Bertrand Piccard, the initiator, chairman, and co-pilot, of Solar Impulse which made the first successful round-the-world solar powered flight, presented a new project in Brussels during the European Ideas Lab organised by the European Green Party and the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament.
'#1000solutions' is part of the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions initiative and hopes to highlight clean, efficient and profitable solutions that can be implemented by lawmakers around the world.
Speaking at the event that brings together 'change-makers' to discuss innovative ideas to improve society alongside the co-president of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament Philippe Lamberts, Piccard said he hopes the project can build a bridge between ecologists, industry, and politicians.
If we are at European Ideas Lab is because we care and we believe we can change. The World will change if we manage to change people's mindset. #europeanideaslab @GreensEP #EUIdeasLab pic.twitter.com/XfzJZwLtp8— Bertrand PICCARD (@bertrandpiccard) March 2, 2018
He believes the political class lacks ambition, which, he says, is blocking the way towards a more efficient and sustainable world. He hopes that his achievement of flying around the world in the Solar Impulse will help inspire people to believe in change and the potential of clean and efficient energy.
"Currently half of all the energy we use is wasted even though efficient solutions exist" he says.
Piccard: Stop compromising on minimum goals in changing environmental reality. Must be ambitious. Force the political world to base the regulations on the solutions that exist already. #EUIdeasLab— Reinhard Bütikofer (@bueti) March 2, 2018
He also encouraged ecologists to speak the language of industry and vice-versa so that societies can move toward a more solution-oriented approach to politics. One of the main challenges, he explained, is to engage people on the environment and change their mindset.
Currently, he explained, a lot of the answers to the biggest challenges we face do not advance beyond the backrooms of startups, university campuses or company boardrooms in which the ideas were conceived. Solutions exist, he says, but do not get implemented.
"We give lots of subsidies to create patents but they normally go nowhere and we continue to pollute and use old technology."
He emphasises the need to "pull as well as push technologies" so governments can start to regulate as a result of innovation and encourage more ambitious projects that will benefit the population as a whole. He hopes the '#1000solutions' initiative will help stimulate a more active response.