Transparency, collaboration, and open source principles are core to our operations. This means that while we are creating solutions that energy access organizations around the world can benefit from, we are also committed to a realistic conversation around innovation in energy access.
Every project that we fund creates some sort of information or material. This might be a spreadsheet, a piece of software, a slide deck, or a set of hardware schematics. We work with our partners to package these materials in a way that makes them easy for other organizations to access, understand, and use. As an example: if a project creates a piece of software, the package might include the code itself, instructional materials on using and modifying the code, and a video describing the what, why, and how of the software. All packages that we publish will be either linked to or made available for download on our Projects page.
We don’t want or need your organization to share sensitive information. If we are funding your project, we’ll jointly determine what will be shared and what will remain confidential. While we advocate for collaboration in the industry, we also support competitive marketplaces. We aren’t interested in disclosing a company’s core IP or competitive intelligence; just the assets that can create a shared solution for the industry.
In general, other organizations should be able to use your solution “out of the box” and free of charge. If that’s not possible, we probably aren’t the right partner to fund your project.
In principle, yes. We’d prefer to discuss this on a case-by-case basis.
We understand how hard this work is and embrace “failure” as a necessary part of innovation. Failure is not a bad thing for us; as long as we are failing for the right reasons, and can capture some lessons and insight along the way, we are all good.
In a situation where a project doesn’t work out, we’ll work with you to publish a summary of what we learned. Being transparent about failure can help us and other organizations get better; by avoiding costly mistakes, considering how we might do things differently, or inspiring new thinking. Our view is: if other organizations can learn from your experience, then it’s not all a loss.
For inspiration, check out GiveWell. We’re fans of their take on failure and learning in philanthropy.