POWERING CHANGE: WOMEN IN INNOVATION & CREATIVITY
A little before 5pm on 12th January 2010, an earthquake was triggered in Haiti impacting up to three million people.
Watching this disaster and its aftermath were two design students, Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta. Both were studying at architecture school at the time and were struck by the fact that first responders were providing food and medicine kits, but when the sun went down, victims experienced no light until sunrise. This seemed unsafe and uncomfortable.
The pair of designers created LuminAID: a lightweight, portable and waterproof light that was solar powered and could be deployed anywhere. LuminAID is also inflatable so that the light is diffused across a wide area, providing a more flexible option than a torch and safer than candles.
The pair promoted the idea on crowd funding site Indiegogo where it immediately raised 500% of its target.
LuminAID is a social enterprise dedicated to making light more accessible and through their ‘Give Light, Get Light’ programme individuals can donate light to those that need it. To date more than 20,000 lights have been distributed to 50 countries. The company has become very popular with backpackers, providing a lightweight lamp that can be recharged in the sun.
LuminAID has created other products – including solar mobile phone chargers and several other lighting products – but the impact of Anna and Andrea’s primary innovation is most strongly felt by victims of natural disaster who can now get light wherever they are.
"We are humbled by the ability to touch the lives of people we will likely never meet."
— Anne Stork and Andrea Sreshta