7. Improving lives through play
Jessica Matthews is an energetic social entrepreneur full of compassion. In high heels, with a jump rope, Matthews skipped right onto the TEDWomen stage and straight into our hearts. The jump rope, she tells us, is called the PULSE, and this old play toy was reinvented to generate electricity. Also in the works, equipped with the same innovation, are basketballs, footballs, and skateboards. Matthews is the co-founder of Uncharted Play, a company that invents eco-friendly scientific products that generate renewable energy while playing. The clean energy, generated by her products, provides free, easy-to-access electricity in developing countries and remote, impoverished villages throughout developed countries.
Matthews started Uncharted Play with Julia Silverman, a fellow Harvard classmate, while the two were juniors. Their first invention of this kind was the SOCCKET, a soccer ball that generates hours of renewable energy after only a few minutes of use, created for a school project. Kids can play soccer and run home to connect their SOCCKET to their lamps for three hours worth of light. Matthews believes that we can “design the world as we want.” To learn more about Uncharted Play, click here.