Solar Impulse à Paris: p'tit déj blogueurs avec Bertrand et André [fr]

Nos expériences positives avec le programme blogueurs de Solar Impulse à Bruxelles nous encouragent à remettre ça durant le Salon du Bourget, à Paris, avec une formule légèrement revue.

Le matin du vendredi 24 juin, une quinzaine de blogueurs et podcasteurs seront invités à prendre part à une discussion avec André Borschberg et Bertrand Piccard, autour du petit-déjeûner. La discussion sera suivie d’une visite de l’avion avec Elâ et moi-même.

SIA meeting with BloggersPhoto Martin Gillet, lors du petit-déjeûner pour blogueurs à Bruxelles.

Le nombre de places pour cette invitation exclusive est strictement limité. Merci de vous inscrire rapidement! Nous vous contacterons pour confirmer l’invitation. L’entrée au salon sera bien entendu offerte aux blogueurs et podcasteurs sélectionnés.

Ce que nous vous offrons:

  • rencontre en petit comité et discussion ouverte d’une heure avec André Borschberg et Bertrand Piccard, les fondateurs du projet Solar Impulse
  • la possibilité de leur poser directement vos questions concernant le projet, leur vision, le message Solar Impulse et bien entendu, l’avion et les vols
  • une visite de l’avion solaire HB-SIA de près, juste avant l’ouverture au grand public
  • la possibilité de bloguer, tweeter, filmer, photographier, podcaster tout ça librement
  • l’accès au Salon le Bourget et au chalet Solar Impulse
  • un bon p’tit déj et une petite surprise!

Ce que nous vous demandons:

  • une sensibilité aux enjeux des énergies renouvelables et à la mission du projet Solar Impulse
  • de participer activement à la discussion (sans la monopoliser ;-))
  • d’être un blogueur/podcasteur établi et actif dans les médias sociaux
  • de faire une ou plusieurs publications en rapport avec Solar Impulse sur votre blog/podcast après votre visite (licence Creative Commons ou similaire appréciée, surtout pour les photos/vidéos)

Sans vouloir en rajouter une (trop grosse) couche, j’aimerais insister sur la générosité de cette invitation. Par exemple, avoir accès à André et Bertrand librement durant une heure entière, ce n’est vraiment pas donné à tout le monde (ils sont plutôt dans le genre insaisissable).

Pour la visite de l’avion, aussi, nous irons nettement au-delà de ce qui sera accessible au public durant le salon (durant les heures d’ouverture au public, il y aura un chemin qui longera le bord de la tente et permettra de voir l’avion, mais il ne sera pas possible d’aller se balader dans la tente comme nous le ferons).

Solar Impulse Bloggers 10.jpgBref, si vous êtes un blogueur/podcasteur, si vous avez un intérêt pour les énergies renouvelables ou le projet Solar Impulse, ne laissez pas passer cette occasion!

En cas de participation insuffisante, on se réserve bien entendu le droit de renoncer à organiser ce petit-déjeûner et de libérer nos deux co-fondateurs — mais on est certains que vous vous jetterez tous sur l’opportunité 😉 et que vous en parlerez partout autour de vous!

Solar Impulse Blogger and Podcaster Programme for Brussels — This is it! [en]

News of special interest to my Belgian readers, cross-posted from the Solar Impulse Blog. Thanks for helping spread the word about this blogger programme, time is short (happenings are next week!)

Solar Impulse 3

Now that the HB-SIA is safely parked in its hangar in Brussels airport, we’re getting serious about finalizing the details of the blogger programme.

As announced, there are four occasions we can invite you to take part in:

  1. Plane visit: Elâ and I will host a small group of bloggers and podcasters on Monday 23.05 morning 9am at the Solar Impulse hangar for an informal visit of the plane. A chance to meet up, chat, ask questions, take photographs, etc.
  2. EUFORES/EREC cocktail on Tuesday 24.05 evening: an occasion to brush with political celebrity, this cocktail is an invitation-only “intimate” event of about 300 people for which we have a certain number of passes to distribute to bloggers. This will take place in the hangar where the plane is.
  3. Green Week side event with European Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik on Wednesday 25.05 evening: this event is slightly more accessible to the general public through Green Week, but we will save you the hassle and bring you in as our guests, again, through a certain number of blogger invitations. This event will also take place in the hangar, of course.
  4. Breakfast discussion with André and Bertrand: Saturday morning 9h30-11am, come to the hangar for a discussion table with André and Bertrand while we all have breakfast together! A chance to ask your questions, talk about anything related to the project, film, photograph, blog, tweet, you name it. For 60 minutes, we will leave the two founders of the project at your mercy 😉 (we trust you’ll hand them back in once piece so they can get to work on what’s left to be done after this, though!)

All are still open (I’ll update this post as needed) but be quick, space is limited. So far, we are able to accommodate all those who have contacted us (you’ll be hearing from us soon), so if you want a chance to meet the team and see the plane for real, it’s worth applying.

We’ll of course have stickers and a certain number of booklets about the project (particularly for those of you coming Monday and Saturday).

An extra opportunity we’re throwing in for you is that if you come to one of these four occasions, we would like to invite you to write a guest post on the Solar Impulse blog. No obligation of course, and we’ll set a time limit (upto July 6th), but we think it would be cool if we open up the blog to other bloggers.

Please use this form to apply for the exclusive blogger/podcaster programme.

If you aren’t a blogger or a podcaster, Saturday afternoon will be open to the general public (you’ll have to sign up though). Keep your eyes open for more news on this blog, or sign up as a Friend in our supporter program and we’ll let you know. If you are a “2.0-type” photographer, it’s worth applying too if you make your photos available through Flickr under a creative commons license (meaning, you allow bloggers and other online people to use your photos to illustrate their writings, as long as they credit you, of course).

Our main aim with the blogger programme is to help spread information and enthusiasm about the Solar Impulse project. So when you take part in the programme, we expect you to help us with that by:

  • producing publicly available content about your experience and the Solar Impulse project on your blog or podcast in a timely manner (we’ll link back to it on our blog, of course)
  • making your photos available under a creative commons license (let us know if this is a serious issue for you)
  • and it’s always appreciated if you disclose that you participated as part of the blogger programme!

What’s next?

If you’re not around to come and see us at Brussels airport, you might still have your chance. Early July (you know how we roll now, we won’t be able to tell you the date until the last moment) the prototype is flying to Paris for Salon le Bourget.

There won’t be much to see at take-off and landing (Paris and Brussels airports are huge, you’ll be better off glued to your screen watching the video stream!) but there will be short in-flight interviews with André (we’re waiting to see how many slots we can secure for bloggers) and probably a press conference upon arrival (to be confirmed). We’re also seeing if it’s possible to give access to the press conference to certain bloggers/podcasters. More soon.

In Paris itself, the plane will normally be available to the public in the afternoons — but it’ll basically be a path around the plane with many many thousands of people streaming by. So we’re thinking of doing something similar to Brussels: a private visit with a small party of bloggers and podcasters one of the mornings, and another discussion table (like in Brussels) with André and Bertrand. The rest of the time, Elâ and I would be available to receive you by appointment. All this is to be confirmed, of course, but like that you know what we’re planning!

I’m also busy thinking about introducing an “official Solar Impulse blogger” status. It’s still pretty fuzzy for me (so suggestions welcome!) but it would basically entail a certain number of privileges and requirements for the bloggers/podcasters in question.

TEDx Geneva: Louis Palmer — Solartaxi, around the world with solar power [en]

Louis PalmerSolartaxi: Around the world with solar power

Went around the world in a solar car, in a year and a half, from Lucerne. Louis got this idea when he was 11: go around the world without fuel! At 14, he was certain everybody would be driving solar cars. In 2004 he still couldn’t buy a solar car!

So he decided to build his own car. He’s a schoolteacher, not an engineer. He didn’t have the money, but had the will to do it. Went to factories, got parts and pieces, approached Lucerne university to develop the car (1 year had students working on it). After two years the car was there.


July 3rd 2007, the trip started. Louis didn’t really know which way to go. He published his tour on the internet, and invited people to welcome him and host him. Invited by the united nations, and asked to make a presentation. First time in history that a car entered the united nations!

Then invited to the global warming conference. 110 press conferences, he had the Swiss embassies with him, they helped with contacts.

He called it a taxi because many people travelled with him. You can even shift the steering wheel from left to right so the passenger to drive 🙂

Syria. He was told to beware, but nothing happened. Friendly people but his first accident. Somebody crashed into his car. He met the Syrian transport minister and told him about the accident, and the minister gave him a police escort so it would not happen again!

Everybody was waiting for the solar taxi! Prince Hassan of Jordan wanted a test drive. (Video sequence with armed military running after the car, hehe.)

He was escorted all around Saudi Arabia, the country you can’t get a visa for.

India, with Hell’s Angels escorting him through Bombay. Lots of traffic accidents in India. He had an accident there, which was filmed (pure coincidence). Great Indian video sequence. People are fascinated. Huge media coverage while driving through India.

Four months later, in Bali, for the opening of the UN climate change conference. Solartaxi on CNN! Then invited by Greenpeace, who took them down the Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, only one person at the press conference (the Swiss ambassador!) — stark contrast to the very positive and enthusiastic response from the press all over the world. Australia? Huge producer of coal, export to China. No investment in solar energy. Very disappointed.

What about China? Solar panels on every rooftop! Petrol bikes aren’t allowed in big cities anymore. Red carpet reception for the Solartaxi. Yay! 635 press articles in China, absolute record. They do the most. Hope!

Japan: they refused the Solartaxi because Swiss license plates aren’t allowed.

USA? Didn’t know what to expect. Great media coverage. Helicopters following him in Los Angeles. Very open-minded stars in Hollywood, very easy to meet them! Headshots of a bunch of celebs in the Solartaxi.

  • Corn: 36K km
  • Solar power: 25’000K km with the Solartaxi

Whee, had the secretary general of the UN in the Solartaxi for 15 minutes in New York (with escort and press reception of course).

Poland: exactly one year ago, last climate change conference, the journey ends. BBC and all over the news.

Louis isn’t stopping here! He wants to continue. He’s now setting up a race for existing cars in 80 days. Green energy cars, batteries charged with renewable energy. Has 13 teams so far. Siemens even wants to send the first ever electric-powered truck around the world.

Departure? 1st July 2010 in Shanghai, China (Wold Expo).

Louis has a lot on his hands, and welcomes any help that can be given. Volunteers, etc. Just contact him.