Gresham Smith’s MPATH Platform Named Winner in Fast Company’s 2024 World Changing Ideas Awards

Gresham Smith Also Selected to Join Fast Company's Impact Council

Gresham Smith’s MPATH: Empathic Insights platform has been named as one of the winners of Fast Company’s 2024 World Changing Ideas Awards that were announced today.

The awards highlight fresh sustainability initiatives, cutting-edge artificial intelligence developments, ambitious pursuits of social equity, and other creative projects that are helping mold the world. MPATH: Empathic Insights has been recognized in three categories, including as the winner in the Apps category, finalist in the Science and Technology category, and honorable mention in the Urban Design category. As a part of the recognition, Gresham Smith will also join Fast Company’s Impact Council, an invitation-only collective of innovation leaders from around the world. Gresham Smith is one of the few architecture and engineering firms on the council.

MPATH: Empathic Insights is a pioneering platform that quantifies and aggregates how people feel in different spaces. MPATH’s patented approach uses geolocation data and novel stress measurements from wearable devices to uncover what places cause stress and then improve design using this information. The project aims to proactively improve safety, reduce accidents, and create safer, more inclusive and well-connected communities.

Innovation Director Mike Sewell led the development of MPATH for Gresham Smith. “We’re thrilled to see MPATH featured as one of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas,” Sewell says. “The international award validates the hard work of our Innovation Incubator team that keeps our firm on the cutting edge of our industry. Innovative tools and technologies like MPATH have the potential to transform the design process and the impact our work has on local communities.”

This year’s World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 50 winners, 127 finalists, and 172 honorable mentions—with health, education, energy, and AI among the most popular categories. A panel of Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners from a pool of more than 1,300 entries across climate, social justice, wellness, politics, technology, corporate social responsibility and more. The 2024 awards feature entries from across the globe, including the Republic of Korea, Brazil and Madagascar.

“I was struck this year by the global sweep of the honorees,” says Fast Company editor-in-chief Brendan Vaughan. “It’s endlessly inspiring to see how the world is coming together to devise inventive solutions to our most challenging problems. We need ideas from everywhere, and this year’s World Changing Ideas Awards are an extraordinary encapsulation of the innovation and creativity that is so abundant around the globe.”

Cities across the United States as well as in Europe are actively piloting MPATH to see how it can help them design safer streets for all. Researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, recently completed a pilot study of the university campus using MPATH to study pedestrian safety and published their findings in the Journal of Transportation Technologies. The study results suggest that the use of wearable technologies offers a promising opportunity to enhance pedestrian comfort and safety, thereby helping to promote greater use of walkability as a transportation mode in urban areas.

MPATH is also being tested in other parts of the built environment to discover more about stress in airports, industrial facilities and hospitals. The aim is to use MPATH to learn more about optimal levels of stress and how design can impact and influence enjoyment of spaces.