Founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and Masarang Foundation
The keynotes by Willie Smits expose the fundamental inefficiencies in the way energy is harvested and hope to strike a sympathetic chord in all everyone us by outlining a variety of detrimental environmental effects.
Smits attended Wageningen University, graduating with a degree in tropical forestry and soil science before completing further doctoral studies in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. After schooling, he began research at the Wanariset Research Station. However, he would move on to become the team leader of the Tropenbos Kalimantan Project Indonesia soon afterwards.
His career became dramatically more focused after a chance encounter with a mistreated, dying baby Orangutan at a market in Indonesia. Since then, he began to devote his life to saving the endangered animals. From this life-changing meeting he founded the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation in 1991. Smits has even written a book on his beloved creatures: 'Thinkers of the Jungle - The Orangutan Report: Pictures, Facts, Background.' The founding of the Masarang Foundation followed in 2001, with its goal being to raise awareness and protect forest habitats all over the world. Smits realized that to save animals, first their home must be salvaged as well.
Abiding by a philosophy to better people, animals and the Earth all at once, the keynotes by Willie Smits look to inspire others to do the same.