Chris, Raza, and Jean were among the 600 inventors who congregated in cities all over the globe last November to address water-related issues. Honing in on worsening droughts, the Dubai-based trio envisioned and prototyped a robot that would extract water from space meteors before transporting it back to Earth.
While their peers looked to the skies to tackle water scarcity, some designers in Florida conceived a prototype to mitigate damage from extreme flooding brought on by climate change. Andrew, Nicholas, and Gabriela's “Home Elevation System” introduced telescoping stilts to the coastal homes most prone to flooding, especially those whose fixed stilts had been failing to protect against rising water levels each year.
At this point, you might imagine that these proposals came from engineers at NASA or perhaps students at MIT. But what if I told you they came from groups of children between the ages of 8 and 12? This sort of remarkable ambition isn’t entirely uncommon for Designathon Works, an organization striving to unleash the creativity of one million children around the world.
“Children have more to bring to the table than most people expect,” says impact designer Emer Beamer, who hatched the idea for Designathon Works while completing THNK's Executive Program in 2012.