Boyan Slat (1994) is a Dutch inventor and entrepreneur who creates technologies to solve societal problems.
He is the founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, which develops advanced systems to rid world’s oceans of plastic.
Instead of going after the plastic, Boyan devised a system though which, driven by the ocean currents, the plastic would concentrate itself, reducing the theoretical cleanup time from millennia to mere years. In February 2013 he dropped out of his Aerospace Engineering study to start The Ocean Cleanup. The first cleanup prototype was deployed in June 2016, and The Ocean Cleanup now prepares to launch the first working pilot system in late 2017.
Boyan Slat has been recognized as one of the 20 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Intel EYE50), and is the youngest-ever recipient of the UN’s highest environmental accolade; Champion of the Earth. In 2015, HM King Harald of Norway awarded Boyan the maritime industry's Young Entrepreneur Award. Foreign Policy included Boyan in their 2015 list of Global Thinkers, Forbes included him in their 30 under 30 edition in 2016, and Reader’s Digest chose him as the European of the Year in 2017. Boyan is a member of the Thiel Fellowship.
The Ocean Cleanup has been recognized as one of the Designs of the Year by the London Design Museum, is recipient of the 2015 INDEX: Award, won Fast Company’s 2015 Innovation by Design award, and has been chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 25 best inventions of 2015.