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Move the World.

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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Catalysts
This Woman is On a Mission to Turn Beer into Food
This Woman is On a Mission to Turn Beer into Food
Catalysts
This Woman is On a Mission to Turn Beer into Food
Jacquie Berglund is using the profits from her beer company to buy organic produce from local farmers and distribute the produce to food banks in the area.

Jacquie Berglund considers herself more of a wine drinker than a beer drinker, yet she is building an empire around the beer brand, Finnegans. When Berglund purchased the brand for only a dollar, she knew that if Finnegans were to make an impact, the beer needed to be in every pub in Minnesota. Now you can find Finnegans in four Midwest states. But Finnegans is more than a beer company. From combating food insecurity to...

Future of Food
These Pioneers are Building the Sustainable Food Systems of Tomorrow
These Pioneers are Building the Sustainable Food Systems of Tomorrow
Future of Food
These Pioneers are Building the Sustainable Food Systems of Tomorrow
In a new Freethink original series, Michael O'Shea goes around the world to introduce us to the scientists who are working hard to ensure that we can feed our future world.

There are currently over 7 billion human beings alive on Earth --- and in 2050 the world's population will rise by almost 2 billion. That's a lot more mouths to feed considering that roughly 11 percent of the world goes hungry today. To prepare for this future, we'll need to scale up food production in a sustainable way --- without using more land and lowering emissions --- and figure out more efficient farming and...

Move the World
Giving Homeless People Something Most of Us Take for Granted
Giving Homeless People Something Most of Us Take for Granted
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Move the World
Giving Homeless People Something Most of Us Take for Granted
This one small thing can mean the difference between a spot in a shelter or sleeping on the streets, a job or no job, a place to eat or going without food.
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“Welcome to the land of broken dreams” Just a few years ago, there were only 16 public showers available for 7,500-12,000 homeless people across the city of San Francisco. This left most of them with no place to shower, use the restroom, or a place to get privacy. A hot shower means a fresh, clean, and renewed start. Cleanliness can be the difference between a spot in a shelter or sleeping on the streets, a job or no job, a...

Innovation
Hacking Surfboard Fins to Fight Climate Change
Hacking Surfboard Fins to Fight Climate Change
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Innovation
Hacking Surfboard Fins to Fight Climate Change
How can a surfboard modification help save the oceans?
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He doesn’t surf, he doesn’t code, but he’s hacking surfboard fins to combat climate change and it’s working. Meet Andy Stern, citizen scientist and founder of Smartfin. He's brought together surfers and oceanographers to create a smart surfboard fin that's collecting vital data to track and fight climate change. As far as oceans go, the environmental crisis doesn't just affect the icebergs - it affects all of us. Surfers...

Longreads
How to Fix Science Funding
science funding
Longreads
How to Fix Science Funding
Basic science funding is a mess. Fixing it could radically improve the pace of innovation.

Basic science funding is a mess. Fixing it could radically improve the pace of innovation.

Dispatches
How Redesigning Labs Can Demystify Genetic Science
How Redesigning Labs Can Demystify Genetic Science
Dispatches
How Redesigning Labs Can Demystify Genetic Science
"Scientists work in high-security buildings that are banned to the public and then wonder why they are misunderstood."
By Brook Muller

"Scientists work in high-security buildings that are banned to the public and then wonder why they are misunderstood."

Dispatches
Neuroscience Has a Low-Tech Answer for a Good Night's Sleep
Neuroscience Has a Low-Tech Answer for a Good Night's Sleep
Dispatches
Neuroscience Has a Low-Tech Answer for a Good Night's Sleep
Neuroscientists say that we may be ignoring a basic fact that could defuse the "screen-time wars" between parents...
By Adriana Galván

Neuroscientists say that we may be ignoring a basic fact that could defuse the "screen-time wars" between parents and kids.

Dispatches
Meet the 380 Trillion Viruses inside Your Body
Meet the 380 Trillion Viruses inside Your Body
Dispatches
Meet the 380 Trillion Viruses inside Your Body
Scientists aren't exactly sure yet what the "virome" is up to, but it's probably important.
By David Pride and Chandrabali Ghose

Scientists aren't exactly sure yet what the "virome" is up to, but it's probably important.

Dispatches
Zika Could Be a "Smart Missile" for Brain Cancer
Zika Could Be a "Smart Missile" for Brain Cancer
Dispatches
Zika Could Be a "Smart Missile" for Brain Cancer
Zika can devastate fetal brains; scientists want to turn it against brain tumors instead.

Zika can devastate fetal brains; scientists want to turn it against brain tumors instead.