We're delighted to share Wunderman Thompson Colombia's 'WaterLight' project for E-Dina Energy has been named Best World-Changing Idea in Latin America in Fast Company's 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards! The project was also named a Finalist in the Developing-World Technology category which honors products designed specifically for the developing world, both ones intended for the bottom of the pyramid and those intended to help create leapfrog innovation.

Additionally, we're pleased to see Wunderman Thompson Argentina's 'Degree Inclusive' project for Unilever's Degree was a finalist in the LATAM and Corporate Social Responsibility categories, and received an Honorable Mention in the Consumer Products and General Excellence categories.

Every year, Fast Company’s World-Changing Ideas Awards honor the innovative ways businesses and organizations are tackling the biggest challenges of our time. This year’s honorees, Wunderman Thompson included, are a reminder that, every single day, countless indefatigable problem solvers are addressing the world’s most urgent challenges and finding new ways to improve healthcare, to cultivate food, and to fight misinformation.

Read more about 'WaterLight' below, and see the full list of winners here.

I 1 90741016 how one renewable energy company is using saltwater to power lights
With just half a liter of seawater, WaterLight—a winner of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards—can produce light for 45 days.

This Lamp Turns Saltwater into Electricity to Provide Weeks of Light

The Wayuu people of northern Colombia, who live in small rural villages called rancherias near the Venezuelan border and rely on fishing and artisan crafting for survival, have little access to electricity—like an estimated 759 million people in the world. Many of these communities are coastal, which inspired a starting point for a sustainable solution: seawater.

Colombian renewables startup Edina recruited creative agency Wunderman Thompson to help design the WaterLight, the winner of the Latin America category of Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards. Inside the portable device, saltwater sparks an ionization reaction, producing enough electrical energy to generate light and charge phones and radios. Just half a liter of saltwater can produce 45 days of electricity.

The community played an active part in informing the lamp’s design: a weighted base to withstand wind and sand in a desert climate and to stand upright in fishing canoes; local artisan women knitted the hanging straps. “You see WaterLight, and you see Wayuu culture,” says Pipe Ruiz Pineda, executive creative director at Wunderman Thompson Colombia. About 50 Wayuu families now have Waterlights.

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