1,600 pioneers surprise Bertrand Piccard with a massive mirror installation

More children and young adults than ever before worked together with Bertrand Piccard to organise the closing celebration for the “Pionniers de l'énergie et du climat”. They travelled from French- and German-speaking Switzerland to review their engagement for climate protection and efficient energy usage in the past school year. The young climate pioneers surprised project sponsor and Solar Impulse pilot Bertrand Piccard with a massive mirror installation.

Bertrand Piccard on the stage of the Berner Kursaale, together with 80 school class representatives at the closing celebration for “Energy and Climate Pioneers”.

The young audience greeted Bertrand Piccard like a pop star. On the stage, the <link www.energie-klimapioniere.ch/fr/ - external-link "Opens external link in current window">“Pionniers de l'énergie et du climat“</link> personally honoured him for his engagement for climate protection and increased energy efficiency. “Many pioneering accomplishments have already been achieved, such as flying to the moon. But there are many more challenges waiting for you, such as fighting poverty, environmental protection and sustainable development. You’re setting out on a great path, and I wish you the best of luck.” With these words, Bertrand Piccard motivated the children and young adults to continue showing a pioneering spirit. They took the opportunity to ask Bertrand Piccard many questions about the first leg of his circumnavigation of the globe.

Massive Mirror Installation

Alongside the questions, the kids also prepared a surprise. There was a three-meter-high globe with hundreds of mirrors showing the stages of designed a mirror as big as one of Solar Impulse 2’s solar cells, with colours and stickers. Bertrand Piccard was visibly impressed by the installation and the creativity that the children showed.

2015 was a record year for the initiative, which began in 2010. Throughout Switzerland, more than 400 school classes initiated their own projects for climate protection and rational energy usage. These projects were summarised and individually presented in a slideshow. School classes from Ticino took part as well. 300 pioneers in Ticino were celebrating their year-end party at the same time and were connected to the Kursaal via a live feed. The freestyle artist Knackeboul once again loosened things up with some clever words and performed a 15-minute set to provide a fitting and emotional close to the festivities. The celebration was moderated by the energy and climate pioneer Ueli Schmezer.

“Pionniers de l'énergie et du climat” is an initiative by <link cr.swisscom.ch/en - external-link "Opens external link in current window">Swisscom</link> as well as the partners Solar Impulse, <link www.suisseenergie.ch/fr-ch/home.aspx - external-link "Opens external link in current window">EnergieSchweiz</link> and the climate protection organisation myclimate. Since its start in September 2010, more than 15,000 students from German- and French-speaking Switzerland (as well as students from Ticino since 2013) have done a total of ca. 630 climate protection and energy efficiency projects.

<link www.facebook.com/media/set/ - external-link "Opens external link in current window">Image gallery from the “Pionniers de l'énergie et du climat” 2015 celebration</link>

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