My affinity for smoothies has become a running joke in my house. They are often a vibrant, shocking green, thanks to a lot of spinach, kale, and avocado, and they always include a healthy scoop (or two) of protein powder, or as my daughter has called it, “gritty powder.” Late last year, though, senior writer Adele Peters wrote about how Perfect Day, a company devoted to replacing animal protein in dairy and other consumer products, had introduced an animal-free whey protein powder. (It’s marketed directly under the brand name California Performance Co. but also licensed out to other nutritional supplement companies.) I placed an order immediately, and my smoothies now offer the benefits of whey protein without contributing to the environmental and ethical issues relating to traditional sources of protein. The product is creamy and delicious, and one does not have to make the tradeoff that comes with pea and other traditional plant-based proteins, which can have an unpleasant aftertaste and are, I have to admit, often gritty.
Perfect Day is the general excellence winner in Fast Company‘s 2022 World Changing Ideas, honored for its overall approach to making protein with “precision fermentation.” World Changing Ideas is our annual celebration of new initiatives that have big potential to create positive change; and this year, we’re honoring winners in 39 categories that span industry sectors as well as company size and age. Among the folks we’re recognizing, there are established giants who are still at the forefront of trying to achieve big things, such as our world-changing company of the year, Siemens. The conglomerate’s efforts in rapidly spinning up a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing plant and building an automated railway were breathtaking in showcasing Siemens’s ability to put its problem-solving acumen to work across a variety of societal challenges. But part of what makes World Changing Ideas so special is its breadth, so right alongside a global giant like Siemens is Coworker Solidarity Fund, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that’s this year’s winner in the Workplace category. Coworker, which incorporated in just 2020, is raising and disbursing funds to support the activism of tech-company employees.
We are excited to share that Genpact, the global services firm focused on digital transformation, will once again select one World Changing Ideas honoree and work to elevate and accelerate its mission. Genpact will give that organization a digital makeover, if you will, in an effort to produce positive results even faster. Fast Company and Genpact both believe in the ways in which technology can be a catalyst for good, and through this partnership, we look forward to boosting a worthy initiative into wider adoption.
World Changing Ideas is the product of almost everyone on staff in some fashion, but it would not be possible without the Herculean efforts of our Impact team: Kristin Toussaint, Adele Peters, and Talib Visram, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel and with additional editorial guidance from Jay Woodruff, Sommer Mathis, and Morgan Baskin. Together, they are responsible for recognizing the merits of our 1,053 winners, finalists, and honorable mentions—and presenting them in as dazzling a fashion as they do. We hope you’re as inspired as we are by this year’s World Changing Ideas and do whatever you can to amplify them.