Boyan Slat - How Do You Act When You See a Problem?

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By Tom Hasker, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

Boyan Slat is a man who is cleaning up the oceans - ‘the most important life support system on the planet’.

While diving on a Greek holiday, Boyan Slat realised that he was seeing more plastic than fish and decided to do something about it. He took responsibility for a problem he hadn’t directly caused but wanted to fix because he could see the impact it was making in the oceans he cared about as a diver. When we see something that we care about being abused, we are more motivated to do more than we would for 'just another good cause'.

Having taken responsibility, Boyan Slat created a feasible method of cleaning up ocean plastic as well as an organisation, The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, to implement his ideas. The key to his progress was not that he was the first one to have this idea, but that he was able to take action to move that idea forward.

Taking Action on an Idea Relies On Several Steps:

  1. Recognise and acknowledge the problem.
  2. Take responsibility for creating a solution because you care about it.
  3. Understand how this will help you as well as other people. 
  4. Be balanced with how much responsibility you take and how much other people need to.
  5. Find and surround yourself with people of great character, who care as much as you do. 
  6. Help everyone to develop the skills, competences and resources to fulfil the goal.
  7. Bring this team of talented and dedicated people together to create the project or organisation that will enable you to add massive value

This interview with Boyan Slat by ‘IAMECO Warrior’ gives a fascinating insight into what can be done to solve problems when you are engaged with them from your heart...

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Ocean garbage image courtesy of  epSos .de @Flickr