SOLAR IMPULSE: FINDING HARMONY BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND NATURE

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The aviation industry told us it was impossible to build an airplane that could fly day and night without a drop of fuel. In 2015, Solar Impulse proved that it could be done, and together with last week’s transatlantic flight, we proved that change is possible when we have the right mindset and are not afraid to push back our own limits.

Solar Impulse is a demonstration of energy efficiency and smart energy management, made possible thanks to all our partners’ technologies. It is also a great example of how technology today has become a great game changer in so many different ways. Who could have imagined, even a few decades ago, that such things as applications on our smartphones would transform the way we consume media, access information, navigate, conduct our personal banking, shop and even know what to wear in the morning? Solar Impulse would not exist if it were not for the technologies used during all phases of the project: designing and building the airplane and managing flight tests and missions.

On the other hand, however, we also turned to nature to build an airplane that is almost silent, able to feel each movement of the atmosphere and which relies on the sun as its only source of energy. Flying across oceans with solar energy could only be done by finding the right balance between technology and nature. So why are they so often pitched against each other? Why can’t they be more in harmony for the long-term interest of humanity?

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Today, we are so dependent on technology that we tend to lose the skills we developed over the last centuries. Which is why I am so delighted to see the work done by Nainoa to revive what his ancestors learned by observing nature and their own emotions. The challenge now is to get the best of both worlds: using technology in a way that creates a real long-term added value for mankind, while continuing to explore the outer and inner worlds to keep ourselves fully aligned and in harmony with nature.

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