11/25/2013 10:28 am ET Updated Jan 24, 2014

Wind for Prosperity

The light by which you read these words, the power than runs your computer, the energy that heats your morning coffee -- we take such things for granted, yet more than 1.3 billion people globally live with little or no access to electricity. There was a time when corporate executives like me would throw money at solving these problems, ignoring our business savvy, our models, our metrics, in the spirit of aid. But we arguably did more harm than good -- and we certainly haven't solved the problem of poverty. So I believe it's time for a new vision. It's time for partnerships that promote collaboration, not dependency. It's time for investment, not charity. It's time to deploy the world-class knowledge and technology we have, putting it to use for profit -- in multiple senses of that word. It's time for an initiative like Wind for Prosperity.

Beginning in mid-2014, under the banner of Wind for Prosperity, wind turbines will be installed in more than 100 under-electrified and un-electrified communities, first in Kenya and then throughout the Global South. We can help bring the many benefits of electrification -- improved health care, brighter educational prospects, easier access to water, better tools for agriculture, some new jobs, a big boost to business. We can lower the cost of electricity generation by at least 30 percent. We can take fuel trucks off the road and provide an alternative to the dirty diesel that, if even available, is often the only power-generating option. And we can make money doing it. It's a win-win-win-win scenario. Who could or would say no?