On behalf of the greater global Afro-Tech community, I would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, Kwanza and Hanukkah and a joyful Holiday Season break from school or paid vacation or break from the hustle to be with their family this time of year. I personally don’t buy a lot of things anymore as a consumer but instead focus on building things as a maker. The best gift you can give is to the ability to teach someone how to fish, hunt and gather so they can eat and that statement applies to the business hustle, not just food collection. And with that said, there is one photo I keep on my computer that is probably one of the most iconic photos I come across for my purpose and my journey.
The photo above is a lady in Southeast Asia wiring up a solar-powered lamp for a remote mountain village that did not have electricity to run night lamps for safety and carry out economic activity after dark. I don’t know if she is one of the ladies in the village or one of the many trained solar engineers that have expertise in installing these solar lamps but what she is doing is nothing short of amazing and awesome as a woman doing something such as this installation task to empower a community with night lights. What this lady in the photo is doing is using her STEM skills to change the lives of a remote village for the better. With that said, I would like brothas and sistas this holiday season to think of the little things they can do with STEM that can change the lives of their community and their people forever.
There was a 2013 article on building off-grid entrepreneurs in India and here is a snipping of that article:
There are also new products for village entrepreneurs. A set of solar panels and rechargeable lights, for example, creates a business that delivers lanterns to customers every morning and evening, picking up the spent lanterns at the same time.
Or a village entrepreneur can buy a power plant in a box: solar panels and wiring for 20 or so households. That person is now the village power company, but his wiring need only be a few hundred yards of cable, rather than a few hundred miles.
Think about all the new paradigms of entrepreneurial opportunities to make life better for those who been without. These off-grid power solutions for remote villages make them self-sustainable where they do not need to worry about being cut off by a faceless energy corporation if they don’t have money to keep lights on. If someone don’t have money/currency, there can be value transfer or bartering or simply charity to look after each other in their village. In the hood, we had no problem extending an orange extension cord out of our window to our neighbor window to give them some electricity when theirs got cut off – that’s the black community I grew up in on the West Side of Chicago. That’s because we as a black community on the West Side I grew up in cared about our neighbor more than the electric company. And this is the point I made in an article blog article about why the Afro-Tech will be part of a massive revolution that transform us to stop looking at money and start looking at transferring value.
It’s an honor and a privilege to be an Afro-Tech entrepreneur that is socially conscious and do work not to make a profit but to deliver value that comes from the heart and spiriting of giving and caring to change lives forever. This Christmas Eve and Christmas 2016 I’m on the phone with members of our community worldwide using Skype to talk to our talent on everything from sustainable communities to the blockchain and our Afro-Tech family is learning, failing, risking, planning, plotting and preparing to deliver real-world solutions that make an impact on the betterment of our people, our communities and others worldwide by producing real tangible value.
I want to wish everybody a wonderful holiday season and understand that the best gift we can give is the STEM investment we put into ourselves to deliver results that impact those who need it and the best thing we can own is our ability to keep innovating and progressing for the betterment of our people and our communities. I am so absolutely humbled at what these STEM women in these photos are doing for these villages and look forward to achieving this level of entrepreneurial servitude in 2017 that no one can put a price on.