Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

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Do you have a great idea to make your city smarter?

June 5 is World Environment Day, a day when the United Nations encourages awareness and action for the environment worldwide. So if you have an innovative solution to a problem — big or small — in your city, just join our daylong live drawing event, #SketchBacks. Then tweet it @P4SCities. Our artists will sketch it for you in real time.

Three best ideas will be determined by a panel of subject-matter experts based on the following criteria: creativity, feasibility, sustainability and originality. In order to be eligible, a submission should be a fresh, original idea for making a city smarter. In addition to the ideas selected by the panel, the idea that receives the most retweets will be selected as the People’s Choice.

After the #SketchBacks event, all sketched ideas will be shared on the People for Smarter Cities site and social spaces. The four selected ideas will be professionally illustrated by Hort Design Studio, a multi-discipline creative team specialized in turning ideas into live creations.

To participate, check out the video here and the terms and conditions here. Want some artistic inspiration? Read these posts to learn how artists and designers are doing their part to protect the environment.

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June, 1st 2015

There are many funding opportunities available to those who are interested in exploring the pathways of the entrepreneur.  Here’s one to take a look at…


Here’s their newest challenge:  StartEdu 3 Application Opens on July 1, 2015.  The StartEdu Competition is a nationwide program looking to identify, mentor, incubate, and invest in the most promising early-stage education startups that are serving India’s masses.

And click the logo for a look at a past Grand Prize winner:  LabInApp

From the B. V. Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering & Technology website
“LabInApp, a CTIE start-up, participated in a competition called StartEdu by Unitus Seed Fund.  LabInApp got short-listed in top 11 educational start-ups across India. Many of these startups are from IITs and IIMs !!  In the end, LabInApp (previously Intuitive Labs) has won the StartEdu competition. And now eligible for one crore investment.”


What educational tech are you working on that might be marketable (and profitable) for you while bringing exciting education to the children of India?

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May, 29th 2015

While most of the press received about this topic is cynical (to say the least) and downright rude in some cases, as a person who loves history and inventions that have been marketed and discarded and now re-discovered, I find this absolutely captivating!  You may fall into the camp of “creeped-out” listeners; but, think about the innovative use of technology here and you might be less freaked and more fascinated…  For preservationists, this is a breakthrough — and who knows what else we may hear and learn?

Read about Thomas Edison’s talking doll sound technology from the 1800′s which made use of pre-recorded voices.  The recordings, are now being heard once more.  The tech responsible, called Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.) is the brainchild of particle physicist Carl Haber and engineer Earl Cornell.  According to the National Park Service, “The IRENE-3D system creates a digital model of the surface of a phonograph record. With the digital model, image analysis methods are used to reproduce the audio stored on the record.”

Edison doll

The dolls, which were an instant commercial failure, were invented by Thomas Edison and feature some of the first recordings ever made. Now, scientists have found a way to bring these ghostly recordings back to life.

And there’s a lot more being said on the subject…

by NEDCC.ORG            by The New York Times          by PBS.ORG

by The Daily Mail in the UK          by QZ.COM

Take your pick from the reports above – they each give a slightly different perspective and detail on Edison’s invention.  For anyone who is interested in sound and its properties, this will be a real eye-opener.  What other gems from history might be waiting to be given new life?  And will you be at the helm of their resuscitation?



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“There is a dire need for robust, portable, disposable and inexpensive biosensing platforms for clinical care, especially in developing countries with limited resources,” says Waseem Asghar, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University, and co-first author on the study.

blog biosensing

Read more about this great new technology in the ScienceDaily.  For all of you app developers out there, what great new discovery are you on the verge of making?

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May, 27th 2015

Since well before the start of the space program, dehydrated food has been in use.  And microwaves, once thought to be ‘science fiction’ are in just about every home and restaurant in the developed world.

Here’s the latest addition to food prep that could excite your inner “Trekkie” (that’s a person partial to the television series and subsequent films on Star Trek for any of you not familiar with the term…).  The once futuristic concept was that a human could walk over to a device, place their food order verbally, and – presto – a fully cooked meal would appear almost instantaneously.

An Israeli company is introducing a new miniature cooker, called the Genie – it’s able to turn pods of freeze-dried ingredients into full meals in as little as half a minute.  Ayelet Carasso and Doron Marco are the Israeli entrepreneurs behind the device.

Real-life Star Trek ‘replicator’

prepares meal in 30 seconds




The price-tag may be hefty to start, but the inventors have a lot of confidence in this new kitchen gadget.  They are hoping to have a major impact on reducing world hunger (read the full article about the product by clicking the link below)

The Genie’s creators say it could also help solve global hunger. “In our world, we are getting fat and we are throwing away a lot of food, in their world, they don’t have any food,” Marco told Reuters. “So if you use Genie, you can distribute the food better, you can have the shelf life much longer without the preservatives, give the people better food for them.” (source: The Times of Israel)

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