There are a ton of amazing women creating positive change in the world, but how do we discover them and learn more about what they’re doing? This week, the 8th annual Tina Brown Live Media Women in the World Summit, featured the Mothers of Invention (MOI) Class of 2017, celebrating pioneers who are driving positive change in the world through innovation and entrepreneurship.
This year, the three honorees are Sarah Evans, Hahna Alexander, Komal Dadlani. All of them are founders and CEO’s in the tech and science industry pushing innovations to save the planet.
Sarah Evans (Founder, Well Aware)
Sarah Evans’ vision is to enable prosperity in impoverished communities by providing access to lasting clean water. Under her leadership, Well Aware has impacted more than 150,000 people and is on track to more than double their impact in 2017. Since Well Aware’s first project was implemented in 2010, they have doubled their project capacity every year. The organization’s reputation for project success (100%) and cost effectiveness (averaging $10 per person for decades) has also promoted numerous collaborations with other NGOs worldwide to guide their water infrastructure projects through Aurora Global (a for-profit organization of which Sarah is also a principal). She holds a communications degree from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an environmental law degree from Southern Methodist University.
Hahna Alexander (CEO & Co-founder, SolePower)
SolePower creates self-charging wearables that capture wasted energy from human motion. Electronics can be powered solely by footsteps—creating “unplugged” technology that doesn’t need to be charged. Hahna and her co-founder found a way to “harvest” kinetic energy of a heel strike into human footsteps in a capstone Engineering class project at Carnegie Mellon University. They embedded the solution into the sole of a work boot to create self-charging SmartBoots. The boots track location and motion, providing workforces with insights to keep workers safe and alert them when they are in danger. SmartBoots will be one of the first wearables in a growing trend of connected devices designed for the Industrial internet of things (Iiot). The U.S. Army is testing SolePower’s kinetic charger as a lightweight back up battery for soldiers compared to heavy power packs. Other applications for firefighters and emergency workers that light up as they walk are in development.
Komal Dadlani (Founder, Lab4U)
Lab4U develops web and mobile technologies to turn smartphones and tablets into science instruments. The company was founded in 2013 after Komal saw the lack of scientific instruments at labs at her school, the University of Chile. A biochemist, Komal saw the need for more access to science instruments and equipment. Her aim is to democratize science so that more students become scientists, researchers and developers. This provides a low-cost solution for science education for schools in emerging markets or underprivileged students who do not have access to scientific instruments. The technology uses sensors already in smartphones, for example, to measure acceleration, frequency, movement, and much more in fun physics experiments. It also transforms the phone into a microscope with a one-dollar filter attached to the camera. Lab4Physics, the first product, has been tested with more than 2,000 students in Latin America and California since its launch in May 2016.