The Current signifies a flow of energy directly from our members, through Little Sun, to communities and families in Africa and beyond. The Current is a network that realizes the generative power of art to ignite possibility and inspire action.
We invite our members to contribute their energy, ideas and resources to bring about a better world through art, design, collaboration and a collective desire
to help our planet.
The Current supports Little Sun, a non-profit founded by artist Olafur Eliasson. Little Sun creates robustly designed solar products that bring clean, affordable energy to the more than one billion people living without electricity around the world. In places where energy is abundant, our lamps have become powerful symbols raising awareness about climate change and call for the renewable energy future we must create together.
Why Little Sun needs you
Restoring environmental balance and improving the lives of vulnerable communities will require unprecedented commitment and collective action. Energy is fundamental to local economic growth, and to the social and economic empowerment of women and children. Access to sustainable sources of energy enable entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into businesses, farmers to irrigate their fields and gain value from their crops, school children to study at night, health workers to attend to patients in remote areas, refugees to remain safe after dark.
“I see Little Sun as a wedge to open up this urgent discussion from the perspective of art, to raise awareness about energy access and the unequal distribution of energy today.” – Olafur Eliasson
Information for members and prospective members
Joining The Current is to become part of a bespoke community of shared values and intent. To join The Current is to be of service by supporting a cutting-edge initiative that uses art, creativity and innovative design to bring power to people in need.
You can read more about the benefits of your membership below, or get in touch with Clay Tarica, your Membership Manager.
Questions & Answers
What are the basic benefits of participation?
Who is included in membership?
Each member can enroll up to 2 other members. Nominees might include a significant other, children, grandchildren, parents or a member of the community who you believe has a genuine interest in our content, and who will benefit from and contribute to the inclusive, collaborative and diverse culture of the group. We are encouraging diversity in all forms and we welcome people of different ages, backgrounds, perspectives, etc. Please inform us of any individuals you wish to nominate.
How would you describe the culture of the Current?
We wish for everyone to feel at home in the Current, vital to a culture that is inclusive, participatory, relaxed, diverse, non-judgmental, and creative. We have designed the Current as a space for dialogue and growth, where alternative perspectives are encouraged and everyone feels comfortable to just be themselves. The intellectual territory we will be covering – art, the environment, climate change, renewable energy – is vast and complex. The way in which we will tackle the content is with thoughtfulness, humility, openness, and curiosity.
Where will my contribution go?
All contributions support Little Sun’s work to improve affordable access to clean energy, primarily in Africa and in other regions as we grow. Members understand that such resources represent general support to Little Sun and may be used for field-level activities, salaries, travel and other essential costs. Members will receive an audited Little Sun financial statement and programmatic report annually detailing how resources have been spent and specifying our results.
What is expected of me?
We warmly invite members to participate in events when possible, to join discussions remotely or in person, to be active participants to the extent that their schedules permit. If possible, we would wish members to join a minimum of two activities a year, including an annual member meeting in Berlin. We envision many aspects of the Current to be member-driven, and we invite members to propose ideas for events, activities, speakers, and content areas. The community is designed as a place where we can learn from each other, where the ideas we generate translate into action and impact. We invite you arrive ready to share your own perspective and to be curious and open to what others have to share.
Where will events take place?
Members are scattered throughout the world. We will develop programs around where members are concentrated. Our initial activities will most likely take place online and in London, New York, and Berlin. Eventually, we will invite members on trips to Africa and to other locations where we work so that we can engage with and learn from the communities we impact.
How long is the membership period?
Memberships are for five years, renewable after that for another five years.
Is my contribution tax deductible?
All contributions support Little Sun’s non-profit, social purpose work and are tax deductible. We have charitable status both in Europe and in the United States.
How will you handle privacy issues?
Membership contact information and biographies will not be released publicly. Members wishing to share contact information with other members can do so voluntarily. Unless a member specifically indicates otherwise, members agree to be listed publicly as part of the Current in our materials, website, social media, etc. Unless a member specifically indicates otherwise, photos taken at Current events can be used without restriction in Current, Little Sun or related publications.
How do I find out who else is a member?
Members will have access to a password-protected web page which will include names, photos and bios of all members. The website is currently under construction.
Photo and bio
We ask all members to share with us a high-resolution passport size photo for our membership directory plus a short bio of not more than 250 words describing your interests. In your bio, we wish to get a sense of both what you have done and what you most care about, what in life you find most meaningful.
Is there a code of conduct?
Yes. Members are asked to treat other members with the dignity and respect at all times, just as they themselves would expect to be treated. We expect members to listen as much as to speak, to create an environment where everyone can be heard, seen, and appreciated. No form of sexual or other harassment will be tolerated and such instances would be grounds for removal from the group. Please be in contact if ever you feel there is an ethical or conduct issue that needs to be addressed.
All meetings will be conducted under the Chatham House Rules, meaning that content and ideas from the meeting can be shared afterwards but without specific attribution to who contributed the idea or content.
Please share with us if you have any special needs in terms of mobility, food restrictions or anything else. Our intention is to make your participation as comfortable and as easy as possible and the more we are aware of your needs the better we can support you.
How can I get my children and grandchildren involved?
You can include children or grandchildren as part of the members you can designate. Beyond that, please contact us for information about ways to engage the next generation. Internships may be available at Little Sun and we are in a good position to refer young people to interesting opportunities in the art and/or environment space.
Our community values diversity in many forms – geographic, intellectual, field and others. In order to foster an enriching exchange of ideas and unleash new possibility for action, we want to make it possible for a circle of artists, community leaders, activists, environmental leaders and others without the means to cover the fee to participate. We believe that this is in keeping with the values and intent of the initiative and will only enhance the richness of our activities and mandate.
What we do together
Our annual activities
- MEMBERS MEETING
Our annual gathering where we immerse ourselves in the inspiring setting of Studio Olafur Eliasson in order to reflect on our mission and impact and plan our goals for the following year.
- ONLINE COLLOQUIA
Join a series of online discussions with world-class thinkers and doers led by Olafur Eliasson and John Heller. These will provide a relaxed and engaging forum to explore big questions related to the environment and climate action, innovation in design and renewable energy, sustainability, the role of emotion vs data, political and economic activism, the balance between individual behavior change and societal and structural change, and how we can transform our concern for our planet through rich dialogue that leads us to action and impact.
- ART IMMERSION
Our community is united by a love of art and by the undeniably romantic belief that art reverberates in the deepest parts of ourselves, and therefore speaks to our common humanity. Looking at art together will inspire dialogue and create space to build community, discover connections and innovate. We will organize programs that provide unmatched access to Olafur Eliasson’s art practice, including invitations to his openings and events. We plan to organize studio visits and programming that will expose us to artists, curators and critics working at the intersection of art and environment.
- INTIMATE GATHERINGS
Meals and evenings with members and friends to build relationships, cross-pollinate, share knowledge and perspectives and shape intentions on art and the environment. These will be organized throughout the year where members are clustered geographically.
- CELEBRATIONS AND PUBLIC EVENTS
Members will have first access to our public community engagement activities, such as Pathway to Paris at Carnegie Hall. As we look to the future, we hope to raise awareness and funding through an annual gala. Some members of the Current might be invited to join a gala committee. All members will have early access to tickets and preferential seating.
- ART FOR PHILANTHROPY
Future plans also include the possibility to resource through the sale of art. The Current members will be have early access to any edition that we produce or that we commission from another artist.
- TRAVEL AND EXCURSIONS
Field visits around the world where Little Sun is operating, including Ethiopia, Zambia, Senegal and other countries. Opportunities for Current members to inspire travel to locations where they find inspiration can be arranged and will be encouraged as part of our peer learning.
- CONNECTION, REFLECTION, ACTION
We are just beginning to design activities that will help build our community, engage our members spiritually and intellectually, and help us find meaning together and paths to action that will benefit the well-being of our planet. We are connected by a belief that art and artists can inspire this radical process, and that as a community we will learn alongside and collaborate with artists on this journey. We are also a community that will mine our collective knowledge and assets and create programs that foster and inspire dialogue, reflection and that, at their best, will manifest action.