Flash Gordon Murray
Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Dame Ellen MacArthur sailed around the world solo in 2001 in a nonstop three-month journey. She raced again in 2004, breaking a world record by circumnavigating the globe in 71 days — faster than anyone had sailed singlehandedly before. She was knighted for her achievement.
To survive at sea alone for months on end, she needed to be extremely efficient and innovative with the resources onboard: conserving, reusing, repairing and replanting. And as she sailed, she saw lots of plastic refuse.
After MacArthur resumed her land-based life, she was struck by the unnecessary waste of 21st century life, she has said. Her lessons from surviving at sea led her to construct theories about transitioning production and consumption to fit a resource-constrained world.
Now known as a guru of the circular economy, MacArthur five years ago launched the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to propel research and initiatives to transition the economy toward a circular model of resource reuse.