Managing Director of Little Sun
BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background.
Felix Hallwachs is an architect who has worked with Olafur Eliasson since 2005, developing works and exhibitions, and from 2006, managing Studio Olafur Eliasson. Felix has been the CEO of Little Sun GmbH since 2012, developing the work of art that works in life together with founders Olafur Eliasson and Frederik Ottesen. Felix holds an architectural engineering degree from the TU Berlin, with additional interests in urban studies, sociology, politics, and economics. With the Little Sun team, Felix is building an impact business, aiming to deliver light and energy access as well as local profit opportunities. Little Sun believes in art, design, engineering, and inclusive business to change the world.
ACHIEVEMENT/ What is the project/initiative/startup/company you will be presenting at the Positive Economy Forum all about ?
Little Sun is a social business and global project addressing the need for light and energy in a sustainable way that benefits communities without electricity, creates local jobs, and generates local profits.
We currently have distribution in over 10 African countries, including in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, and Ghana – as well as in Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United States.
Launched in July 2012 at London’s Tate Modern, the Little Sun project has since distributed over 400,000 Little Sun lamps worldwide – and that number is quickly growing. We are also now launching our second product: a solar phone charger called Little Sun Charge.
LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities ?
Little Sun is based in Berlin and operates in over 10 countries in Africa as well as in Europe and the US, with lamps additionally moving into several other countries, thanks to our partners.
IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of the activity, project, initiative, startup, company ?
Replacing kerosene for lighting with Little Sun solar products has a high, multi-faceted impact:
- Social: having access to energy and light is defined as a prerequisite to reaching the UN’s development goals, allowing people to socialize, live, and conduct business safely after dark
- Economic: solar power is more affordable than using kerosene / fuel-based lighting, candles, or battery powered flashlights
- Environmental: an average kerosene lantern emits 100kg of CO2 per year, and a Little Sun Original runs for approx. 5 years on one set of batteries
- Health: fuel-based lighting is a health hazard, and the UN considers it to be responsible for up to 4 million deaths per year. Solar energy avoids carcinogenic fumes and fire hazards.
- Renewable energy awareness: Little Sun globally campaigns for the use of clean and safe solar energy
- Emotional: Little Sun is an emotional project and product, uniting users around the globe around a common cause and opportunity: sharing the light, and holding hands with the sun
- Political: solar energy offers a quick impact opportunity to deliver energy in a decentralized and thereby fundamentally democratic way.
QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you.
We are all connected by the sun. Alone, I cannot make a difference, but together with you, we can share the light and share a positive future.