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This profile was last updated on 6/10/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Illac Angelo Diaz

Wrong Illac Angelo Diaz?

Executive Director

Phone: +63 **********  
Email: i***@***.org
Local Address:  Philippines
MyShelter Foundation

Employment History

  • Founder and Executive Director
    My Shelter Foundation
  • Executive Director
  • Partner
  • Executive Director

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Founder
    MyShelter Foundation
  • Founder
    My Shelter Foundation
  • Founder
  • Board Member
    The Plastic Bank


  • Masters Degree , Public Administration
    Harvard Kennedy School
  • Masters Degree , Social Entrepreneurship
    Asian Institute of Management
  • Masters Degree , Urban Studies and Planning
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
78 Total References
Web References
DIAZ: That's what Liter of ..., 3 April 2015 [cached]
DIAZ: That's what Liter of Light is, to go into schools where children and parents think it's relevant for the children to be able to build their own streetlights and house lights.
Illac Diaz is the founder of MyShelter Foundation, which seeks to provide affordable and sustainable building solutions for low-income communities. (Photo: courtesy of Liter of Light USA)
DIAZ: My name is Illac Diaz, and I'm the Executive Director of Liter of Light Global Movement to open source technologies for solar.
DIAZ: And one of the things that's most available anywhere in the world was a discarded plastic bottle.
DIAZ: Since 2013 is when the storms are becoming so powerful that instead of slowing down before hitting the archipelago, they actually go straight through, so Haiyan was really an indicator of things to come, where climate change is on us in a very strong way and we're in front lines.
So Diaz set the many refugees to filling up those plastic bottles with mud, drying them in the sun to use for bricks to build schools. But those mud filled bottles made the schools dark.
DIAZ: One of the big problems with that was really you could not get any flat glass so we'd fill bottles with water and so for bricks fill it with mud, stuck it on top of each other, then in between every one meter fill one with water and this would allow a really beautiful light to envelop the whole school.
Founder Illac Diaz collects plastic bottles that will later be installed in roofs in energy-poor countries and regions hit by weather disasters. (Photo: courtesy of Liter of Light USA)
DIAZ: And we would have somebody who would collect bottles. He would buy a little piece of tin and glue and stick it. When he installs it, he starts saving that family or that household $8 to $10 worth of electricity a month.
DIAZ: No, so we would have a metal sheet like a 12 by 12 metal sheet and we would have a bottle in the middle, and we would have people that we would teach how to do it properly, and what kind of glue to make - of course, all of it local - and in a year we would train about 50 of them.
PALMER: This simple invention has transformed the lives of these slum dwellers, but Diaz says that's not the half of it.
DIAZ: You would open the top, then stick in an LED light inside.
Women were excited by the new lights, and Diaz trained them to assemble the simple circuits that make them work. But many of the women also run small stores and there was a problem with street crime. So they thought brighter lights might make a difference. And the next idea was streetlights, powered by a four watt solar panel, or a motorcycle battery.
Diaz and children hold constructed light kits. (Photo: courtesy of Liter of Light USA)
DIAZ: And so what we did was we started same thing, but instead of just putting it in circuits for house, we would use the same on and off switch to put in PVC pipes, and then we would have this soldering machine by the sun where we would have a battery and women would be able to solder street lights. And so, PVCs are all over the place, quick to find, you can put them on a bamboo pole, and the plastic bottle, we would put the LEDs inside, and we would attach them not along the streets but along small stores of women. Each woman would have a store, and we would put the lights right in front, you know if it breaks in three years, she would have a little bit of money from us to repair.
DIAZ: I can bring it over.
DIAZ: And then of course the circuit of turning on and off, there's a box and a battery, this on and off switch. So this one is built by the women.
Illac Diaz shows former Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry how a plastic bottle can be recycled to provide light. (Photo: courtesy of Liter of Light USA)
Just this year, Diaz says, they've installed over 6,000 of these lights worldwide - in Pakistan, in Colombia, in Kenya, in Bangladesh. Liter of Light USA has just launched, appropriately enough at the Thomas Edison museum, and Diaz says they're teaching children in New Jersey to make the circuits to send to developing countries. That way children in the US they can learn about energy poverty - and have a useful skill for the next time a Hurricane Sandy puts all of us in the dark.
DIAZ: The next generation is to start moving really in a technology of the people, preparing children, preparing people to know how to build these kinds of things, the do-it-yourself streetlights. That's what Liter of Light is, to go into schools where children and parents find it relevant for the children to be able to know how to build their own streetlights and house lights. We've had experiences for those that we've taught, when they do travel they take our kits with them and then they see somebody who lives in darkness. And it's something that the children they can build it and donate it - and so they become our missionaries, they become our ambassadors of light. And so this is the way we feel the revolution of solving energy poverty is not by asking people to buy our products, but it's only by multiplying ourselves, by sharing the technology, by getting more people involved that we will be able to solve this.
PALMER: That's Illac Diaz of Liter of Light.
"It's very empowering because what used ..., 9 Nov 2014 [cached]
"It's very empowering because what used to be a problem is now a solution," says Illac Diaz, the Foundation's Executive Director.
It's a pioneering way to look at how a simple plastic bottle can be used as a brick," explains Diaz.
The first school, Payatas Elementary School, was built by the Foundation in partnership with Pepsi, which organised a bottle collection to build the classroom on a site donated by the local government of San Pablo. Diaz developed the idea of using bottles when he saw ancient buildings made from adobe, a mix of mud, sand, clay and water, along with straw and twigs still standing after centuries.
As Diaz explains, "Basic lighting would seem to be a fundamental right for any community and yet too often in our crowded urban areas it simply doesn't exist. By the easy application of previously used plastic bottles, we can create a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solution for basic lighting needs".
Illac Diaz
Born in Manila in 1972, Diaz has been a model, actor and advertising executive, while also studying a range of subjects all around the world, including Management Economics and Urban Planning.
He is perhaps best known as a social entrepreneur. His first venture was the Pier One Seafarer's Dormitory in Manila, which provides cheap, safe accommodation for sailors and overseas contract workers. Other projects followed and the World Economic Forum in Switzerland named him "Young Global Leader of 2008".
Diaz founded the My Shelter Foundation, a direct response to solving the Philippines' chronic lack of schools.
SpareTime University - Part 2, 19 Nov 2010 [cached]
Illac Diaz, the founder and executive director of non-profit group My Shelter Foundation, which spearheaded the competition, says that the goal of the contest was to plan homes and communities that could survive for weeks in the severely restricted conditions of a post-disaster situation.
'Rather than spend millions on expendable handouts after disaster strikes, we wanted to work on something concrete ahead of time,' said Diaz during the opening ceremonies ahead of the announcement of winners.
'We don't want to just keep on implementing whatever design that has been used before,' Diaz told IPS. 'Now through this contest, we have designs that hopefully will change the concept of low-income housing.'
'The future of the Philippines will be climate-challenged and we need change to happen now,' says Diaz.
Illac Diaz, Founder, ..., 10 Dec 2014 [cached]
Illac Diaz, Founder, Liter of Light and My Shelter Foundation
Illac Angelo Diaz, ..., 8 Dec 2014 [cached]
Illac Angelo Diaz, Architecture for Humanity Manila President
Illac Diaz is a former corporate executive who has since gone on to establish several foundations that provide sustainable solutions to societal problems. He is the executive director of MyShelter Foundation, a non-profit organization which has been engaged in improving the lives of many Filipinos through the creation of sustainable solutions for using recycled materials for the building of clinics and classrooms in rural areas.
Diaz holds Masters in Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. He also completed the Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was recognized as one of the Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum, Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World by the Jaycees International, and is an Ernst and Young Innovation Entrepreneur of the Year. He has returned to the Philippines to apply and disseminate his research in needy communities throughout the country.
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