Produced by Little Sun, illustrated by Diana Ejaita and supported by IKEA Foundation.
“Let’s reach for the sun, and take the power of the future into our own hands. Bringing solar energy to everyone is simple: it starts with you.” – Olafur Eliasson, artist and founder of Little Sun
We are grasping for solutions to the causes and consequences of the climate crisis. And yet a solution is visible to us all the time, every day. We see it every time we look out of the window in the morning, when we go to a beach, or take a walk.
Introducing, the sun
For those of us relying heavily on fossil fuels, solar energy offers a way to create a balanced and healthy world for everyone, today and for future generations. Solar energy also offers the promise of a better life now, particularly for the 800 million of us who live beyond the reach of the electricity grid.
Solar has the capacity to provide the majority of our energy, yet today it makes up just 3% of our power. Powering the world with solar is possible. Getting there requires a collective effort. But mostly, getting there depends on you.
The journey to change
begins with feeling. Feeling
shapes what you believe and
drives what you do.
1. Imagine a solar powered world
Go outside, lie down and breathe in the sun. Close your eyes and feel the sun on your face; let it warm your body and let it into your heart. Imagine a world in which the sun is at the centre of our lives, a world that you made possible for future generations.
2. Touch the sun and feel its potential
The sun creates all life. It makes your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Touch something created by photosynthesis: a tree, a plant, a flower or perhaps a piece of lettuce. Take three minutes to feel the sun’s magic alchemy with our mindful meditation exercise.
3. Reflect on your energy behaviour
Where does your energy come from?
How do you use it well?
How do you waste it?
How might you be more thoughtful about energy?
It starts with you.
4. Changing the world begins with changing habits
Imagine how you can make your world – our world – more sustainable. Perhaps it’s switching lights off, taking public transport instead of driving, growing food from seeds or repairing and reusing things. Can you change three small habits in the next two months? There are plenty of things you can do.
5. Power your home with renewables
Most CO2 emissions come from generating energy. You can change this by powering your home with renewables. It’s easier than you think.
We have created some resources to help you.
6. Consume from and invest in clean companies
Put your money to work building a renewable future. Buy from companies powered by renewable energy and who are committed to sustainability. Divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy companies and funds; find out how.
7. Support nonprofits advancing solar
Solar energy can power better health, education and livelihoods for the 800 million people living without electricity in Africa and South Asia. It can also bring affordable energy to schools and low income households in your community or neighbourhood. Support organizations bringing solar to those who need it, find out how.
The biggest changes happen when we act together – when we use our love, our voice, our influence and our vote to create an unstoppable force of change.
your family and community
Be a solar advocate and tell people about the power of solar at home, in schools, at work and in your community. We have created a digital toolkit to help you.
9. Write to your elected officials
Share your passion for solar with those in power. Clearly outline the benefits of solar and why they should support it. Here’s a letter you can download and send.
10. Vote Solar
Political will and smart policy are our biggest tools to bring about a solar- powered world. Use your vote. Vote for leaders who support renewable energy. Find out who is supporting solar.
Solar is abundant.
Daylight is available almost everywhere on our planet, every day. It will not run out; it is always there, always available and always accessible.
Solar is clean.
Solar energy does not pollute the air, creates no CO2 emissions, requires no drilling and does not produce spills.
Solar is versatile.
Solar energy can be as small as one tiny light enabling a child to study at night or as large as a solar farm powering a town. It can be produced wherever it is needed.
Solar is inexpensive.
The price of solar panels has dropped dramatically in the past decade to a point where solar energy is now the cheapest energy source in the world.
Solar is fair.
When solar panels are on your home or in your community, energy can be owned locally. Individuals and communities can save money on energy bills and earn income by selling their excess power.
Solar is growth.
With accessible, low-cost sources of reliable energy, entrepreneurs in developing countries can start and grow businesses without depleting the earth’s natural resources.
Solar is conscious.
Would you rather get your energy from burning oil that comes from a hole in the ground or from the source that illuminates your day, warms your body and brings light into your life?
Little Sun is a nonprofit established by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to create a thriving world powered by the sun, empowering communities in Africa with solar energy and inspiring action for a solar powered world. Little Sun partners with artists, companies, governments, communities, non-profits, and people everywhere to bring the magic of the sun to everyone. Since 2012, Little Sun has distributed over 1.2 million personal solar devices worldwide to students, refugees, teachers and community health workers in areas without electricity. The organisation has generated 58 million additional study hours for children, reduced 800,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions and stimulated $150 million household savings with clean energy. Little Sun works with cultural institutions and artists to bring solar into people’s everyday lives, globally. www.littlesun.org
The IKEA Foundation is funded by INGKA Foundation, owner of the Ingka Group of companies. The IKEA Foundation is independent from the retail business with a sole focus on creating brighter lives on a liveable planet through philanthropy and grantmaking. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org
Reach for the Sun: Ten Steps to Creating a Solar Powered World is a digital, artist-illustrated campaign to mobilize individuals and organizations in the global energy transition to solar. Produced by Little Sun and supported by the IKEA Foundation, the campaign harnesses the power of arts to effect individual transformation and drive collective change. Illustrated by Nigerian-Italian artist Diana Ejaita, Reach for the Sun consists of a ten-step digital guide to creating a solar-powered world, an open-source communications toolkit, and resources for organizations and individuals to take action. The campaign is endorsed by the Global Solar Council, with partners including The Climate Museum, Community Arts Network, Sail GP, Sustainable Energy for All, SolarPower Europe, Efficiency for Access, GOGLA and SELCO. www.littlesun.org/reachforthesun
Diana Ejaita is a Nigerian-Italian artist based in Berlin who works in illustration and textile design. Her work pays homage to her Nigerian heritage, including its literature, art and textile traditions. As a child of migration, her work also addresses issues regarding the effects of colonialism/postcolonialism, racial and gender discrimination and identity research. She has illustrated cover artwork for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Economist and The Financial Times.
Olafur Eliasson is a renowned Danish-Icelandic artist who works with sculpture, painting, photography, film, installation, and digital media. Eliasson is internationally-renowned for his public installations that challenge the way we perceive and co-create our environments. In 2019, Eliasson was named UNDP Goodwill Ambassador for climate action and the sustainable development goals. Located in Berlin, Studio Olafur Eliasson are a team of craftspeople, architects, archivists, researchers, administrators, cooks, art historians, and specialised technicians.