What’s in our “inventive” first issue of 2019? Read on: and find out…

More people imagine that inventors are scruffy-haired kooks cooking up see-through toasters in their garden sheds. But invention is so much more than that. In this issue of on: magazine we celebrate the spirit of problem-solving at its finest.

#ON01.19 on:Inventors — Change makers

Ifyou want to make something new don’t ask an expert. Someone who’s already succeeded only knows the route they took to produce the required results. But their blind spot will always be the other paths which they didn’t think to take.

Dyson has always valued young, free thinkers for precisely this reason. Graduates — or indeed students — are bright, keen to experiment and, crucially, they are unafraid of failure. They are the people who can most naturally see a problem in an entirely new way, and they’re exactly the people Dyson want helping them to invent new technologies.

Over many years, the hunt for the most creative young minds took Dyson engineers to end-of-year degree shows at universities across the globe. “Each stand is a fleeting opportunity for a student to present both themselves and their inventions” explains Pete Gammack, who used to visit these shows as one of Dyson’s first employees.

While the annual hunt for degree show geniuses continues, it has now turned into something much bigger and far more interesting. The James Dyson Award (JDA) is a competition for young inventors held by Dyson annually.

It draws entries by thousands of university students and recent graduates from more than 30 countries, each submitting their new “problem-solving ideas”. The brief is deliberately broad: design a problem-solving invention. No problem is too big or too small; we value unexpected thinking. Sir James explains that he wanted the competition to “reward those who have the persistence and tenacity to develop their ideas.”

Our latest issue of on: celebrates the many brilliant inventors who inspire us. We meet some of 2018’s most interesting entrants to the JDA and look back at some of the most memorable past winners. As you will see on the pages of this magazine, to us invention isn’t the hunt for new gadgets and gizmos, but is instead a reflection of an engineers’ determination to make the world a better place.

From global crises to domestic concerns, this magazine is dedicated to a special breed of inventors who can’t resist the challenge of solving problems.

Is this year going to be “the year of the inventor”?

Is there still anything left to invent? It is a question asked often by those who think that scientific progress is finally slowing. But the evidence is firmly against them, with more successful patents being awarded in 2018 than any other year on record. Here we’ve looked at the data to find out if 2019 will be known as the year of the inventor?

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Three inventions tacking the problematic future of food? | Photograph Dyson/Michael Thomas

What will we be eating in the future?

One of the biggest problems facing humans in the next century is food waste. 30 to 50 percent of all waste occurs before food has even reached a plate. And with over 11 percent of the world still malnourished the problem is only getting worse. In an exclusive piece for on: Lucy Purdy, the editor of Positive News, explores three young inventors with

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The innovative EcoHelmet being folded and unfolded | Photography Dyson/James Dyson Foundation

Is thinking “wrong” the new right?

Isis Shiffer won the James Dyson Award in 2016 with her foldable paper ‘EcoHelmet’ design. One of the key ingredients to her inventor’s process was an oft ignored philosophy called: ‘Wrongthink’. In her own words, Isisexplains the value of wrong-thinking and how it has helped her in the past.

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Introducing Discussi on: our new ideas column

Our first batch of columnists include of some of the brightest minds in journalism, tech, and engineering today. They have offered their many combined years of experience to help young inventors to realise their designs — and to avoid the pitfalls the process usually presets.

Click here to read the first column by American tech journalist, Lance Ulanoff.

Industrial inventiveness inside Dyson

“Sometimes just having a great idea isn’t enough,” according to Sir James Dyson. While the story of an inventor stuck by a lightning bolt of pure genius is appealing, it isn’t even half the story. The majority of inventions are actually made inside larger companies who can afford to invest the amounts needed to invent new technologies — and then continue to innovate them in the future.

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Dyson on: magazine is published quarterly and distributed in selected Dyson Demo spaces worldwide. To read the full digital edition visit on.dyson.co.uk. If you would like to read more stories from our back issues please click here. Follow us on: @Dyson_on