BFIS Podcast, Episode 4: A Greener and More Sustainable World

with Martin Picard, Founder and CEO of Alella Green Tech

In this episode, Rachel is joined by Martin Picard, a parent of BFIS. A Computer Science and Math graduate from MIT and Harvard, he is a veteran technical software innovator, company founder, and CEO. He owns Can Picard, a small family vineyard/farm just a 17-minute drive from Barcelona, and the site of the Alella Green Tech Charitable Foundation (AGT), a green tech R&D center, product showcase, and activities community center. Their mission is to help everyone, from school children to Ph.D. students and beyond, learn about nature and sustainable agriculture and investigate ideas about how technology can help us conserve resources and combat climate change.

By fostering innovation, helping sustainable practices, and supporting learning, he hopes to make a difference- and he certainly has in our community, by partnering with us on teaching and learning in various ways that impact robotics, science, and sustainability education at BFIS.

His work and stories fit perfectly with our Vision for Learning’s stated goal of nurturing our students to be collaborative individuals connected to the world around them who are empowered to design innovative solutions to complex problems to create a better world.

Giving back to the planet

As a tech entrepreneur, Martin recognizes the significant improvements technology has brought to our lives, yet he is also acutely aware of its uneven impact on our planet. He believes that the time has come for him to contribute positively to the Earth, addressing the challenges created by current and previous generations. Martin is motivated to create a lasting legacy that his children can continue to build upon in the future.

Martin believes that empowering students with the right tools, knowledge, and mindset is essential for turning challenges into opportunities for solutions. His approach involves nurturing a passion for nature and the environment among students, teaching them to deconstruct problems into more manageable elements, define their parameters, get creative, develop and implement prototypes and solutions, and continuously monitor evolution, fail forward, and keep trying.

Tooling young people to create a more sustainable future

Within his company, Martin has established a global hub for students passionate about sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation. These students engage in immersive learning experiences, dedicating several months to hands-on work. They meticulously document their projects, ensuring that future participants can build upon their foundations and advance the ongoing mission toward sustainability.

In his dialogue with Rachel Hovinton, Martin outlines strategies to do the same with elementary, middle, and high school students, collaborating on long-term projects. These initiatives not only extend over time but also encompass and bring together a broad range of skill sets, facilitating interdisciplinary learning and teamwork across different educational levels.

Tune in to the full podcast to hear Martin share captivating tales from his work, the projects he’s spearheading with students, and his innovative strategies for engaging the youth. He delves into how he fosters a profound appreciation for the environment among young people, equipping them with the tools knowledge, and attitude for a sustainable future.

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