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A social disease

  • Posted on: 8 December 2014
  • By: Irene

Good morning Flour City!

The internet is a catalyst for combining the ideas, feelings and energy of billions of people around the globe. This week’s highlighted TEDxFlourCity2014 speaker reminds us of the power we all have to make a difference by reaching out across the ocean of the internet and offering a hand. 

In an ideal world “Everyone would contribute” and “Everyone would have access” says Dr. Jon Schull. His organization E-nabling the future is helping to bring this world into existence. E-nabling the future connects makers (inventors) with access to 3D printing technology, with children around the world who are in need of prosthetic hands and arms. Makers and clients are able to work together to customize a hand or an arm for a relatively low price. 

Jon Schull on the TEDxFlourCity2014 stage

The inspiration for Dr. Schull’s work came from a video he stumbled across on the internet a little over a year ago. The video featured a carpenter in South Africa and a prop maker in the U.S. who worked together to design an affordable, custom prosthetic limb. The carpenter shared his design for free, “open-sourcing” it for potential improvements by anyone who could access the video. Drawing on both the pervasiveness of social media and excitement around new uses for the relatively young 3D printing technology, Dr. Schull created a global network of prosthetic limb users and volunteer designers working together to change lives. 

Dr. Schull is most proud of “The community of collaborators we have assembled” and “their ambition for making the world a better place.”

After watching his TEDxFlourCity2014 talk he asserts that you will “…begin to consider the possibility that we’re at a real turning point in a cultural revolution right now. I think that the shifting of the economy and the shifting away from consumerism and the shifting towards a world in which it is both easy and rewarding to help other people become change makers, it’s quite profound…it’s going to change the way we think about who we are and where we are.”

Watch his video enabling the future: volunteers changing the world with prosthetics:

If you feel moved to share this social disease, we encourage you to do so! Simply click on the “share” button below. If you are inspired to get involved in this effort in any way, or find out more please visit E-nabling the Future’s website

In our next post we will feature another speaker who is combining technology and medicine, and helping to discover solutions for a prevalent, fatal health condition. 

Have a great week!