Last week I spoke of the inspirational young people in Surrey, some of whom were at our Celebration of Youth. I want to tell you today about another inspirational young man from the Netherlands - Boyan Slat. While diving in Greece at age 16 Boyan became frustrated by coming across more plastic bags than fish. Whilst many of us might just have said “ain’t it awful” and gone home to watch TV, he took a different path.
Boyan researched plastic pollution and the problems associated with cleaning it up. Over the next few years he developed the passive clean up concept and subsequently got a team of 100 people to work on the Ocean Clean up project. The feasibility 530-page feasibility study report (authored by 70 scientists and engineers), indicated the concept is indeed a feasible method to clean almost half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just 10 years. To date $2.1M has been raised to support the project and Boyan Slat (now aged just 20) has led the charge to solve a major problem which the governments, environmental organisations, corporations and others had all failed to tackle.
I believe that there are lots of young people around Surrey also spotting problems and taking initiatives to make the world a better place. If you are a young person doing a project like this, or know of a young person who is, please do email us and tell us what is being done and why. We would like to create a collection of stories about young people doing fabulous initiatives in Surrey.
Here are Surrey Youth Focus we are thinking about how can we create the conditions in Surrey where we have thousands of Boyan Slats, working on inspirational projects to make a difference to the world. My challenge to you this week is: How can you nurture the young people in your life to spot problems in society and go out and solve them?