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Hackernoon logo10 Non-Influencers redefining Influence. Opportunity: $1 Million USD Funding to fight COVID-19 by@amirsan-roberto

10 Non-Influencers redefining Influence. Opportunity: $1 Million USD Funding to fight COVID-19

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@amirsan-robertoAmirsan Roberto

Serial Entrepreneur |Blockchain 4 Social Impact |Sharing/Subscription Economy Researcher|

Since my previous article about COVID Innovations, in which I highlighted 20 ordinary professionals and companies undertaking extraordinary actions to drive change to tackle this pandemic, new change makers have emerged on the horizon. Acting as role models worthy of our admiration and attention, more and more industry giants are taking the lead, including:

  • Apple  pledged $15 million to COVID-19 response efforts in the U.S. and internationally, donated 10 million masks.
  • Google pledged more than $800 million to support small businesses and crisis response, along with 2-3 million masks.
  • Giorgio Armani announced that all of its Italian production plants have switched to manufacturing single-use medical overalls for the individual protection of healthcare workers engaged in the fight against the Coronavirus disease.
  • Amazon teamed up with Lyft to provide work for those in need, donated over $3 million in the UK, and provided scores of services to battle Covid-19.
  • Facebook pledged $20 million in matching funds for Covid-19 response.
  • Tesla provided hundreds of ventilators to help meet demands from the growing coronavirus outbreak. Check out here how Ford and GM have joined the club to manufacture ventilators.
  • Alibaba Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations donated medical equipment to African Union member states.

In addition to these well-known companies, I would like to extend my appreciation and admiration to non-influential individuals taking the lead to provide support, spread the word and call for action to fight COVID-19. Just reading their acts of courage motivated me to share their stories and glorify their accomplishments.

10 Non-Influencers Making a Difference

1.     Quinn Callander

This 12-year-old is breaking old school thinking and utilizing the power of imagination. After witnessing the complaints of doctors at the local hospital asking for help with a unique problem, which was that its healthcare workers had serious ear pain after long shifts wearing masks nonstop, he put his 3D printer to use.

Quinn Callander developed a simple, but effective “ear guard” that prevents the elastic bands on a mask from rubbing against the backs of people’s ears. He prototyped several designs with his 3D printer, landing on a wide plastic strap that goes around the back of the head. The strap has notches so wearers can loop the mask’s elastic straps around the notches that are most comfortable, allowing them to adjust the tension while keeping the mask firmly in place.

2.    Ron Arad

Ron Arad launched the "Smile for our NHS" fundraiser with masks featuring famous artists. Celebrities, including Stephen Fry, David Baddiel and Elizabeth Hurley, have modeled face masks designed by Ron Arad that are sold to raise money for UK's National Health Service. Additionally, the cotton masks are printed with portraits of famous artists, including Picasso, Matisse and Dalí.

3.    Olivia Strong

A documentary producer, Olivia Strong, started a charity running challenge “Run for Heroes” on social media with the aim of raising £5,000 ($6,212). It quickly went viral and has now raised over £5 million for UK healthcare workers fighting COVID. Check out her detailed story here.

4.    Asta Baumöller

While millions of people are being laid off, others are helping to locate those in need and match them with potential employers. Asta Baumöller along with Claudia WulfHolger Eggert, Kathrin Koehler and Andrea Aeby developed a free2freelance platform that aims to help self-employed people struggling to find work during the COVID-19 crisis connect with companies and projects.

5.    Veronica Kirin

Stories captivate, engage and call for an action. Veronica Kirin the founder of Stories of COVID is a real-time interview archiver who is documenting the impact of COVID-19 for future generations. Check out the podcast here and her stories that are emotionally moving.

6.    Tokujin Yoshioka

Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka has created a quick and easy face shield for healthcare workers fighting Covid-19 that attaches to the wearer's glasses.

Tokujin Yoshioka's template design creates a face shield in three simple steps from a clear sheet of PET or PVC plastic. Printed on an A3 piece of paper, the template gets placed over the top of a clear sheet of plastic and used as a guideline for cutting around the edge of the shape.

7. Lakshmi Menon

Kerala-based social entrepreneur Lakshmi Menon launched the coVeed project to foster a sense of coexistence among people. The concept is simple. Lakshmi Menon created a template of the coVeed, a mini-model of a house on the website, to be downloaded, printed and assembled just like a pizza box.

Each model can store whatever provisions someone can spare for the needy like grain, pulses, etc. They can also decorate the model creatively and write messages of hope and faith. These can be then be collected and given to people in need.

8. Ieva Vaitkeviciute

Mental Health has become more critical than ever before. Dozens of startups, professionals and individuals jumped onboard to do something about it. One of the pioneers is Ieva Vaitkeviciute. Along with her team, in the midst of the crisis, they have developed the Act On Crisis app. The app is a safe place in which people can share their thoughts anonymously with the community. They can also take part in one-to-one meetings with certified psychologists from wherever they are. It is highly recommended.

9. Grace Gravley

Grace Gravley studies how the anxieties of the moment and translates dreams. Anyone who wants to tell her their dream can fill out an anonymous form and choose to share the dream publically or not. Going through the stories, it is evident that a variety of thoughts, ideas and impressions of the pandemic are affecting human lives all over the world. Check out the gig here

10. Francesca Perani

Architect Francesca Perani has designed a mini-flat that is just 25-square meters in size and is perfect for self-isolation. The space was designed for a couple living in a small Italian town, Albino. It has been added by transforming the porch or a storage space into a mini self-contained living area.

How about 1 million USD funding to fight COVID-19?

Hayden Brown and management at Upwork are taking influence to the next level. To make it even more interesting and tempting click here to learn more, how anyone, anywhere with a great idea to solve the pandemic related problem could apply...

There is one more.

Whitney Wolfe Herd and her team at Bumble want to help as much as they can. They are asking companies to submit a request for their business to receive up to $5,000 in monetary support. Learn more here.


At the end of the day, despite the type of crisis and where it happens some people see positive opportunities, while other people see problems.

This pandemic is a life-changing event in life. It has definitely taught us a lot and it has made us work together and be resourceful. What is most impressive to me is that it has made us think, reflect and make the right choices.

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