The young audience greeted Bertrand Piccard like a pop star. On the stage, the “Pionniers de l'énergie et du climat“ 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 Swisscom as well as the partners Solar Impulse, EnergieSchweiz 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.