British car maker MINI started looking at new and innovative ways to change our fast-paced lives a while back. As peculiar as it may seem, the British brand started sponsoring architecture competitions and encouraging new ideas as to how to make the most use out of our crowded cities, as well as carrying on in the most sustainable of ways. Today, MINI announced the introduction of Voices, a platform for personalities and initiatives that have the potential to change the world.
Beyond the production of cars, MINI pursues a wide range of activities aimed at enhancing the quality of life in urban environments. Since 2016, the MINI Startup Accelerator URBAN-X has worked with more than 60 startups whose innovations are making life in the city better, more pleasant, more comfortable, more sustainable or more experiential. MINI Voices is now another opportunity to track down groundbreaking impulses for the world of tomorrow and make them known to a wider audience.
Therefore, if you have a vision or a groundbreaking idea to share, this is your platform to make your voice heard. Inventors, founders, scientists and other voices with something to say or prove in the fields of sustainability and social responsibility are invited. One such example is the French architect Clarisse Merlet, who has developed a method for extracting environmentally conscious building materials from clothes that are no longer usable.
Her Paris-based start-up, presented by MINI France, is called FabBRICK. Merlet and her team have already recycled textile waste weighing more than twelve tons and produced around 40,000 bricks from it. Another example is Swiss start-up Umami, which produces and processes micro-greens grown in a facility know as aquaponics. The nutrient-rich plants form a closed cycle with fish and freshwater shrimp without artificial additives. From there, they are delivered to famous restaurants in Zurich, staying fresh all the time.