Ed Gillespie the Futurenaut
I had a chance to interview Ed Gillespie and ask him about his new project with Mark Stevenson: The Futurenauts. I also asked him the 3 things you can do to make a better world 🙂
Ed, Who are You?
For the last 15 years I’ve been working with Futerra, a company I co founded which is a special sustainability communications and change agency. Our mission has always been to make sustainability so desirable it becomes normal. We work with mainly large businesses to help them transform in a rapidly changing and evolving landscape. Usually we try to help them become more socially, environmentally, and ethically responsible. We work with businesses all over the world, we have five offices now in London, New York, Stockholm, Mexico, and San Francisco, and about 70 people working on those projects. I’ve been really focused on that for a long time, and we’re starting to see a big shift in the way that companies engage with this type of agenda.
A marine biologist
I started as a marine biologist, and I was a fisheries biologist. I worked around the world looking at fisheries but I realized as a fisheries biologist I was gonna spend my whole career saying “If you touch and catch another fish, there won’t be any fish.” So I decided I wanted to get into a higher level communication of campaigning around issues connected to sustainability.
The Futurenauts is myself and my co-conspirator Mark Stevenson. We’re both futurists, and we are calling ourselves The Futurenauts because we’re sailing close to the winds of change. The idea is to challenge people around pragmatic optimistic future. It’s very easy to be a bit pessimistic, a bit fearful of the world as it currently exists today, and I think when people start to think about the future they sort of look at it like this between their fingers and their mouths, from behind the circle with one eye going, “Oh, what is coming?” What Mark and I are trying to do is to close what we call the story gap which is the way that people understand the way the world works, and the way that the future is such as ourselves and your good self. The reason we stay optimistic is because we’ve seen the future that already exists, and we just know that it’s just not evenly distributed. It needs to be scaled up, and it needs to be done rapidly. But we’re optimistic because we’ve seen that. All we’re trying to do is close that story gap to make this engaging accessible, and entertaining to people and say, “Look, there are really big choices and opportunities being presented to us now but we have to consciously act in order to make a better world for everyone.
The 3 things you can do to make a better world
Either sign up to a renewal energy provider, or look at putting renewable energy systems into your own property, or if you can’t do either of those things than perhaps look at what’s happening inside your community, in your area cause this revolution has already begun. Either way, you want to be on the side of the angels and the transition because we are slowly moving away from a fossil fuel based economy to a renewable energy economy. It’d be great for people to move fast.
The second thing I think would probably be ethical investments and what you do with your money, so look about where your savings at home or your bank is doing with your money when you’re not watching, what your pension fund is doing. But equally try and bypass some of the big institutions, so look at peer finance because this world is about to be disrupted by technologies such as the blockchain.
The third thing is food. It’s the one thing that is very easy. We’re all environmental activists three times a day. What you eat shapes the world around you. And we’re not saying everyone has to go pure vegan but I think the more the people move towards less meat and dairy in their diet and a largely plant based diet we will massively reduce our human footprint on the planet and liberate millions of animals from a life of animal cruelty.
So it’s about energy, it’s about money, it’s about food.