Noticias — January 01, 2000

Delegates Met Balloonist Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss Scientist-Adventurer

A fascinating keynote speaker for General Assembly in Barcelona was Bertrand Piccard. A scientist with a heart, an adventurer with a mission, Piccard captivated Congress delegates. On March 21, 1999, balloonist, Bertrand Piccard and his co-pilot,
A fascinating keynote speaker for General Assembly in Barcelona was Bertrand Piccard. A scientist with a heart, an adventurer with a mission, Piccard captivated Congress delegates. On March 21, 1999, balloonist, Bertrand Piccard and his co-pilot, Brian Jones, landed the Breitling Orbiter 3 in the Egyptian desert outside the Oasis town of Mut and seized what had been hailed as the last great trophy in aviation: to circumnavigate the globe non-stop in a hot air balloon. The achievement broke three world records: distance, duration and time. Piccard has explored most forms of free flight, from microlight aircraft and aerobatic hang-gliders to parachuting and ballooning. He holds several records, including that of European Champion in aerobatic flight and the world record for altitude. With his British co-pilot, Piccard finally won the record that had eluded so many in recent months and circumnavigated the world non-stop. Their voyage lasted 19 days and they traveled further and for longer than any other aircraft. It was Piccard’s third attempt at the record and he sealed his place in aviation history Human behavior and the effects of extreme atmospheres on levels of consciousness have long fascinated Bertrand Piccard. To improve his knowledge of the human “inner world” he studied medicine, specializing in psychotherapy. He is also qualified in hypnosis and has opened his own clinic. Bertrand Piccard—“the ‘scientist-adventurer”—was an incredibly inspirational and motivational speaker for Junior Chamber delegates as he drew on his background in both medicine, people and personal life experiences. He is fluent in both French and English. He dealt with his ballooning experience from the point of view of motivation and an adventurous spirit, the psychology of communication, teamwork, management of stress and the unknown. Entitled “Adventure, a state of mind: a metaphor for the round-the-world balloon flight,” Bertrand Piccard explained how balloon flight can be seen as a symbol of a new relationship between human beings, technology and nature. In his vision, the balloon is a captive of the winds that propel it just as man is a prisoner of his certitudes, his problems or his destiny. Nevertheless, the same way that a balloon can change altitude to find currents that will change its direction, we can rise up psychologically or spiritually to reassume responsibility for the direction of our lives. For more information, go to: http://www.breitling.com/eng/aero/orbiter/
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