Brillant Companies That You Should Watch

WATCHIf there?s one clear trend that has emerged as we compiled the 2015 Brilliant 100, it?s that everyone?especially young adults?wants to keep tabs on everything.?

Millennials are driving technology and commerce in an altruistic direction that melds personal responsibility (for one?s health and well-being, as well as that of employees and customers) with social responsibility (for the global community, planet and big-picture economy).?

That starts with monitoring our own bodies and habits. The global market for wearable devices is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 35 percent, reaching 148 million units by 2019, according to a report from BI Intelligence. Nearly half of wearable tech owners, 48 percent, are between 18 and 34 years old, according to Nielsen.

In addition to their health, consumers are keeping an eye on the activities of the businesses they patronize. In a survey conducted by Nielsen, 55 percent of global online consumers said they were willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental change?and Millennials represent 51 percent of that group.

Online platforms that enable crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and peer-to-peer sharing make it easy to keep in touch with one?s social and business circles. Consumers are using these platforms to raise funds and drum up support for every move they make?right down to that most basic function, human reproduction. Companies, meanwhile, are taking advantage of the vast talent pool of internet users to crowdsource services they need.

That?s the picture of entrepreneurship today. It?s a picture we try to illustrate through our selection of 100 brilliant companies, ideas and technologies that are responding to consumer demand, solving problems and filling voids we might not have even realized were there. They?re not always the most influential, lucrative or serious notions, but they have a couple of qualities in common: They inspire us, and they are driving change. We hope they?ll inspire the inventor or innovator in you, too.