Fortunately, I opened my email and found the perfect story: successful entrepreneur confronts a whopping challenge and develops a creative, beautiful solution.
Whopping challenge: better housing for South Africa's poor. Largely as a result of apartheid-era policies there is a huge shortage of formal housing so millions of poor South Africans live in shacks in informal settlements on the outskirts of cities. The ANC governments of the past 15 years have tried to address the complex problems of housing the poor with only limited success.
One thing the governments have done is build something called RDP houses -- more than a million of them. But lots of people hate these poor quality houses and actually leave them to return to informal settlements (I've written about this here).
Greg Sharp of BSB Design in Des Moines, a successful architecture firm, was asked by a South African minister if he could help address the country's acute housing shortage. His company dove into the problem, interviewed local people and came up with Abod -- a low cost, low mainteance house that even someone like me could probably up together. Can't tell how many have been shipped to South Africa so far (doesn't seem like many) so I'm not sure if it's a truly scalable project or not. But, it certainly is lovely one.