An address for everywhere on Earth

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We take addresses for granted – but billions of people and places don’t have them, and it’s a big problem. Whether it’s voting, disaster relief, or pinpointing a spot on festival grounds, not having an address makes things that should be simple difficult. Enter Chris Sheldrick, who coordinated events in the music industry where he was frustrated by address-related problems.

He created What3Words, a method of dividing the entire world into 3 meter-by-3 meter squares using a set of three common words as addresses. It’s being used everywhere from Mongolia to South Africa for everything from emergency services to pizza delivery. In this interview, Chris Sheldrick describes the problem, how he came up with the idea, and how you can find ways to change the world on your own.

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