Kick a ball … turn on a light. That’s the idea behind SOCCKET. An idea from the brains of two ambitious green entrepreneurs – Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman – SOCCKET hopes to end energy poverty and light up the night through child’s play.
How entrepreneurs Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman of SOCCKET are Using Child’s Play to Create Renewable Energy
With just 30 minutes of soccer playing, kids can generate 3 hours worth of energy to power a light. It’s not exactly child labor, but it sure does put play to good use!
We’ve heard about the power issues in developing countries over and over again. Here are the stats used by Uncharted Play to frame their project:
- 1 in 5 people live without electricity
- 1.3+ billion people live without electricity
- 2 million people die from kerosene-related health problems
- 1 day’s worth of a kerosene lamp’s fumes is equivalent to smoking 2 packs of cigarettes daily
Realizing that these are solvable problems, Jessica and Julia determined to find a way to turn play into a way to generate clean energy. The SOCCKET soccer ball was the result. By using kinetic energy, a gyroscope mechanism in the SOCCKET captures energy from rolling and bouncing and uses it to charge a battery inside the ball. Wrapped in a protective water-resistant, durable material that never requires inflation, the SOCCKET is virtually indestructible.
Once charged, the ball can be used to power cell phones, fans, lights, water sterilizers, and even hot plates. It’s a clean energy alternative to kerosene and could give families – literally the entire family – a way to work together to self-power their lives. Brilliant!
Anyone can get involved in the work of this social enterprise by becoming a sponsor. You pay $60 so that Uncharted Play can produce 1 SOCCKET and 1 LED lamp, which is distributed by their partners to a family in need.
About this Entrepreneur for a Change: Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman
The dream began in 2008 when Julia and Jessica met at Harvard while studying social science. Though they had no experience in engineering, they decided to invent a soccer ball that would double as a portable generator for a class project. Doing so showed them that the world of play is uncharted territory, and thus Uncharted Play was born.
Today, the company is working out of New York City to produce their renewable energy soccer balls for those living with energy poverty. The company has been heralded by several organizations, including the Clinton Global Initiative and TED. They’re also working on several new and fun ideas that should further connect play and social good. Their newest idea is Ludo which captures the data from SOCCKET, converts it into play time, which is then tracked and can be used like points. The points are like currency that can be used to donate real world items to other social projects.
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