Youth Mountain Forum Keynote Speaker: Sonam Wangchuk
In just over two weeks, the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Mountain Societies Research Institute in partnership with UNICEF Kyrgyzstan is holding the Youth Mountain Forum in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on October 22nd. It is a pre-conference side event to the 'World Mountain Forum 2018'. UCA is pleased to introduce Sonam Wangchuk as one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming Youth Mountain Forum.
Born in the trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh in J&K, India, Sonam Wangchuk is a mechanical engineer and has worked in education reform for over 27 years. As an engineer, has taught innovation at the SECMOL Alternative School, and together with his students, he designed and built low-cost solar heated buildings. They are made of earth and mud; however, they maintain a temperature of +15°C even when the outside temperature is –15°C. Due to climate change and fast glacier melting, a water crisis is emerging in the mountain regions. As a solution to this issue, he invented an Ice Stupa artificial glacier which stores wasting stream waters in the winter (in the form of giant ice cones or stupas), and releases the water in late spring as they melt, when farmers need water.
Sonam Wangchuk holds several awards and titles such as the GQ Men of the Year Award for Social Entrepreneurship (India, 2017); Rolex Award for Enterprise (Hollywood, USA, 2016); Terra Award for World’s Best Earth Buildings (Lyon, France, 2016); the UNESCO Chair for Earth Architecture for India (2014).