This story is from the 2019 Access Magazine: Innovation for All. Explore more from this issue

In Brief: News and Trends From Our Connected World

Learn about Young Innovators shaping the future — and the solutions that are helping them succeed.

Solving the Plastic Problem One Drop at a Time

Young Innovator Scott Edwards’ start-up may be small in size, but it’s big in its mission: to help fix the world’s plastic waste problem. Edwards came up with the concept for Drop Water — which centers on a kiosk that filters local tap water and bottles it in sustainable packaging — as a senior at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). His solution uses 95 percent less energy for transport compared with traditional water bottles, he estimates, and it has enabled the use of their 100 percent compostable, paper-based bottles.

Drop Water won the 2018 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest Silver Prize. To learn more, including information about entering the 2019 contest, go to

Husband and wife packing shipments at home

Single FedEx Source for End-to-End Solutions

Geographic expansion ranks as the most important factor in the future growth of entrepreneurs’ businesses, according to a 2018 report by The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by FedEx. A recent realignment of several FedEx companies into a new organization, FedEx Logistics, helps make those global aspirations possible. From specialty transportation to cross-border e-commerce technology services to trade management tools and data, customers can choose one service or work with FedEx to find the combination of capabilities best suited to meet their business goals.

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Study Reveals Social Responsibility Matters

Eighty six percent of millennials think business success should be measured by more than just financial performance, according to Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends report. The rise of purpose as a top corporate priority is consistent with learnings from The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2018 report An Entrepreneur’s Perspective: Today’s World Through the Eyes of the Young Innovator, sponsored by FedEx. That report revealed that 70 percent of Young Innovators say social responsibility matters more today than it did five years ago, and two-thirds call it essential to the success of their business.

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A New Force to Fight Poverty

Data is being put to work to help address some of the biggest challenges in the United States, including homelessness and access to educational opportunities. Using software and data, innovative nonprofits such as Palo Alto, California–based Benetech and Minneapolis-based Constellation Fund are able to measure charitable program results in a consistent way — and develop solutions that organizations can adopt in their efforts to deliver social good.

Healthcare Goes the Distance

Eighty percent of Americans now own smartphones, and 75 percent have broadband service — numbers that support “the emergence of distance health” as a top medical innovation for 2018, the Cleveland Clinic says. Telehealth programs are on the rise at hospitals nationwide, with 90 percent offering or building such programs. And patients are embracing them — with reports estimating 7 million patients in 2018, a 19-fold increase from five years before. Technologies extend far beyond two-way video platforms, thanks most notably to attachable devices that record and report patient information back to medical teams. Tools used by the Cleveland Clinic’s Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit, for example, now let stroke neurologists monitor progress and provide guidance to patients at home. The results are impressive: Treatment time after an acute stroke has been trimmed 40 percent.

PHOTO AT TOP: Drop Water Founder and CEO Scott Edwards

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