Special Video Series Agents of Change

Agents of Change

Agents of Change video series

Season 2: This company can melt steal using just sunlight and mirrors

This company can melt steel using just sunlight and mirrors

Heliogen is a California based company that is combining ordinary materials like rocks and mirrors with artificial intelligence to revolutionize the solar industry and make industrial processes more eco-friendly. Using a field of small ordinary glass mirrors (called heliostats) and extraordinary computer vision powered by artificial intelligence, Heliogen has managed to generate thermal energy at steel-melting temperatures north of 1500 degrees Celsius (one third of the surface of the sun).

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Season 2: Are these Lego-style houses the solution to the housing crisis?

Are these Lego-style houses the solution to the housing crisis?

Cover is a Los Angeles based prefab home building company that utilizes a modular manufacturing process to produce custom, luxury homes. Alexis Rivas started Cover with his co-founder Jemuel Joseph in 2014 after working at a prefab company and seeing an opportunity to improve upon some of the inefficiencies of their workflow.

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Season 2: This Puerto Rican software company is using satellite data to save the beaches

This Puerto Rican software company is using satellite data to save the beaches

A small software company in Puerto Rico called Terra Firma, founded in 2019 by island native Alejandro Mieses, is using satellite data to dynamically forecast precise erosion pain points that might help Puerto Rican city planners better protect their beautiful island in their battle against climate change.

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Season 2: Is this 3D-printed robotic arm the future of prosthetics?

Is this 3D-printed robotic arm the future of prosthetics?

It is projected that there are more than 57 million amputees worldwide and only about 5 percent of them have access to prosthetic care and technology. But there is a startup company in upstate New York called Unlimited Tomorrow and they have a product called TrueLimb. It is a durable, 3D printed prosthetic arm with bionic functionality. Unlimited Tomorrow currently has hundreds of TrueLimbs being used every day. But as they scale, they hope to make a big impact on the 57 million people worldwide living with limb difference.

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Season 2: Revolutionary indoor farming method uses 90 percent less water and slashes food waste

Revolutionary indoor farming method uses 90 percent less water and slashes food waste 

Babylon Micro-Farms is a small company in Richmond, Va. that is literally bringing the farm to the table by building hydroponics systems and installing them in commercial kitchens around the United States.

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Season 2: Could you tell the difference between this plant-based egg and a traditional chicken egg?

Could you tell the difference between this plant-based egg and a traditional chicken egg?

“It starts with a question. Is there a plant that can scramble like an egg?” asked Joshua Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, a food technology start up currently located in the Inner Mission district of San Francisco. After a long discovery process of testing and cataloguing plants from all over the world, Tetrick and his team at Eat Just came upon the mung bean, a 4,400-year-old legume primarily cultivated in the East and Southeast regions of Asia.

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Season 2: The drones airdropping medicine from the sky are coming to America

The drones airdropping medicine from the sky are coming to America

Billions of people around our world struggle to get access to medical essentials like blood and vaccines, due in part to a lack of sufficient infrastructure. But these last-leg delivery logistics problems are melting away thanks to a company called Fly Zipline.

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Season 2: Meet the sailing robots trying to solve climate change

Saildrone pic

Meet the sailing robots trying to solve climate change

These unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) are covered top to bottom with solar-powered sensors that provide real-time tracking data to their mission control center in Alameda. They measure weather patterns and CO2 levels, with the capability of providing live storm analysis from the middle of a category 4 hurricane. The live data collected from these hurricanes is being used by NOAA to more accurately predict the hurricane’s path.

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Season 1: How IKEA is trying to furnish the Earth

IKEA 

How IKEA is trying to furnish the Earth

Ikea recently put the finishing touches on the second of its solar car parks, in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. The project, which it plans to extend to eight locations in the US, aims to reduce the amount of energy Ikea stores need to buy from the grid.

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Season 1: How 3D-printed homes can help fix the housing crisis in America

Icon Thumb 

How 3D-printed homes can help fix the housing crisis in America

Icon is growing fast. They have a multi-home project in East Austin where they’re developing 900 to 2,000 square foot homes, they’ve teamed up with the Marine Corps to print resilient barracks at high speeds, and they’ve gone down to Tabasco, Mexico to print a community of houses for those living in extreme poverty.

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Season 1: Revolutionary engineers invent a way to create water out of thin air

Source Water 

Revolutionary engineers invent a way to create water out of thin air

Source Global has been commissioned to install its hydropanels in 521 homes across Navajo Nation, bringing desperately needed drinking water to people who would normally have to drive many miles to get it.

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Season 1: When you plant a farm in a city, it tastes like the future

When you plant a farm in a city, it tastes like the future

How a San Francisco company called Plenty is revolutionizing the concept of the American farm

From the outside, the warehouse looks like any of the other industrial manufacturing buildings you find in this part of San Francisco. But that’s just a facade. When you walk in, it’s as if you have entered a portal to another world. In fact, that’s exactly what it is. Welcome to the future of agriculture.
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Season 1: How abandoned strip mines are being rescued by a field of sweet-smelling purple plants

How abandoned strip mines are being rescued by a field of sweet-smelling purple plants

An innovative new company is rescuing the damaged land — and people — of Appalachia.

Jocelyn Sheppard hasn’t always been a lavender and honey farmer. For more than a decade, she was the founding partner of a consulting firm that did market research, business planning, and grant writing for tech startups and nonprofits. But something came up at work that pulled her into a completely different world.
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Season 1: How to slam dunk a whole basketball court in wild style

Project Backboard is posterizing America’s neglected basketball courts and revolutionizing the art of basketball.

“To be honest with you,” Peterson admits, “it surprises me every time I walk into these spaces. It’s a very physical experience to walk into a 50 by 100 foot work of art. When we’re done, there’s a real sense of energy that comes off the surface.“
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Season 1: Golf is a hard sport to master…unless you’re a rocket scientist

Roy Taylor has invented a cool golf club powered by gunpowder that helps those who have lost the ability to play to enjoy the game again.

Getting around a tough 18-hole course can be tough on even the strongest of bodies, but for those in a wheelchair, those suffering from joint pain or bad backs, and stroke survivors, playing holes can seem out of reach. The PowerGolf club is bringing golf back to those who have lost the ability to play to enjoy the game again.
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Season 1: Invasion of the robot dolphins!

America’s aquariums are wildly popular but highly controversial. Hollywood is coming to the rescue.

We are riding a surprising wave of enthusiasm for aquariums in the United States. They are marketed as popular destinations for families and schools, thriving centers of conservation and education, and also a smart way to revitalize down-and-out city districts. But movies like “Free Willy” and “Blackfish” have raised public awareness of the psychological stress endured by the big stars of the show. Public backlash and stricter government regulations have negatively impacted aquariums and marine parks. Hollywood to the rescue.
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Season 1: Meet the company that is revolutionizing e-commerce by conquering the mountain of packages outside your front door

Loop is delivering food and household products in an exciting new way: in containers that can be returned and used again.

It’s no surprise that convenient, generalist websites like Amazon are thriving this year as the coronavirus pandemic has forced most Americans into their homes for the long haul. In fact, in March and April, Amazon was even discouraging its customers from purchasing too many items, as the massive influx of orders was causing a shortage of items and shipping delays.
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Season 1: Starbucks, Chase and a small pizzeria form a unique business triangle in Washington, DC

Branches of two giant corporations and a local restaurant are all cleverly designed to serve the large, local deaf community.

How do you do business without making a sound? Along the popular H Street corridor, two local branches of huge international corporations have been joined by a scrappy Napolitana pizzeria to cater to a locally prominent demographic — the deaf and hard of hearing.
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Season 1: This company is solving America’s food issues one backyard at a time

Love & Carrots lowers our carbon footprint by making sustainable food sources very, very local

The average American has an annual carbon footprint of 16 tons, which ranks among the highest in the world. In fact, it’s about quadruple the global average. One of the most significant contributing factors to our elevated carbon emissions is where we get out food, which is often shipped from far away, especially for those of us who live in cities.
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Season 1: How one restaurateur is feeding the hungry and helping restaurants stay open during the pandemic

The owner of an acclaimed DC steakhouse chain has launched a program called Feed the Fridge

For many children in the U.S., lunches at school are the most important meal of the day. For some, they are the only meal of the day; 22 million children rely on free or reduced-price lunches served by the schools they attend. But as the coronavirus spread through the nation and schools shut down or went remote, it became apparent that children were going hungry. Food banks across the country are falling short of feeding all the kids and adults in need.
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