Illac Angelo Ancellotti Diaz
Winning Contributor, MyShelter Foundation
Innovation that Matters to You Campaign by Philips Philippines
Illac Diaz is a former corporate executive who has since gone on to establish several foundations that provide sustainable solutions to societal problems. He is the executive director of MyShelter Foundation, a non-profit organization which has been engaged in improving the lives of many Filipinos through the creation of sustainable solutions for using recycled materials for the building of clinics and classrooms in rural areas.
MyShelter Foundation, was conceived when Illac observed the shortage of classrooms in the provinces while trying to help solve the housing problem in the province of Negros Occidental, the sugar growing capital of the Philippines. By utilizing the endless supply of waste plastic soda bottles at the municipal landfill and local labor, money could be kept within the community and spent on building more cost-effective classrooms. MyShelter Foundation then set up a construction business building upcycled schools, clinics, and community centers. These savings in construction costs could then be channeled by the community to increase teachers’ wages and bring computer technology to schools. Currently, one of the global successes on up-cycling has been the Liter of Light project using a used soda bottle, some bleach, and contact cement to make a cheap DIY daylight through the roof of low income communities around the world
Diaz is a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and finished previously the program Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was recognized as one of the Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum, Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World by the Jaycees International, and is an Ernst and Young Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year. He has returned to the Philippines to apply and disseminate his research in needy communities throughout the country.
About MyShelter Foundation (MSF)
When Typhoon Ondoy hit the Philippines in 2008, it was one of the worst storms on record. This calamity flooded 80% of Manila, leaving many people with no access to basic needs. Working with emergency and humanitarian disaster relief agencies, Diaz launched MSF to design creative solutions to address the needs of those affected by natural disasters. MSF’s mission is to bring sustainable building solutions that are easily replicable, scalable, and locally sourced to the grassroots level, reframing the way people think about solutions to climate change, not as a product of industrialized nations but as a gift that developing countries can share with the rest of the world.
About Liter of Light
MSF’s Liter of Light redesigns solar lighting for the developing world. The simple, two-step solar lighting technology creates local jobs, teaches green skills, and empowers local communities. Liter of (Day) Light is a DIY affordable system that allows the sun’s rays into homes, schools, and public centers. Using recycled plastic soda bottles, 10 milliliters of bleach, and distilled water, the bottle is placed through galvanized steel sheet roofs common to many developing countries. Sunlight refracts through the bottle and bends to light the space below with 55 watts of brightness, saving an average of US $10 in electricity bills a month and 200 kilos of carbon a year. For more information about the Liter of Light, please visit www.aliteroflight.org.
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