The GOOD 100: PINC Conference

In the words of one attendee, PINC is "like TED, without the politics."

A Conference Within Reach

In the words of one attendee, PINC is "like TED, without the politics." The acronym stands for People, Ideas, Nature, Creativity, which are the themes of this annual under-the-radar conference. Held in the Netherlands, PINC brings together speakers from every imaginable discipline to share brilliant new ideas, stories, and visual presentations. They generally have little in common other than a passion for what they do, and an absolute faith in the power of innovation and inspiration. Here are a few of them:Tiina Urm, Estonia Citizen activist Urm corralled a team of 700 volunteers to scour the country for illegal trash-dumping sites using custom GPS mapping software. The completed map served as the guide for a national day of cleanup, on which 50,000 Estonians took to the streets to rid their country of garbage.Hans Monderman, The Netherlands Traffic engineerMonderman pioneered a school of radical traffic design that eliminates all signage at intersections. The counterintuitive system causes drivers to exercise more caution when approaching these unguarded crossings, resulting in fewer accidents.Kevin Warwick, United Kingdom Professor of cyberneticsThe last time you heard the word "cybernetics" was probably the last time you watched The Terminator. But Warwick wants to make that science fiction real, and wonders why we don't improve our experiences in the world by hardwiring our brains into computers and other machines. He had a microchip implanted under his skin to demonstrate the potential.Ben Underwood, United States Student After losing both his eyes to cancer at a young age, Underwood learned to navigate the world using echolocation-the same technique bats and dolphins rely on to gather data about their surroundings. Underwood would emit a series of clicks from his mouth, and create an accurate landscape in his mind based on the returning echos-so accurate that he could ride a bike, skateboard, and play basketball. He died in January at age 16.


McDonalds sells a lot of coffee. Over a billion cups a year, to be exact. All that coffee leads to a lot of productive mornings, but it also leads to a lot of waste. Each year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff (the skin of the coffee beans that comes off during roasting) ends up getting turned into mulch. Some coffee chaff just gets burned, leading to an increase in CO2.

Now, that chaff is going to get turned into car parts. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff from McDonalds coffee into the headlamps of some cars. Ford has been using plastic and talc to make its headlamps, but this new process will reduce the reliance on talc, a non-renewable mineral. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen and mixed with plastic and other additives. The bioplastic can then be formed into shapes.

Keep Reading Show less

For over 20 years, our country has perceived itself as more divided than united, and it's not getting better. Right after the 2016 election, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 77% of Americans felt the country was divided on the most important values, a record high.

The percentage of Americans who agree that we disagree got higher. During the 2018 mid-term elections, a poll conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal found that 80% of Americans felt the nation was "mainly" or "totally" divided.

We head into the 2020 presidential election more divided than ever. A new poll from USA Today found that nine out of ten respondents felt it was important to do something about the conflict in our country. We can't keep on living like this forever.

Keep Reading Show less
via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

Keep Reading Show less