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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Inflatable Solar-Powered Lamp Brings Light To Dark Places

December 13, 2012, 3:00 PM

What's the Latest Development?

Now available for $15.99 at New York-based startup MPowerd's Web site is Luci, a four-ounce lamp that consists of a solar panel, a lithium-ion battery, and a ring of LED lights all encased in a flexible container. After the battery is charged, the lamp can be turned on simply by blowing into a valve at the top. When Luci is fully inflated, the light that's created is equivalent to that produced by a 60-watt bulb. Squishing the container concentrates the light so that the lamp works more like a flashlight. It's quite tough, and can even withstand rain.

What's the Big Idea?

Although MPowerd hopes that Luci will be popular in the US and other developed nations, it created its lamp primarily to address the needs of the less fortunate: According to the International Energy Agency, 1.3 billion people on Earth have no access to a power grid. The company is currently in talks with various international aid organizations, but for the average customer they also offer a buy one/give one program, allowing them to send lamps to areas in need. Future versions of Luci may have cell phone chargers and even wi-fi hotspots.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com


Inflatable Solar-Powered La...

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