When i had to choose my university path, i had in mind that i would have focused myself on something useful not just for me but for the whole world. I knew i was lucky because i could afford to study and my goal was (or at least to try) to return this fortune to people who hadn’t been lucky as i was.
Nowadays, mostly scientific degrees are the ones who may drive toward a practical contribution in helping the world in being more comfortable and fair, meaning that “progress” must be pointed not only toward business markets but also to inequalities, ecology, charity and social problems.
I love when people has strong ideals and struggle for it, even more if they do this without primary monetary purposes.
I think that all of us has a potentially unlimited power hided into hands and brain, hence, for what concern an engineer and an IT person, i wanna list some European startups with open positions that are really making the difference (so called CleanTech), and where all of us can use its own synapses to leave (or make) this planet a bit better.
The first project i want to talk about is TooGoodToGo, where using
their App you can buy unsold food from stores for a very low price; everyday, shops who sell any kind of food (bar, restaurants, groceries) post how many Magic Boxes they have left, containing unsold daily food of whatever type and a preferred time interval for picking up the bag. I personally use it and i find it amazing. If you wanna join the teams of this waste warriors please check their website, they have lots of open positions across all Europe !
Staying on the same topic, the London based startup OLIO reduce the
food waste connecting people with their neighbours to share unused food instead of throwing it away. Users can post a photo and a description on the app and users can browse and then collect.
Confirming physics as the best thing in science, this dutch startup has invented a window which turns solar light into electricity. This is a big step in reaching the zero-energy buildings. They are based in the netherlands and they have lots of open positions.
This finnish startup invented an app aimed to drastically reduce the number of cars simply providing basically every kind of mobility options inside a single app. They shows public transport, city bikes, taxis, and rental cars. We can say they invented the Mobility-as-a-Service concept. Again, since the service is powered trough an app they need lots of IT people and engineers and you can find their job positions on their website.
Notpla revolutionized the packaging world inventing a whole new natural, biodegradable and even repulpable coating for the food industry. It’s made from a sort of seaweed called Notpla which is totally tasteless and odorless and can be used to replace plastics or any other food packaging. I did not find any job section on their website but i think they can be reached by email.
This UK startup aims to plants trees using drones which disperse seeds at high speed across massive areas. Resulting in being extremely faster than usual methods, they claims to plants 100000 trees in a single day. Lots of engineers are required!
You have probably already heard about this dutch startup which aims to build the oceans from plastic using a particular piped system. Their project is huge and they need lots of people on their side. Maybe not suitable for IT people but many other scientific positions are available.
Leaving the environment for another really important subject, children. This italian startup aims to build a sort of software/tool to protect people (especially children) from hate speech, stalking, cyber-bullism on social network. It makes a deep use of Artificial intelligence algorithms to discover anomalies or threats applying text and images analyses, NLP and semantic analysis. Computer engineers are welcome.
From Edinburgh the IndiNature startup produces sustainable construction materials using only natural materials instead petrochemical plastics and acts as a carbon-sink by absorbing carbon during the material’s photosynthesis process.
It also helps in keep the temperature better than traditional materials helping not only the environment but also wallets. Architects and engineers needed !
These are just a bunch of possibilities you have, to combine your daily work to something bigger and useful, but of course there are many many more companies out there who need our help to solve big problems and challenges.