idea by ganorris

Applicant Name

First and Last Name:

Gregory Norris




What inspired your idea?


I work and teach in the field of “Life Cycle Assessment” (LCA) which is the science of footprints. I realized years ago that we can never reduce our footprints to zero. But I still wanted to figure out how I – and everyone – could be a net benefit to the planet and its people. So I created the concept of handprints, and have operationalized it by extending the same methods of LCA which underly footprints. I had the honor to share this idea with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C73rUWE8Iz0 and have started to bring it to life with a beta web app.

What’s your social impact business idea?


Empowering businesses and citizens to know, and grow, our HANDPRINTS – the positive impacts we can have, as individuals and organizations, for the planet and for people. One way to create handprints is by shrinking your footprint. Other ways are by creating positive changes, and by empowering or inspiring other people and organizations to shrink their footprints and to create positive change. Handprinter makes our positive impacts as tangible to us as our footprints, and compares the two, showing us when – and for how long – we've achieved net-positive status. It enables people to engage their social network in healing the planet. To really take off, Handprinter must let people see visually how their ripple effects are spreading through their social network and across the world.

What is your impact and how is it relevant to the business?


Handprinting reduces greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of water, and destruction of habitat. It promotes human health and well-being, and can save people money. Was named by TIME magazine as one of “ten ideas changing your life” http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2108015,00.html. The school fundraising project has been enabled by a gift of 300 water heater blankets by Owens Corning. Lululemon is piloting handprinter in 10 of their stores, which adds climate, biodiversity and health impact measurement. Handprinter is ALL ABOUT measurement of impacts, and will enable us to report ours to the world. Non-profit handrinter will raise revenues from for-business handprinting apps.

How will you establish sustainable impact in the locations you wish to serve?


Handprinter is free for people to use, and designed to go viral once users find it compelling enough. One key to viral is letting people see visually how their ripple effects are spreading through their social network and across the world. Another is supporting schools and communities of worship (all faiths) to spread handprinting via fund-raisers, as is now being started in my home town of York Maine http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20130320-OPINION-303200336 . The final key is to enable people to share their own creative handprinting ideas, for citizens and businesses, and enable volunteers to transparently model these actions' impacts, growing their handprint further by doing so.

What does success look like, including measurements and reporting on the business and your impact?


People understand that they can create environmental and social handprints, are inspired to, and seek to be net-positive with our lives. At work our employers encourage and empower us to make our workplace net-positive. Schools, families, towns, cities pursue net-positive status. Users across the globe contribute new handprint actions relevant to their culture, demographic group (at home) or sector (at work), and volunteers build and refine transparent web-hosted models of their impact. Humans become net reducers of atmospheric CO2, net-increasers of biodiversity. We work fewer hours, people's material needs are met. We mark this as the moment in history when humans became planet healers.

What would $50,000 mean for your business? And how will it help your company better reach its goals?


This funding will mean EVERYTHING to handprinter! And thereby, we hope, to the planet! It will enable us to do four things: (1) Add compelling visualization of your ripple-effects spreading across your social network and your extended network of influence, across the globe (we already track this data but cannot display it!); (2) Add features that support schools and places of worship to effectively perform handprinting fundraisers like the water heater blanket pilot, and to track the handprints of their doing so; (3) extend our volunteer community of translators to extend language coverage to all major world languages; and (4) support mobile platforms including smart phones and tablets.

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Thanks Greg for your support in developing some of my handprinting ideas. on the Handprinter website I will be presenting a professional paper to the 2013 Institute of Electriical and Electronic Engineers Conference on Technology for Sustainability in August. The paper "Our Environmental Handprint -- The Good We Do" focuses on professionals. It will complement your focus on youth. Contact me with an active e-mail address if you would like a copy of the paper that has been accepted. Jon Biemer jrbiemer@q.com.

by jrbiemer
over 2 years ago | Reply

An inspiring application of perhaps the most powerful tool we have for quantifying the affects our actions.

by Wmmodic
over 2 years ago | Reply

At Owens Corning, we have begun working with this new and exciting concept of Handprinting. We are finding it intrigues everyone we engage with it in a way that footprint discussions never have. We will continue to work hard to reduce our footprint, but in the end, that is all about "doing less bad"...and the end-game is zero impact. Handprinting inspires creativity in imagining ways, through our business, that we can create net-positive impacts...that is, "doing more good", challenging us to envision new business models. We think this is a very important idea and expect it to make a difference. I hope others will learn more about it and support its further development.

by frank.obrienbernini
over 2 years ago | Reply

My deepest gratitude to the organizers of Start Something That Matters, and to each of our VOTERS! Your belief in the GOODness within humanity, and its power to rise up and change everything, is what drives us daily too!

by ganorris
over 2 years ago | Reply

I wish Handprinter the best of luck with this contest! It's a great tool, and adding the ability to visualize the "ripples" will make it even more powerful. Thank you for imagining such an easy way to help us feel even better about doing good.

by MarcyFranck
over 2 years ago | Reply

Thanks Marcy! The support of you and all our other voters will mean EVERYTHING to Handprinter, and its ultimate ability to empower students and other users worldwide.

by ganorris
over 2 years ago | Reply

Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-idea-inactive

Submission Began
Monday, April 22

Submission Ended
Friday, May 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Friday, May 31

Voting Ended
Friday, June 14
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title

Winner Announced
Tuesday, July 02

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