Sitting in The Troxy, London, listening to the billionaire Richard Branson talking about his life building Virgin, I was truly inspired. This was the man wanted to build an airline and people laughed. Virgin Airlines now has a fleet of 39 planes and nearly 9,000 staff. This is the man that wanted to make space travel commercial and people laughed. Virgin Galactic is set to launch next year.
It’s talks like these, especially for people like myself and the rest of the teenagers who are part of Acorn Aspirations and want to change the world through tech, that show the world anything can be achieved, no matter how many deem it impossible. So when I sit at home with my laptop trying to figure out how on earth to write this piece of code or prototype this bit of hardware, I only have to think of what people such as Richard Branson have achieved to know this journey is worth pursuing.
Listening to him talk about his philanthropy was perhaps even more inspiring than him discussing his business. The world is such a massive place with so many deep-rooted problems that seem impossible to tackle. And yet, one man has made it his goal to solve as many of these issues as possible. He talked about the Elders and fighting climate change, particularly as a victim himself of the recent Hurricane Irma.
There was one key thing I took from this talk. The best combination for discovering and building a better future occurs when you combine the open-minded, experimental thinking of the youth with the advice and guidance of those who have attempted (and maybe succeeded) in changing the world. No matter how big the problem, how many people sit there and laugh, or how many others have failed before you, just get stuck in and give it a go. Believe in who you are. I try and attend as many talks as possible, whether organised by Acorn Aspirations, or through other organisations, and this is the reason why.
Also published on Medium.