Hop@Home: The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

Boy Who Harnessed... Live Chat

with author and movie subject William Kamkwamba '14
April 21, 2020

This event occurred as part of the 19/20 Hop@Home season. This is an archived view.

Watch this uplifting tale of ingenuity and determination, then tune in for a virtual conversation with the story's real-life hero William Kamkwamba '14.


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Welcome to #SmallScreenFun: A flick a week from the heart of Hop Film with a virtual gathering to follow. Tuesday nights in a living room near you (really near you)! Here's how it works:

  1. Watch The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind over the weekend on Netflix.

  2. Join us on YouTube Live on Tuesday, April 21 at 8 pm for a live discussion on the intersection of the arts, science and activism at Dartmouth. Provost Joseph Helble introduces this conversation between William Kamkwamba '14, Prof. Andrew Friedland and student leaders in energy and environmental studies—which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year! This will be a YouTube Live event, and we'll be taking questions from the chat! 30 minutes


About The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Inspired by a science book, 13-year-old William Kamkwamba built a wind turbine entirely via DIY methods to save his Malawian village from famine. His memoir The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind debuted in 2010, becoming a New York Times and global bestseller. Kamkwamba attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 2014 with a degree in environmental studies and engineering. Last year, Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) made his directorial debut skillfully bringing William's inspiring story to cinematic life. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the founding of Dartmouth's Environmental Studies Program, this irresistible family film soars with an urgent human-interest dimension at its heart.

About William Kamkwamba '14

When William Kamkwamba was 14, Malawi suffered a severe famine. His family could no longer pay his school fees, and he was forced to drop out of high school. While staying home, William remained curious and inventive and worked with the village librarian to stay engaged with knowledge, especially science. Working from just one photo in a U.S. junior high school textbook book called "Using Energy," he reasoned out how to build an electricity-producing windmill from spare parts and scrap, despite having no instructions. William's inspiring story is told in his New York Times bestselling memoir The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, co-authored with Bryan Mealer and a 2019 Netflix film

William graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 in Environmental Studies, is a TED Fellow, entrepreneur, and Global Fellow for the design firm ideo.org. William's worked for the WiderNet Project to develop appropriate technologies curriculums focused on allowing youth to bridge the gap between "knowing" and "doing" in Malawi and across the world. William splits his time between the US and Malawi and is currently working with Moving Windmills Project to build a machine shop and innovation center in Kasungu, Malawi.

Watch William's 2009 TED Talk

Co-sponsored by the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy & Society

The Irving Institute's mission is to advance an affordable, sustainable, and reliable energy future for the benefit of society. Its team seeks to achieve this mission by developing the next generation of energy experts, leaders, and citizens and by transforming humankind's understanding of energy systems across technological, environmental, economic, geopolitical, and cultural perspectives.

“When the triumphs of the human, agricultural and engineering spirits arrive, they work. It's moving, and it's earned. Ejiofor is off and running as a director.”

Chicago Tribune

 “[The film] feeds our hunger for inspiring tales in these desperate times with a beautifully engineered narrative latticework of hardship, hope, and know-how.”

Los Angeles Times

One of the best things about seeing a film in a theater is sharing the experience with other people, right then and there. #SmallScreenFun brings that movie-watching camaraderie to the digital space...

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2020/21 Hop@Home

Each week, our virtual stage brings adventurous artistry into your living room. The Hop offers a varied weekly line-up of online programming including live-streamed performances, film recommendations...

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