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'Crazy About Water' INSPIRATORS - 2018/19

Excitement. Education. Empowerment - Leadership

After our first unofficial list in 2017, we are very pleased and proud to publish an updated and growing list of 'Crazy About Water' inspirators. Thank you for sharing your heroes with us. The list includes passionate and dedicated water leaders (each in their own way) who are committed to make a real #impact for water. We are inspired by their #leadership and their focus to leave a #legacy behind. Ingredients for #change or #action are: #Excitement #Education #Empowerment #CrazyAboutWater

Credit: Henk Ganzeboom

Li An Phoa, Drinkable Rivers, Watershed Mobiliser, Nomadic School.

She dreams of Drinkable Rivers as indicators of healthy living. She mobilises people for water and whole healthy and thriving ecosystems. During the summer of 2018, she walked 1061km from the source of the River Meuse to the North-sea for Drinkable Rivers (Documentary: Drinkable Meuse) . Li An Phoa is a university teacher (ecology, business, philosophy) at the Nyenrode Business School and at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (taught outdoor master electives 'Sustainability Grand Challenges: Polluted Rivers'). She shares her vision on ecology and economy with her nomadic school, Spring College.

2019 CAW Mina Guli - Kelvin Trautman credits

Mina Guli, CEO & Founder, Thirst - Young Global Leader. Ultra-marathon runner #RUNNINGDRY

Australian ultra-marathon runner Mina Guli wants everyone to know that the world is running out of fresh water. In order to do that she attempted a physical feat so extreme; most people would consider it impossible — running 100 marathons in 100 days across the world. Mina is driven by urgency: but when her body literally broke during marathon 62, Mina thought all was lost. Unexpectedly, the campaign took on a life of its own on social media across the globe.

More inspiration: #runningdry #run4water

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Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer, Mission Blue.

Marine biologist @SylviaEarle has spent more than four decades at the forefront of ocean exploration -- and at age 83, she shows no signs of slowing down. Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and was named Time magazine’s 1998 "Hero of the Planet.” Under Dr. Earle’s leadership, the @MissionBlue team implements communications campaigns that elevate Hope Spots to the world stage through documentaries, (social) media and innovative tools. Mission Blue has launched nearly 100 #HopeSpots in all four corners of the globe. The Hope Spots campaign reaches 500 million people online each year. “We are blessed with an Ocean. The Ocean keeps us safe” – Sylvia Earle.

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Ben Lecomte, The Vortex Swim. Ocean Advocate.

One man on a mission to raise awareness of plastic pollution. Ocean advocate Ben Lecomte will swim 300 nautical miles – up to eight hours a day – through the smog of plastic pollution known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, collecting scientific data and debunking the myths surrounding ocean plastic. The Vortex Swim: during this longest open water swim, we want to bring people with us. We want them to experience what we see, and to bring them in the water with us. #movetonatural #thevortexswim

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Rajendra Singh, Waterman of India, Rejuvenating Rivers and Quenching Thirst

Rajendra Singh is an Indian water conservationist and environmentalist from Alwar district, Rajasthan in India. Also known as "waterman of India", he won the Magsaysay Award in 2001 and Stockholm Water Prize in 2015. He runs an NGO called 'Tarun Bharat Sangh', which was founded in 1975. #StockholmWaterPrize

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Roger Stuart Deaking, writer, environmentalist, Founder Wild Swimming Movement

Roger (1943 – 2006) was an English writer, documentary-maker and environmentalist. He was a co-founder and trustee of Common Ground, the arts, culture and environment organisation. Waterlog, the only book he published in his lifetime, topped the UK best seller charts and founded the wild swimming movement. More inspiration.

My brother @pcousteau and I were always front and center when it was time to touch the sea creatures. I had my fish guide close at hand (i.e. around my neck) for ease of reference but I knew them all by heart. Some of the kids called me nerdy but that's just another word for passionate. 😉

Alexandra Cousteau, emerging explorer, Ocean Advocate, Filmmaker.

A National Geographic "emerging explorer," filmmaker, and globally recognized advocate on water issues, Alexandra Cousteau continues the work of her renowned grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau and her father Philippe Cousteau Sr. She has mastered the remarkable storytelling tradition handed down to her and has the unique ability to inspire audiences on the weighty issues of policy, politics, and action. Her global initiatives seek to inspire and empower individuals to protect not only the ocean and its inhabitants, but also the human communities that rely on freshwater resources. More inspiration. #oceanlover

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Lee Kuan Yew, Water Leader, First Prime Minister of Singapore.

“Mr Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) (1923-2015) has left behind a great legacy. He was a visionary leader and the architect of the Singapore Water Story.” LKY’s legacy in helping the country achieve water sustainability is embodied in one of the water industry’s most treasured awards, the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize. The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) - Institute of Water Policy (IWP) is improving water policy and governance in Asia. “every other policy has to bend at the knees for our water survival”

More inspiration: Singapore Water Story

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Johanna Nordblad. Women's record - 50 M swimming under the ice wearing only swimming suit.

“There is no place for fear," says Finnish freediver @johannanordblad. "No place for panic. No place for mistakes. Under the ice, you need total control.” Arctic Free Diving Helped Save Her Leg. She holds the world record for a 50-meter dive under ice.

More inspiration: #freediving #icediving #diving

Upcoming 2020: another World Record attempt 2020

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Lewis Pugh, Ocean advocate, swimmer, UN Patron of the Oceans

Lewis Pugh knows oceans. As an ocean advocate and a pioneer swimmer he’s been to the world’s most inaccessible places and he’s put his body through unimaginably difficult conditions. It taught him that finishing a job gives the power and the energy to go on to even bigger things. Lewis has swum in every ocean in the world. Plunging into the ocean near Antarctica, Lewis Pugh was determined to push the limits of human endurance. More inspiration.

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Ap Verheggen, Founder Sunglacier – Making water in the desert.

Dutch visual artist, filmmaker and cultural ambassador who is fascinated by nature - particularly the elements. Addressing his desire to make a difference with art, Ap created SunGlacier; a company that innovates solar-powered sculptures to produce water out of thin air. One of SunGlacier’s projects is The Desert Twins. Inspired by Moon Landers, the structure is an energy unit that draws power from solar panels - operating like a modern-day water well. More inspiration. Coming up 2020: Dubai Expo

Cynthia van Elk | Water as Leverage.

Henk Ovink, 1st Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Rebuild by Design, Water as Leverage, Valuing Water

As the Ambassador for Water, @HenkOvink is responsible for advocating water awareness around the world, focusing on building institutional capacity and coalitions among governments, multilateral organizations, private sector and NGOs to address the world’s stressing needs on water and help initiate transformative interventions. Henk is also Principal for Rebuild by Design, the resilience innovation competition he developed and led for President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force where he was Senior Advisor to the Chair. “EVERYTHING is possible, with EVERYONE leaving no one behind” More inspiration: Water as Leverage Book: Too Big #Swimming

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Dorian Rijsselberghe, Olympic RS:X Sailor, Global Ocean Ambassador (WWF), Plastic Soup Foundation

Two-time Olympic champion Dorian van Rijsselberghe surfs the European Championship (RS: X) in Mallorca with the world-famous panda of the World Wildlife Fund on his sail. As a global ocean ambassador, Van Rijsselberghe and WWF are committed to marine life. Dorian lives by the elements and is addicted to being outside. He will always be passionate about performing in sports and enjoying life. The big secret of his life is, in his eyes, being open to the world and all the people he encounters. "Believe in your dream, talent, fun and an unconditional commitment ..." More inspiration: #teamNL #lifeofdorian

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Prigi Arisandi. Eco-Hero. River Detective, Ashoka Fellow. Goldman Environmental Prize.

Prigi Arisandi is an environment activist who loves being called River Defender. @prigi.arisandi initiated a local movement to stop industrial pollution from flowing into Surabaya’s river that provides drinking water to 3 million people. Indonesia’s rivers are becoming more and more polluted with industrial waste, but most Indonesians are unaware of this destruction to their environment. Prigi trains children and adults to become amateur “environmental detectives,” conducting their own scientific research and publicizing it in the media. More inspiration: short docu website: #Rivers #Nowaste #MyHero

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Dutch Royal Couple. #WaterManagement #FinancialInclusion #AmsterdamCitySwim

Inspiring people with a passion for water and financial inclusion. Queen Maxima as participant of AmsterdamCitySwim and King Willem Alexander as passionate sport and water management expert. “…[Dutch tradition of public-private partnership] Innovation doesn’t always come from government offices, science labs and tech hubs. Just as often it comes from local communities, farmers, family businesses, hospitals, civil society and driven individuals. Government, the business sector, academia, and ordinary individuals are all working on solutions! The trick is to bring all these positive forces together”. More inspiration: speech India Tech summit 2019

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Gerhard van den Top. Trisector Athlete. Chairman Regional Water Authority Amsterdam.

@gmvandentop is a true tri-sector athlete as his experience in the field of integrated water management spans over 25 years and includes extensive working experience in the private sector, civil society, the academe and government. He served as Managing Director of Vitens Evides International (VEI), an international partner utility in the field of urban services, and Executive Strategy Consultant for Shell Global Solutions, as well as executive roles at the WWF College for Conservation Leadership and World Wide Fund for Nature. He also held a University Lecturer position at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Gerhard is Chairman Regional Water Authority Amsterdam (#Dijkgraaf) and chairman of the new Expertise Network Water Safety. #Rainproof #AmstelSwim

‘Let us engage with farmers,energy suppliers, development workers,health care providers and financiers to move forward’ AIWW2019

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Eng. U Cho Cho and Eng. U Khin Latt. Aspirational Water Leaders - National Engineering & Planning Services (NEPS)

Both successfully completed a postgraduate Diploma course in Hydraulic Engineering from the International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE), Delft, the Netherlands. Together they manage NEPS Myanmar – and are dedicated to teach the next generation via ‘learning by doing’, so taking students into the field and getting them to write reports on site.’ ‘We were closed to the rest of the world for around 30 years, so we’re missing a whole generation of professional engineers in Myanmar, which means we have to learn much faster and then pass that knowledge on to the next generation”. More inspiration. #waterMM

Fiann Paul (Iceland), Tathagata Roy (India), Danny Longman (UK), Jeff Willis (UK), Carlo Facchino (USA), and Tor Wigum (Norway), made up the first leg’s crew. Three rowed at a time with one navigator. Alex Gregory (UK), Tyler Carnevale (USA), Sam Vye (UK), and Danny Longman (UK) joined for the second leg.

The Polar Row Team #adventure #rowing #expedition

After the Artic Row (2012), a new pioneering Polar rowing expedition exploring some of the coldest waters on earth. The team of international rowers from Britain, Iceland, India, Norway and the United States took to sea from the northern coast of Norway on July 20 and headed north to an island on the Svalbard archipelago. They then continued to the Arctic ice shelf — the first rowing crew recorded as making it that far north — before turning south toward Iceland. They had set out to break several world records, before having to call off their mission. Being in the middle of the Arctic Ocean is a very good way to make you feel very small and insignificant.... @thepolarrow

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Dennis Karpes, grassroots leader, founder of dance4life, justdiggit & the raindance project

Dennis brings the work of Peter Westerveld into the market: the fight against desertification. With Justdiggit he makes whole desertified areas green and fertile again and in this way he tries to fight the water shortage in Asia and Africa. Karpes was appointed in 2008 by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader (YGL). YGL’s are younger than 40 years old at the time of nomination, have a recognized record of extraordinary achievement and a proven track record of sustainable leadership experience, have demonstrated a commitment to serve society at large through exceptional contributions, and have a global perspective. Music unites, inspires and brings people together. Since there is no movement without rhythm, Justdiggit Foundation introduces The Raindance Project 2020-2030. "he who brings rain, brings life" - African Proverb -

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Yvon Chouinard. Founder Patagonia. #ActionWorks

Yvon Chouinard has witnessed a lot during his eighty years as a rebellious and reluctant businessman; building a formidable Patagonia brand whilst spearheading environmental resistance, Chouinard has always thread his own line. More interested in climbing rocks than corporate ladders, Chouinard conquered bankruptcy by being true to himself. By digging into experience he enabled unorthodox strategies and fresh perspectives, to resist and to counter where others may have crumbled. His company, Patagonia, is known for its environmental focus. Chouinard is also a surfer, kayaker, and falconer and is particularly fond of tenkara fly-fishing. He has written about climbing issues and ethics and on mixing environmentalism and business.

More inspiration: Patagonia Action Works #LiveSimply #ActionWorks

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Ma Jun. Data Eco Warrior. Genius. Blue Map App. Environmentalist. Founder IPE

Ma Jun has encouraged the government to disclose environmental information—and gave people access to it. Ma is a renowned environmentalist who is igniting critical conversations—and change—across China, Ma Jun is a director at one of China’s most dynamic environmental NGOs, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. This influential organization developed the first public database of water pollution information in China and brought together a coalition of Chinese NGOs to promote a global green supply chain by pushing large corporations to focus on the environmental performance of their suppliers. His 1999 book, “China’s Water Crisis,” was China’s first major book on the subject of that nation’s environmental issues. In 2006, Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. “We’re carrying the water for the world, and the Yangtze river is not in good shape”.

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Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO - The Ocean CleanUp.

@BoyanSlat (1994) is a Dutch inventor and entrepreneur who creates technological solutions to global problems. He is the founder and CEO of @TheOceanCleanup; a Dutch foundation which develops advanced systems to rid world’s oceans of plastic. Two BIG milestones in 2019: one: the first plastic catch is now on shore and in 2020 the first real ocean plastic products will be on the market, and two: the launch of The Interceptor™. This is the first scalable solution to prevent plastic from entering the world’s oceans from rivers. Together with corporations and governments from all over the world, we plan on tackling 1000 of the most polluting rivers all over the world in the next five years. The Ocean Cleanup is a project; it is our ultimate goal to reach a 90% reduction of floating ocean plastic by the year 2040. #TheOceanCleanup

Maarten van der Weijden, Dutch Long Distance Swimmer, 11 cities swimmer, former cancer patient, Olympic gold.

Dutchman swims epic ice-skating course threatened by climate change. Van der Weijden is a cancer survivor who overcame leukaemia to win a gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing in the 10-kilometre open water race. His feat of endurance raised 3.9 million euros for cancer research. It is Van der Weijden's second bid to complete the route after failing last year. This time he had slept and eaten more, and worn a warmer wetsuit. "I love swimming, helping others and setting goals for myself,".

@mvdweijden @mvdwfoundation 2020: 

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Olega Truchana. Explorer. Pedder Dreaming and a Lost Tasmanian wilderness.

One of Tasmania’s early wilderness explorers, Olegas (1923 - 1972) would undertake numerous solo kayaking expeditions into Tasmania’s wild and remote south-west. In later life, Olegas would become a staunch conservationist and leading advocate for the protection of Lake Pedder. Olegas was one of the first Europeans to explore deep into Tasmania’s South-West region. His solo journeys and the stories and photos from these explorations have become part of Tasmanian folk history.

In 1972, the pristine Lake Pedder in Tasmania's untamed south-west was flooded to build a dam. Wilderness photographer Olegas , who had spent years campaigning passionately to save the magnificent freshwater lake, had lost his battle. But the campaign, the first of its kind in Australia, paved the way for later conservation successes, and turned Olegas into a Tasmanian legend. Book

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Ellen MacArthur. Sailor. Ellen MacArthur Foundation - Circular Economy

Dame Ellen MacArthur made yachting history in 2005, when she became the fastest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe, and remains the UK’s most successful offshore racer ever. She is a founder of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, set up in 2003, a charity which takes young people aged between 8-24 sailing to help them regain their confidence on their way to recovery from cancer, leukaemia, and other serious illnesses. Having become acutely aware of the finite nature of the resources our linear economy relies upon, @ellenmacarthur stepped away from professional sailing in 2009 to launch the Ellen MacArthur Foundation following four years traveling the world and researching the challenges facing our current global economy. Looking back at 2019.

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Florentijn Hofman, Dutch artist. Rubber Duck. Hippopothames

Florentijn is best known for his playful urban installations that see animals scaled up to larger-than-life proportions. his most famous projects include the monumental floating duck which traveled to numerous international cities, the huge 'hippopothames' which made its way down the river thames. Rubber ducks have appeared in cities around the world including Hong Kong, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Baku and Sydney. The message behind the work is that we should be conscious of one another and the environment, because the world is our global bathtub. We are one big family and we are responsible for the world. It is beautiful to see how a serious and universally understood message can be spread in a playful way through art.

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Greta Thunberg, Environmental activist, School Strike for the Climate, 2019 Time Person of the Year.

Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg (born 3 January 2003) is a Swedish environmental activist on climate change whose campaigning has gained international recognition. @GretaThunberg is known for her straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she urges immediate action to address what she describes as the climate crisis. #fridaysforfuture #climatestrike

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Hanli Prinsloo, freediver, ocean conservationist, Founder #IamWater #OceanGuardians

Hanli Prinsloo is a South African freediver, speaker, writer and ocean conservationist. She is the founder and executive director of I Am Water, an ocean conservation trust dedicated to conserving and protecting the world's oceans through human experience. During her competitive years as a freediver, she broke eleven South African free diving records and was the first South African to hold all six free diving records simultaneously. More inspiration: Ocean Guardians

Credit Paul Raars

Kiran Badloe, Windsurfer, World Champion, European Water Star, Dutch Wavemaker

Kiran son of a Surinamese father and Dutch mother has been professionally windsurfing for four years now. @kiranbadloe gets infected with the windsurf virus in Bonaire, where he lived for three years, when he gets a surf lesson as a gift on his 9th birthday. As a European Water Star he understands the importance of water, and he'd like to inspire young professionals to work in the water sector, bringing in fresh ideas and creative solutions for these challenges "You never know which way the current is going to flow, but it's always going to take you onto a new adventure". More inspiration: #TalentforWater #SportStories

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Louisa Vermoere, co-founder POOL IS COOL, Reintroducing public open air swimming

Louisa Vermoere is a strategic & architectural designer. She has been co-developing several participative projects addressing public issues aiming for resilient solutions & strategies within multidisciplinary collaborations. Her projects can often be considered soft urbanism that tries to reconnect (im)material streams considered as redundant. POOL IS COOL is an independent platform of international citizen experts, combining the experience of local urgencies with the professional expertise to react on the identified problems. #PoolisCool

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Kadir van Lohuizen, international photojournalist, co-founder of NOOR, Rising Sea Levels

@mediakadir has covered conflicts in Africa and elsewhere, but is probably best known for his long-term projects on the seven rivers of the world, the rising of sea levels, the diamond industry and migration in the Americas. He started to work as a professional freelance photojournalist in 1988 covering the Intifada. "For the past year and a half, I have been looking at the global consequences of rising sea levels caused by climate change. Today, no one any longer doubts that glaciers the world over are retreating, and even more worryingly that Greenland and Antartica are melting at an increasing pace." Inspiration: Artic New Frontier

dr anna sui hluan Myanmore

Dr Anna Sui Hluan, social activist, wife of Myanmar Vice President, Water Mothers

She is a linguist, researcher, Christian preacher, and social activist, writing extensively about language, rights, female emancipation and the difficulty of scriptural interpretation in the modern world. Beyond just women and religion, Dr Anna is also involved in a number of other projects. One is a school for the disabled, and another is “Water Mothers”, a group of women seeking to provide better access to fresh and clean drinking water across Myanmar. "Collaboration is a mind-set, and it's easier said than done". Dr Anna Sui Hluan shared her experiences as a Water Mother but mostly as a concerned citizen: "It's crucial to understand the multi-stakeholder groups at different levels (citizens, regional, union level) and we need to empower people to be able to help themselves". check out also her inspirational keynote "Diversity brings Resilience" during Myanmar WWD celebration 06 March 2019

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Tim Hoekstra en Edwin Waterman, Dutch Beach Art, environment as a canvas

There’s 353 kilometres of Dutch coast where you’ll find houses, beach cafes and lots of people depending on the location. And if you’re lucky, you can run into some lovely Dutch Beach Art. From mandalas to Polynesian art, Tim Hoekstra and his friends enjoying making big works of beach art before the tide comes in and washes it away. Tim loves to be out in nature and be in his own creative world where everything can happen. He loves to work on a large-scale using the environment as a canvas. It's washed away by waves as the tide comes in. He hopes people are surprised, wondered, touched or just feel the energy he put in his work. #dutchbeachart #Beachforart (video)

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Arjen Hoekstra, creator of Water footprint, open source scientist, Professor at University of Twente

Professor Hoekstra (1967-2019) invented the concept of the Water Footprint that introduced a complete novel thinking on the real water use that is needed to make our daily products. Providing lectures all over the world, he inspired many to strive for a more equal share of global fresh water resources. Arjen Hoekstra was one of the most cited researchers in his field in the world. He was a strong believer in open source science and all his articles are freely accessible as they have been published under a Creative Common License. He developed various educational tools, including the River Basin Game and the Globalization of Water Role Play.

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Sportsman Phone Kyaw Moe Myint, Trash Hero Myanmar, Yangon Sailing Club

Yangon has a trash problem. The world, in fact, has a trash problem. Sportsman Phone Kyaw Moe Myint started cleaning up lakes and the beaches due to his love for the sport of sailing. He makes a powerful, passionate and informative call on how all of us can become responsible global citizens and do our part in protecting the environment. Phone Kyaw Moe Myint has a great passion for the water and water sports. In 2016, he became the founder and country coordinator of Trash Hero Myanmar. The goal of Trash Hero is to clean, educate and change people's behaviour and mindset of trash disposal by turning everyday volunteers to become heroes and be a part of regular clean-up operation within the country. More inspiration: TedX Yangon #waterMM

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Dee Caffari, advocate for ocean health, Yachtswoman, Teamwork

Sailors from the 2017-18 Race have come onboard to support our learning resources - the UK’s Dee Caffari, who skippered Turn the Tide on Plastic team during the last Race, have highlighted the role of education to empower and inspire action. As the world becomes increasingly aware of the challenges we face due to pressures on our ocean and environment we are reminded by these champion sportswomen of the determination, bravery and, above all, commitment to teamwork needed to face and overcome these challenges. “The big decisions you make are those which you grab with both hands.” . Leadership tips from Dee Book: Against the flow

© Copyright Fred Buyle /

Fred Buyle, Freediver, 3-time world record holder, Exploration and conservation

Exploration and underwater imaging through the ancient art of freediving. Concerned by conservation issues for many years, in 2005 @fredbuyle started to work with marine biologists, assisting them in their field work. He uses his freediving abilities to approach the animals and perform tasks such as acoustic and satellite tagging or DNA sampling. For Fred, freediving is a tool and a lifestyle! Video Residence: the ocean. #explorer #freediver #waterman #storyteller

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David Doubilet, underwater photographer

David has a long and intimate vision into the sea. He began snorkelling at age 8 at summer camp in the Adirondack and by age 12 he was making pictures underwater using a Brownie Hawkeye camera stuffed into a rubber anesthesiologist bag. David has long since mastered the techniques of working with water and light to become a contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine where he has published nearly 70 stories since 1971. "When I was around 12 or 13 years old, I was pretty certain much of my life would be spent underwater. Pictures have the power to celebrate, educate, honour, humiliate, and illuminate. They can be a direct catalyst for conservation of a species or entire ecosystem, inspiring many to personally experience what a place is about".

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Daan Roosegaarde, artist and innovator, Icoon Afsluitdijk, Waterlicht

Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde (1979) is a creative thinker and maker of social designs which explore the relation between people, technology and space. @SRoosegaarde is a Dutch artist and founder of Studio Roosegaarde, which develops projects that merge technology and art in urban environments. Daan Roosegaarde frequently shares his visionary ideas and projects at lectures across the world, incl. at TED and NASA. Icoon Afsluitdijk  #Waterlicht: Haunting virtual floods submerge cities around the world. "People won't change because of facts or numbers. But if we can trigger the imagination of a new world, that's the way to activate people. I don't believe in utopia, but in protopia; step by step upgrading the world around us. Art is our activator."

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Valerie Taylor, marine conservationist and shark enthusiast

"Sharks are a part of the web of life,". "Valerie Taylor has seen the return of sharks over 12 years bring a dead reef back to life." Taylor, now 83 years old, still dives frequently, writes letters and speaks on protecting coastal and international waters as sanctuaries and keeping plastics out of the ocean. "I'm not speaking of something I've read or seen on the computer," she added. "I'm speaking from something I know and that I've seen. My own experience. And I know that gets across." Over the course of her career, her efforts have inspired the next generation of conservationists to work to make the oceans cleaner and healthier.

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Prof Asit K. Biswas. leading authority on water and environmental management

Asit K. Biswas, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) in Singapore and co-founder of the Third World Center for Water Management. Among his numerous awards are Crystal Drop and Millennium Prizes, and the Stockholm Water Prize. He is the founder of the International Journal of Water Resources Development. He has authored or edited 84 books and has published more than 650 scientific and technical papers. His work has been translated into 38 languages, and he is regular contributor to (inter)national newspapers and is also is a television commentator

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Wim Hofman. The Iceman

Wim Hof, also known as The Iceman, is a Dutch extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures. He has set Guinness world records for swimming under ice and prolonged full-body contact with ice, and still holds the record for a barefoot half-marathon on ice and snow. More inspiration about Wim Hofman method  

“When we interact with nature, miraculous things can happen. Whenever you go beyond the rigid patterns of thinking, challenging yourself, you can receive the bounty of experience from hard nature.”

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Merijn Tinga, Plastic Soup Surfer, Visual Artist, Full-time plastic activist

Merijn Tinga, better known as The Plastic Soup Surfer, is on a mission. He wants to stop the increasing plastic pollution. The surfboards are his weapons for they tell a story everyone can relate to and are the means to get the message across. He just paddled down the Rhine river from its source in Switzerland all the way to the North sea. During the exhausting 1200km ‘From source to sea’ journey, he faces many challenges as he searches for the real sources of plastic litter.