Peter Gubel changed our view on technology for ever with his article ‘Technology doesn’t work without poetry’, published on ThinkBig.com on October 6, 2013. He made us see that what moves people is not state-of-the-art technology, it is state-of-the-heart technology. Technology is a tool for people, not a means in itself. It is a tool for people with real problems, desires and wishes. These true and meaningful wishes of mankind push the boundaries of what is possible. That’s where technology comes in. And that’s why we have to think of Peter Gubel when we read about a boy who wants to clean the oceans. Only 19 years old, but oh boy what a vision.
Boyan Slat is a 19 year old Dutch high school senior who wants to change the world. Or, like he says: “People often think: The environment? That’s something for our children to worry about. Well, here I am”. He came up with a remarkable simple but effective idea to clean the oceans of tons of plastic waste. His technological solutions testify of a pure and brilliant simplicity. His way of engaging professors of all over the world to be on board of his plan shows how persistence and kindheartedness pays off. How he came up with this plan? He went on a diving trip during a holiday in Greece to discover the beautiful treasures of the sea were no longer visible due to the enormous amounts of plastic waste, obscuring the natural resources. Or like he says: my friend boosted he saw more jelly fish then he had ever seen before in his life. Only to find out afterwards it weren’t jelly fish but plastic bags, floating in the water”.
The most impressive thing about the plan of Boyan is his financial model. He will use crowdfunding to make it happen, but after the first stage he will use the collected waste and sell it to recycling companies, to finance the next cleaning project with the profits. Brilliant in its simplicity. It shows, without poetry, there is no technology.
Read more about Boyan’s project www.theoceancleanup.com.