As the trend of social entrepreneurship takes root in economies around the globe, future-focused impact investors are stepping up to the plate to help build a better world for generations to come.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 objectives to tackle global issues like hunger, joblessness, poverty, climate change, and food waste, among others. Below, we’ve selected six young people as examples of entrepreneurs bringing us closer to turning the UN’s SDGs into realities.
Brendan Carroll, founder of Skycision: Despite the fact that the average U.S. farmer spends around 1,000 hours a year manually scouting fields for signs of disease and other areas of stress, around 6% of annual crops are lost due to undetected threats, explains Brendan Carroll, the founder of Skycision. In developing nations, this number can be as high as 35%. Experts predict food production needs to increase by 70% in the next 30 years to accommodate rising population levels — so these losses are particularly concerning.
Skycision helps farmers collect and analyze aerial imagery — taken via drone and satellite — to detect potential crop issues faster and more efficiently. Carroll came up with the idea as a student at Carnegie Mellon while studying commercial drone use; he realized there were more noble uses for drones than same-day toothpaste delivery. Long term, Carroll envisions a world in which Skycision can help tackle macro issues affecting global food security.
“Skycision’s mission is to help maximize the potential of land under harvest to help feed the world,” he explains. “While our efforts are largely domestic today, we see massive opportunities to make impacts in developing countries that can drastically enhance their productivity, while also helping poor rural growers become more economically viable.”
“The social need is prevalent and obvious; the challenge is how to make it accessible. We need to come together as an industry to innovate solutions that overcome [these issues],” says Carroll. “Today, we are just scratching the surface, but it’s our mission to make this technology accessible to the most dire and underprivileged regions of the world.”