Patronage Committee

These last years, several eminent personalities have committed themselves to searching for concrete solutions to safeguard the future of our planet. Solar Impulse has invited some of them to join in the adventure.

 

They have agreed to form a patronage committee as evidence of their support for the project.

Patronage Committee

Robert Swan is the world’s first person to walk to both the North and South Poles. He earned his place alongside the greatest explorers in history by accomplishing this feat by age 33. His 900-mile journey to the South Pole, ‘In the Footsteps of Scott,’ stands as the longest unassisted walk ever made on Earth. During ...

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Robert Swan is the world’s first person to walk to both the North and South Poles. He earned his place alongside the greatest explorers in history by accomplishing this feat by age 33. His 900-mile journey to the South Pole, ‘In the Footsteps of Scott,’ stands as the longest unassisted walk ever made on Earth. During Swan's Antarctic expeditions, his team survived near-death encounters as the oceanic ice melted prematurely due to climate change. These experiences helped shape Swan's life goal: to ensure the preservation of Antarctica, the Earth’s last great wilderness. He founded 2041, an organization dedicated to this goal.

‘The Last Great Exploration for the Human race is our quest to survive on Earth’ Solar Impulse is brave, bold and inspiring, we need you. -Robert Swan OBE

Peter Diamandis our New Patron

Solar Impulse is a project that seeks solutions for the future through technological innovation and pioneering spirit, so it’s no surprise that the Chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation and Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of 

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Solar Impulse is a project that seeks solutions for the future through technological innovation and pioneering spirit, so it’s no surprise that the Chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation and Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Singularity University, Peter Diamandis, decided to become a Patron of the project.

Bertrand met Peter back in 2005 when Bertrand was offered the Lindbergh Award for his round-the-world balloon flight. Now with Solar Impulse, both pilots and co-founders of Solar Impulse, Bertrand and André, share Peter’s strive for innovation as a catalyst for change. X Prize’s highest profile award was given to Space Ship One, the first privately financed space adventure. In fact, X Prize's main goal, a non-profit organization, is to encourage technological breakthroughs that could benefit humanity.

Bertrand and André had the opportunity to meet with Peter during this year’s Google Zeitgeist where all the links between them became evident. Without hesitation, Peter accepted to strengthen the ties with Solar Impulse as he also believes that human progress is only possible when vision and passion drive us to achieve the impossible.  

Welcome Sir Richard Branson! Our new Patron

Last week, the Solar Impulse team at Moffett was presented with an unusual visit. Sir Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group, British business tycoon and entrepreneur, showed up at Moffett Airfield. Although it might have appeared as a surprise, the parallels between Solar Impulse and Richard are all too ...

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Last week, the Solar Impulse team at Moffett was presented with an unusual visit. Sir Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group, British business tycoon and entrepreneur, showed up at Moffett Airfield. Although it might have appeared as a surprise, the parallels between Solar Impulse and Richard are all too evident for it to be a simple coincidence.

Richard and Bertrand have a relationship that stretches back to their ballooning days. In fact, Richard, with Per Lindstrand, were the first to cross the Pacific Ocean in a hot air balloon in 1991. Seven years later, in 1999, Bertrand, with Brian Jones, were the first to circumnavigate the globe beating Richard, Linstrand and Fossett’s similar attempt in 1998. “I doff my cap to him” Richard said elegantly when asked about the potential rivalry this might have caused.

Richard was extremely enthusiastic and impressed at the sight of Solar Impulse, to the point that he jokingly added, "I just need to find a way to smuggle that plane out in my pocket!” Richard is also looking at ways to harness solar power by using it to tow aircraft onto the runway in the near future.

One could feel the camaraderie between André, Bertrand and Richard as the pilots showed off their engineering jewel to the Englishman. He even recognized, in HB-SIA’s sleek silhouette, a great communication tool – a message carrier, a “weapon” to showcase the potential of clean techs and innovation – values Richard also shares.

Richard didn’t hesitate to become Solar Impulse’s Patron and, as he was leaving for another engagement in his busy schedule, he gave big thumbs up with his trademark smile “I always set myself challenges that might seem impossible…” Wait, haven’t I heard that somewhere already? André? Bertrand? I think we found our project’s new soul mate! 

James Cameron: Solar Impulse’s New Patron

During the last flight from Madrid to Toulouse, Bertrand Piccard had a singular and very stimulating call from one of Solar Impulse’s newest patrons, James Cameron, film Director of world renowned movies such as Titanic and Avatar.

The Solar Impulse program is privileged to have a number of ...

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During the last flight from Madrid to Toulouse, Bertrand Piccard had a singular and very stimulating call from one of Solar Impulse’s newest patrons, James Cameron, film Director of world renowned movies such as Titanic and Avatar.

The Solar Impulse program is privileged to have a number of eminent supporters who believe in the project and its message. There are two types of patrons: the humanists, including Prince Albert II of Monaco, Paolo Coelho, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Al Gore, Jean Verne, Jean-Louis Etienne, Hubert Reeves; and the explorers, including Richard Wiese, Erik Lindbergh, Nicolas Hulot, Don Walsh, Elie Wiesel, Buzz Aldrin and, the most recent to join, James Cameron.

James Cameron supports Solar Impulse not only for its vision of seeking solutions away from the dependence on fossil fuels, but also for its pioneering spirit. An explorer himself, he followed the traces of Bertrand’s father, Jacques Piccard, and Solar Impulse’s patron, Don Walsh, descending to the Mariana Trench this year, the Earth’s deepest point. He even jokingly said that he’s making movies just to finance his thirst for adventure.

James Cameron said he instantaneously accepted the proposition to become a Solar Impulse patron as he and Don Walsh bestowed the Hubbard Medal from the National Geographic Society this June upon Jacques Piccard posthumously.  


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