James Ellsmoor is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and writer, bringing to life his passion for sustainability and renewable energy. At the age of just 26, he is Co-Founder and Director of Solar Head of State, an international nonprofit working with governments in the Caribbean and Pacific islands to raise awareness of renewable energy through high-profile solar installations on iconic government buildings. He was recognized on Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 List in 2017.

James is passionate about climate change advocacy and international environmentalpolicy. He speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese and is particularly interested in promoting renewable energy infrastructure systems in rural communities.

James has presented to audiences in Europe, the United States, the Pacific Islands, South Korea, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He is often interviewed on local, national, and international radio and TV programs and has appeared on numerous podcasts on topics related to entrepreneurship, sustainable, communications, and travel.

James is a regular contributor to major publications including Forbes and Huffington Post. He publishes the regular Island Innovation newsletter, a collection of sustainable development stories from remote, rural and island communities around the world. He has more than 100,000 combined followers across social media.

James consults for leaders in NGOs, the private sector and government on topics related to sustainable development and entrepreneurship. His works extends into climate change policy, renewable energy and travel and he has particular expertise in small island developing states (SIDS). He has worked on the support team for the Republic of the Seychelles at various United Nations climate change conferences.

James holds a Bachelors in Economics and Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he attended on the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship. He also holds a Masters Degree in Island Studies from the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland, where he was awarded Postgraduate Student of the Year across the university’s 13 campuses.

James still has a home base in Shropshire, England, but spends the majority of the year working remotely from different parts of the world, giving him the flexibility to work on the projects that interest him most.


  • #Solar100 (2018)
  • Solar 40 under 40 (2018)
  • International Island Studies Association Scholarship (2018)
  • Forbes 30 under 30 (2017)
  • Richtopia Top 20 Young Entrepreneurs (2017)
  • UNLEASH Sustainable Development Goal Talent (2017)
  • Phi beta Kappa (2016)
  • Morehead-Cain Scholarship (2011)