Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
April 16th, 2015

DIY electronics are all the rage these days.  A new kit called MESH (Make, Experience, Share) is intended to make coming up with your own clever projects easier than ever.  From customized alarm clocks to trash cans that thank you for recycling, it’s claimed to open up a host of possibilities for amateur inventors.

MESH is a creative DIY platform that lets you make your own “smart projects” in just minutes.  No coding required!  Simply drag and drop.

Do you have any processes that you’d like to build a solution for?  Maybe MESH is something useful for the project you are working on.

There is a wealth of information about this new kit here.  Sets are available to order for $119 and above. Delivery of the first kits is estimated for May. View the video below for a guide to some of MESH’s key features.

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April 3rd, 2015

Population growth and over-reliance on resources that have ‘given us all they’ve got’ has caused overcrowding and problems the world over that have created shortages of many kinds – lack of materials, poor nutrition, healthcare & medicine being unavailable – you name it!  Here is a story concerning the Asian sector of the globe about the need for better methods that will serve to help people and the environment!

Asian countries urged


to plan for sustainable




Urbanization drives Asia’s position as an economic powerhouse, but for this growth to be sustainable, careful planning is being urged to create more resilient cities that are not only resource-efficient, but also promote quality of life.”


Shell brought around 300 leading thinkers together for its 2015 Powering Progress Together Asia forum in Manila, Philippines, on February 26 to discuss how each sector of society can help cities become more resilient and liveable in the face of rapid urbanisation and resource pressures.  Click the pic to visit the site and learn about the forum!

Crowded street

Here are a couple of sites for the companies mentioned in the article posted on that you should visit if you are interested in getting involved with Smarter Planet Planning for better urban life around the world:

Xyntéo: “Xyntéo’s mission is to reinvent growth.”

The Manila Observatory: “At the turn of the 21st century, the Observatory finds itself at the nexus of global concerns for environment and development.”

Shell Corporation: “At Shell, we use human ingenuity, innovation and technology to unlock the energy our customers need to power their lives in the years ahead, while aiming to limit our impact on the environment.”

Is there work that you’re doing along these lines?  Will you propose the next great system or technology that pushes urbanization to the new levels needed to keep our planet humming along?  There’s much to do – be a part of it!

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From (which has some awesome blogging going on by Tracy Staedter, and others) is this mention of using alternative fuel help future plane travelers take to the skies in a more eco-friendly way…

Staedter says “Oscar Viñals is at it again. From the designer who brought us Sky Whale, comes the AWWA·QG Progress Eagle concept plane, which has six hydrogen fuel cell engines, rear wind generators for electrical power and quantum solar cells to harvest sunlight. The sweeping curves reduce drag and produce 75 percent less noise than current planes. Viñals thinks the plane could be airborne by 2030. We can only hope.”

Get the details on Progress Eagle here (including really cool renderings): Envisioning the Eco-Jet


Progress Eagle

The 2014 Sky Whale by Viñals is a story that you should catch up on as well:  The future of sustainable air travel: A chat with designer Oscar Viñals

and take a look at the drawings laid out by Yanko: Sky Whale

Check out other Yanko concepts by visiting their website – there’s so much to look at!!!  Yanko logo


With so much of our time being spent to make ‘friends’ around the globe through virtual meetings, wouldn’t it be cool to hop aboard one of these jets and say hello to that individual “IN PERSON”?  Are you dreaming up your own method of transportation? What forms of renewable energy can you use to power your vehicle(s)?  Maybe your next tweet should be to an aeronautical engineer to enlist their help…you could be flying high!


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Computation brings us unprecedented power to solve tough problems. But when those problems are worlds away, and don’t have an obvious computational solution, we need to leverage that power in a less direct way. Luckily, any problem of reasonable scale has a wealth of data associated with it, and there’s nothing computers are better at than using data in incredible ways.

The Measles virus is one of the largest and most pervasive healthcare problems worldwide, and it’s one Dr. Matt Ferrari spends a good deal of his time with. Each year, Dr. Ferrari composes a large data set for statistics associated with the Measles virus worldwide, and presents it to the World Health Organization to inform vaccination policy. However, this data takes the form of large and difficult to interpret spreadsheets, and any visualization of this data has to be done piecemeal.

That’s why in the inaugural semester of Stateware, a student-led software development group at Penn State, we’re building a web platform for Dr. Ferrari that will allow users to visualize this data transparently, on demand. The platform, called Dav3i (Disease and Virus Vaccination Visualization Interface, pronounced like Davey), is aimed at improving the efficacy of worldwide Measles vaccination policy, and using the power of computation to benefit world health. When the first release of the program is complete, the WHO will have an unprecedented power to visualize, analyze, and understand the state of the Measles virus from a global perspective.

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March 27th, 2015

Botany is an exciting field.  Plant life has been cataloged, drawn/painted/photographed, distilled, and used for both nutritional and medicinal purposes for centuries.  However, overharvesting and pollution have caused many varieties to suffer and/or become extinct.  Among our goals to save the planet, plant life takes a high priority.

Read about studies taking place in South Africa to capitalize on the health-giving properties of indigenous plants.  This research could bring about economic as well as life-saving benefits!

SceletiumScientists break


botanical boundaries


And make a visit to the website for Stellenbosch University, where this research is taking place.



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