Luigi Cani
100 million seeds dispersing over the Amazon Rainforest Author: Luigi Cani

Luigi Cani

Germinator & Advocate

free fall for good

meet luigi

Luigi Cani, one of the most renowned parachutists in the world, has performed more than 14,000 jumps and carried out more than 150 film projects around the world. He holds 11 world records, including the free fall speed record of 552km/h and jumping and landing with the world’s smallest and fastest parachute. With 25 years of professional career, Luigi has been featured in more than 60 countries, with his adventures making headlines on national TV networks. He has coached elite military teams from numerous countries, including the US Navy Seals, US Air Force, Canada’s Sky Hawks, and England’s Red Devils. Additionally, he is a presenter, executive producer and motivational speaker. In 2011, he began giving lectures in the world of corporate events and stood out as one of the main motivational speakers in Brazil, inspiring hundreds of thousands of professionals for more than 200 national and multinational companies with his talk “You Can Fly”. Luigi Cani is also known in Brazil for his appearances on national TV programs, such as Mestre dos Ares on Fantástico, Homem Pássaro on Esporte Espetacular, Radicani on Caldeirão and Cani nas Alturas on Domingão, as well as being part of the cast of Canal OFF.

free fall for good
Nominated by: Richard Wiese, FR'89
Class of 2024 Location Brazil
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Author: Luigi Cani

A few years ago, I decided to try to plant 100 million new plants in a 100 square-mile deforested part of the Amazon. At times, this expedition felt impossible to see through. After 5 years of legal battles, I obtained the 12 necessary legal permits to drop the 100 million seeds in the heart of the Amazon forest. My team and I spent two months collecting seeds from native plants in a nearby section of the rainforest. And getting four tons of equipment to the middle of the Amazon jungle was the hardest work anyone on my team had ever done. After we got the equipment into the jungle, came the dive. I had to dive in the air at 200 miles per hour so I could grab the half-ton box of free falling seeds and release them at precisely the right altitude. It was so difficult and I was so focused, I accidentally held my breath for over two minutes. I nearly broke my wrist and some fingers, but it was worth it.

After a lot of time in the free fall, I realized that everyone can fly in their own field. Now, I want to help other people learn to fly and step out of their comfort zones.”

- Luigi Cani
Author: Luigi Cani

 As a kid, I always dreamed of flying, the oldest and most powerful human dream. As I grew up, I knew I wanted to pursue that dream. After a lot of time in the free fall, I realized that everyone can fly in their own field. Now, I want to help other people learn to fly and step out of their comfort zones. It’s a challenge, because most people resist change, whether individual or global. However, we need huge changes to make the world better than it is today. The possibility for growth is incredible, but more people need to be willing to learn and work together. 

The most meaningful part of my work is helping our industry to progress and break milestones in technology. The advances in technology wouldn’t mean half as much if not for the millions of people we inspired. In the past, I tried to do a project every year that had never been attempted before, whether in an epic location or breaking a new record for highest, longest, or fastest (or all 3!). By exploring at this level, I learned to respect Mother Nature and the importance of leading others to understand the importance of conservation. Now that I’m 52 and no longer have the same hunger for danger; now I want my projects to have meaning and help people and the planet.

never stop exploring