LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM THE OCEAN CLEANUP
Boyan Slat is an inventor and entrepreneur who creates technologies to solve societal problems. He is the Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, the foundation that develops advanced systems to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.
In February 2013 he dropped out of his aerospace engineering study at TU Delft to work fulltime on this ambitious project. He dedicates most of his time to managing the rapid growth of the organization, while also overseeing the team’s technology development.
Reasons to see Boyan Slat
1. Boyan is on 'lists that matter'
Boyan Slat is the youngest ever recipient of the UN’s highest environmental accolade: Champion of the Earth.
- In 2017, Elsevier named him Dutchman of the Year, Reader’s Digest chose him as the European Person of the Year
- In 2018, Boyan was named ‘European Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Euronews
- That year, Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff pointed out Boyan as one of the ‘25 people that will shape the next 25 years’ in WIRE magazine.
- In 2019, the European Commission elected Boyan as one of the experts to advise the commission on its multi-billion-euro innovation strategy.
2. The Ocean Cleanup
The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. They aim to achieve this goal by taking a two-pronged approach: stemming the inflow via rivers, and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean.
For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup is developing large scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. This plastic will then be used to create durable products and fund continued cleanup, making cleanup itself circular.
In 2019, the organization launched the other half to their solution, the Interceptor™, to extract plastic in rivers before reaching the ocean. In 2020, The Ocean Cleanup produced the first product made with
plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, of which 100% of the proceeds go towards the continuation of the cleanup.