Olafur Eliasson has been recognised in the 2016 Crystal Awards as an artist who has shown commitment to improving the state of the world. As part of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Danish-Icelandic artist has won an award for “his leadership in creating inclusive communities.” This accolade is presumably tied to his sustainable light project, Little Sun.
Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen founded Little Sun in 2012 at London’s Tate Modern. The socially-minded project provides solar-powered light to communities without electricity, and trains young locals to further the Little Sun initiative by becoming sales agents for the business.
As such, Little Sun describes itself as “not a charity, but an inclusive social business. Rather than a short-term fix of donating lamps to an area without electricity, we work with and train local entrepreneurs to build profitable local businesses that distribute Little Sun light. For us, it’s not just about delivering light to people – it matters how it gets there.”
Other Crystal Award winners, which were selected by the World Arts Forum, are Leonardo DiCaprio, Yao Chen, and Will.i.am. “These artists are role models not only for the cultural community, but also for the global community at large,” said chairwoman and co-founder of the World Arts Forum, Hilde Schwab.