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This week I’ve managed to find two social innovators who have found light at the end of the tunnel! Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta are the inventors of the LuminAID solar light, the light that is, wait for it:

– Inflatable 

– Waterproof

– Can float

– Can power light for up to 3 years!!!!

These budding social innovators met whilst studying architecture at Columbia University (the same university as our previous social innovator Candy Chang) and shared an interest in solar lighting technology. They believed that design and design thinking can be used to solve problems at a global scale, including improving access to basic resources

The light was designed to fulfil the basic need for light in post-natural disaster situations after the devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The girls think that the light should be sent alongside basic supplies like food, water and shelter to a disaster zone. 


Both Andrea and Anna had this to say about the product:

“When thinking about what we could design to make a difference, we decided to focus on affordable, renewable light because it had the potential to greatly improve the comfort, safety, and survival of earthquake victims”.

Here’s the economical bit, the shipping volume of 50 LuminAID lights is the same as 8 small conventional flashlights! So the product can reach many more people in just one trip, a crucial factor when considering how quickly whole towns and cities of people need aid after a natural disaster.

The product also acts as an effective marketing tool because businesses can print their logo on it, which kind of makes a tiny flashlight on a key ring seem obsolete right now! 

You can buy and give LuminAID if you so choose. The company blog is also a great place to read about where the product has already had an impact. Since launching the company last year both Anna and Andrea have won three business plan competitions and launched an internet sales campaign that netted $50,000 – pretty impressive for year 1 I think you’ll agree!

Let me know what you think about the product by tweeting me @Nokia_Connects. I like to think that I’ve proved, once again, that two social innovation heads are better than one (just like last week)!

[Image credits: LuminAID Lab]