Atlas of the Future recommends 5 initiatives you should know

Lisa Goldapple is the Editor-in-Chief of social impact publication Atlas of the Future. Prior to that, she spent more than fifteen years producing and scriptwriting for MTV. This storytelling adventurer hopes that interviewing the people doing “really good stuff” will rub off – on everyone.

We asked her to share a few of the most memorable social innovations they’ve covered – and the answers cover vegan mayo, Tibetan ice sculptures and an app that allows volunteers to ‘see’ on behalf of a blind person.

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You don’t have to be vegan (I’m not!) to appreciate how this ‘vegan mayo CEO’ is flipping the food system using tech. Josh Tetrick scrambles up pancakes, waffles and muffins without eggs. The plan is to use plant-based products as a platform for change. Tetrick wants to ensure that every person on the planet can afford to eat nutritious food – and to shift the eating habits of climate-conscious millennials in a more environmentally sustainable direction. And you can’t argue with that.

We asked the former American football player which came first – the idea to scramble the future of food or the eggless egg – and why he wants to change the world. Caution: food porn.

India, Trans-Himalaya

The Ice Stupa Project is a stunning solution to the problem of water scarcity in the dry Himalayan desert. Every spring, mountain people compete for water in the tranquil villages of extreme north India (thank you receding glaciers), so an Indian engineer has devised a simple – and beautiful – lifeline. He freezes water into towering artificial glaciers that look like Tibetan religious ‘stupas’. It’s a simple idea doesn’t need pumps or power, just gravity to force water into a geometric shape, which means they can irrigate crops and fruit trees. Eventually tourists will be able to stay in the ice cones. If you think sleeping there would be ‘cool’, check out these educational igloos on skis!

Read more on Atlas of The Future.


We love an imaginative feel good project that allows us to be helpful in our spare time, helping people whose lives might feel ‘busy’ to become change makers easily. Be My Eyes is just that. The free mobile app connects volunteers around the world to the blind and visually impaired. Simply use your eyes and describe what the blind person is ‘seeing’ through their phone camera. It’s a genuinely rewarding experience in exchange for small amounts of time.

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You’re never too young to make a difference or get your voice out there. Self-professed “girlie tomboy” Marley Dias is 13 now, but when she was only 11 the mini-literary activist launched #1000BlackGirlBooks. Frustrated that black girls are almost never the main character in children’s literature, and tired of only reading about “white boys and their dogs”, she collects books where black girls are the main characters and has far, far surpassed 1,000. Expect big literary things as Marley continues to add to her book list. Mark my words, she’ll write a book soon – and it won’t be about a white boy and his dog.

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Kabira Stokes wants to give a second chance to the things our society sees as disposable – ‘throwaway’ people and trash. With Homeboy Recycling she addresses two of California’s major problems – overflowing landfills and prisons. She gives job opportunities and training to ex-inmates, who break down electronics to recover precious value from e-waste.