Every year, The Tech for Global Good celebrates five innovators who are using technology to tackle big problems. The stories of these laureates are the bedrock of the program, and are featured in a prominent exhibit, as well as used in educational programming throughout the year.
This year’s class of five laureates has created innovative technology benefiting our environment and battling the threat of climate change. An exhibition on the Upper Level of The Tech will feature the story of each organization and its founders. Their work is also being incorporated into educational materials available on field trips to The Tech and made available to teachers online.
Founded in 2010
Mission: Grow food anywhere
What they do: Build the Leafy Green Machine, a recycled shipping container that has been transformed into a vertical, hydroponic farming system. The space can grow 2 to 4 tons of produce a year for less than 5 gallons of water a day, in temperatures ranging from -40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Founded in 2015
Mission: A profitable solution to carbon emissions
What they do: Opus 12 invented a device that recycles CO2 into chemicals and fuels using only water and electricity. This could provide an incentive to reduce overall carbon emissions for heavy polluters in the form of a new revenue stream.
Founded in 2004
Mission: Safe, clean transportation
What they do: Make 100% electric buses for the United States. San Jose will be adding five Proterra buses to its fleet as part of a state-wide goal for all public transit fleets to consist only of zero emission vehicles by the year 2040.
Founded in 2012
Mission: Saving the rainforest to stop climate change
What they do: Provide real-time monitoring and data to partners to protect the rainforest. Using a network of cell phones, Rainforest Connection listens in to the canopy of at-risk rainforests. If unusual activity (like a chainsaw) is heard, an alert is sent to authorities.
Founded in 2013
Mission: Use technology to improve conservation
What they do: Create solutions for parks that protect endangered species. For example, the company made highly durable, solar-powered sensors that track rhinos in a park in Rwanda. The devices work indefinitely and can’t be detected by poachers, allowing parks to keep tabs on their most at-risk animals.