The sailors are Ivar and Floris, two Dutchmen with a love for the natural world and a passion for travel. Realizing that fundamental ecological and social challenges threaten the survival of humanity and many other species on our planet, they set out to sail around the world to search for solutions to sustainability challenges. Solutions that work in practice and which could be shared on an open source basis.

After completing the renovation of SV Lucipara2, they quit their jobs, sold (almost) everything they owned, and left behind their family, friends, and lives in Amsterdam.

Since their departure in 2016, they have found a plethora positive examples and met the inspiring people who make them happen. The more sustainable solutions they find, the more optimistic they become of the chances to change course to a sustainable future.

In 2022, the sailors were joined by a volunteer, Kira. She generously offered to help with editing, outreach, and partnership development from her new home in Sydney. 

Ivar Smits

Ivar Smits

Floris van Hees

Floris van Hees

Kira Kessel

Ivar (1974) is passionate about ecosystems, climate change, and sustainable economies. He has over 20 years of experience as a sailing instructor. He holds degrees in industrial engineering (University of Twente), sustainability leadership (University of Cambridge) and corporate communications (Erasmus – Rotterdam School of Management). Before embarking on a world trip with Sailors for Sustainability, he worked at the sustainability department of multinational AkzoNobel. He now runs an advisory company, Institute For a Sustainable Future (Instituut Voor een Duurzame Toekomst – IVeDT), advising clients on sustainability-related questions.

Floris (1978) is passionate about justice, human rights, and environmental protection. He has a law degree (Maastricht University) and a postgraduate degree in human rights and democratisation (EIUC). Following a career as a lawyer for international law firm Clifford Chance in Amsterdam, he started his own legal consultancy and helped set up a clearinghouse (Pro Bono Connect) for referring legal requests from NGOs to law firms for pro bono advice.

Kira (1999) is passionate about the intersection between politics, entrepreneurship, and sustainable solutions, particularly the power of circular economies in local communities. She earned a B.A. in Political Economy (UC Berkeley) and has had experiences working with technology startups in financial technology and entertainment. Following her graduation, she sailed the South Pacific from French Polynesia to New Zealand and is now living in Sydney, Australia.


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