Don’t you just love those conversations where you come away feeling like you’ve not just had a meeting of minds, but you’ve also, in some small way, made the world a better place? That you’ve connected with some kindred spirits, supported them in their journey, reinforced that they are on the right track, and hopefully figured out a few new ways that you’re going to work together in the future?
I’m feeling very lucky. I seem to have more than my fair share of those kind of conversations. During the time since I last blogged, here are some examples:
1. Sydney 1: Kim McKay of Momentum2 PR – first time I’d met her, but it turns out we know a load of people in common, largely through her National Geographic connections and the work she did with David de Rothschild and the Plastiki expedition. Last month she was running Oprah’s PR – next month mine?!
2. Sydney 2: Noelle Sadinsky – someone I met a long time ago (1994) but don’t get to see often enough. She introduced me to a band of friends, female entrepreneurs who are go-getting women that meet a couple of times a month to share stories and constructive (occasionally very frank) feedback.
3. Sydney 3: Matt McFadyen – again, first time I’d met him, but what a star! Explorer and very good corporate motivational speaker. I was completely smitten with the IML technology he uses in his talks, and am already figuring out how to use it in mine to make them more interactive and engaging. After all, isn’t life all about the decisions that we make?
4. Sydney 4: Kathryn Cussell – my old Portsmouth flatmate from circa 1995 when we both worked for CHP Consulting. Much water under the bridge since then, but I will be doing a speaking gig for
CHP when I’m back in Oz next month. I was the 14th person ever to join CHP. Now they have nearly 200. That way could have lain riches, but I chose a different path…
5. Sydney 5: (wow, this was a lot packed into 2 days!) – meeting with Greenpeace. Looking at working with then on GE (genetically engineered) food products. How do you feel about this? Are you okay with GE? Against it? Should consumers be given the right to choose through accurate labelling?
5. New Zealand: stayed with Chris Bone of Oceanswatch in Mamaki eco village, and Rob Hamill (author of The Naked Rower) & Rachel Hamill, and George and Astrid Van Meeuwen came up to stay. During a long, wet weekend we drank many cups of tea (and maybe a few glasses of wine too) and discussed the state of the world – specifically the environment. What did I take away from it? Yes, we’re in deep trouble. But yes, we can still do something about it. In fact, we have to.
6. Auckland Airport, with airport security: yes, you did read that correctly. I had a life-enhancing conversation with the NZ equivalent of the TSA. As he searched my bag, he asked me where I was going and why. So I told him about the cruise ship, and said I was looking forward to hearing the other talks by marine biologists, environmental scientists etc. And he asked me if I believed in climate change.
So I said I’d better, seeing as I campaign about it. And asked him if he did. Oh boy, did he?! He went off on a whole spiel about climate change, population control, the need for reducing consumption, the myth of infinite growth on a finite planet…. wow! Eventually he really couldn’t pretend to be searching my backpack any more and inconveniently had to go and do his job.
As we parted I told him to keep spreading the message. It felt like two people in a secret society meeting up and connecting. I was really impressed. I don’t know how often he has that conversation – but just imagine if you could get every airport security official, taxi driver, hairdresser etc etc – everybody who has interaction with a lot of people – talking about this. Wouldn’t that be amazingly powerful in spreading the ripples of change!
Here are a couple of life-enhancing links I’ve been following recently, inspired by all of the above:
Lynn Twist on the nature of money
Prof Tim Jackson on Prosperity Without Growth
Meanwhile, progress continues apace back in Perth. Boat about to be repainted (purple), deliveries arriving daily from sponsors around the world, June working on setting up speaking opportunities, a lot going on. Meanwhile, my To Do list includes getting book deal, setting up film production for the Pacific documentary, revamping my website (speak now if you have an opinion!), raising another $25,000 before the start of the Indian Ocean row, and ensuring a plastic-bag-free Olympics in London in 2012. But apart from that, my time is my own!
But for now I am back on the road again – or in fact, getting on a boat. I am writing this blog from Santiago, Chile. Tomorrow morning we leave early to fly to Ushuiaia in Argentina, where we will board the National Geographic Explorer to sail to Antarctica. We spend 5 days there, exploring by kayak and Zodiac. I get to go free, in exchange for giving two on-board presentations. Not a bad perk of the “job”!