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For The Energy Impoverished, Hugh Whalan Is A Ray Of LED

You probably can’t remember how many different ways you use energy during an average day, but billions of people can’t take energy use for granted because they don’t have access to any. Hugh Whalan is out to change that.

In order to read this you’ve powered up a computer, likely turned on a light, maybe you’re also charging your phone or brewing a cup of coffee. Every one of these actions is a small sip of energy that you take for granted. “In fact, you probably struggle to remember how many times and ways you use energy in a day,” notes Hugh Whalan, the co-founder of Energy In Common. His organization raises money to supply simple forms of energy — lighting, heat — to the billions of people on the planet who can’t take energy use for granted because they don’t have access to any. Whalan, 28, spent a year turning his self-funded start-up into a viable micro-finance loan business that will help 10,000 people gain access to energy in 2011. This is his story.

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I'm the executive editor of Fast Company and Co.Design.

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