Proudly Pinoy: Engr. Aisa Mijeno - Salt Lamp Innovator
|Aisa Mijeno - Salt Lamp Inventor|
The recently held Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the Philippines has become an eye opener for a lot of Filipinos, but one topic stood out: Climate Change. In that Nov. 18, 2015 APEC Summit forum United States President Barack Obama led the discussion regarding the role of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and private sectors in alleviating climate change. To highlight this topic, a young scientist and engineer shared center stage with Obama and Alibaba founder, Jack Ma.
Engr. Aisa Mijeno, the CEO and co-founder of SALt, likened climate change to cancer both of which undergo four stages. Climate change, like cancer, when left untreated and ignored, will reach Stage 4 where it's already too late to do anything. Together with her awareness of climate change and passion to help the poor people in rural areas with no access to electricity, Aisa came up with the idea to create saline solution-powered lamps.
Her immersion in Kalinga, while campaigning for Greenpeace Philippines, opened her eyes to the reality that there are about 16 million families with no access to electricity. The Butbut tribe Aisa stayed with in Kalinga had to walk six hours every single day to obtain kerosene to fuel their lamps.
Aside from the potential dangers of using kerosene, like fire and toxic fumes, it also adds to the carbon footprint that basically affects climate change. This drove Aisa to search for a way that not only helps those in need for an alternative lighting source but also alleviates climate change.
Together with her brother, Raphael Mijeno, Aisa established the startup company, SALt (or Sustainable Alternative Lighting) dedicated to creating lamps powered by salt and water. An innovation like this by the Mijeno siblings did not go unnoticed. In fact, IdeaSpace Foundation, chaired by Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan, recognized their future environmental and global impact that it acclaimed SALt as one of the ten winners last year for early-stage funding under its incubation and accelerator program.
After this, SALt was recognized both locally and internationally which garnered them several awards as well as media exposure because of their entrepreneurial and social movement. It all started with a Aisa's dream to help out the poor with no access to electricity. Now, she's leading the way to remedy climate change while keeping to her promise of providing light to those literally living in darkness.
IdeaSpace Foundation aims to support local technopreneurs with great ideas that can potentially build the nation. If you have a great idea that may change this world, then your voice needs to be heard. Just check their website for further info.