CH25: Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics with a mobile phone

Mention “orthotics” and most will hobble away quickly to avoid the Grandma-shoe stigma. But NYC-based start-up SOLS is simplifying the process with a non-invasive digital fitting that results in corrective insoles customized to your needs. The 3D-printing system, which SOLS built entirely in-house, is “the only end-to-end platform which enables scalable mass-customization of physical goods with an iPhone,” says founder Kegan Schouwenburg. Schouwenburg—a Pratt graduate—grew …

CH25: Tal Danino

The bioengineer who programs DNA to fight cancer

Programming bacteria to sniff out and treat cancer. It may sound like something out of the future, but it’s exactly what Tal Danino is doing right now. A bioengineer, TED Fellow and postdoctoral fellow at MIT, Danino specializes in manipulating the DNA of probiotics to turn them into a diagnostic and treatment tool. “What we can do inside the lab is use machines that print …

CH25: Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Even in a town filled with bright structures, Les Chocolateries Askanya stands out. Haitian-American businesswoman Corinne Joachim Sanon converted her grandfather’s summer home in Ouanaminthe, Haiti into a chocolate factory and had it painted like a parrot, with a vibrant yellow belly on the main walls and electric blue on the trim, like wings. On the inside, the retrofitted factory churns out a flock of …

CH25: Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Lulu Mickelson began charting her course in community organizing early on, when riding her chartreuse beachcomber to school in Santa Monica, California. Surrounded by the clogged freeways outside of LA, she noticed the bike racks at her large public high school were nearly empty and was instrumental in organizing “Bike It” days, getting half the school to go car-free by the time she graduated, and …

CH25: Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

As a drummer in hard, loud rock bands over the past decade, Jonathan Sparks indulged his passion for theatrics: “I love those large, swooping gestures, actions people in the back of the crowd could see too.” When he got more into electronic music, he missed that physicality and showmanship. His solution? The Nomis, a loop-based instrument he designed from scratch out of plexiglass while in …