Above: Katie Glowski, Chief Sales Officer of Living Proof with Jono McKay, Suzanne Cole, and Hala Hanna during Solve Challenge Finals 2022
Sustainable collaboration means working together towards a common goal in a mutually beneficial way, with long-term impact in mind. Living Proof is a shining example of this kind of collaboration as a key supporter of Solve.
Living Proof has sponsored two prizes to support proximate innovators: the Living Proof Prize for Women's Leadership Solutions, and $50,000 worth of unrestricted funding for the 2023 Solv[ED] Innovators. Employees of the company have also eagerly jumped in to support Solve in choosing the best innovators addressing the 2022 Global Challenges.
Zach Rieken, CEO of Living Proof and a 2022 Global Challenge Leadership Group member, emphasized the brand's commitment to creating positive change: "We’ve always believed that science and technology can change the world for the better, a mission we share with MIT Solve and Solv[ED]. We couldn’t pick a more worthy cause, and the fact that MIT is already part of our brand DNA makes working together even more meaningful and natural."
Living Proof's sponsorship of the Living Proof Prize for Women's Leadership Solutions underscores its commitment to advancing women's empowerment and leadership, while also supporting innovative solutions to global challenges.
As Rieken noted, "According to the National Girls’ Collaborative, today women represent only 28% of the STEM workforce. These gender gaps are particularly big for some of the fastest-growing jobs of the future, like those in computer science and engineering. This issue really hits home for Living Proof, as our workforce consists of 75% women."
“Through last year’s collaboration, we awarded our funding to two Solver teams: Same Same, who is on a mission to offer tailored mental health support to LGBTQI+ youth on a global scale and Lakou Kajou's Eksploratoryòm, which works with local partners in Haiti to develop and distribute high-quality, educational curriculum and media for children. Our team has been honored to keep in touch with these groups to help support their efforts through mentorship in our areas of expertise like marketing, awareness, and storytelling,” shared Alexis Tedesco, Chief Marketing Officer of Living Proof.
Suzanne Cole, Co-Executive Director of Operations at Blue Butterfly (the organization which created Lakou Kajou's Eksploratoryòm) shares the impact that Living Proof’s support has had on their work: “Thanks to MIT Solve and the Living Proof Prize, Blue Butterfly has deepened the impact of our science education program for Haitian students. We are using interactive voice response to distribute play-based science lessons to students during out-of-school time. Our collaboration with Living Proof allowed us to build a comprehensive program of 30 interactive science lessons that will be used by students in Haiti's rural Central Plateau this summer. Living Proof has been a wonderful champion and ambassador for our program; we are grateful for their collaborative spirit.”
“We have had the best time getting to work more closely with the teams at Same Same and Blue Butterfly! We keep in touch via email and quarterly check-ins, and to say they are inspiring would be an understatement. We are honored to be a part of their story and to contribute to the success of their meaningful work,” shared Tedesco.
Living Proof's support of MIT Solve extends even further. Ten 2023 Solv[ED] Innovators were named during Solve at MIT 2023 and their solutions are poised to tackle some of the world's more pressing problems like bridging the gap between ASL and non-ASL communities and creating sustainable food systems in South America. Living Proof’s contribution to these young people allows them to scale their work and feel confident that they have allies in the social impact community.
"Solver teams around the world are developing brilliant solutions to huge global challenges–their passion and ingenuity are beyond inspiring. To be able to use your resources to help support those who are working so diligently to impact change is an honor," said Reiken.
Living Proof's sponsorship of prizes and ongoing volunteer work with Solve accentuate the brand's commitment to creating a more sustainable, equitable, and innovative world. “Our mission is to go where no beauty product developers have gone before…To us, innovation means pushing the limits of what we know to be possible; through determination and passion, this philosophy has the power to make a real, meaningful impact on a large scale,” said Reiken.
Reiken shared his guidance for other organizations looking to make a difference in the world: “My advice to others looking to support and empower the next generation is to roll up your sleeves and make authentic connections with people that are trying to make things happen. Rapid progress can come from something as simple as an insight, a connection from your network, or a useful piece of wisdom. Get your hands dirty and don’t underestimate the power of your lived experience to empower the next generation.”
If you’re interested in working with Solve and supporting its world-class innovators, learn more here.