Thursday, December 17, 2009

...then I try and I made it

While world leaders are doodling around in Copenhagen, trying to come to an agreement about who should do what and how much they should pay to reduce human impact on the globe, some people are out here getting things done. Check out William Kamkwamba on top of his windmill in his Malawian village! Long story short, he had to drop out of school at 14 because his family could no longer afford the fees, so like any good citizen of the world he took charge of his own education at the local library. Without knowing English very well, he spent time poring over books with diagrams in his area of special interest: science. After seeing a diagram for a windmill and reading how it can produce electricity and pump water, he knew he'd hit the jackpot. He began salvaging materials from a junkyard and casually shrugging off naysayers until his structure was complete, working, and people formerly accusing him of insanity were lining up to charge their mobile phones!

William, high five.

As this is obviously an excellent story about an awesome person, William was invited to give a TED talk, worked with author Bryan Mealer to tell his story, and has his own blog. He is now 19, I believe, and studies in South Africa.

William Kamkwamba's Blog

William's TED Profile

photo from William's Flickr page

1 comment:

matthias said...

I made a presentation about windmills recently and of course came across him too ;) even though his windmil does not produce much more energy than to recharge mobile phones this definitely is a good symbol and looks rads... copenhagen is a joke though, unfortunately :( so we better start building our own pretty soon, it's about time that I start learning for my energy climate and sustainability theme course next semester :)

peace out from a strangely hostile, -14 degree celsius Berlin.

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