Last October I wrote about my participation in The Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design, held in Boston and sponsored by The Design Futures Council. One of the best parts of attending such an inspirational conference was the opportunity to meet many of the movers and shakers in the environmental preservation movement, people who are passionate about their work, and about the health of our planet.
One person I was privileged to meet is William Kamkwamba. Mr. Kamkwamba is a self-educated Malawian inventor who gained fame in his country when in 2002, he built a windmill to power electrical appliances in his house in Masitala using blue gum trees, bicycle parts and materials collected in a local scrapyard. His story is told in his inspirational book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, written with journalist Bryan Mealer.
The good news is that a Young Readers edition will be released on January 19th, 2012. Telling the story about how 14 year old William spent his days in the library and figured out how to bring electricity to his village, it is a tale of persevering against the odds. There is a real need to inspire students with an interest in science and engineering: this is a wonderful gift for the young people in your life.