From a cleaner freight train to an automated beehive, a way to recycle fabric, and other bold, new technologies, the 5th annual awards honour the products, concepts, companies, policies, and designs that are pursuing innovation for the good of society and the planet.
New York, May 4, 2021 — The winners of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honouring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation when it comes to solving health and climate crises, social injustice, or economic inequality.
BigUp.AI is selected as an Honourable Mention in the AI & Data category. It is a world-first, not-for-profit AI tool that’s helping to solve the problem of gender inequality. Created and launched by AnalogFolk in BETA in 2020, the AI tool is specially designed to encourage women to power up their professional bios, cover letters, CVs, interviews and performance reviews by using more impactful language that “bigs up” their values, skills and strengths.
Powered by cutting-edge Microsoft LUIS Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning technology, and AI training completed using skills found on real CVs and information from users, BigUp.AI identifies and analyses passive language, and then makes suggestions on swapping it for more impactful language.
During the midst of a global pandemic which has disproportionately impacted women, it is more important than ever to help them (re)assert their confidence and celebrate their strengths. Which is why, as the effects of the pandemic became more widely felt, AnalogFolk launched phase two of BigUp.AI, to help women keep sight of their brilliance during this incredibly uncertain time.
Sara Pouri, creative director, AnalogFolk said: “How we say something can often have a greater impact than what we say, particularly when it comes to communicating ideas or negotiating. If we talk down our capabilities, we put ourselves at a disadvantage when it comes to pay rises, promotions and getting credit for our hard work. Modesty just isn’t the best policy, yet it’s often so ingrained in women, we don’t realise when we’re doing ourselves a disservice. The ambition of BigUp.AI is to help us recognise when we need to stand tall and tell the world how great we are, and it gives us the language to do it, too. I think it’s a really good little project. And by that, I mean it’s an absolutely bloody awesome project and I’m hugely proud of the whole team involved.”
Anna-Louise Gladwell, managing director, AnalogFolk London says: "We are incredibly proud to be included on this remarkable list with BigUp.AI recognised as an innovative solution to what is a very real, world problem. It is a tool that AnalogFolk is invested in to drive change and impact ongoing globally and is a part of our new North Star ambition to be an impactful agency of change for people, brands, and society in pursuit of a better world. As we continue development of the tool, watch this space.''
Now in its fifth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 33 winners, more than 400 finalists, and more than 800 honourable mentions—with Health and Wellness, AI & Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 4,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. Plus, several new categories were added, including Pandemic Response, Urban Design, and Architecture. The 2021 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Brazil to Denmark to Vietnam.
Showcasing some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies tackling exigent global challenges, Fast Company’s Summer 2021 issue (on newsstands May 10) highlights, among others, a lifesaving bassinet; the world’s largest carbon sink, thanks to carbon-eating concrete; 3D-printed schools; an at-home COVID-19 testing kit; a mobile voting app; and the world’s cleanest milk.
“There is no question our society and planet are facing deeply troubling times. So, it’s important to recognise organisations that are using their ingenuity, impact, design, scalability, and passion to solve these problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have discovered some of the most groundbreaking projects that have launched since the start of 2020.”
About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honourable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.
Try our tool here