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Media

Light To Learn

Light To Learn is an initiative that highlights the positive impact of investment in Africa’s sustainable power and education, and the importance of developing both sectors as they propel Liberia and the continent towards a better and brighter future. 


While 80% of the world’s population has access to electricity, only 30% of the African population enjoys this benefit. Today, almost 600 million inhabitants live without electricity, particularly in rural areas. In some countries such as Liberia, there is virtually no access to electricity except by petrol generators.

In May 2016, Nachson and Arieh saw the opportunity to start a campaign around education and energy; they introduced the founders of Bridge International Academies to the founders of Solektra with the “Akon Lighting Africa” initiative. The idea was for Solektra to power Bridge schools in several African countries, so that schoolchildren could be provided with the light they need to learn. The partnership’s initial “Light To Learn” campaign aimed to address the energy and education crisis in Africa.

 
 
 
Shadowman

The Shadowman Van is a vehicle driving a creative vision.


It was first an automotive vehicle which sold ice creams.
It was a vehicle which delighted children.
It was a place where people gathered, met friends, engaged in joyful play.
Then it became a work of art.

Shadowman has since become a portal, a conduit, a channel.
An opportunity for dialog between the Alpina, its friends and co-creators.
To.org is building replicas of the van to serve as community centers in refugee camps in Bangladesh and Uganda.
The vans are built from locally sourced materials by local talent.
The vans are gathering places which give shade, shelter, space for realizing dreams.

They may be used as an educational hub, a marketplace, a musical space, a distribution point.
In collaboration with to.org and The Alpina, the local people define the use of the replica vans.


Shadowman is now a vehicle which helps grow relationships.
It crosses borders, connects nationalities, professions, social groups.

It has become a vehicle which drives inspiration, co-creation, sharing and collaboration.

Shadowman van rising in Uganda

May 11, 2018 (Kampala, Uganda)  Construction of the first Shadowman van community center is in progress at the Uhuru site near the Nakivale refugee camp outside Kampala. These photos showing progress of the construction were taken in the first week of May 2018. The replica van, made of locally-sourced materials, has recycled bottle walls, and is an upscaled version of the actual van’s shape. Solar panels will drive lighting, ceiling fans and media equipment. Local talent, employed in the construction, is monitored by Mike Zuckerman, to.org’s Global Implementation Leader. The Shadowman vans are gathering places intended to give shade, shelter and space for realizing dreams.

An Evening for Shadowman

On February 15, 2018, Shadowman moved temporarily from its installation space in the entry tunnel of The Alpina Gstaad to the hotel’s front entrance for a benefit event called “An Evening for Shadowman.” The event included a fashion show, collaborations with young Ugandan designers and introduced to.org’s initiative to build its first center in Uganda.

 

Pablo

This story begins in tragedy and ends in hope. The unlikely main character is a young bearded vulture named Pablo, who was able to find his way home thanks to the dedicated efforts of concerned humans. A 2007 conservation program re-introduced bearded vultures to the region. It was the appearance of the young vulture named Pablo in 2015 which inspired an art installation at La Quille du Diable, Glacier 3000, near Gstaad.

 

The Zürich-based LUMA Foundation, established by Maja Hoffmann, originated an art initiative co-curated by Olympia Scarry and Neville Wakefield. Called Elevation 1049, 12 works were commissioned, among them one by the Danish collaborative trio Superflex, who made their reputation by dramatizing social concerns.

 

Superflex concepted a temporary installation: a totemic sculpture crafted by Swiss artisans. A turtle tops the sculpture, and carved demonic masks based on local folklore occupy the sides. To memorialize the event, Superflex and TO: produced a limited edition 21-minute film called The Return of Pablo. It can be viewed on the in-room Art Channel at The Alpina Gstaad.

 

Later in 2017 an activation event at The Alpina brought together a gathering of international citizens. Pablo served as the centerpiece for attendees, who focused their attention on solution-building for global challenges.   


Here is a 14 -minute documentary about The Making of Pablo. 

 

Runa

Runa was founded in 2009, days after we graduated from college. But our story begins several years earlier, when Tyler was living with the Kichwa people in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It was then he was introduced to guayusa – a naturally caffeinated tree leaf brewed like tea, consumed early in the morning to help interpret dreams and late at night to provide energy and clarity while hunting in the jungle. He loved the earthy flavor, smooth taste, and energy boost he got from the leaf.

 

Naku

Naku, a community-created project, introduces guests to local ancestral medicines. 

 

#togetherband

#togetherband is a co-creation bewteen Bottletop, the United Nations Foundation and to.org 

 

Uhuru

Uhuru is the site of the Uganda Shadowman.