Values Exchange

Little Sun - Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen

16 May 2018
By Roger Thorp
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Little Sun - Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen

Little Sun - Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen


Where Little Sun is Making an Impact

'Art helps us identify with one another and expands the notion of 'we' from the local to the global.'

Olafur Eliasson


Little Sun's Solar Education

From its inception, Little Sun has brought clean light into the lives of children living with and without access to electricity. The Little Sun solar education projects are a logical expansion of this, continuing one of the core functions of Little Sun as a fun, accessible tool educating people all over the world about the benefits of solar power and sustainable sources of energy. Aligning with the core mission of Little Sun, each education project creates links between the energy in your hand, energy that lives in your heart and your thinking about accessing that energy.

More about Little Sun's Solar Education

About Little Sun: Our Story

Our artist-designed, premium solar products and our social business model benefit communities without electricity worldwide. Founded in 2012 by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen and launched at London’s Tate Modern, we believe in the power of sustainable light and energy to transform lives, especially those 1.1 billion of us who live without access to energy. We are all connected by our need for light, energy and happiness. And we are all connected by the sun. Our Berlin team is based at Studio Olafur Eliasson.

A global project and a social business

What started as a humble idea to create a small, portable solar lamp for people without electricity in Ethiopia is now a global project that has changed over a million lives through the awesome power of the sun. We strengthen communities from the inside by creating local jobs and generating local profits through our local partners and network of young, African entrepreneurs. For every high-quality solar product sold in an area with electricity, one of our partners or entrepreneurs sells a similar product in their part of the world without electricity at a fair, locally affordable price.

Why is access to light and energy so important?

Access to clean light and energy are key to human existence. Today there are 1.1 billion people worldwide living without access to the electrical grid, meaning their basic needs are not being met. Without access to these vital resources, the structure of entire communities is affected. Education levels drop, as children cannot study after sunset. Working hours are limited to daytime and income is reduced. Medical care, such as delivering babies at night, becomes more dangerous to provide.  The quality of time together cooking and socialising is compromised.

Why solar?

As Little Sun founder Olafur Eliasson says, solar power is holding hands with the sun, and we believe that holding hands with the sun is holding hands with the future. We see solar as one solution to a cleaner planet and a way to achieve global energy access for all. Solar is on track to becoming the cheapest form of sustainable energy within the next few years, making it also the most economically accessible form of energy for everyone.

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