With the TEDxAmsterdam Award, we want to encourage people to think about ways to change the world. Winning the Award means that great idea gets our (partners’) support for at least a year to help them elevate their projects. On October 1st, 28 presenters competed in the ING Academy in front of our jury to make it to the top 10.
The jury scored ideas on TED-worthiness: the ideas should be original, inspirational and ‘contagious’. The ideas could be broadly divided into five categories: social entrepreneurship, energy, food, co-creation and health. Because we believe all 28 ideas are worth spreading, we want to share those with you as well. Today we’ve selected the ideas centering around social entrepreneurship.
Jan Bart Bouwhuis kicked off the day with his project for custom-made shelters. His idea is to mass-produce custom-fit shelters for disaster-struck communities. He showed an innovative way to quickly build dozens of shelters using a special kind of biodegradable foam. These shelters have the advantage that they can be built on the spot, and that they can be easily customized. This enables disaster survivors to make themselves more comfortable and hopefully feel more at home.
“Don’t be fooled by the pennies, we are in it for the pounds”. With this motto in mind, entrepreneur Guido van Staveren has the ambitious plan to change the coffee industry with his FairChain Coffee. Guido, now working in the wood business, got his idea for FairChain coffee from Renzo Martens’ documentary “Enjoy Poverty” about development aid. With his social venture he wants to restore the balance in the coffee chain, by making sure that more value-adding activities take place close to the source.
A very ambitious idea came from David Koezen, who proposed to turn a part of desert into a touristic attraction by making a large lake of sea water. As we are experiencing rising levels of sea water because of the melting of the Poles, why not make use of this excess of water and turn it into something fun and profitable? As the project is so large, David’s ultimate dream is to publish the idea and in that way change how people think about macro-problems.
Andrew McNeil’s People Pod is a new form of transport. As more and more people will live in cities in the future, Andrew believes that there will be a need for micro-mass transit. His Pod works on a hop-on hop-off principle just like a ski-lift and aims to decrease the travel time with 50%.
While none of these ideas made it to the top ten, Tjeerd Veenhoven did: his idea is to make a leather-like material from palm leaves. Tjeerd started working on this project in 2010 when he discovered that when wet, the leaves have the same characteristics as leather. In a six-month journey he developed a biological solution to soak the leaves in such a way to make them flexible forever. This is how Palmleather was invented. Together with the NGO Industree he also set up a production unit in India. The purpose of his project is to bring design and craft together for the poorest instead of the richest.