Monthly Archives: August 2010

Guest Post: Four Social Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World

Earlier this summer, the bloggers behind My Dog Ate My Blog approached the Cipher about contributing a guest post to our blog. It was an idea that hadn’t really occurred to us, mostly because nobody outside of the Colorado College world had asked to contribute to our project before. But it made perfect sense. Their content is similar to ours–politics, comments on current events, reviews, pop culture, etc.–and we liked the idea of having a new voice put forth under the Cipher banner. Also, since we don’t produce the magazine during the summer, our blog has been sadly neglected for the past three months. A guest post seemed just the thing to inject some life into the ghost town that our blog has become.

So, here goes: the first guest post in what we hope will be a fruitful collaboration with My Dog Ate My Blog and any other like-minded publications. Let us know what you think.

Four Social Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing The World

Somewhere down the line, I think our dreams have gotten too small. Maybe it’s the recession. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re involved in two seemingly never-ending wars. Maybe we’re just jaded. Whatever the reason, I think we all need to take a step back and inflate our egos. Solve world hunger? No problem. Peace in the Middle East? Easy.

Don’t scoff. It can be done, as evidenced by the four men listed below. Here are four social entrepreneurs who don’t just think outside the box; they demolish the damn box. These individuals don’t think their dreams are so impossible. And, given the work they have done so far, they just might be right.

1. Mikkel Vestergaard-Frandsen, Disease Control Textiles

Impossible Dream: That everyone, including refugees, will be safe from preventable disease.

How He’s Making It Possible: Frandsen is an inventor whose products could transform the lives of people, particularly the poorest of the poor in Africa. The two main killers of this population are things we don’t even see as a threat: water and mosquitoes. Contaminated drinking water accounts for millions of deaths in Africa, particularly of children under five. Vestergaard-Frandsen has invented a simple and cheap product called the Lifestraw that could change all of that. When a person puts the Lifestraw into a source of undrinkable water and sucks, the water is purified inside the straw. 99.99% of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites are removed, rendering the water just as safe as the water that flows from our taps. Vestergaard-Frandsen also has a variety of products that serve as a shelter from malaria-carrying mosquitoes: the Permanet, ZeroVector, and ZeroFly. These products could protect people from the insects and the elements even when they are displaced from their homes.

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