We envision a world where technology improves the lives of everyone equitably.
Potential Energy’s mission is to adapt and scale technologies that improve lives in developing countries.
Human-centered design: we believe technology must be designed to meet the needs and preferences of the intended users. Making a product that is desired and will be used is the highest priority. This principle often necessitates making many models of a technology to customize it for regional preferences.
World class science: we believe that the world’s poorest deserve the world’s brightest scientific minds and top-tier research institutions finding solutions to their problems.
Affordability: in keeping with our unwavering focus on the end user, we believe the technologies made for them should be affordable. When making a product more sophisticated will make it unaffordable or undesirable to the intended user, we favor simplicity and affordability.
Partnerships: we are a small organization seeking to fill a gap in the field of pro-poor innovation. We can best do this by partnering with organizations specializing in scientific research and design, and humanitarian work. We speak the language of the scientists as well as the aid workers, and thus are able to bring disparate groups together to solve a problem.
Market-based approach: we believe the market provides an unparalleled feedback mechanism to ensure we are meeting people’s needs. Whenever possible we strive to sell technologies rather than giving them away for free.
Eventual exit: we seek to create or leverage local distribution systems that will eventually be able to continue to thrive without our help. The length of time to exit varies greatly, depending on the context.
Rigorous impact evaluation: we continually gather information to monitor and evaluate our projects. When possible, we support evaluations of the utmost rigor, including independently conducted randomized controlled trials and use of sensors.
Transparency and information sharing: we believe in experimentation and sharing our successes as well as our failures, so that others can learn from our experience.
Learn more about our approach.