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Bertrand Piccard: ‘We want to highlight the key role of renewable energies’

Adventurer will present his "Solar Impulse" project on June 21 at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn´.

Bertrand Piccard (right) and Andre Borschberg

Bertrand Piccard (right) and Andre Borschberg

Bertrand Piccard made headlines in 1999 when he flew around the globe nonstop in a hot-air balloon. He now has a new goal: Around the world in a solar-powered light aircraft. The scientist and adventurer’s latest project “Solar Impulse” will be presented on June 21, 2010 at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn. This year, the international conference will be operating under the theme “The Heat is On – Climate Change and the Media”.

Bertrand Piccard’s team just finished testing the solar plane. For him, it’s not about setting a new record. “The goal is to highlight the key role of renewable energies and clean techs to reduce the dependency to fossil energy,” says Piccard. “I want to demonstrate the importance of pioneering spirit in inventing a better and more sustainable future. This will be the focus of my keynote during the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum.” He will present a model of his solar plane at the conference in Bonn.

Piccard comes from a family that has been exploring the world for three generations. His grandfather Auguste Piccard (1884-1962) was the first to explore the stratosphere with a balloon. He also created a homemade submarine, the “Bathyskaph” to explore under water. His father Jacques Piccard (1922-2008) developed the “Auguste Piccard” submarine and explored the depths of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific.

Piccard was born in 1958 in Lausanne. He studied medicine and specialized jointly in psychiatry and psychotherapy. Interested in the exploration of life, the human soul and the reactions to extreme situations, Piccard combined science with adventure. In his own words “L’aventure est un état d’esprit” – “adventure is a state of mind”. The Swiss adventurer is among the pioneers in hang gliding and ultra-light flight. In 1992, while working with Wim Verstraeten, he won the first transatlantic balloon race. Later he would realize Jules Verne’s dream by circling the earth in the “Breitling Orbiter” balloon with Brian Jones – in just 19 days. He would later say that his trip around the world highlighted the fragile nature of the earth. Since then he has been traveling around the world, speaking about his experiences as well as setting up the “Winds of Hope” foundation and working as a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

More than 50 individual events In 2010, the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum once again offers more than 50 events including podium discussions and workshops, interactive presentations and exhibitions, networking and interesting side events. It takes place at the World Conference Center Bonn, close to Deutsche Welle’s headquarters.

Deutsche Welle is cooperating with many different organizations for this interdisciplinary conference, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change (UN IHDP/ESSP), EU Commission and the World Bank, the Wuppertal Institute, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), NABU and the Climate Alliance, the Institute for World Business Kiel, German Development Institute (DIE), the Center for Development Research (ZEF), the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and many others.

Co-host of the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum is the Foundation for International Dialogue of the Sparkasse in Bonn. The convention is also supported by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, the Family, Women and Integration Ministry of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, European Funds for Regional Development, the city of Bonn, DHL, the KSB Group and Faber-Castell.

April 14, 2010

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Christoph Jumpelt

Christoph Jumpelt

Head of Corporate Communications and Spokesperson

T. +49.228.429-2041


Global Media Forum 2017: Identity and Diversity

GMF 2017

June 19 - 21, 2017 | Bonn | 10th edition