Famous African Innovator William Kamkwamba Visits 3M for Inspiration and Connection

May 16, 2023 10:45 AM ET

Originally published on 3M News Center

It’s not every day that a world-famous innovator asks to visit your company.

William Kamkwamba did just that during a recent trip to the Twin Cities.

Best known for his New York Times bestselling memoir and Netflix film ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,’ William asked to visit 3M headquarters to learn about the company’s history of innovation, explore its technologies and connect with 3M scientists.

William was joined by his wife and business partner, Olivia Scott Kamkwamba. They run a Malawi-based organization called ‘Moving Windmills Project’ that works in partnership with local leaders and farmers to secure a viable future for Malawians. Their efforts have led to construction of low-cost water wells, solar powered pumps and new facilities for schools.

The duo is now embarking on an ambitious new campaign to build an innovation center in Malawi designed to further inspire and empower African innovators.

William and Olivia received a hands-on tour of 3M’s technology platforms and shared their story and aspirations with several 3M leaders.

“It was very natural for us at 3M to connect with William’s story because he’s an innovator,” said Jayshree Seth, a 3M corporate scientist and chief science advocate. “We were heartened to learn about how William and Olivia are supporting young changemakers in Malawi. Their work is truly inspiring.”