IEEE VIPs Walked the Red Carpet for Power to the People

IEEE VIPs walked the red carpet to the screening event of Power to the People, A National Geographic BREAKTHROUGH documentary produced by Ron Howard, featuring IEEE Smart Village and hosted by IEEE Foundation. The path was bordered by a dazzling display of photographs taken by award-winning photo journalist Paula Bronstein.

Until August 2016, the 700 residents of Lingshed village in the Himalayas had no access to electricity. A group of IEEE Smart Village program engineer volunteers changed that when they trekked to Lingshed (elevation: 4,000 meters) to install solar-powered, direct-current microgrids at the 900-year-old Lingshed monastery and at a local school. They also created a computer lab with a satellite Internet link that now doubles as an Internet café for trekkers. Read more about the trek.

Fred Mintzer, Vice President of Programs for IEEE Foundation and Saifur Rahman, President of the IEEE Power & Energy Society welcomed the full-house on Friday evening, 22 June, during the IEEE Board Series. Jean Kumagai, IEEE Spectrum Senior Editor, who went on the dangerous trek to the Himalayas with other IEEE staff and volunteers, shared her personal experiences. IEEE Foundation Executive Director Karen Galuchie thanked the VIPs for attending and shared how they could support life-changing projects like this and the Realize the Full Potential of IEEE Campaign.

The screening was met enthusiastically and for some, even emotionally. Ann Walz, spouse of IEEE Division V Director John W. Walz said, “I had no idea of the impact of work the Foundation supported and how extraordinary the journey was for those IEEE volunteers. Smart Village is an amazing program and Jean is such a captivating speaker that I felt as though I were there too.”
Fred Mintzer said, “That was a well-done and enlightening event. I believe many guests learned much more about the critical role IEEE programs play and why donor support of the programs through IEEE Foundation is so important.”

IEEE Smart Village promotes sustainable electrification in the developing world and aims to reach more than 50 million people over the next decade.

National Geographic's critically acclaimed global series BREAKTHROUGH shines a light on the world's leading scientists and how their cutting-edge innovations and advancements will change our lives in the immediate future and beyond. The series brings to life the stories, people and technology behind these breakthroughs, and shows how they are reshaping our world.

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