I’m writing this editorial at the end of the SE4ALL Forum in Brooklyn. The highlights are covered by the top stories – a raft of launches including the Global Tracking Framework, MIA, Shine and the REN Renewables Report. However, one unheralded event could turn out to be at least equally significant and gives us at Smart Villages great satisfaction. Our Voices from the Village session was a great success as we bought together 4 community leaders from Indonesia, Peru, Haiti and Tanzania to tell the stories of their journeys along the energy access road. Our aim was to demonstrate that increasingly villagers themselves in off-grid communities have sufficient knowledge of the dividends of energy access to participate fully in decision making and thus potentially solve the thorny issue of ownership. But imagine our surprise when the leaders of Napo in Peru and Pilate in Haiti announced on Day 3 that having met and compared experiences they were going to sign a knowledge sharing agreement for the future. If this trend spreads the age of top down solutions is truly dead.