September 25, 2023   8:48pm

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A standing ovation is fairly rare at the TED conference, so when someone gets the audience cheering, it’s because that speaker said or did something pretty exceptional …

Meet Willie Smits.  He’s a forestry expert and biologist extraordinaire who figured “it” out while on a mission to save the endangered Orangutans in Indonesia, their one and only habitat.  That “it” happens to be a blueprint for growing back a raped and devastated eco-system.  Willie has managed to make the impossible happen in less than five years — rain clouds, animals, trees and foliage returned, while local communities were empowered in new ways.

If you want to be caught up in a remarkable presentation, watch this Willie Smits TED talk which shows how, as TED says: Willie “has pieced the puzzle together … creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile eco-systems,” helping to save one of the most intelligent primate species along the way.  (The picture you see is of Uce, who was the original Orangutan baby that inspired Willie, and her own baby, Matahari!)

And they said it couldn’t be done … humph!


To learn more about Orangutans and support Willie’s work, please visit in the U.S. Orangutan Outreach [].  Also check out in Indonesia: Yayasan Masarang Foundation []

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