Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

Does the idea of extraterrestrial life interest you?  If so, here’s an opportunity to earn big bucks with design ideas for Mars habitation.  Like they have in the past, the US governmental agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is putting it’s faith in humankind to come up with a viable idea to advance exploration of the planet Mars.

blog martian architects

NASA is looking to uncover some bright ideas about how materials already found on Mars can be put to use by human visitors (Credit: NASA)

It’s purported that each piece of material gleaned from the Red Planet and put to use in building infrastructure will mean less that needs to be ferried some 140 million miles (225 million km) from Earth.  NASA says this could equate to savings of more than US$100,000 per kg (2.2 lb) of cargo on each launch.

NASA has announced the top award at $10,000 to the brightest design idea for building a structure on Mars that uses in situ materials, along with $2,500 for two second-place submissions.  The designs could consist of surface materials like rocks or soil, or even draw on the planet’s water supply.

NASA is taking submissions until December 3, with winners to be announced in late January 2016.  So let your knowledge and imagination have free reign and, who knows, you could walk away with the top prize!

Click on the red planet for more detail about the challenge.

blog red planet

Bookmark and Share

So many of us are actively working on world class solutions to the challenges we face everyday.

Well, for those who are making great strides to improve and minimize our impact on our environment, this challenge is very timely.

Unilever has partnered with the University of Cambridge to sponsor the Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Challenge

The goal is to find innovative and scaleable technologies or initiatives that are contributing to one or more of the eight Global Goals  they’ve identified as most relevant to business and entrepreneurs.

Join the conversation, or better yet, submit your ideas.  Here is the timeline for the sustainable challenge2

And if you’re not quite sure how your research would fit into the challenge requirements, there is a wealth of information on their website, such as blogs of other entrepreneurs highlighting their great work and global goals descriptions.

Click on the picture to get all of the detail needed to get involved!

blog sustainable challenge3


Bookmark and Share
October 14th, 2015

What is a circular economy anyway?

According to Wikipedia:  The circular economy is a generic term for an industrial economy that is, by design or intention, restorative and in which material flows are of two types, biological nutrients, designed to reenter the biosphere safely, and technical nutrients, which are designed to circulate at high quality without entering the biosphere.

Some of the world’s largest companies have embraced circular practices because it makes commercial sense.  Caterpillar, the heavy machinery manufacturer, has an entire remanufacturing operation − Cat Reman – dedicated to the recovery of engine parts, which it remanufactures to same-as-new condition and sells under warranty at reduced prices.

Some consumer brands have also begun experimenting with circular retailing.  Dutch apparel maker MUD Jeans allows customers to rent instead of buy jeans, which it undertakes to repair and ultimately remake into new jeans.

Interface, a multinational carpet tile maker that has pledged to achieve “zero impact” on the environment by 2020, recovers old tiles from its customers and turns them into new ones.  Once separated from the backing, the nylon yarn fluff is sent back to the company’s yarn supplier to make new yarn and the backing is ground up and melted to supply feedstock for future production.

Interface also sources recovered nylon through Net-Works, a social enterprise that incentivizes fishing communities in developing countries to gather and sell broken fishing nets that local fishermen would otherwise cast overboard, creating hazards for marine life.

Desso, another carpet tile manufacturer building on circular economy principles, has designed a collection of tiles made using re-engineered calcium carbonate (chalk) from local drinking water companies and post-consumer yarn waste. The collection, due to launch this month has been awarded Cradle to Cradle gold certification.

blog circular economy

It will take a new way of thinking to employ the fundamental mindset needed for circular practices, but it might be fun to rent rather than buy my jeans in the future.  If it will make the world a better place for my grandkids (when they get here)…  I would certainly consider it!

Bookmark and Share

While the term “Climate Change” brings about a host of responses when dropped into casual conversation, there have been many weather events that give credence to the idea that our planet is undergoing some pattern shifts.  Since we don’t have written records that date back to the days of the dinosaurs, we have no way of knowing if the recent changes have occurred at some time previously – and, there was no Social Media to give us instantaneous reports back then either!

With all that being said – whether you believe in the phenomenon of “Climate Change” or not – UNESCO believes that it is important to educate today’s students on climatology so they are prepared for the future.  They have designed a tool for teachers, released earlier this year, so that this topic can be discussed and explored.   Regardless of your position on the politics, knowing about the weather and its effects can not be a bad idea for inclusion in the curriculum.  Read about UNESCO’s publication here:




(If you want a more in-depth look at the content, you can download the publication using the link they provide on the right.)


Learn more about UNESCO’s programs to promote education, diversity, sustainable living and their other global impacts by clicking on the logo:


UNESCO is known as the “intellectual” agency of the United Nations. At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, people must rely on the power of intelligence to innovate, expand their horizons and sustain the hope of a new humanism. UNESCO exists to bring this creative intelligence to life; for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built.

What will your contribution be towards innovation that sustains our home planet?

Bookmark and Share

The many issues facing the African continent concerning food, energy, healthcare, and many other services taken for granted in various areas of the globe continue to dominate headlines.  Those issues bring the heads of nations to the table to speak seriously on what we all can do to address crises that arise in any part of the world.  If each of us were to take steps in our own lives to examine the way we go about our daily routines, there could be some miraculous improvements.  Take a look at a company in Africa that is dedicated to that concept – and the well-deserved recognition they’ve received for their work!  Notably, they were a recipient of a Genesis Generation Prize in 2015.  Click the logo below to learn about this exciting company in Nairobi, Kenya…



Check out some of the awards and accolades Sanergy has garnered.  And, their reach extends beyond the places in which inhabitants live…  Read about:

Scaling sanitation in schools: Sanergy’s partnership with the SWASH+ Consortium

Sanergy’s School WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) program aims to raise students’ awareness of the importance of hygienic sanitation. Over the last year, Sanergy has made good progress toward this goal, training teachers from 109 primary schools in the Mukuru and Kamukunji areas of Nairobi. Of these, 90 schools have now installed Fresh Life Toilets for their students.


Take a look, too, at this site & think about becoming a competitor…

Genesis Generation Challenge

The Genesis Generation Challenge welcomes multi-disciplinary teams of young adults to propose big ideas to better the world. Each team must consist of approximately 10 individuals and must designate a team leader (age 20-36). Other team members must be 18 years or older. Teams may represent nonprofit or for profit entities. Because the idea must offer a sustainable and scalable solution to an important problem, we are seeking social entrepreneurs and others with experience delivering projects with lasting and innovative change in their communities and the world.

Maybe your submission will bring about a remarkable change that leaves your imprint on civilization!

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to this category Subscribe to Water

ChatClick here to chat!+