Dear friends,

As many of you know, the past year has been a year of changes for me. My consultancy PowerPedia was launched in 2016 with the intent to speed up the deployment of renewables and smart grid solutions by making sense of technology, policy, and power markets. We, along with our clients had a great year of growth and are ready for a brighter 2017.

I am also very excited to announce the formation of #GetChargedUp, a non-profit with the mission to empower communities by unlocking access to energy and education, while enhancing the environment. To this end, we partner with devoted organizations and host events that connect like-minded, passionate citizens to further knowledge sharing and accelerate the democratization of power.

Looking back at our world in 2016, but also looking at trend lines instead of headlines, the world continues to improve in just about every way. Extreme poverty, child mortality, illiteracy, and inequality are at historic lows; vaccinations, basic education, and democracy are at all-time highs. As for the future, I like the distinction drawn by the economist Paul Romer between complacent optimism, the feeling of a child waiting for presents, and conditional optimism, the feeling of a child who wants a treehouse and realizes that if she gets some wood and nails and persuades other kids to help her, she can build one.

I am not complacently optimistic about the future; I am conditionally optimistic and would love for you to join me.

Let’s #GetChargedUp in 2017!

Faisal El Azzouzi