Who is Boyan Slat and how will he change the future of our oceans.
Dutch, 23 years old, this inventor and entrepreneur aims to creates technologies to solve problems affecting the society on a big scale.
Already at the age of 16, Boyan, after coming across more plastic than fish while diving in Greece, decided to devote a high school project to digging deeper into ocean plastic pollution and why it was considered impossible to clean up.
He later came up with the idea to build a passive system, using the circulating ocean currents to his advantage. He presented this idea on 2012 at a TEDx talk in Delft.
In February 2013 he dropped out of his Aerospace Engineering study at TU Delft to become the founder and CEO of “The Ocean Cleanup” with the first cleanup prototype presented in June 2016.
Since then, he developed advanced systems to rid world’s oceans of plastic: the idea is simple: instead of going after the plastic, Boyan devised a system through which, driven by the ocean currents, the plastic would concentrate itself, reducing the theoretical cleanup time from millennia to a few years.
Today, “the Ocean Cleanup” is preparing to launch the first full-scale operational system into Great Pacific Garbage Patch, by early 2018.
Boyan Slat is the youngest-ever recipient of the UN’s highest environmental accolade and Champion of the Earth.
In 2015, HM King Harald of Norway awarded Boyan the maritime industry’s Young Entrepreneur Award.
Foreign Policy included Boyan in their 2015 list of preeminent thought leaders, Forbes included him in their 30 under 30 edition in 2016 and Reader’s Digest chose him as the European of the Year in 2017.
This year he was also given the Thor Heyerdahl award, and was named one of the 100 world’s most intriguing entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs.