Just 19 and hiring to clean the oceans

https://www.whatdesigncando.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/boyan-slat.jpg

Published in Nature, Recycling & Sustainability by

The Ocean Cleanup is hiring executives to help and make the brainchild of teenager Boyan Slat a reality. The organisation that wants to install floating barriers in the oceans to capture plastic waste is in search of directors for marketing and communications, R&D, office and finance. Also an engineering manager and a pilot project manager are wanted.

The Ocean Cleanup evolved out of the ideas of 16-year old Boyan Slat, who was disturbed by the plastic soup problem around the world and came up with a simple solution. Instead of actively fishing plastic debris from the oceans, Slat envisioned a passive system of floating barriers while the oceans currents do the work.

Although the idea was met with lots of scepticism, Slat, full of young idealism, continued to work on his project. Now, at 19, he has turned the concept into an impressive enterprise with a team of approximately 100 committed people and 2.1 million dollars of capital from a crowd funding campaign tot start a pilot phase.

To demonstrate that the concept he envisioned is technically feasible and financially viable, Boyan Slat put his life as a first-year Aerospace Engineering student on hold to focus full time on developing the idea. The research included a field test in the waters around the Azores.

On June 3rd 2014, The Ocean Cleanup presented the 530-page feasibility study report (authored by 70 people), which indicated that the concept is indeed a feasible method to clean almost half the plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just ten years.

Apart from the vision and determination of Slat, the project impresses with its well-designed website with easy to understand explanation of the concept. Clear videos, simple illustrations and easily accessible information share all the available information on the concept and the project’s status and contributors in an open and honest way.

All together, The Ocean Cleanup spreads the energetic feeling that changing the world is just a matter of doing it. Now some professionals are hired to bring the project to the next stage. Applications can be submitted until 23 October and 7 November, depending on jobs. More information can be found here.

For me, I’m above all curious to see what Boyan Slat will prove to be capable of in future, given that he is where he is today at the tender age 19.

rendering of V-shaped Ocean Cleanup system

rendering of V-shaped Ocean Cleanup system

Clear explanation of the system on the website

Clear explanation of the system on the website

Illustration of the Ocean Cleanup

Illustration of the Ocean Cleanup

Sign up for our newsletter