“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
The story of SmartRoots Global began with a question presented to a 14-year-old orphan in an impoverished village of Africa.
“Why is there so much pollution here?” I asked.
“You can’t solve a problem without knowledge,” Asi quickly responded.
In a split second, those seven uttered words changed the course of my life and became the genesis of something more. I put my plans for a career in law on hold, and committed my life to building a sustainable world through education. Asi’s longing to solve problems in his community lead me to realize that the answers to problems – yes, even global problems – are rooted in knowledge.
We developed SmartRoots Global to build awareness and inspire action among students to positively impact their world. By incorporating real-world sustainability topics like water, energy, food, and health and using project management skills, SmartRoots Global students are at the forefront of impacting humanity and designing sustainable communities around the world.
I learned three important lessons from Asi that day. First, he was exactly right. One can’t solve a problem without knowledge. Second, changing the world and impacting humanity doesn’t start at the highest level of society. It starts with inspired and equipped minds like Asi. And lastly, there’s a generation out there waiting to change the world, they just need that spark of knowledge and inspiration first.
Zac Ziebarth Founder and Chief Executive Officer SmartRoots Global, Inc.