The Village Project Website (VP) is a project of GENI, Global Energy Network Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (www.geni.org). For 20 years, GENI has focused on a clean energy solution for all nations and people. This has primarily been done through research and education of policy-makers, business leaders, utility executives and students.
The VP Website is rooted in the challenge of insuring access to clean, renewable energy for the 1.6 billion people still living in poverty – enabling rural villages to lift themselves out of poverty. Clean energy from solar, wind, biomass and micro hydro can power lights for schools and health clinics; run a refrigerator to keep vital medicines potent; extend the day for selling goods in the market; pump water for drinking and irrigation and power communication devices—a radio, a computer or cell phone.
The reality is that millions of villages exist where there may be no access to the electric power grid for decades to come. A decentralized, stand-alone energy approach is faster and more cost effective to install. As we searched for projects using this approach—always asking the question, ‘how do we accelerate this solution globally?’—we discovered hundreds of such projects. Consistent with GENI’s ‘research and education’ strategy, we concluded that an ‘information clearinghouse website’ focusing on the most successful development projects would be the best approach for accelerating best practice solutions globally. We see the VP Website, backed by a marketing campaign, as a way to promote and support those projects doing sound, successful development work, especially those that promote clean energy, self-sufficiency and sustainable solutions.
We know that success can be duplicated. A foot pump designed in East Africa can also be used in Peru. An earthen pot for filtering water from Bolivia could be used in Malawi or Haiti. An organization or group of people may see the Millennium Villages Guidebook and plan a project in Indonesia. An organization in southern Chile may find another working in northern Chile and decide to work together to multiply their efforts. A village project in Ghana may find a previously unknown micro lender or receive funds through our site. A village in Niger may discover a solar panel distributor just next door in Nigeria.
We think an exchange of information via the Village Projects Website can accelerate sustainable development within nations and across borders. That’s what we’re counting on.
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The philosophical foundation for The Village Projects website is in its founding premise posed as a question in R. Buckminster Fuller’s World Game™ simulation:
“How do we make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone?”