In 2016, I had the pleasure of speaking on behalf of Intel at the Autodesk REAL conference, a showcase of all technologies related to Reality Capture (largely 3D scanning). There were two major highlights for me: I met the incomparable Eythor Bender of UNYQ resulting in a career-changing project and this was my first professional conference speaking engagement! As an Innovation Manager, I had the unusual privilege to combine my job with my passion projects. A few months prior, I gave a TED-style talk inside Intel about how I got involved with e-NABLE, a movement which inspires the world to give 3D printed prosthetic hands freely to those in need. I started with that nucleus and was determined to add Intel’s story. Maybe unsurprisingly, I found that e-NABLE had deeply touched Intel employees in many ways:
- Employees (myself included) had made hands for kids near and far.
- Intel held a contest called Make it Wearable to spur IoT innovation. Open Bionics was a finalist.
- 350+ Intel employees even built 100 hands for Haiti
And these aren’t the only examples. I find that e-NABLE’s mission really resonates with Intel culture, but maybe not in the ways you’d expect. Certainly Intel encourages giving back to the community, volunteerism, and donation to great causes. I have spoken to dozens of employees worldwide about their own journey delivering 3D printed hands. But there’s something deeper at work here. Technologists from every discipline come to Intel to solve the most challenging computing problems, by pushing the boundaries of technology and human ingenuity. Yet, we’re often disconnected from the results of our day to day duties. We’re so focused on one thing, we lose the ability to see possibilities. And that’s why this matters. At the end of the day, 3D printing prosthetic hands isn’t about fixing a limb difference, it’s about turning possibility thinking into action. For the Maker, especially one from a big company, there’s a power in making a difference for ONE person using on-the-job skills. For the Recipient, there is power in being part of a design process. There’s also a magic moment, where the prosthetic hand ceases to be an appliance and becomes part of their body. In that moment, they see possibilities in themselves. I’ve seen that magic moment many times.
I have a lot more to say about this. Watch for more posts on my blog about how corporations can get involved with e-NABLE. In the meantime, watch the video to hear the story of e-NABLE’s origins, how Intel got involved, and what you can do to help.
Relevant links: http://www.enablingthefuture.org