Energy dependence and what it means for development.

Energy dependence and what it means for development.

How can energy as a tool for development be implemented to help those help themselves? What are the possibilities if energy was accessible and reliable to the 1.2 billion people who don’t have access? What about the many more who have access so unreliably that they might as well be living without? 🤔


A bustling office, the sounds of a printer chugging out copies of your organization’s recent newsletter, or a workshop with the sounds of power tools screeching through a metal sheet for construction. Imagine music from large speakers coming from restaurants and shops outside as you walk down the road to the bus stop. Imagine a solar power station with its access stretching from the bustling trading center at the main road to the deep village. Imagine traffic lights, store sign lights, street lights, and household lights that keep you connected and secure with family and friends throughout 12-hour nights. Imagine electric stoves and ovens, hot water heaters, and refrigerators to not only store succulent cheese and ice cream, but that which enables a farmer’s group to breach the international produce market with quality yield because they have solar irrigation and a refrigerated post-harvest crop store as well as a truck bed that can travel more than only a couple hours. Pretty awesome, and a lot of development! But maybe not the hardest to imagine when living in the U.S.

Maybe picture this:

Life is contrary to this imagination. It’s very quiet, no one is occupying their offices because no computers, nonetheless printers, can turn on. No cellphone rings; there are no work calls or friendly check-ups or recollection of after-work activities with your mates, because your cell phone has completely lost charge. No restaurants play their soothing tunes and no shops are running their enticing music to reel in customers and meet their quotas (really, subsistence income). Also, realistically, a country straddling the equator should be a most-feasible location for solar energy to provide reliable energy to the deep village? But life is contrary to that imagination, and in an ever more interconnected world where connection is almost more than essential, the connections seem to just not connect.

An imagination that is far from reality:

Everyone is concerned with basic work and amenities, even cooking and showering, seemingly simple things. No one is equipped with an essential tool for development and prosperity, power. [while writing this draft in UG] A coworker just walked into the office room, sees me and says, “you’re here alone,” and I reply, “I’m here alone.” Imagine with power, opportunity becomes realized and imagination becomes reality.

Everyone should, and can, have the proper tools for their own development. Sustainable innovations in technology and policy make it possible to equip people with the proper tools. However, availability and accessibility mark the line between opportunity and its realization. Inclusive and sustainable development is a complex, techno-socially intertwined problem, but the solutions are simpler than we think.

A system that’s out to change everything:

One Garment = One Lantern. Providing sustainable solar lighting at the doorsteps of marginalized families to foster the realization of their development opportunities. Providing sustainably made garments that allow supporters the opportunity to support others in their development and bring the whole world to a better, sustainable, place. A simple solution to a complex problem that makes the needed connections in an ever more interconnected world.

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