IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019 - 40

technology used by a system.
Based on years of experience
Human capital comprises the skills
and many lessons learned, the ISV
Access to
and knowledge of individuals withmission can be defined as follows:
reliable energy
in a community.
sustainable community developIn engineering terms, sustainment through a three-pillared
is a fundamental
ability means that once a system is
strategy targeting energy, educacomponent of an
online, it is reliable and can be contion, and enterprise. Energy is a
tinually operated, maintained, and
means to an end: households, busieducated, healthy,
repaired. In economic terms, susnesses, schools, and hospitals all
and prosperous
tainability ensures a vir tuous
rely on access to electricity to
community.
cycle of operation: the community
function. With access to electricity,
can use the system, supply is suffihouseholds can turn on lights and
cient to meet demand, and the
charge phones, and businesses can
long-term benefits outweigh the
power equipment. Schools can
initial capital and operational costs.
connect to the Internet, and hospitals are able to store
ISV and its global team of entrepreneurs develop all
blood and vaccines. Access to reliable energy is a fundathree forms of capital. They use man-made technology
mental component of an educated, healthy, and prosper(typically solar microgrids) to spark local enterprise and
ous community.
expand educational programs. This, in turn, develops
Nonetheless, it takes more than a light bulb to empowthe income, skills, and knowledge of each community,
er and sustain a community. Development is driven by
while preserving the community's natural endowment.
technical, economic, and political variables. ISV starts
Over time, it leads to an educated, healthy, and prosperwith the distribution of energy technology to stimulate
ous population.
economic growth and continues to improve household
Development implies continued growth and innovation.
welfare through the support of local business as well as
To achieve this, the availability of an energy supply must
expansion of education, vocational training, and Internet/
scale to meet growing demand, which is typically led by
intranet connectivity.
the expansion of enterprise and increases in household
Sustainability, which is central to the ISV mission, is a
income. ISV provides seed funding to programs around
system's ability to operate over time and ensure well-being
the globe to initiate the first power systems in selected
in the future. It incorporates economic, environmental,
communities. The next phase of the ISV mission requires
and equity variables and relies on inputs of natural, manexpanding to connect a growing number of rural housemade, and human capital. Natural capital is made up of the
holds and meet the growing energy demand from the conresources used by a system and the environmental
nected households. This involves generating new sources
endowment of the community. Man-made capital is the

Figure 1. Tsering Dorjay, a local GHE entrepreneur, teaches villagers the basics of their new microgrid. (Photo

courtesy of GHE.)

40

IEEE SYSTEMS, MAN, & CYBERNETICS MAGAZINE Ju ly 2019



IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019

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