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This Dutch organisation turns public benches into dynamic meetings points to help foster a sense of community. Over 1,300 public seating areas have been listed as meeting points on the BenchesCollective website, with users deciding when their bench will be ‘open’ and what they’ll offer. Activities range from badminton to sing-songs to beer-tasting. In an increasingly digital world, the benches offer a chance for people who live near one another, but may never otherwise meet, to come together and share stories, ideas or recommendations. Who knows, your local bench might just be the key to breaking down social segregation and beating loneliness.

housesRebuild Foundation

Two thirds of humanity will live in cities by 2050, yet in many metropolises there are stark divides between rich and poor. Artist Theaster Gates believes things can be different, starting with the neglected suburbs on the South Side of his hometown, Chicago. The potter turned social activist began buying up properties in the area, and with the help of volunteers, transformed them into community spaces, workshops, a cinema, a library and event spaces. Gates’ Rebuild Foundation not only saved the buildings from a bulldozer, it is helping bridge the gap between art-lovers from more affluent parts of the city and the disadvantaged South Side residents.




Nigel Gifford OBE, a former member of the British Army Catering Corps, knows all about inaccurate and wasteful drones delivering supplies. So, he designed an aerial vehicle called Pouncer, which navigates via GPS, making flights and landings extremely accurate. Its wings and body are made of empty food containers to be filled as needed, and can carry a whopping 200 pounds of food. Such deliveries helps increase the daily humanitarian food rations from 2,200 calories per person to 3,500. and as if that wasn’t enough, the device itself is edible!




What do fireflies, squid and certain mushrooms have in common? They all glow in the dark. Harnessing the power of this natural light is the idea behind Glowee, a startup working to find an alternative solution to electric lighting. Their goal is to offer a clean lighting system that would act positively on the whole value chain to ensure the lowest environmental impact. Glowee is developing a biological source of light, using the natural properties of marine micro-organisms, which can be used in public spaces to revolutionise the way we produce and consume light.





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