It is such a gratifying feeling to see something that you’ve nurtured for so long come to life.  Last week we successfully launched a tool that we truly believe will be a game-changer in educational access for millions in the developing world.  This is first device ever created for humanitarian use that allows content to be pre-recorded or loaded later (up to 64GB), can record live voice or radio broadcasts and even charges a cell phone.  Called the Lifeplayer, it has been phenomenally well received by development specialists, partners and the media alike.

We spent three years researching and developing the Lifeplayer – determining the need; establishing what features were most desirable and practical; ensuring it could be reliably powered by a solar panel or wind-up energy; deciding how we could bring different technologies already in use in Africa and elsewhere together; and most importantly, how we would get the research and development funded.  We were so blessed that Tom Hanks stepped in and not only contributed generously to the Lifeplayer’s development, but he asked his friends to help, too.  We could not have asked for a more devoted supporter on every level.  His tweet about the Lifeplayer was retweeted by thousands of others who spread the word virally.

There are a lot of people who have made the MP3-enabled  Lifeplayer possible.  Chief amongst them is Phil Goodwin, who heads our new product development and trading arm, Lifeline Technologies Trading Ltd.  Phil is the design principal who has headed a multi-disciplinary team of model makers, industrial designers and software engineers, as well as the excellent group at our production facility in Asia.  Due to component shortages brought about by the economic recession, we experienced some unforeseen delays, but finally the Lifeplayer is en route to being included in a host of important initiatives that will bring high quality information and educational content to those who otherwise would not have these learning opportunities.

I also want to thank the Lifeline Energy team and boards for their terrific support for their unwavering enthusiasm and belief in our vision.

New York has been the perfect place to launch the Lifeplayer, especially with the UN General Assembly meetings and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The city is abuzz with excitement (and traffic snarls) and I’m honored to be making an input tomorrow at the CGI about women and the environment.

by Kristine Pearson in New York City.