Peyton Robertson

Peyton Robertson began inventing at only eight years old. He was brought up by his parents to find solutions to problems rather than complain about them. By the time he turned twelve, he had won first place in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for inventing the “Sandless Operational Sandbag” (SOS). His invention is much lighter than conventional sandbags, more intuitively-designed to avoid seawater and floodwater from seeping in, and 100% reusable. Once dried after use, the SOS can then be stored for future flood emergencies.

When he first discovered his love for math and science, Peyton was encouraged by his parents to think differently. Instead of seeing problems only as just causes of trouble, he was made to search for solutions; it sure helped that Peyton was a genius from birth.

After seeing how poorly the sandbags performed as flood deterrents, he set out to revolutionize their design and components. The first thing to go was the sand; instead of heavy sandbag content, he replaced it with light polymers, which expand when wet and absorb the liquid. He then added salt to make the contents denser than the saltwater it needed to keep out. To optimize blocking efficiency, he also fashioned his sandbags with plaster to keep them interlocked and ensure no salt water would find its way into the gaps.

Peyton explains, ““Failure is progress and a normal part of the process. Whether it’s science or life, you have to start, fail and just keep pushing. In a football game, time runs out, and a golf match ends after the last hole. But when you are working on something and it doesn’t work, you just extend the game – and give your experiment or your prototype another go.” 



Hannah Herbst

Hannah Herbst has a passion for learning, solving problems, and helping others. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University High School in 2019, and is finishing her bachelor’s degree at Florida Atlantic University in 2020.    

Hannah created an ocean energy probe prototype that seeks to offer a stable power source to developing countries using untapped energy from ocean currents. This innovation was inspired by Hannah’s desire to help her nine-year-old penpal living in Sub-Saharan Africa, where many people live in energy poverty with sporadic or no access to electricity. In addition, Hannah has explored early identification methods for hazardous airborne chemicals in collaboration with I-SENSE at Florida Atlantic University, and is currently studying the properties of shark skin for medical applications at the Florida Atlantic Biomechanics Lab. 

Hannah won the 2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She has received 6 research grants from Florida Atlantic University, and has delivered keynote addresses at the United Nations, USA Science and Engineering Festival, Social Innovation Summit, National Science Olympiad Competition, and World Science Festival.


Marley Dias

When Marley Dias was age 11, she complained to her mother that all of her mandatory readings were books about white boys and dogs. She said, “There wasn’t really any freedom for me to read what I wanted.” After talking to her mother, Dias decided to start a book drive, #1000BlackGirlBooks, bringing more attention to literature featuring black female protagonists. 

Marley Dias’ book drive focused specifically on books in which black girls are the main characters, not minor or background characters. She launched a campaign called #1000BlackGirlBooks in 2015, with the goal to collect 1,000 books to donate for black girls. In just a few months, more than 9,000 books were collected. Many of these books have been sent to a children’s book drive in Jamaica. The campaign also called public attention to the lack of diversity in children’s literature.

Dias, whose project has been popular all over the world, wrote and published her own book, Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!. Marley wanted to show the children all over the world that their wishes or dreams can come true. Scholastic Corporation, a global children’s publishing company, released the book in the spring of 2018. Marley said, “I think writing gives me creative freedom. I love just being able to do whatever I want. When I create a story, I can make it however funny, sad, or happy I want it to be.”

A crisis as opportunity?

Schools are necessarily closed. Children and youths are home. Can this enforced “shelter-in-place” become an opportunity to invite your child(ren) and/or youth(s) to explore their own creativity either through existing forms—art, music, writing, programming, etc.—or by playing around with some new creative expression or form?


Imagine a world in which millions of youths in societies all across the Earth have accessed integral consciousness and are guided in their lives from this quality of being. 

Avoiding the creation of “forbidden fruits”

We were trying not to create forbidden fruits. We wanted her to learn to see through these kind of things—Barbie—not just to see it the way we do, but to make her own way through things, so she can see for herself how things are.

What conscious parents do

 To work at giving your child freedom with safety, you will inevitably have to grow yourself—emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

Since the soul in its fullness is present from before birth, your child’s soul is expressing its knowing through the vehicle of the physical body from the beginning of life.

Yes, the soul is constrained by the infant’s physical, emotional, and mental limitations—but the will of the infant is manifest from the first day of life outside the womb (and sometimes before). And the will of the child at every age and stage is the expression of the soul’s intent. The soul is “the inner teacher.” Give your child as much freedom as possible to live out her inner teacher’s guidance while providing your child with love, safety, and individually-appropriate boundaries.

Evolution and regression

Evolution is a complex process, and it is certainly not linear. We have begun to evolve from nation states to some more global, planetary structure. Unfortunately—but perhaps inevitably given the status of human consciousness—many of our first steps into the planetary have been captured by capitalists centered in modernist consciousness. Hence a regression into some elements of 19th century capitalism, billionaires, at the same time that hundreds of millions move up into modernist life. 

While the movement into the planetary is initial, it is nonethless enough to engender a reactionary regression: reactionary Christianity in the United States, Hindu nationalism in India and Myanmar, Muslim reactionary movement in Turkey, the warrior state in Russia, and so on.

What was new and progressive as modernist consciousness first evolved several hundred years ago—democracy, science, technology, capitalism—is now tired and running out of capacity to hold its integrity. This is exactly why we need to evolve into a planetary civilization. But it will take time and courage and consciousness—and its success is not inevitable. It requires the conscious collaboration of millions. 

The challenge of the 2020s

The fires in Australia provide dramatic evidence that the climate emergency is happening, now. Our need as a species to evolve in consciousness is evident, and this kind of evolution is the only vehicle through which we may ameliorate the climate emergency. Evolutionary Parenting will not aid in this process today, but it certainly is a most profound vehicle for evolution in the coming decades.