Prince William Reveals Which American Icon Is His Inspiration

Prince William and his mission to “harness the spirit of human ingenuity and purpose”, to solve the planet’s most meaningful problems have taken inspiration from a former US president, arguably one of the most influential.

The Duke of Cambridge has revealed that the main inspiration behind his own Earthshot initiative has been the late US president John F. Kennedy and his Moonshot initiative, whom the Prince has admired from a young age, him and his bold mission to send a man to the moon.

“Humans have an extraordinary capacity to set goals and strive to achieve them,” William shared in a TED Talk released Monday as part of a countdown to his Earthshot Prize ceremony in October.

On October 17, recipients of the first Earthshot prize will each receive about $1.4 million (£1 million) at a ceremony attended by William at London’s Alexandra Palace.

“I’ve long been inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 mission to put a man on the moon within a decade. He named it the Moonshot. It seemed crazy. We’d only just launched the first satellite. Putting a man on the moon that quickly seemed impossible,” he continued.

Kennedy motivated people “to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills. In taking that giant leap for mankind, the team behind the Moonshot united millions of people around the world — that this crazy ambition wasn’t so crazy after all.”

According to the Duke, this kind of ambition continues to be critical as we “start this new decade knowing that it is the most consequential period in history.”

“If we do not act in this decade, the damage that we have done will be irreversible. And the effects felt not just by future generations but by all of us alive today. And what’s more, this damage will not be felt equally by everyone. It is the most vulnerable, those with the fewest resources and those who’ve done the least to cause climate change who will be impacted the most,” said William.

Climate change is a serious problem and the Prince is hoping to do his part by leading the Earthshot initiative.

According to William’s TED Talk today, through “a set of ambitious objectives for the planet, the Earthshot goals seek to protect and restore nature, clean the air, revive oceans, build a waste-free world and fix the climate — all in the next decade.”

On Monday the Duke urged, “We must harness the spirit of human ingenuity and purpose on and turn it with laser-sharp focus and urgency on the most pressing challenge we have ever faced: Repairing our planet.”

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