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Monday, September 29, 2014

Let There Be Light ~ What One Person Can Do, Chapter Two

What We Can Do Together
In the middle of all this talk of war, of barbarism, of terrorism, of Republican governance, of climate change hoax talk, there is hope.

There are people who, out of necessity, have managed to create wonderful things, and share them with others, upgrading the quality of life for all involved.

A Liter of Light
In The Philippines, one man, Solar Demi, found a way to bring light into previously very dark shanty homes, using discarded soda bottles, water and bleach. A permanent solution to a permanent problem. And no electric company had anything to do with it.

In its first year Liter Of Light.org installed more than 15,000 solar bulbs in 20 Philippine cities. My Shelter Foundation saw a wonderfully sustainable teachable moment and spread the idea to other nations, creating bases in countries like Peru, Colombia, Kenya, Singapore, Mumbai, and Switzerland, even showcasing at the Tedx Earth Summit in Dubai. Their goal is to install more than a million, while creating green jobs for builders and installers of these units in countries all over the world. You can check out updates from advocates working in various global outposts on their website, Liter of Light, and track their progress in real-time through personal videos, photos, and blog entries.

This is just one of those fabulous ideas to improve the quality of life for people everywhere, ideas that are easily replicable, scalable, and of course, only use materials that are sourced from local communities. Perhaps, if we weren't so focused on dragging congress along by their necks, we might be able to focus forward, and once again become a source of innovation, here, in the United States.

Shake Your Power
This Kickstarter campaign was fully funded on July 10th this year, and the idea is musical. Sudha is a ground-breaking percussionist; the heartbeat of the popular electronic band Faithless for 15 years, and a touring and recording favorite for other mainstream artists including Dido, The Spice Girls, Ian Brown, and Talvin Singh. This musician doesn't stay put, and her idea to bring light AND electricity to towns where there was none, brought music to the residents' eyes.

This simple solution was discovered by just one person knowing that an alarming 3/4s of Kenyans didn't have basic access to regular electricity. She saw the need, identified a solution, and created a distribution model for the idea.

Through these increasingly popular crowd sourcing centers, like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, we can see the positive intensions of social media morph into useful boots-on-the-ground change out there in the world. Meaningful minimal change that can make a difference in people's lives every day, substantively raising the quality of life for all involved. The simple act of learning then teaching is in itself a gift that can transcend another human beings interaction with the world.
"If any of this is inspiring you, maybe take a look at some other Kickstarter and GoFundMe campaigns, and look for holiday gifting ideas there., instead of buying dad another pair of socks."
What One Person Can Do
In our continuing series, What One Person Can Do, we hope you get inspired into finding a solution to just one problem that exists in the world. Just One. And share your success. Because a successful world, is a better world.

Chance favors the collective mind, and amazing things can evolve from simple ideas. Where once a plastic bottle was garbage in the street, it is now a vital part of brightening up everyone's day. Where once sundown meant a stop to learning, there is now a reading light...and a charging station.

When we make each other's lives better, we make the world better. Don't you think?

Are there any other crowdsourcing sites that you've heard positive things about, or used yourself? Do share.

Share The Gift Of Light

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