Posted on 07 June 2012
Rick De Gaay Fortman cycled a very long way for us, from Nairobi to Cape Town in fact. By doing so he raised over £100,000 and had the trip of a lifetime! We asked if Rick might introduce his inspiring new TED talk... luckily he said 'yes'!
"On the 28th of April 2012 I had the opportunity to share my experiences about cycling 7,000 km through Africa and fundraising for SolarAid at TEDx Porto.
I grew up in a family that revolved around solving societal issues. My father spent his life eradicating hunger from this world by dedicating his career to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). His career took our family from Central America, to Africa and to the Middle East, working in poverty-stricken nations such as Sudan and Nicaragua. I was profoundly influenced by my family and my upbringing, and those influences would later surface again and bring me back to Africa. I studied aeronautical engineering in the Netherlands, and then worked in the oil and gas industry for Shell in the Netherlands and the Middle East for five years. My work for Shell in Qatar, and my love for nature and the outdoors, brought about a change within me. I became aware of the negative effects of fossil fuels in a geopolitical and climate context, and decided to focus on renewable energy.
Rick presents his solar story at TEDx Porto in May
To take action, I decided to set in motion plans that I had dreamed up three years earlier. I quit my job with Shell, returned to the Netherlands, and began my preparations for the adventure of a lifetime, cycling across Africa to promote renewable energy and raise funds for SolarAid to provide schools and clinics in rural areas with solar power. In less than a month in mid 2010 I organized my epic journey, eventually cycling 7,000 km from Cape Town to Nairobi and raising €120,000 for SolarAid.
This presentation is not only about my adventures in Africa, renewable energy and Solar Aid, but also about my motivations, personal change, and the lessons that I learned over the last three years to fulfill my own dreams. I hope you enjoy the talk, and will also feel inspired to go out and follow your dreams!"
SunnyMoney CEO fundraising BHAG Brave Lighting homes Kathy Sunny Schools fundraiser Sean Conway Hult Steve Andrews Solarcentury TED John Keane teachers Research Ralph Greenland Digital soccket Gill Davies Twitter Events Richard Turner Susie Wheeldon Solar Cycle Diaries Victor Koyier Steve Woodward SunFunder Kathy Hill education Pippa Palmer Brave Mhonie slideshow Rick de Gaay Fortman Tanzania Kat Harrison school zambia Kenya Radio 4 Ian McEwan Malawi Ray of Sunshine Impact ecobuild solar lighting solaraid solar charity Africa ecobuild 2013 solarhub. right to light sustainability sunshine is free BBC solarhub right to light Solar Hub sunrisekat sunnymoney jeremy leggett impact Kat Harrison Ray of Sunshine Senegal Ashden awards Make it a Million Solar Energy Charity non-profit organisation