Earthkeepers DNA – Amazing and Then Some

I’m not sure, but there must be an ingredient that is specific to the DNA of an Earthkeeper. I think it’s an inherent element that represents a combination of drive, creativity and some level of entrepreneurialism or risk taking, all enveloped in a passion for the environment. And, it’s those very special people, who recognize that they possess the Earthkeeping gene, who truly amaze me. They have that, “ah ha!” moment and then put it into meaningful action. When I hear stories about these types of people, an inspirational admiration for the individual and their ideas always permeates my psyche.

Take 23-year old Elizabeth Redmond (www.changents.com/powerleaper) as an example of someone who definitely has the Earthkeepers DNA. Elizabeth is a self-described, “designtrepreneur” who is inspired by the fusion of human energy transfer and renewable energy. Now, on it’s own, that inspiration is amazing but when you consider how  Elizabeth translated her inspiration into a phenomenal idea and is now dedicated to putting that idea into action, amazing becomes somewhat of an understatement. 

Feeding her inspiration, Elizabeth set out to design interfaces that generate electricity from the human body as part of her undergraduate thesis work at the University of Michigan. That work led to her brainchild called the POWERleap. It was her “Ah ha” moment. It happened two and a half years ago, and it’s been the driving force behind everything she’s done since.

POWERleap is a flooring system that generates electricity from human movement through high foot-traffic areas. It’s also a concept that is meant to engage people to take responsibility for generating some of the electricity they use every day. Imagine the next time you take a jog through your local park in the evening. You’re running around a looped jogging path that is installed with the POWERleap technology. Every step you take creates energy that is repurposed to the nearby lights that illuminate your path around the track. Now that’s Earthkeeping! It’s engaging, inspiring and provocative.

Elizabeth has a busy summer planned in an effort to bring POWERleap to life in a powerful and meaningful way. She’s already met with the 2016 Olympic committee that’s vying to get Chicago named as the host city (http://www.changents.com/change-agents/powerleaper/field-reports/7829). Tomorrow night, June 17, she’s going to be on the Sundance Channel’s, “Big Ideas for a Small Planet” and later this summer she’s participating in a renewable energy think tank in San Francisco. You can follow Elizabeth, armed with her Earthkeepers DNA, in her efforts to bring POWERleap to life in a powerful, meaningful way at www.changents.com/powerleaper. In the spirit of Earthkeepers, I think you’ll agree…Elizabeth’s is an amazing story, and then some.

Margaret Morey-Reuner
Senior Manager
Values Marketing
The Timberland Company

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