IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Technology for the Benefit of Humanity // Villanova University, USA / October 11-14, 2023

IEEE Community Solutions Initiative (CSI) at GHTC 2014

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Special Topical Workshop of the IEEE Community Solutions Initiative (CSI)

Date: Friday October 10, 2014 8:00AM – 5:00PM

Location: In conjunction with the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Holiday Inn Airport Hotel, 1350 N. First Street, San Jose California

Dear Colleagues:

It is our sincere pleasure to invite you to a special CSI workshop that has two main purposes: (1) To bring together CSI collaboration members to discuss recent sustainable initiative progress, and (2) to discuss the paths forward to expand operations globally as a new Signature Program of the IEEE Foundation. Signature status brings direct Foundation development staff and management support to secure a growing seed funding budget to launch up to ten new partnership startups per year.

The CSI strategy is not only to seed new initiatives with equipment and training donations, but to plant the sustainable business and operations model originally developed in partnership with Sirona in Haiti which achieved the original pilot demonstration of a sustainable business model in 2011-2012. Subsequently the model was refined to include Standard Operating Procedures in 2013-14 for easy dissemination globally. Expanding to scale is the final goal which involves both a highly efficient affordable service and the ability of the startup to attract capital to grow from ten systems to 2,000 systems, each serving 8-homes and ~ 500 people for 1 million people in total by 2020.

Reliable community owned electricity is a first step toward the developmental empowerment of whole communities from within. To be lastingly significant, many more steps are urgently needed, beginning with broad community-based education. The CSI Education vision is called “Learning beyond the Lightbulb.” It envisions cooperating with partners in both Community Based Online Courses but also in community development beyond the Lightbulb such as clean water, sanitation, rural healthcare, local governance and commerce. Broad education, including but not only technical, is key to the long-term success of all sustainable development.

Workshop Structure:

Introductory presentations will encourage interactive sharing of perspectives and questions from participants. Some of the strategy themes being considered are as follows:

  1. What new initiatives have been made since the initial pilot programs established in Haiti in 2011-12?
  2. What are the Learning Beyond the Light Bulb community based education program’s major goals and pilot plans?
  3. How well are the system products working and what are current improvement goals?
  4. How standardized are the product and the business models and are local variants desirable or not?
  5. What evidence do we have for business sustainability and impact in different regions?
  6. How are present partnerships structured and what are partnership requirements going forward?
  7. What are the immediate expansion plans for 2014-15?
  8. What progress has the Signature Program made and what results are expected in 2014-15?

Note that participants are welcome to suggest topics not covered above.

Discussion Leaders will be drawn from active IEEE CSI Practitioners, Partners and IEEE Humanitarian Program Leadership. A detailed program will be posted in advance.


Registration: It is preferred that you register in advance for planning purposes since seating is limited and walk-ons may not get a seat. To register, contact Albe Larsen, Registration check-in is between 0800 and 0830AM at the site.

Fees: There is no fee for the workshop but we need to cover costs of break refreshments and a box lunch option payable at the meeting.

If interested please register as soon as possible. We hope to see you there!

With best regards,

Ray Larsen & Robin Podmore, CSI Co-Chairs

CSI Website: