SolarBuddy Enables Autodesk to Brighten Lives in Papua New Guinea

Autodesk brightens lives in Papua New Guinea

In May 2019, Autodesk employees marked five years of Autodesk’s Global Month of Impact, with thousands of employees from more than 30 offices around the world giving their time to volunteer and assemble solar lights.

Autodesk volunteer work

Most households living in energy poverty have five family members so Autodesk’s gift of 3,300 lights will impact the lives of more than 16,500 children and their families in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. The lights were assembled as part of an Autodesk employee volunteer activity designed by SolarBuddy.

Participants assembled solar-powered lights, which included connecting the wires, attaching the waterproof exterior and turning it on for the first time. The gift of light and a personal hand-written letter will be delivered to a child living without safe and reliable electricity. As a result, children who use the solar lights will spend less time collecting firewood for cooking and heating and spend more time attending class, studying, and completing homework.

The activity inspired many Autodesk employees who enjoyed contributing to a common cause. One employee explained that he grew up in a community where most kids didn’t have reliable access to energy or light, and volunteering to build solar lights for students really resonated with him. This peer-to-peer engagement ultimately helped Autodesk employees in 30 offices around the world broaden their perspective and learn about each other beyond their day to day work.

Autodesk employees with their completed solar lights

The relationship between SolarBuddy and Autodesk has continued to grow since May resulting in a long-term partnership that will see SolarBuddy participate in Autodesk’s Technology Impact Program. The program provides not-for-profit and impact-led startups access to donated Autodesk technology.

In addition, Simon Doble will be speaking to Autodesk employees at Autodesk University, their flagship user conference in Las Vegas, with the goal of inspiring employees to use design for social good.



SolarBuddy is an impact organisation uniting a global community to illuminate the futures of all children.

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