At the rate at which technology is progressing, the average person can hardly keep up with the latest technological innovations out there. Catarina Mota, a TED Global Fellow, studies some of these new creations including inks that conduct electricity, and shape-changing acrylics and plastics. She encourages the rest of us to do so as well, reviving the “maker” culture that gave us so many of the great innovations we enjoy today.
Already, this grassroots study of smart materials has given rise to new products that have greatly advanced the quality of life for people in developing nations. Examples include LifeStraw, a personal filtration system for people living in areas without access to clean fresh drinking sources, and companies like Kormea. An African business which creates cheap, easily manufactured machines that use banana leaf fibers to produce sanitary pads for women in Rwanda.
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Photo: TED Blog