The man who plants trees: Shubhendu Sharma is reforesting the world, one patch at a time

TED Blog

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A forest planted by humans, then left to nature’s own devices, typically takes at least 100 years to mature. But what if we could make the process happen ten times faster? With his company Afforestt, eco-entrepreneur Shubhendu Sharma is creating mini-forest ecosystems using an accelerated method. It’s based on the practices of Japanese forester Akira Miyawaki, as well as on Sharma’s own experiences gleaned from his former career in car manufacturing. The TED Blog spoke to Sharma to learn how he’s developing ways to grow native, self-sustaining forests anywhere in the world, with the efficiency of industrial processes.

You started out as an industrial engineer at Toyota. How did you go from the car industry to forestry?

Back in 2008, I was at Toyota in India, helping prepare assembly lines and dispatch systems for car manufacture. One day, a scientist named Akira Miyawaki came to the factory to plant a forest on Toyota’s campus. He gave a…

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