I expected to find a few cool ideas in The Economist’s World in 2016 video and it didn’t disappoint. The piece I enjoyed the most was about 21 year old Boyan Slat’s ambitious plan to clean up plastics in the ocean. Oceanic waters between continents are not governed by any nation and, as a result, have become a dumping ground for plastics. No organization has taken initiative to fix this. So, Boyan Slat stepped forward.
After a couple of feasibility studies, they’re ready for their first big test outside Japan’s waters in 2016. I, for one, will be keeping my fingers crossed that the project works out. Do check out the website for more.
I think the story hit home simply because Boyan just took responsibility for a massive problem and is working toward fixing it. I’m sure he has hundreds of critics who’re bent on finding all sorts of problems with his approach. I’m sure many of these problems are real. But, then again, no solution is ever perfect (or even close to perfect for that matter) and I’m sure he understands the difference between talkers and doers.
The rigors of day-to-day living often blind us to the impact we can have on the world. Boyan’s story was a great reminder that there is a lot of great work to be done.
PS: The Economist video is 31 minutes long and is a fascinating watch – it covers China’s $1B Olympic training program, a legion of “super forecasters,” among others. I’m not much of a video watcher. So, I’m not sure what the opportunity costs of watching this 31 minute video are. But, as with most content from The Economist, it is likely to be worth it.