People who inspire me

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Inspirations from the past

  • Ove Arup (1895-1998), founding member of an engineering firm Arup (1938), that inspires me for its humanist vision, its capaciy for innovation and its committment to sustainable development. Arup is the company behind the Sydney Opera House, Centre George Pompidou, the tunnel See his Key speech (it's worth it).
  • Sylvie Ashton-Warner (1908–84), an artist and a teacher of maori children in New Zealand. She inspired me for her fierce rebellious determination to make a difference despite the way the education system usually worked.
  • Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), for all that he was and inspires onwards. He is my guide for raising my children towards non-violence.

Present day inspirations

  • Nicolas Negroponte, for working to bringe the digital divide (and more) via wind-up lap top technology One Laptop per Child.
  • Free Play Foundation a humanitarian not-for profit working to enable access to information and education to the most vulnerable populations through appropriate and sustainable technologies particularly self-powered radios.
  • Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka an organisation that supports social entrepreneurs, brings communities of social entrepreneurs together and helps build the infrastructure and financial systems needed to support the growth of the citizen sector and facilitate the spread of social innovation globally.
  • Yves Gagnon and Diane MacKay, my neighbors, for sticking to a crazy visionary ecological agriculture project for 25+ years, despite all the hurdles. Les jardins du grand portage
  • Jamie Oliver, for his clarity and drive in bringing better food to British school children, and for so deftly mixing raw and intuitive passion for food with a preoccupation for street kids.
  • Matthieu Ricard (1946-), monk, founder of the non-denominational and apolitical charity fund Karuna putting compassion in action. Also, author that brings eastern wisdom to the west.
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