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Every year, Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards honor the businesses and organizations driving change in the world. This year, as the escalating crises of the coronavirus and economic collapse continue, the bold ideas we feature here seem more vital than ever. This year, we received nearly 3,000 entries, an all-time record. The 26 winners and hundreds of other finalists—selected by a roster of experts from the worlds of social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, venture capital, activism, and beyond—represent the kind of innovative thinking that will help us recover and rebuild.

Winners
Finalists
Vulcan II
Icon

A giant 3D printer that can extrude the walls of a house in just 24 hours

Devices and projects to improve global health
Abbott

From a new implant to keep babies’ hearts healthy, to fighting malaria, to advancing the careers of underrepresented people in STEM

Planned Parenthood: Roo High School
R/GA

An advertising campaign to boost the use of Planned Parenthood’s sex education chatbot for teens

Clues
Carbon Lighthouse

A software platform that maximizes energy-efficiency savings in buildings

Food Rescue Hero
412 Food Rescue

An app that connects volunteers to drive extra food from restaurants to hunger-fighting organizations—and will now offer rides to people in need as well

Aguahoja
Neri Oxman and the Mediated Matter Group, MIT Media Lab

An installation project utilizing printed “biopolymers,” materials from the natural world that could replace plastic

Evrythng
Evrythng

A digital ecosystem that lets consumers scan a package and get visibility into their purchase’s entire supply chain

$70,000 Minimum Wage
Gravity Payments

A company policy to pay every worker at least $70,000, regardless of position or location

#GIVEASHIT for Science
Seed

A campaign to help health AI diagnose digestive disease by crowdsourcing a library of bowel-movement photos

Clear Vision for All
Global Vision 2020

A system to let health workers quickly give people needed prescription glasses

Guild Education
Guild Education

A program to offer workers debt-free higher education as an employee benefit

Heliogen
Heliogen

A new system that uses solar energy to power heavy industrial processes that require furnaces hotter than 1,000 degrees Celsius

Rastrum 3D Bioprinter
Inventia

A device designed to help medical research by printing 3D cancer cells that can be used for testing new drugs

Full Harvest
Full Harvest

An online marketplace that connects food companies with farms to buy ugly and surplus produce to fight waste

Scanwell UTI test kit
Scanwell Health

An at-home test to diagnose UTIs and access a prescription without a trip to the doctor

Invest Your Values
As You Sow

A suite of online tools to help average investors find mutual funds that invest in companies they believe in

Roma Social Impact Campaign
Participant

A campaign to raise awareness about the lack of benefits for domestic workers

Free the Vote: Florida Voting Rights
Free America, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

A campaign to help ex-felon Florida voters pay the fines and complete the paperwork to be allowed to vote again

SoCCs app
Asia Initiatives

A community currency that rewards good acts such as mentoring or tree planting with free education or low-interest loans

Common Roosevelt
Common

A shared-housing development designed to expand urban housing through buildings with shared kitchens and common spaces

RN Advocate
Antya Waegemann

A proposal for a redesigned rape kit to make the experience of the rape kit exam more humane for victims, doctors, and nurses

Convoy
Convoy

A program to decrease the emissions of trucking fleets by loading them more efficiently

OACIS
Phononic

A system to keep spaces cool without the energy use of traditional air conditioning

Youmma Solar Fridge
Youmma, Nidec Global Appliance

A refrigerator designed to run on solar power to make it easier for developing-world households to keep perishable goods

Carbon-offset shipping
Etsy

An initiative to offset all of the carbon costs of shipping, creating a new model for e-commerce sustainability

FAZENDA FUTURO
FAZENDA FUTURO

A plant-based meat to target the Brazilian market

General Excellence

The broadest ideas, be they new government policies, new business models, or entire new consumer categories. Anything that has the potential to effect true systems change or solve wicked problems

Company Of The Year

Companies that submitted multiple entries with quality, breadth, and ambition in their submitted work

Advertising

Campaigns designed to draw attention to social issues and inspire people to act or to promote world-changing products or services

AI and Data

Projects that harness the power of data, machine learning, or artificial intelligence to understand the world and empower change

Apps

Projects that live primarily in a mobile format, in any discipline

Art and Design

Projects using design as the vehicle to shake up conversations surrounding society’s most pressing issues

Consumer Products

Items for your house or office that help you live a more purposeful life, or fundamentally alter outdated business models or supply chains of our current consumer goods

Corporate Social Responsibility

For corporate initiatives that use a company’s platform and power to help advance change, either internally or for the community

Creativity

Any creative project–photography, writing, visualization, film–that helps explain and publicize global problems and solutions

Developing-World Technology

Products designed specifically for the developing world, both ones intended for the bottom of the pyramid and those intended to help create leapfrog innovation

Education

Companies or initiatives that help inspire better and more equitable learning

Energy

Solar, wind, and any other innovative ideas to create clean power (either for personal use or at a large scale) or new systems for better electricity distribution

Experimental

Concepts, prototypes, and just-launched ideas that may not have clear impact but have the potential to change how we think about an issue

Food

Projects changing what we eat, how we eat, and how we get our food

Health and Wellness

Products and projects that improve either personal or global well-being and longevity, from apps to devices to treatments

Impact Investing

Impact funds, social impact bonds, and other investments in change making organizations or initiatives that generate societal benefit along with financial return

Media and Entertainment

Movies, books, videos, and other projects that expose issues or create actionable change

Politics and Policy

Innovative campaigns or policy initiatives that challenge the status quo for the benefit of the environment, equity, and society

Social Justice

Projects that help advance the cause of civil rights for marginalized people or groups

Spaces, Places, and Cities

Buildings, landscapes, urban designs, and policies that make cities and living in them cleaner, more efficient, more beautiful, and more equitable for their citizens

Students

Projects in any category, created by undergraduate or graduate students

Transportation

Projects that get you places whether on two wheels or four in new, interesting, and fuel-efficient ways

Asia-Pacific

The best world changing idea overall in the Asia-Pacific region

Europe, Middle East, Africa

The best world changing idea overall in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

Latin America

The best world changing idea overall in Latin America

North America

The best world changing idea overall in North America