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TEDxSMU - William Kamkwamba + Bryan Mealer - 10/10/09

William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer joined us at TEDxSMU in Dallas to tell William's incredible story: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. About William: William Kamkwamba was born in Dowa, Malawi in 1987 and raised in Masitala village along the central plains. One of seven children born to sustenance farmers who grew maize and tobacco, his childhood was often interrupted by drought and hunger. At age twelve, Kamkwamba became fascinated with electricity a luxury enjoyed by only 2 percent of Malawi. He taught himself radio repair and began tinkering with bicycle dynamos, hoping to understand the inner workings of generators. During a devastating famine in 2001, William dropped out of high school. As thousands died across the country, he continued his education by visiting a small library near his village. After seeing windmills on the cover of an 8th grade science book, he set out to build his own machine using scavenged parts from a scrap yard. His first windmill was made from PVC pipe, a tractor fan, an old bicycle frame, tree branches, and produced twelve volts to power four light bulbs and charge mobile phones. A second windmill pumped water. About Bryan: Bryan Mealer is the author of All Things Must Fight to Live: Stories of War and Deliverance in Congo and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, written with William Kamkwamba. A former Associated Press staff writer based in Kinshasa, Congo, Mealer has reported across the African continent. His work has also appeared in Esquire and Harpers, among other publications. Born and raised in Texas, he now lives in Brooklyn. About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Length: 09:33


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