Necessity is an amazing Mother of Invention

I’ve asked this question many times before, both of myself and of many of you out there.

What would you change if you could?

Some of you answered. For some, it’s something very specific: help fund a local robotics team to attend national championships, rally for a vote AGAINST Amendment One in North Carolina’s upcoming elections. For others, it’s a general change in our way of life: healthier school lunches, legalizing gay marriage.

More importantly is how you bring about change. That’s the hard part. That’s where invention comes in. Whether you’re Thomas Edison or Mother Teresa, you must invent something or at the very least invent the solution to help bring about change.

One of the things I love about Toyota is their ability to not only recognize problems, not only make contributions to the solutions, but to actually recognize the people that help bring about the solution.

One of the highlights of my recent trip to the Women in the World Summit was having the ability to meet and interview the three recipients of the Mothers of Invention award. Even better was watching their actual reaction to the surprise announcement that Toyota was awarding them $50,000 to help fund the change they are bringing about in the world.

The entire conference was livestreamed and all the video is available online over at The Daily Beast but if you need a feelgood moment for today, fast forward this clip to 15:23 and watch it to the end. These are women that were truly humbled to be honored by Toyota.

Now that you’ve seen the feelgood stuff, you need to understand why all of these women are so deserving.

As I mentioned, I had the chance to interview all of the recipients with my fabulous co-host and fellow TWIN, Krystel from

In these ever-so-brief clips, you’ll meet Julia Silverman and Jessica O. Matthews, founders of Uncharted Play. They were two Harvard college students that invented a soccer ball. The catch? This soccer ball was a solution to the problem of third world countries not having the power they needed at night to read and learn. The sOccket harnesses kinetic energy created during a simple game of soccer and stores it in a battery cell that can be used to power the light that’s included with the ball.

You’ll also meet Talia Leman, a 17 year old who has already founded her own non-profit, Starting with her desire to make a difference to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, she quickly realized how kids can make a real and sustainable change with their collective power.

And finally, while I don’t have all the footage from my interview yet, I want to introduce you to Toyota’s third Mother of Invention who I find to be a personally inspiring woman. Dr. Asenath Andrews founded Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women, a high school in the city of Detroit. Her school is special because it’s a haven for pregnant teens and teen moms. It gives them not only an alternative to leaving their education behind, but it also helps them with early childhood education, parenting skill, and a chance to see the world.

These are some of the unsung heroes that Toyota is singing about. It was an honor to meet all of them, interview all of them, and more importantly, share with you their ideas to change the world and how they are actually doing it.

Thank you, Toyota, for your generosity in recognizing women that are creating global solutions!

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.

  • Army Wife 101

    Definitely feel good moments and so glad we get to share this with everyone. It was definitely an experience.

    • FadraN

      I’ll be your co-host any day :)

  • Erin margolin


    I just met Talia Lehman  of Random Kid at Tribefest in Vegas. LOVE HER. So inspiring. Going to watch your clips now.

    • FadraN

      Whoa. I want to hear more about this Tribefest. And I’m glad you met Talia! So poised for only 17!!

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