Solar solutions to global poverty.
Just giving a child a light increases graduation rates by 30%”
Megan Birney, the CEO of Unite to Light
, talked with Mark and Patrick about the mission of the project and the big goals she has for the organization. Unite to Light has created a simple light that uses solar power to recharge an AA battery, providing light for a multitude of applications in the third world, or anywhere there’s no electricity.
This wide-ranging conversation covered a lot of ground including:
- 1.3 Billion people have no electricity. That’s a lot of people
- She talks about Professor John Bowers and his Engineers without Borders at UCSB – one of the partners of the project
- A brief history of the organization started seven years ago
- How the design process created something of low cost and high durability
- How the light replaces kerosene and candles and the real problems that the two fuels create
- How the light is an economic stimulus as well
- What’s next for the organization
- How she’s settling into her role as CEO (she’s new since this summer)
- Interning at the Smithsonian via the UCDC program while at UC San Diego
- Why interns are so important and how she’s integrated them in each leadership role, she’s had since graduation
- Why she sees the organization as working to solve Global Poverty
- New markets for her include Disaster Relief
A light a day keeps the lions away.
One of the benefits of this light, as reported by users in rural Africa, is it is effective at keeping the lion’s away at night.