Thomas Ketchell, 26 years old, was born in St. Leonards-On-Sea (UK) but grew up in France and Belgium. After working in Australia for a year, he went on to clinch his BA in History & Chinese Studies. His desire to help the environment brought him to East Africa in 2010 where he built biogas systems. Biogas projects use cow dung to provide clean cooking gas in rural parts of Kenya, where forests are being cut down and wood for cooking is disappearing rapidly.
He went on to do a postgraduate in Business & Development, and ended up living and working in China. Whilst living in Beijing, he experienced the dreadful quality of the air on a daily basis. Wanting to alert people back home what it was like to breathe in this dirty air, he decided with his colleague Steven Chiu — to re-enact on social media the 1952 Great Smog of London. The success of this re-enactment led to worldwide coverage, which encouraged both Steven and Thomas to co-found HSTRY, which re-lives historical events through a first-person perspective to bring history to life. HSTRY is now providing interactive storylines of historical events for both elementary and secondary schools across the globe in line with their vision to become the leading digital learning platform for the study of history.