We’ve been going all in into this, and we are thrilled to see the world, and industries pick up on this too. We are incredibly proud of our accomplishments over the last few years. We are addressing the challenges of speed, scale, and cost with our AEM Electrolyser technology. Here’s to reaching another milestone team Enapter. Getting closer to our mission: to drive down the cost of green hydrogen and replace fossil fuels.
TED talks spread ideas worth sharing, at the intersection of technology, education, and design. Green hydrogen is an immensely important topic that matches this mission and Enapter is a bold player approaching the production of green hydrogen unlike any other. That’s why, at COP26, in between speaking with Prince William and Bill Gates, Enapter co-founder Vaitea Cowan was rapt to hear she would speak at TED’s global event in Vancouver.
Several months later, she took to the stage directly after the likes of Al Gore and delivered a speech fuelled by surges of adrenaline. And now, TED has released the full video of her talk. We invite you to watch Vaitea’s TED talk below – but also to read the behind-the-scenes story beneath the video to find out how green hydrogen came to take centre stage:
How It All Started
When Vaitea turned up to The Countdown Summit, the first ever in-person TED climate conference, just before COP26 in Edinburgh, she was looking forward to inspiration from the speakers and also taking part in a panel at the event. She didn’t know she would meet TED Countdown Cofounder Lindsey Levin or global curator Bruno Giussani. And little did she imagine that shortly after their meeting in October 2021, she would hop on a call with Bruno and David Biello, Ted’s Science curator, where Bruno would ask: “Oh, and might you be interested in giving a TED talk on green hydrogen?” “Absolutely!” After chatting about the hydrogen industry and the potential for green H2 to replace fossil fuels, the curators challenged her on Enapter’s rollout speed and timeline. Her response: “No problem, Enapter is well-positioned to drive down costs and tackle climate change.”
Fast forward to November 1, at COP26. Amongst a day filled with incredible meetings set up as a winner of the inaugural Earthshot Prize, Vaitea received an auspicious email. She had been invited to speak on *the* red circle.
How Do You Write A TED Talk?
How hard can it be to write a TED talk? Vaitea got stuck in.
18 versions later she had just about silenced her inner critique. Then more feedback rounds came in, stretching the creative process out to 22 versions.
One of the key learnings came from Chris Anderson’s book “TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking”: build bridges with the audience. Start with a topic everyone is familiar with and then build up to the knowledge one is trying to share. “You’ve come across electrolysis before; do you remember when?” Thanks to David Biello’s help and a virtual rehearsal at the end of February 2022, she began to get closer to nailing it. Then came the final version: just five days before the talk, in April, at the dress rehearsal on the Vancouver stage.
The Final Countdown, The Big Day
The days before hitting the stage was a total blur – “it’s hard to be fully present until you deliver your talk!” – but she wasn’t alone. Vaitea also spent the countdown getting to know the other speakers as they all geared up to stand on the big red dot; becoming part of a community of innovators and thought leaders, all curious and keen to help each other reach their ambitions. Backstage, hours before delivering her talk, she even met a veteran orator of environmental change – Al Gore. Shortly after, he opened the “Regeneration” session, setting the tone. Then it was her turn. Fuelled by surges of adrenaline, she took to the stage. For those who still haven’t watched it, the result is here.
“Thank you for coming to my TED talk”.
“Thank you for coming to my TED talk”. Afterwards, still hardly believing she had said these words, she received congratulations from Gore and settled in to watch her fellow speakers.
“Being there in person, exchanging ideas and stories with an open mind and heart, with people from around the world who have different approaches to achieving the same environmental goals, was a true honour and an eye-opening experience.”
For Vaitea, the TED talk journey is coming to an end, but a world of possibilities has opened up that seems more like a beginning: opened doors, a vibrant community, and network…
We’re full of gratefulness and gratitude for everything and everyone that made this possible and gave us a stage to raise awareness of green hydrogen’s potential.
Thanks for reading; if you enjoyed Vaitea’s TED talk, we invite you to share her video or this blog post with your network to help us spread the word even further!
Enapter is a part of our Batch 5 Smart Cities Program in Thailand.
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