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Press release: d.light publishes candid, inspiring story of bringing solar energy to 100 million people

July 24, 2020, Palo Alto, California; Nairobi, Kenya; New Delhi, India; Shenzhen, China – Can for-profit businesses provide sustainable solutions to the world’s most intractable social challenges? The question has been debated by business experts and international development professionals since the start of the twenty-first century, when the idea of social-benefit corporations first began to emerge.

Silicon Valley author Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, in partnership with d.light co-founders Ned Tozun and Sam Goldman, offers a clear answer in LET THERE D.LIGHT: yes. But the path to build a business that creates positive social and environmental impact on a global scale is filled with uncharted territory, unknowns, and unexpected challenges that test the courage and tenacity of individual leaders and their teams.

LET THERE D.LIGHT is the story of how d.light evolved from a class project at Stanford University to a multinational business that has brought solar energy to 100 million people around the world, most of whom previously relied on kerosene lamps, generators, and other unreliable and polluting sources of energy. It captures the personal drive and sacrifice of the co-founders and employees, the mistakes and circumstances that almost destroyed the company, and the valuable lessons learned in designing, manufacturing, and distributing new technologies to base-of-the-pyramid families around the world.

In her heartfelt foreword, Jacqueline Novogratz, the founder and CEO of impact investor Acumen, writes, “d.light’s story stands as a primer for anyone interested in the hard, sometimes thankless, but ultimately deeply meaningful and productive work of social change. And Ned Tozun and Sam Goldman will stand forever as two of the most successful role models I have ever met.”

This in-depth case study offers invaluable insights about topics such as customer-centered design, innovation, leadership, and working in emerging markets. It also includes a new, expanded vision for d.light by Tozun and Goldman in the afterword.

The book has been endorsed by renowned business author, blogger, and podcaster Seth Godin, who called it “a unique book about a unique company that is changing the world.” According to James Patell, emeritus professor and co-founder of the Design for Extreme Affordability Program at Stanford University, “The d.light founders, together with the organization and products they have built, are exemplars of the very best that the Stanford Design for Extreme Affordability Program has produced.”

The book is available for sale on Amazon in paperback and as an ebook.

About d.light: Founded in 2006 at Stanford University, d.light is a global leader in solar energy, dedicated to providing the most reliable, affordable and accessible solar lighting and power systems for people living in the developing world. d.light provides distributed solar energy to households and small businesses in 70 countries, impacting the lives of 100 million people. For further information, visit

About the Author: Dorcas Cheng-Tozun is an award-winning writer, international communications consultant, former columnist, and the author of Start, Love, Repeat: How to Stay in Love with Your Entrepreneur in a Crazy Start-up World. She served as the first director of communications for d.light and has written frequently about social enterprise and the intersection of business and family life. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal,, Christianity Today, the Unreasonable blog, The Entrepreneurial Leader, and dozens of other publications in the U.S., Asia, and Africa. A Silicon Valley native, Dorcas has also lived in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Kenya with her husband and two young sons. Visit to learn more.

LET THERE D.LIGHT by Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

ISBN: 978-1-7343970-0-0 | Softcover Book | July 2020



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