International Innovation Day
There are some absolutely hilarious “days” celebrated worldwide ... Dog Farting Awareness Day (I kid you not), Do a Grouch a Favour Day, and our personal favourite, Virus Appreciation Day (because even viruses need to feel wanted). Lost in the mix is the occasional good one, though.
Like this month’s “Innovation and Creativity Day” on February 16th which is aimed directly at young people.
You don’t have to be older to come up with a good idea. Take for example Chester Greenwood, a teenager from Farmington, Massachusetts. In 1873, Chester got sick of having his ears frozen while ice skating. So he made a wire frame and asked his grandma to sew animal skins to it. Voila! The birth of the ear muff! Not something that is in high demand here in Thailand, but a boon for the shivering masses in colder climes.
One-upping Chester was Frank Epperson. In 1905, the 11-year old left a stick in some powdered soda and water on his back porch on a cold night. In the morning he found it frozen .. and tasty. He called it the Epsicle. After some improvements he changed the name to Creamsicle and proceeded to make cool millions with his creation.
Here’s one that Thais can really get behind (we’re looking at you Bangkok!). In 2008, 15-year old Param Jaggi sat in a car at a stop sign watching exhaust billow out of the car in front. He eventually came up with an idea for a small device that plugs into the muffler and can remove about 89% of the carbon dioxide from a car's exhaust. The secret ... a live colony of algae that takes in the CO2 from the exhaust, uses it for photosynthesis, then releases oxygen back into the air. And it only costs $30 per unit. Thanks to Param we may all be breathing a little easier.
Innovation and creativity are not lost on Imagine Thailand. Our passion is to make a difference, and that means getting the best bang for our buck, maximizing efficiencies, developing sustainable practices and mining the deep riches of effective communications. It’s one thing to put in a water purification system in Mae Sot, but it’s quite another to make sure it’s going to work with the local water supply, stand the test of time, and be maintainable by the folks on the ground.
It’s way too easy to say to, for example, a migrant community, “this is what we think you need”. What do we know?! So Imagine asks, “what do you need?” We get the community buy-in then work together to deliver the best solution. Hence the 5-phase purification process that does it all, from removing the lumpies and gross bits down to wiping out those nasty microscopic bacteria. And the system will be effective for years to come. Now that’s creative!
Happy Innovation Day, everyone!