Level up your recyclables! This eco-friendly solution will surely bring LIGHT to your darkest nights! [Monday: Marketing Marvels]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
How are you doing? We hope you all had a good rest.
Let’s start the week with inspiration from our “Marketing Marvels”—outstanding people in the fields of business and marketing. Each Monday, we highlight these people’s contributions along with their impact in society.
Today, we are featuring one of the Philippines’ most successful environmentalists, including some lessons we can learn from his entrepreneurial and social skills.
Continue reading below and be inspired by this “Marvel’s” great mind and creativity!
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute
Have you ever recycled plastic bottles at home?
With millions of these non-biodegradable products produced every day, it’s important that you know how to recycle to help protect the environment.
You may segregate plastic bottles in waste bins, or send them to junk shops. These materials can even be pots for your plants!
Did you know you can also make light out of these recyclables?
It’s true—you can!
In fact, that’s what came to this “Marvel’s” brilliant mind when he was thinking of an eco-friendly and profitable product. The name of this person?
Photo from Planeteer Movement
Diaz is a social entrepreneur who started the idea of using 1.5-liter plastic bottles as improvised lamps in the Philippines. His invention was inspired by Brazilian mechanic Alfred Mosser’s idea of producing light by using plastic bottles filled with a bit of bleach.
… but more than getting inspired by Mosser, Diaz’s passion had always been embedded in his being since childhood.
Here’s one of the major factors that influenced his passion for building and recycling things…
When Diaz was a kid, his father used to buy him Lego, his favorite toy. He had always been interested in building things because as a child, he spent a lot of time in mechanical shops watching the grown ups work.
In an interview, he said:
“I was always building something. This probably started my love affair with doing mechanical stuff and designing innovative things.”
When Diaz reached adulthood, he chose a degree program related to his passion. In 1995, he finished Management Economics in Ateneo de Manila University, and in 2001, he earned his Masters in Entrepreneurship at the Asian Institute Management.
A year after earning his Master’s degree—June 2002—Diaz launched the Pier One Seafarer’s Dormitory, which offers lodging for Filipino seafarers.
Then, in 2006, Diaz finished Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After that, he established the MyShelter Foundation that focuses on constructing houses and classrooms for Filipino Schools. This was part of the projects he initiated to help his fellow Filipinos.
Photo from The Intersections and Beyond
When Diaz got trapped in one of the hotels in the Philippines due to a strong typhoon in 2006, a BIG realization hit him. Enduring darkness for days made him realize how difficult it was to live in the shadows. That experience inspired him to develop a sustainable light source that is better than kerosene lamps and is more convenient than building solar power.
He called it…
“A Liter of Light!”
Photo from Gexsi
“A Liter of Light” is a global, grassroots movement utilizing affordable and accessible materials, providing improvised solar lighting to people who have limited or no access to electricity.
There are 4 types of lamps manufactured by “A Liter of Light”:
- A solar lamp that provides 12 to 16 hours of light
- A house light that lasts for 12 hours
- A street light with 3 years of shelf life
- A bottle light that provides 12 to 16 hours of light
All these variants can light up an outdoor area of around 50 square meters. They are designed to adapt to the environment they are placed in.
As of today, “A Liter of Light” has helped over 145,000 homes in the Philippines and 353,000 homes worldwide. Its growth has reached 15 countries, with offices in the Philippines, U.S.A., and Colombia. The institution is also recognized by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) and the World Habitat Awards.
Illac’s charitable initiatives may be diverse, but they all have 2 things in common: Sustainability and social consciousness.
Here are some lessons we can learn from Diaz’s entrepreneurial experiences:
- Heeding the Call of the People
“A Liter of Light” became popular for its cause—a huge innovation in the way the organization addresses the call of the masses. The lamps are not only used in times of disaster but can also be used daily, wherever and whenever people need it.
Additionally, the system is eco-friendly because installing one “A Liter of Light” lamp helps save money that’s supposed to be paid for electricity bills. With these savings, households, governments, and other sectors can redirect their budget to other expenses such as food, education, shelter, etc.
- Disregarding Social Status in Community Immersion
Diaz shared he grew up playing with kids in the slums because their house was in a mixed urban planning area. As a result, he was comfortable interacting with people from various walks of life.
From that experience, he saw social entrepreneurship in a new perspective… and when he became successful, he grabbed the opportunity to help people in the lower class. “A Liter of Light” became a gateway for him to express his sympathy to all disadvantaged communities not only in the Philippines but also in different parts of the world.
Photo from A Liter of Light
If there’s one important lesson we can learn from Diaz, it’s that he knows how to relate to the people, not only with his mind, but also with his heart. Because of that, he is able to understand his target market’s situation and fulfill their unmet needs.
A round of applause for Diaz!
His entrepreneurial spirit and socially aware mindset enabled—and continues to enable—him to be of genuine service to numerous households and consumers.
Now, he’s also serving as an inspiration to other entrepreneurs and marketers.
We hope you learned a lot from today’s “Marketing Marvel!”
“A single act of heroism is not enough to change the world. Maybe one person can make a dent, he can excite an army of people and then together, they can change the world.”
– Illac Diaz
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Monday Marketing Marvels”
Too often, industry experts and the marketing press sing the praises of some brand or company’s marketing strategy.
… only for the audience to later find out that its product was a flop, or worse, that the brand or company went bankrupt.
The true ROI in marketing can’t be separated from the business as a whole.
What good is a marketing case study if one can’t prove that the company’s efforts actually paid off?
At the end of the day, either the entire business is successful or it isn’t. And the roles of marketing and communication are always paramount to that success.
Every Monday, we publish a case study that highlights the world’s greatest marketing strategies, marketers, and communicators.
However, the difference between our articles and the numerous ones out there is that we will always make certain that the firm really did generate and demonstrate earning power worthy of study in the first place (compliments of Valens Research’s finance group) in keeping with a person’s leadership skills in the area of marketing and/or communication.
We’ll also study the greatest marketing fails and analyze what they did wrong, or what they needed to improve. We all make our mistakes, but better we learn from others’ mistakes—and earlier, rather than later.
Hope you found this week’s marketing marvel interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next week’s Monday Marketing Marvels!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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