Sonam Wangchuk Acclaimed Winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Award 2018 is India’s most renowned Educationist, Environmentalist and Innovator. Sonam Wangchuck a Motivational Speaker for your Webinars, Virtual Events & Live Conferences in India.
Sonam Wangchuck is an accomplished, engaging motivational speaker. He’s given keynotes and moderated panel discussions in front of audiences of all types and sizes, from small meetings of the top executives at a corporation to large conference keynotes in front of thousands of people. Sonam relies on his real-world experience and comfort on stage to bring a relaxed (and often humorous) style to his presentations on the overlap of business and environment.
Sonam is the Founder of the Student’s Educational & Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL). which aims to bring reforms to the government school system in Ladakh. In 1994 he was instrumental in the launch of Operation New Hope, a triangular collaboration of the government, village communities and civil society to bring reforms to the government schools system. The program involved the formation of Village Education Committees to take ownership of state schools, training of teachers in child-friendly ways and rewriting and publishing localised textbooks for Ladakh. As a result, the pass percentage in 10th grade (matriculation) rose from the dismal 5% to 55% in seven years and 75% these days.
For students who still failed in their state exams, he founded the SECMOL Alternative School Campus near Leh, a special school where the admission criteria are a failure in exams and not grades. However, with the supportive and creative environment at the school, the so-called failures have excelled in their chosen fields and risen to international acclaim as entrepreneurs, filmmakers, politicians, teachers and so on.
As an engineer, Sonam Wangchuk has been teaching innovation at the SECMOL Alternative School, where together with the students he designed and built solar-heated buildings that are low cost, made of earth/mud but maintain +15 C even when the outside temperature is – 25 C in Ladakhi winters.
In order to solve the water crisis facing mountain regions due to climate change and fast melting glaciers, he invented the Ice Stupa artificial glacier which stores the wasting stream waters in winter in the form of giant ice cones or stupas and releases the water into late spring as they melt… just when farmers need water.
SECMOL Campus is a special eco-village where students, staff and volunteers live, work and learn together. It’s not a conventional school, but a place to pursue practical, environmental, social and traditional knowledge, values and skills. The Campus is solar powered and solar heated; students learn ancient Ladakhi songs, dance and history alongside modern academic knowledge; and the students mainly manage, run and maintain the campus.
Sonam Wangchuk is helping farmers in the arid Himalayan highlands of Ladakh to overcome water shortages by tapping meltwaters to build artificial glaciers. With his Rolex Award funds, he intends to create up to 20 ice stupas, each 30 metres high, and initiate a substantial tree-planting programme in the desert near their school once the new water supply system is established.
Wangchuk believes that education and care for the environment go hand in hand. In addition to his work with young people at SECMOL, the Students’ Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh, through its Alternative School he has started work on establishing an alternative university in the same area. He aims to engage young people from the Himalayas and beyond in eco-solutions for mountain areas.
Sonam Wangchuck is a highly respected and dynamic motivational speaker, reaching audiences of thousands and acting as a practical evangelist on how to navigate the world’s biggest environmental, educational and social challenges. In his motivational talks, Sonam provides a new road map, helping audiences create a more prosperous business, economy and world.
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Sonam Wangchuk was granted several awards and titles, such as :
- Ramon Magsaysay Award 2018
- Rolex Award for Enterprise 2016
- UNESCO Chair for Earthen Architecture for India 2014,
- Game Changers Award by Human Resource Club 2014,: ‘
- Real Heroes’ Award by CNN IBN Channel in 2008, ‘
- Green Teacher Award by Sanctuary Asia Magazine in 2005, Ashoka Fellowship by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in 2002,
- Man of the Year by The Week magazine in India in 2001 and the Governor’s Medal by the J&K State Government in 1996.