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Boarding school life - Bertrand Piccard inspiring a whole generation

| 2 comments| by Sarah Frei Sarah Frei

Brillantmont students had the fantastic opportunity last week to attend a presentation by Bertrand Piccard, the famous Swiss explorer, whose accomplishments are part of a long-standing family tradition; his father Jacques was a pioneer in oceanography and his grandfather Auguste was an extraordinary physicist, perhaps best known for stratospheric balloons. Bertrand's own desires to push back the boundaries of exploration reached new heights, literally, when he became the first man to successfully circum-navigate the globe, non-stop,  in the Breitling Orbiter 3 hot air balloon. In 2015, he accomplished the first round-the-world solar flight in  history in his  Solar Impulse 2 aircraft, which was designed in collaboration with Lausanne's EPFL.   

20171101_095947.jpgThrough his exploits, he is keen to share his concerns about today's world - sustainable development, poverty, climate change -and in so doing, stimulate discussion and ultimately promote concrete actions leading to change. Brillantmont students were very enthusiastic about his presentation, which proved most thought-provoking.

Ben says, " He addressed the fear that you have in certain situations and explained why he has lived his life in that way. Clearly, it's important for him to live his dreams and he  told us also that we should live ours." Megan added, "He got straight to the point and explained that you should be confident in your own abilities. If someone tells you something can't be done because it's never been done before, that's the worst excuse, because it means there's someone in the world who can do it. He made us realise that if we don't take affirmative action, there won't be any changes in the world."

Piccard's environmental concerns resonated with Bettina, who shares his view that " in Switzerland, we are very aware of recycling and maintaining a clean atmosphere; being able to move away from non-renewable sources of energy  in the future is important. " Her feelings were echoed by Andreas, who says, "I'm going to live in the future and my children too, so the future we create is important to me." Let's hope that such an inspiring presentation will lead BM students to be engaged and committed actors in the destiny of the world around us.



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