Bart Weetjens is a celebrated social entrepreneur who trains HeroRATS to save human lives from disaster and disease. He addressed the dependence of African communities on foreign expertise to solve difficult, dangerous and expensive humanitarian detection tasks posed by scourges of the developing world, such as the landmine legacy and the emergence of tuberculosis.
His organisation, APOPO, researches, develops, deploys and disseminates the use of a sustainable local alternative: detection rats technology. HeroRATS are humanely trained giant African pouched rats that act as cost-efficient detectors in limited resources settings, while building local expertise.
Weetjens is an Ashoka fellow, a Skoll awardee and a Schwab fellow to the World Economic Forum. A Zen Buddhist priest, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Tanzania.