Boyan Slat was only 17 years old at the time – yet the invitation was real.

Stand up in front of a large crowd at a TED talk, and sell the concept of a giant marine cleanup machine with a massive floating boom that would collect trash using the ocean’s own currents.

The TED talk garnered over two million views and still counting.

Like every great invention, early on it was just an idea.

An idea that might have never seen the light of day – had Slat not had the courage to execute the details of his dream.

Three years later, Slat who is now 20, is building a team, testing the feasibility of the project, and running actual tests. Slat says there’s a need to understand the full extent of the trash in the Pacific before he puts a final product in the water.

The Ocean Cleanup company develops technologies to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. The goal is to fuel the world’s fight against oceanic plastic pollution by initiating the largest cleanup in history. After having worked with a team of 100 volunteering scientists and engineers, a 2014 study confirmed the passive system is indeed likely a feasible and cost-effective method to remove half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years’ time.

“Doing the feasibility last year, we discovered there is a lot of uncertainty about the problem itself.

And if you want to solve a problem, it’s important to know what the problem is,” Slat says.

The Next Leap Forward

Think of the greatest innovators who pushed through the boundaries of average to accomplish their dreams when everyone thought they were absurd!

There is a reason some people achieve while others fail to move the agenda, yes, perseverance and determination are necessary but the key ingredient?

Knowing that the unimaginable is possible and boundaries meant to be broken.

1- The need to improve things around you is a good thing, curiosity is man’s greatest gift

2 – Have the courage to ask the tough questions, Why? How? Why not? Does it matter? Question everything and everyone

3 – Whether you’re planning a trip to the moon or have a specific technique, research is key

4 – Breakthrough the boundaries – every great innovator has been courageous enough to move their idea to the next level

5 – Always develop a plan of action and the steps to execute that plan of action

6 – Have a safety plan ready to execute at a moments notice, if things go wrong what is the backup plan?

7 – Do not let absurd moments of truth scare you, it just means you are closer to the realization of your idea