Social Entrepreneur and co-founder Eden Project
St Blazey, Cornwall
Sir Tim Smit KBE was born in Holland in 1954 and worked for ten years in the music industry as composer/producer in both rock music and opera. In 1987 Tim moved to Cornwall and he and John Nelson together ‘discovered’ and then restored the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Tim remains a Director of the gardens to the present day. Eden began as a dream in 1995 and opened its doors to the public in 2000, since when more than 16 million people have come to see what was once a sterile pit turned into a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture symbolic of human endeavour. Eden has contributed over £1 billion into the Cornish economy. Eden is proud of its success in changing people’s perception of the potential for and the application of science, by communicating and interpreting scientific concepts through the use of art, drama and storytelling as well as living up to its mission to take a pivotal role in local regeneration. It demonstrates once and for all that sustainability is not about sandals and nut cutlets, it is about good business practice and the citizenship values of the future. In 2011 Tim was given a special award at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement.