Little Sun was founded in 2012 by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen. Their collaboration produced the Little Sun lamp—a small, portable, solar light—that was first distributed to people living without electricity in Ethiopia. The lamp is a practical tool that enables students to study after dark, mothers to take better care of their children at night, and families to reduce the effects of toxic fumes from fuel. The lamp has also become an icon of the renewable energy future that is critical to humanity and the natural world.
Whilst they have continued to distribute solar lamps across Africa and to use them as a way to give people everywhere direct and personal experience with solar energy, they have learned that lamps are only the first step on the energy access ladder.
Energy makes it possible for people to build a thriving economy – to increase agricultural production by mechanising equipment – to build health services with refrigeration for medicines, and modern equipment for lab tests. Energy helps entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
Today, Little Sun works together with communities living without electricity to test and implement ways to use solar power in Sub-Saharan Africa.