Two things have caught our interest this edition. The first is the importance of local championship of energy access and rural development issues. So often we focus on reports, technical developments and calls to action which emanate from donor countries. But for real change and sustainability, leadership needs to be local. This was one reason why we at Smart Villages have worked with and learned from local media and NGOs around the world over the last three years. Our top stories this week are from newspapers and NGOs reporting on activities in their own countries in their own words and addressing local priorities, and demonstrating graphically the power of decentralised off-grid energy solutions to impact community development and resilience in the face of natural disasters.
The second is two articles we share below in our “Americas” section. Both of them concern rural development and sustainability issues in the United States of America, and demonstrate both the need and value of looking beyond just Smart Cities to the sustainability and empowerment of rural communities. The conclusions drawn are even more important to rural communities in the developing world.