Goldman is founder of d. light design who spearhead a worldwide initiative to replace kerosene lanterns with solar powered lighting systems.
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It has been announced that Sam Goldman, founder and chief customer officer of d.light design, an international social enterprise, is to be a recipient of the Charles Bronfman Prize for 2014, the 10th in its history.
Goldman has been awarded his prize in appreciation of his long history of humanitarian work, during which time he has brought major improvements in the quality of life to an estimated 33 million people spread across 62 countries.
The criteria to be a winner of the Charles Bronfman Prize, which comes with a $100, 000 award is to be a person under the age of 50, considered to be both a visionary and dynamic humanitarian involved in some form of activity that is informed by Jewish values, whilst making a global impact that not only changes lives also goes on to inspire future generations to take part in similar endeavours.
Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, speaking on behalf of the international panel of judges who selected Goldman for the Prize, explained that Sam Goldman fully embodies the spirit and values of the Charles Bronfman Prize, as evidenced by his strong commitment to social change that has a direct, tangible and positive impact on the lives of millions of people around the globe.”
“Sam is being recognized for his global endeavors to replace expensive and dangerous kerosene, which produces low quality light and noxious fumes, with affordable solar products that provide greatly improved lighting, transforms an unhealthy and dangerous environment for some of the most impoverished people in the world. It simultaneously reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves education by providing the light students need in order to study.” Ambassador Eizenstat went on to explain in his statement.
Where Sam Goodman’s award stands out from the nine previous recipients, is that they have all been involved in nonprofit organizations where, in this particular instance , the judging panel for the Charles Bronfman Prize saw in Sam Goldman a “creative and compelling example of an individual who determined a socially responsible, for-profit model was best to take his unique vision to provide light to those in need and to scale it globally.”
Responding to be awarded with the Charles Bronfman Prize for 2014 recipient, Sam Goodman stated that he was honored to be both the youngest recipient as well as the first Canadian to receive the Prize, and particularly for d.light to be the first social enterprise recognized.
“The Prize provides a platform for d.light to create awareness of the huge potential for small-scale, distributed solar energy solutions and to further d.light’s work to change lives, education, health, and savings potential for literally billions of people living without reliable electricity, ” summed up Goodman.
d.light has already sold more than 6 million solar light and power products around the world, through their network over a dozen field offices and four distribution centers in Africa, China, South Asia and the United States.
Thanks to the provision of solar lighting an estimated 8 million children are now able to study productively thanks to d.light, in the process saving in excess of $1 billion dollars in energy-related expenses.
Through Goodman’s stellar efforts d.light is dearly reducing carbon footprints across entire communities’ while at the same time creating new opportunities for people living in extreme poverty. In the last year alone the number of people using d.light is estimated to have grown by one million users per month.
The Charles Bronfman prize was established in honor of philanthropist by his children Ellen Bronfman Hauptman and Andrew Hauptman – together with Stephen Bronfman and Claudine Blondin Bronfman, and is selected by an “internationally recognized panel of judges.” Past recipients of the Charles Bronfman Prize include leukemia survivor Jay Feinberg, founder of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, and Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg, who established the KIPP network of charter schools for disadvantaged students.
Sam Goldman graduated with degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, Canada, he earned an MBA from Stanford.
Prior to founding d.light, Sam Goldman has founded and managed multiple ventures in Africa, involved in sustainable agriculture and construction among other initivites, with his work activities having taken him to most major African countries, across South America as well as India.
Sam Goldman has been recognized as an Ashoka Fellow and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, while the Schwab Foundation recently him among the world’s top social entrepreneurs for 2014.