Ten years ago, Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen began to investigate how to harvest the power of the sun. Confounded by the unequal distribution of global energy, they wondered if it would be possible to use solar power to increase universal access to energy.
The output was a small, portable solar lamp that has helped bring light to millions of people worldwide. The Little Sun solar lamp, based on the Ethiopian Adey Abeba flower that symbolizes positivity and beauty, communicates a message of hope. Most importantly, it allows people to hold the power of the sun in their hands.
A heartfelt thank you to our community
For the last decade, we’ve been committed to creating a world powered by the sun and we have you–our generous and loyal community–to thank for our progress.
The impact of access to even the smallest amount of electric light has proven transformative. But in the last ten years, it’s also become clear that the Little Sun solar lamp is just the first step on the energy ladder.
That’s why we expanded our impact to include larger systems, more complex processes, and new communities. On-the-ground knowledge and expertise is the bedrock of that impact, which is why we partner with local organizations to develop each of our solutions.
Little Sun operates as a hybrid organization, combining non-profit work and market-based solutions, to magnify our impact. Our team now counts over 30 people across Ethiopia, Germany, Senegal, the United States, and Zambia.
Introducing Little Sun’s 4 areas of focus
Little Sun brings clean power and light to communities living without electricity in Africa, while sparking an important dialogue about renewable energy. Discover how you can be a part of our next decade of impact by supporting one of our four areas of focus.
We meet urgent needs
Little Sun meets urgent energy needs with solar power for students, refugees, internally displaced persons, and community health workers.
- Distribute solar lamps to school children so they can study after dark and perform better in school
- Equip teachers with solar chargers so they have the right tools to educate their students
- Provide refugees and internally displaced persons with solar lights so they can feel some sense of security during a time of great upheaval
- Ensure community health workers have solar phone chargers so they have the energy to provide care to their patients
Over the next ten years, we aim to equip a million more people who urgently need energy.
We power productivity
Little Sun powers productivity to improve agricultural efficiency, increase food security, broaden economic opportunities, and reduce poverty.
- Build community solar hubs that can power various agricultural needs for the long-term
- Install solar water pumps to spur growth in otherwise dry regions
- Implement solar milk cooling systems that rapidly reduce temperatures of raw milk to eliminate unnecessary spoilage
- Install solar dryers that reduce food loss after harvest, while maintaining food’s nutritional value and increasing income for farmers
- Test productivity tools and value chains, such as solar oil pressing
Our goal for the next decade is to create 150 million dollars in local profits across Africa for the agricultural sector.
We equip communities with sustainable and scalable systems
Little Sun equips communities with scalable systems that provide long-term solutions.
- Provide boarding schools with solar systems for students to study after dark
- Install home systems for light, refrigeration, and television–broadening our pay-as-you-go initiatives that ensure low-income families aren’t barred by costly upfront expenses
- Electrify health centers so that doctors can treat patients, deliver life-saving vaccines, and manage safer deliveries at night
- Support entrepreneurs with trainings that provide crucial business skills, while preparing early careerists for jobs in the renewable energy sector
Over the next decade, we aim to reach 20,000 households and institutions with bigger solar systems.
We galvanize citizens around the beauty and power of the sun
Little Sun galvanizes citizens around the beauty and power of the sun to inspire communities to take action around climate justice.
- Invest in culture programs that create spaces for climate dialogue–from global activations at COP to hyper-local exhibits near our Africa offices
- Partner with artists imagining a climate just future to give shape to what’s possible
- Turn conversations around climate fear into hope, inspiring communities with proactive methods to get involved
- Lend a voice to untold or underrepresented stories with programming that highlights diverse communities
Over the next decade, we aim to inspire 10 million more people on the power of solar.
Join Little Sun on our next decade of impact
While 800 million people still lack access to clean energy, Little Sun is on a mission to change that. By helping communities own their source of power, we’re committed to creating self-sufficient, independent, and resilient communities. If you’re interested in helping the energy crisis, we want your help. Together we can make a difference, one solar cell at a time!