NEW YORK and TORRANCE, Calif. (June 16, 2014) — Uncharted Play, a social invention company best known for the SOCCKET, a soccer ball that harnesses kinetic energy from play for practical, everyday use, has joined forces with Toyota, the world's top automaker, to introduce UP’s Think Out of Bounds curriculum, aimed at encouraging social invention across the globe.
The SOCCKET will be the centerpiece of the curriculum, created by Uncharted Play Co-Founder and CEO, Jessica O. Matthews, and the ball will serve as a learning tool for students in attendance at each of the curriculum sessions.
The curriculum’s roll out will begin in New York City, where Uncharted Play is headquartered, before heading to Brazil for four weeks to work with children living in the local favelas. The practical application will be a natural fit for local school children in Brazil, many of whom are ecstatic that the eyes of the soccer world will be squarely focused on their nation.
“There’s nothing more exciting to me than the idea of harnessing the passion around the world’s most popular sport, and turning it into usable power—literal power, yes, but also the figurative power that comes with believing in your potential to make a meaningful impact in this world,” said Jessica O. Matthews, CEO of Uncharted Play. “With the SOCCKET and the Think Out of Bounds curriculum, we are able to provide children in New York and Brazil with an off-grid energy option, the tools for creating real inventions in their own communities, and most importantly, an opportunity to do all of this while playing.”
Think Out of Bounds’ mission is to inspire and support social invention, while sparking the creative talents inside all global citizens. The curriculum goes hand-in-hand with UP’s founding vision of fostering a world where anyone can create something that matters, a world where social issues can be taken on together.
Toyota is teaming up with Uncharted Play on the new curriculum. The automaker will serve as a case study within Uncharted Play’s teachings, highlighting the innovative ways in which Toyota develops products that address specific consumer needs, similar to what UP has done with the SOCCKET.
“At Toyota, we believe strongly in innovation, and how it has the incredible ability to impact our daily lives,” said Dionne Colvin Lovely, national manager of traditional and emerging media at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “The work that Uncharted Play is undertaking in Brazil is a shining example of how an innovative company can greatly affect others, and we are pleased to be collaborating with them on their latest mission.”
In launching its latest “impact mission,” Uncharted Play aims to create a following around the idea of social invention. It firmly believes that exposure to the curriculum will give people the power to grasp their own inner creative, and see the value in their ideas – because one or more of them, no matter how big or small, could become the next SOCCKET. Pushing this mission further, Uncharted Play plans to document the entire project—sharing videos and clips via social media—so people around the world can join in on the fun.
Toyota first connected with Matthews when she was awarded the Toyota Mothers of Invention Award at the Women in the World Summit in the spring of 2012. Their partnership has allowed both companies to continue inspiring social invention for the public good, and this being just the most recent application.
About Uncharted Play
Founded in 2011, Uncharted Play uses play to disarm global issues and inspire social invention. The company’s flagship product, the SOCCKET, addresses the energy problem with the most popular sport around the world–soccer. The SOCCKET is an energy-harnessing soccer ball that can be used to power small appliances after play. The company’s CEO, Jessica O. Matthews, invented the ball while she was a junior at Harvard studying psychology. For more information on Uncharted Play: http://www.unchartedplay.com
Toyota, the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through its Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, the company has built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where Toyota operates 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ nearly 40,000 people (more than 37,000 in the U.S.). The company’s 1,800 North American dealerships sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. (NYSE:TM) For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.