Polar vortexes from the Arctic, snowstorms in the Southeast, droughts in the Southwest . . . anyone else got the winter blues?
Luckily, we at Designed Good have found 5 amazing stories from 8 amazing Changemakers to brighten your day. These Millennials are working every day to provide the world with solutions to major issues like climate change, health and nutrition, girls’ education, and general lack of community, and they’re having fun doing it–have you seen THINX’s Indiegogo video?
Enjoy and stay warm!
Antonia Dunbar, Radha Agrawal & Miki Agrawal: THINX
Antonia Bio: Having grown up in a family of artists, entrepreneurs and designers, Antonia had an early start in learning what it took to conceive and share ideas. Beginning her own creative journey as a classically-trained cellist, Antonia played in numerous orchestras and toured throughout Europe before attending college at Northwestern University where she transitioned her focus to public relations and marketing. After many years heading up the marketing efforts of several editing, art and music studios, Antonia met Miki and Radha Agrawal, dynamic twin sister entrepreneurs who soon became two of her closest friends. It was then that the idea of THINX was born.
Radha Bio: Radha is a serial social entrepreneur having founded several socially conscious companies. She is the founder and CEO of Super Sprowtz, a leading children’s multi-media nutrition education company whose mission is to engage children to make better food choices, impacting over 1 million children and counting.
Additionally, she was one of the 2013 Recipients for the Tribeca Film Festival “Disruptive Innovation Awards”
Miki Bio: Miki Agrawal too is a serial social entrepreneur. She was a recipient of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival’s “Disruptive Innovation Award” and named 2013’s Forbes’ “Top 20 Millienials On a Mission”. She is the founder of the acclaimed farm-to-table, alternative pizza concept called WILD in NYC. She has since partnered with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to open the concept in Downtown Las Vegas. Miki is also a partner in Super Sprowtz, a children’s media company to get kids to eat more vegetables.
Most recently, Harper Collins published her book entitled “DO COOL SH*T” on entrepreneurship and lifestyle design. The book launched on August 6th, 2013 and in 3 days, it hit #1 on Amazon Bestsellers list in entrepreneurship.
Miki is an identical twin, half-Japanese, half-Indian French Canadian, former professional soccer player and graduate of Cornell University.
Project: As busy women, how often have we had accidents and embarrassing moments during our “time of the month”? And, how is it that, in this day and age, there is no innovation in undergarments that solves this much needed issue? Enter THINX.
THINX are the smartest underwear in your drawer that think of you every day of the month during any kind of day you might be having. THINX are comfortable, beautiful, leak- and stain-resistant underwear. They are also anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, breathable and washable.
THINX are also the most thoughtful underwear in your drawer as they think of women and girls around the world via our partnership with AFRIpads. Buy One, Fund One. For every pair of THINX you buy, we fund the local production of 7 washable, re-usable cloth pads for a woman or girl in the developing world, helping them stay in school instead of dropping out because they don’t have the right resources every month.
Mindful in every way with design, quality materials, construction and purpose, THINX celebrates empowered women and girls with a superior best-in-class product that we’re thrilled to share with all of you. Vist our website, and check us out on TOMS Marketplace as well!
Phil Calabrese: Superior Ecotech
Bio: Philip is a PhD student at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he applies his passion for science and entrepreneurship to projects that solve sustainability issues.
Project: Superior Ecotech converts CO2 waste from fermentation and ethanol production processes into vegan, omega-3 oils and other high-value natural products. We partner and co-locate with breweries and ethanol plants to grow a non-GMO, photosynthetic algae strain in on-site greenhouses, reducing their CO2 emissions while creating value out of waste. Moreover, our algae cultivation technology grows more biomass per land area and uses less water than conventional algae cultivation methods. Visit our website to find out more.
Favorite Designed Good Product: My favorite Designed Good product is the Green Guru – Cruiser Cooler Handlebar Bag because I love cruiser bike rides and being green!
Carla Blumenthal: tea+purpose
Bio: My purpose is to build environments that cultivate self-love and understanding. Now more than ever, we have the technology and tools to understand our world, but we often don’t spend enough time understanding ourselves or building authentic relationships with others.
I’ve always been fascinated by why and how people communicate and relate to each other. This has led me to work on social media and engagement campaigns for brands such as KIND Healthy Snacks, Visa, Bing, MSN, and Pepperidge Farm. I’m a graduate of James Madison University and Emerson College and have lived in NYC, Boston, Virginia and Philadelphia. I love traveling, exercising, and can’t go a day without a cup (or 2) of tea.
Project: Sometimes, dare we say it, we are longing, aching for deep connection. I felt these sentiments for a long time and I didn’t know how to express them. I wanted to grow into my truth–whatever that will be for me– and felt alone in my journey. I felt shame that I didn’t “have it all together.” That I wasn’t loving every day the way I knew I was brought on this earth to.
One day I decided it was enough. I deserved more than feeling disconnected. I just started talking– to friends, my boyfriend, strangers, coworkers–really anyone–about their journey.Surprise: they felt pretty similar to me.
I didn’t understand why there wasn’t a place for people to feel comfortable being themselves and grow together. So, I decided to create it. tea+purpose is a gathering for twenty-something women that inspires authentic, action-oriented conversations over tea to create a community of people who live well.
Our gathering started in NYC in 2013 and is expanding to the West Coast and different cities throughout 2014. We meet on a monthly basis (over delicious tea) to talk about a particular topic area relating to personal development and take a particular action together after the gathering. We have heart-centered conversations and take action to bring about positive change in our lives!
Favorite Designed Good Product: I kid not when I say that I wear my Designed Good t-shirt on a weekly basis. It’s the most comfortable thing I own! I’ve worn it almost everywhere– the gym, running errands, to bed, and even out on Saturday nights!
Gabi Lewis & Greg Sewitz: Exo
Gabi Bio: A native of Scotland, Gabi arrived in the US to study at Brown University, where he majored in Economics & Philosophy. At Brown, he received the C.V. Starr Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship and multiple Brown Venture Launch Fund grants. Previously, he worked at Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of The Capital Good Fund, a non-profit microfinance organization based in RI.
Greg Bio: Originally from LA, Greg studied Cognitive Neuroscience & English at Brown University, where he wrote an Honors thesis on the psychology of morality. At Brown, Greg ran a think tank dedicated to fostering innovation and collaboration between Brown and the neighboring Rhode Island School of Design. Greg was the Science Editor of the College Hill Independent and worked on a global warming exhibit at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco.
Project: Exo is pioneering the consumption of insects as a nutritious and sustainable alternative protein source. Our first product line is a range of protein bars developed by a 3 Michelin Starred chef. Since launching a Kickstarter campaign in July 2013, Exo has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and NPR. Available for pre-order now at our website, our bars can be found in stores from Spring 2014 onwards.
Favorite Designed Good Product: [Gabi]: One World Futbol because it is such a simple product with enormous potential global impact. [Greg]: Eco wine tote from Apple and Bee because it is practical and sustainable without making any sacrifices.
Michael Green: Climate Action Liaison Coalition
Bio: Michael Green is from the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. Now in Boston, Massachusetts he works for the Climate Action Liaison Coalition which aims to give small businesses a voice in climate and energy policy. In his role at CALC, Michael ensures that all Climate Action Liaisons are recruited, trained, organized and coordinated to represent member businesses in the fight for a safe climate. When not at work, he can be found in his canoe, kayak or mountain bike. His faithful Decker Terrier, Joey, often leads the way on his adventures. Michael has spent time as a bicycle mechanic, member of the US Forrest Service, and United Nations Delegate focused on bold solution-driven policy.
Project: Climate Action Liaison Coalition supports small business owners in reaching their full potential as community leaders and environmental advocates. CALC member businesses aim to change the narrative on businesses’ role in climate and energy policy as well as to be proactive leaders on internal sustainability. Through participation in the Climate Action Liaison Coalition, businesses are able to leverage the expertise, resources, and networks of the company and allied businesses to implement state, municipal and business policies that rapidly reduce our region’s environmental footprint and increase business and community resilience to climate change.
Favorite Designed Good Product: My favorite Designed Good Product has got to be the snap-backs by ninefive ltd and Barnabas. Keeping your eyes covered and head protected while out on your next adventure is a must!
That’s all for our February set of inspiring Changemakers. If you like what you read, stay in touch with Designed Good by signing up here for a weekly email filled with our latest content and products!
Also if you know someone who should be featured as a Changemaker in next month’s issue, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with that person’s name, their contact info, and a brief description of their project. We’ll be in touch!