For the CRIS Annual Sustainability Lecture on 7th June 2018, Royal Holloway was host to renowned explorer, author and voice for global sustainability, Jason Lewis. An alumni of the college, Jason spoke with Professor Giana M. Eckhardt about his circumnavigation of the globe, his thoughts on a sustainable world and his future plans.
During the event, Prof. Eckhardt asked Jason a variety of questions, both about his past expeditions and his ideas on how we can work together on making our planet more sustainable. Jason's reflections on his time travelling the globe were incredibly insightful, thought provoking and mind broadening - particularly when he spoke about his crossing of the Pacific Ocean in a paddle boat. He reflected on the vastness of the ocean around him, and how being in the wilderness made him very aware of how we are all very much products of our own geography, both physically and culturally. Another point of particular interest was when he discussed how he was injured whilst crossing North America on in-line skates, but that his time recovering in a cabin owned by the Doctor who'd treated him allowed him to start talking and working with local people to fire their interest in sustainability.
Jason spoke about micro earth communities - pockets around the world where societies live sustainably within finite means, cut off from the outside world by geography such as mountain ranges, oceans and deserts. It's one of these communities - Tikopia, an island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean - that Jason will be visiting on his next expedition. Accompanied by his wife Tammy, he will travel to Tikopia and see what can be learnt from how the people of the island live that we can apply to our more modern, complex societies around the world.
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