In Dialogue with SDGs Conference

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Earlier in March, our founder Joe Fernandez participated in APAC Ideas for Action’s conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Hong Kong University of Science (HKUST) where he, other businesses in HK and students discussed how to achieve the UN’s seventeen 2015 SDGs.

Below are the three panel discussions throughout the day:
• How to achieve the SDGs, the challenges, opportunities and outlook
• Cutting-edge trend and problems faced by social enterprises
• Application of financial technology to finance SDGs


SOLAGEO’s 2015-2016 Update | November


November 2015 Update

In the beginning of November we moved into our new office space at the Photonics Centre at the HK Science Park where we’ve also become full tenants within the Green Tech Cluster.

“You will likely need to devote considerable resources to education and do a lot of hand-holding to communicate your quality standards and all your expectations. You cannot assume anything or take anything for granted because whatever you assume would be the norm, probably isn’t the norm locally. Very simply, you would have to undertake a cost-benefit analysis to ultimately decide if it is a worthwhile to manufacture locally or not.” – Joe Fernandez

One of this month’s highlights was SOLAGEO’s founder Joe Fernandez’s interview with Mechanical Engineering Magazine on Global Supply Chains was published where he shared his insight on the challenges of growing a global clean energy franchise comprised of local businesses.

Lastly, we celebrated Thanksgiving at the Science Park alongside representatives of the US Chamber of Commerce with the Park’s US companies and students.

SOLAGEO’s 2015-2016 Update | September and October

Hello World! SOLAGEO here and happy to report our latest progress and efforts to deliver clean energy. Over the course of the next few days we’ll be sharing our end-of-2015 highlights, and lead up to what we’ve been working on in 2016.


September and October 2015

In September we graduated from the HK Science Park’s Incu-Tech Incubation program.

Then in October we headed to the US to attend SOCAP, the largest gathering in the world of Impact Investors and Social Entrepreneurs, in San Francisco where our founder Joe Fernandez was awarded a Social Entrepreneur Scholarship.

Towards the end of the month on the 22nd, we participated in the White House’s first forum on Catalyzing Markets for Off-Grid Clean Energy Access.

Sustainable Humanitarian Supplies blog, now live!

Mongolian ger camps with solar power

In light of the natural disaster that hit Nepal this April, SOLAGEO has been working on a relief segment dedicated to providing long-term, sustainable energy solutions to survivors in disaster areas.

We aim to be a partner to international NGOs, local NGOs, donors, government bodies, and international agencies by providing specially designed and packaged sustainable energy solutions that can help these organizations alleviate the immediate hardships confronted by survivors. We also ensure that every dollar spent on our solutions will provide long-term social, economic and environmental benefits to the affected communities.

SOLAGEO is proud to announce that our SHS blog is now live! For more information visit,

Recent Humanitarian Aid Efforts


Photo: Narendra Shrestha/EPA

With the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal in April, killing over 8,000 people, injuring double of that, and leaving hundreds of thousands of people in the area homeless, SOLAGEO is now in collaboration with several partners to get almost 2000 Solar LED Lights and 325 Solar Mobile Phone Chargers shipped to Nepal.

One partner is Unite to Light. With the benefit of funds raised at Unite to Light’s base at the University of California-Santa Barbara, we were able to arrange shipment of 500 Unite to Light Solar LED Lights to Nepal. Our local NGO partner, Crossroads Foundation supported our work by funding the transportation costs to Nepal. A third organisation, the Nepal Trust, a locally registered NGO in Nepal, assisted us in clearing the lights through local Customs and getting them distributed to local communities where they were desperately needed.

Another supply partner is Niwa Solar. Again working through Crossroads we were able to ship 1440 Niwa Solar Lights and 325 Solar Mobile Phone Chargers to NGOs in Nepal.


Photo: EPA

Given the on-going demand for our products and services, we have established a new division within SOLAGEO to focus specifically on Humanitarian Aid efforts, beginning with expanded work in supporting on-going relief and recovery efforts in Nepal.

Electrical Engineer from Japan, Shuji Nakamura responsible for blue LED lights

Here is Nobel Laureate, Shuji Nakamura who is based at the Institute of Energy Efficiency at the University of California, Santa Barbara, holding up the affordable and energy efficient Unite to Light light. Though he has hundred of patent applications, he is most known for his invention of blue LED lights.

Shuji talk - unitetolight

TWB is proud to coordinate the manufacturing and global shipment of these lights. To date, we have shipped around 30,000 lights to global destinations from Sichuan, China to UN High Commission for Refugees Camps in South Sudan.

Earth Day Quote

It’s a day after Earth Day, but that’s no reason to stop paying homage to our earth and all of its inhabitants. As Wendell Berry, an American writer, environmental activist, and farmer once said, “The Earth is what we all have in common.” Let us remember this. Happy Earth Day everyone!

SOLAGEO Spring Update

It’s already April and that means that the first quarter of 2015 has already passed, and, that it’s time for an update.

This February our Founder of TWB and SOLAGEO, Joe Fernandez, was invited to participate in a two-day workshop with Engineering for Change (also known as E4C) in New York. As one of the few oversea attendee’s, Joe was amongst a group of people involved in product design and development for underserved markets, which included the head of Mechanical Engineering for GE Healthcare and another attendee who was a former NASA engineer.

Later in March, E4C invited Joe to share his experience with managing global supply chains in developing countries, this time for their monthly webinar series. As a representative of TWB, Joe gave insider knowledge about overseas business as well as how to launch a product from conception to knowing how and when to scale up manufacturing, the basics of global logistics management, and establishing sustainable distribution in undeserved markets.

We’re pleased to share that we received great feedback from the attendants (from fifteen countries) and even received further interest from a participant looking to develop a product to help illiterate patients in developing countries take their medication properly! For those who are interested in listening to the webinar, you can review the presentation until Thursday, March 26, 2016 here:

That’s all for now. We’re looking forward to share more of our latest developments in the coming month!

Long-term Resolutions and Commitments

Eleanor Roosevelt

SOLAGEO is a member of the UN Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network. And as a ring into the new year, we at SOLAGEO would like to share the annual resolutions of the UN Foundation. We are committed to doing our part in furthering the goals of the UN Foundation in 2015, specifically contributing to peace, prosperity and a healthier planet.

Newsletter from the UN Foundation on Friday, January 9, 2015:

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year, and thank you for your partnership with the United Nations Foundation. The start of a new year is a time for hope, and I’m especially hopeful this year because of the historic opportunities we have to help millions of people move from poverty to prosperity.

This is no small task, but through our collective work together in support of the United Nations, we’ve seen time and time again that tangible progress is possible: whether it’s cutting child mortality by nearly half since 1990, distributing a record number of anti-malaria nets last year, putting the rights of adolescent girls on the global agenda like never before, giving millions of additional women access to family planning, or helping spur action to combat climate change.

Thank you for being essential partners in this progress, and I hope you’ll take a moment to view highlights from our shared work in 2014.

Our work is not done though, and this year the stakes are even higher.

In 2015, world leaders are working with the UN toward two outcomes that will shape the future for generations to come: the creation in September in New York of the next set of global goals to follow the Millennium Development Goals and the culmination of critical climate change negotiations in December in Paris.

While world leaders will negotiate the agreements, success requires all of us to get involved now. Leaders must know that we are paying attention to what happens – and that we are invested in their success.

Translating the 2015 agreements from words into real change will require every country, every sector, and every community. The UN Foundation will mobilize to support the UN and partners in seizing the opportunities of 2015. This includes:

  • Communicating: Animating a global movement to build a world of support for the world’s goals;
  • Connecting: Linking individuals, companies, NGOs, and other stakeholders to the UN and the 2015 processes;
  • Convening: Serving as a convener to identify areas of agreement, exchange ideas, and drive action on important issues; and
  • Campaigning: Continuing to strengthen and build on the work of our campaigns and initiatives, which are helping the UN make progress on global challenges.

We recognize that the road ahead will not be easy. The goals of peace, prosperity, and a healthy planet are all closely linked and to achieve success on one, we must address all three. But difficulty is no excuse for inaction – and we know for sure that the team that sits on the sidelines never wins the race.

The UN is at the front lines of today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities and has opened its doors to partners who want to join a movement for change. Now is the time for all of us to stand with the UN for a better future.

If we act, 2015 can be a year for the history books. It can be the year that we put the world on the path to end extreme poverty; the year we place sustainability at the heart of our future; and the year that we agree that every person should be able to lead a life of dignity and opportunity.

 This year marks the 70th anniversary of the UN, and I’ve been looking to one of America’s earliest UN supporters, Eleanor Roosevelt, for inspiration. She wrote, “The world of the future is in our making. Tomorrow is now.” Her words have never rung truer.

 Thank you again for everything you have done, and continue to do, to make our work possible.

Kathy Calvin
President and CEO
United Nations Foundation