Volunteer Spotlight: Robin Htun


November 20, 2018
GRID Volunteer and Intern, Robin Htun

The Bay Area has been lucky enough to have amazing volunteers and interns over the years. We want to introduce you to one of our current awesome Bay Area Construction interns, Robin Htun, who found GRID, moved across the country and started volunteering. In the future, he’s hoping to establish solar as the conventional source of energy in his home country of Myanmar. At home in Myanmar, the country is just beginning to grow their energy infrastructure and Robin believes bringing renewable energy technology into the forefront is imperative. Read on to learn more about Robin’s journey with GRID and his passions.

Gender Pronouns? He/Him/His

How did you come to GRID?

I’ve been interested in solar since high school, so for a while now. I would be constantly looking at solar opportunities, I’m actually surprised that GRID didn’t come onto my radar sooner. I learned about GRID just a month before I graduated from college. I had randomly googled “solar internships” and saw GRID’s volunteer opportunities and thought “oh, I should go learn the nuts and bolts of solar”. Shortly after I moved to the Bay Area to pursue this and my career in solar. I volunteered for 3 months and now I’ve been an intern over the past month and a half.

What GRID Value most resonates with you?

Community and Trustworthiness - I’ve observed that there are many systems in the world that are not designed for everyone. For example, I notice that you’re left-handed and the world is designed for right-handed people. The systems aren’t designed with who is being left out in mind. When designing systems for change and tackling the issues, we shouldn’t make the same mistakes. Community and trustworthiness touch on the care factor of creating a different system and including everyone.

Favorite GRID moment?

My first install with GRID. It was with the SIS, Brian on a hot day in Pittsburg and it was even hotter on the roof. We were 3 first time volunteers so he had a lot of teaching to do and had his hands full. When we went to lunch, Brian was still hammering and working away. I thought, “Wow, that’s commitment, that’s devotion.”

Fun fact about you?

I like making things from scratch, I’m part of what I call the “how to make everything” movement. With these projects, I go back as far as possible down the supply chain for the products. So for example for soap, I wouldn’t stop at finding the chemist who makes the chemicals, instead I’d find limestone and extract the materials from that. These projects are always messy and never look good. But I learn a lot and makes me realize the things we take for granted.