Three Inspiring Organizations Awarded Grants by Toyota for Making a Difference
NEW YORK (April 5, 2014) – Creativity, courage and determination in fostering social good reigns supreme among those gathered at the fifth annual Women in the World Summit, and the Toyota Mothers of Invention are no exception. This year, the Toyota Mothers of Invention transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of people by collectively making clean water, healthy food and solar-powered light more accessible to those in need.
Since 2012, the Toyota Mothers of Invention program has celebrated these amazing women, whose organizations’ ground-breaking ideas are changing lives, at the Women in the World Summit—and this year was no different. The fifth annual summit, hosted by Tina Brown Live Media at the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center concluded this afternoon after three consecutive days of sessions during which ingenuity, inspiration and the desire to improve the quality of life across the globe took center stage.
During the final day of the summit, Toyota presented leaders of three nascent organizations with Driving Solutions grants of $50,000 to continue their positive impact on the lives of others, whether in their own communities or in a global footprint. Distinguished members of the Toyota Mothers of Invention Class of 2014 include Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta, co-founders of LuminAID; Lauren Shweder Biel, executive director and co-founder, DC Greens and Tricia Compas-Markman, founder of DayOne Response.
They join a remarkable group of women honored at previous summits, including 2013 recipients Kativa M. Shukla, founder and CEO of Fenugreen; Caitria and Morgan O’ Neill, co-founders and chief executives of Recovers.org; and Sejal Hathi and Tara Roberts, co-founders of girltank, as well as the 2012 class – Aseneth Andrews, founder of The Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women; Talia Leman, founder of Randomkid.org; and Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman, inventors of the sOccket and co-founders of Uncharted Play.
“Toyota is proud to help fuel the innovations of the Mothers of Invention who are recognized here today,” said Flaurel English, vice president, marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and summit co-presenter. “The 2014 honorees join an extraordinary group of women who are not only making the world a better place, but also inspiring others to spark positive change in communities around the globe.”
The Summit, hosted by Tina Brown, a long time champion of women's issues, and presented by Toyota, centered on vivid journalistic storytelling, as inspiring leaders shared stories of courage and determination, empowering all in attendance to make a difference in her world. In addition to Brown, a long time champion of women’s issues, the event featured appearances by several leaders including President Jimmy Carter, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the leader of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, alongside fashion and entertainment luminaries Meryl Streep, Diane von Furstenberg, Rashida Jones, Angelique Kidjo and Sarah Silverman, treating attendees to a truly memorable experience.
About the Toyota Mothers of Invention:
Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta – Co-founders, LuminAID
Anna Stork and fellow architecture classmate Andrea Sreshta invented LuminAID, an inflatable and rechargeable light source, as a class project. The light bulb first went on after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Stork and Sreshta recognized that most disaster-relief aid focused on providing shelter and food, often leaving victims in the dark. Together, they believed that a good design and innovative technology could illuminate the victims' darkest hours.
The pair built the first LuminAID prototype in their kitchens, not knowing that a year later they would have a chance to benefit from their own invention; when an earthquake struck while they were visiting Tokyo, they discovered the profound value of light without power. Experiencing LuminAID's life-altering assistance first-hand gave them the incentive to raise funds for their project.
Lauren Shweder Biel – Executive Director and Co-founder, DC Greens
DC Greens is a community-driven strategy that brings healthy, sustainable and affordable nutrition to Washington, D.C. families. Executive director and co-founder Lauren Shweder Biel first took note of the abominable obesity statistics for D.C. youth in 2009, but also saw all of the functional, farmable land and farmers’ markets around the District, and wondered about the disconnect.
With DC Greens, Schweder Biel is bridging that gap with education initiatives to teach youth why sustainable nutrition matters. Along with teaching kids about nutrition, and educating future “garden teachers” to staff some of D.C.’s 90-plus school gardens, DC Greens has established school garden markets right outside the classrooms, ensuring that kids who farm the food are also responsible for selling it to their local communities. Overall, the schools turn profits, and D.C. residents can access fresh, locally grown produce.
Another one of DC Greens’ initiatives is equally as creative, and involves taking their work outside of the classroom and into the doctor’s office. The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, launched in 2012, allows doctors to write at-risk residents prescriptions which work as currency in DC Greens farmers’ markets. Families can access produce—free of charge—and build a cornerstone of healthy habits.
Tricia Compas-Markman – Founder, DayOne Response
Engineer and designer Patricia ‘Tricia’ Compas-Markman dedicates her work to addressing the need for water in times of disaster, innovating technology that provides disaster victims, soldiers, or anyone in distress with purified water.
As a part of Engineers Without Borders, Compas-Markman developed a water treatment system for a rural village in Thailand. It was 2005; a tsunami had struck South Asia and Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. A year later, she created the prototype for the DayOne Response Waterbag—a portable pouch that collects, treats, transfers and stores water. Users collect unclean water and, by adding a Procter & Gamble purifying packet and agitating the bag, watch the water and sediment separate before pouring a clean, hydrating stream.
After completing the project, Compas-Markman invested in her ingenuity and started her own business, bringing the water bag to market. The response was overwhelmingly supportive, receiving praise from government agencies, disaster relief non-profits, the military, and an award from the Clinton Foundation.
For more information about the Toyota Mothers of Invention and the 2014 Women in the World Summit, please visit http://www.thedailybeast.com/sponsored/MothersofInvention.html.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants and directly employ more than 40,000 people. Our 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.
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About Women in the World Summit
The Women in the World Summit is centered on vivid journalistic storytelling, featuring inspiring women and men from diverse cultures and backgrounds. From CEOs and world leaders to artists, activists and firebrand dissidents, the summit tells the stories of the courageous and intelligent women who are battling the status quo in their countries, picking up the pieces in the aftermath of war and shattering glass ceilings in every sector.