Innovation for a Better World

Posted on January 17, 2013

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I don’t think I’ve written about the environment yet, but this morning, a report from The Independent caught my eye (Also featured on TIME.com’s Must Reads from Around the World for January 17, 2013). According to the report, in an attempt to fight against illegal logging in the Amazon, a program has been piloted by Gemalto, a Dutch security systems company, to install cell phone-like devices into the trees in the protected areas of the Amazon.  The goal is for Brazil’s environment agency to be able to track the trees/logs in real-time, preventing the illegal sale of logs.

This report caught my eye because I think it’s one of the great examples of how we can use our technological progress to protect and improve our world. I don’t know the details of the device or how well it works, and the program seems like it’s fairly new, so more information about the device and the program will probably emerge as time passes. I didn’t dig deeper into this report because my goal is not to emphasize the specifications of the devices used. Innovation is the message I want to emphasize.

From making sure we get to our destinations, to knowing where our friends are, to being able to track trees in the Amazon and fight against illegal logging; these are great examples of using a similar form of technology in many different ways, and hopefully in ways that will improve our world. Nowadays, people don’t have to have huge bank accounts to make a difference in this world. We just have to look inside and around us to discover the many tools, resources, skills, and talents we have that can be used to better the lives of others and of our own.

I encourage readers to share information about other individuals and/or organizations that are great examples of being innovative in their goal to improve our world.