Nearly 1.2 billion people — almost one-fifth of humanity — lack access to reliable electricity. While these two statistics may seem unrelated, they were both trends that Jessica O. Matthews noticed while traveling throughout Nigeria, visiting family and observing the local culture.
She decided to do something. What started as a class project while Matthews was attending Harvard University as an undergraduate student in 2008 turned into a full-fledged social enterprise company: Uncharted Play.
The company makes "play" products — at the moment, soccer balls and jump ropes — that collect kinetic energy and come equipped with an outlet in which electronics can be directly plugged. In turn, the entire process of powering through play educates consumers about how kinetic energy may provide a viable solution to the world's energy crisis.