchase.
- Twenty One Toys: Wooden toys that teach empathy to the leaders of tomorrow.