Given Half a Chance: Ten Ways to Save the World

By Edward Davey

How to address the world’s environmental challenges and make life better and more peaceful for people, nature, and the planet

Friday, 23 December 2016

Update; interview with Mike Barry, M&S; Happy Christmas; and here's to 2017!

Dear All,

My last missive until 2017.  Thank you all so much for your support. I have now reached 79% of my target (in the 92 days since the book went live). With luck, early 2017 will see the rest come through.

I am going to bury myself in the manuscript for a few days from the 27th - 30th; then see in the New Year in Bridport, Dorset with Davina, Rosie (our dog) and 'Bump'; and then return to the effort with enthusiasm from January 2nd.  

I am interviewing Sir David Attenborough on the 4th January -- a great honour -- and Professor Georgina Mace, Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems at UCL, and the inspiring CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman, on the 6th.  

Several more interviews with experts -- on cities, oceans, waste, biodiversity, forests, climate, water and soil -- will follow in the Spring. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, one of the people I most admire, has kindly agreed to an interview to be recorded at the offices of Christian Aid at the end of January. I hope to ask Rowan about the role the world's religions can play in bringing a more sustainable world into being, amongst other things.

I hope you have enjoyed this aspect of the Unbound shared project and approach as much as I have. It's certainly been a great privilege to talk to these people and to record the interviews for a wider audience.

The intention is to have made very significant further progress on the book between now and mid-April, when Davina and I expect the birth of our first child (a boy!).  Finishing the book will, I am told, become much harder once he is in the world (!); and so the focus and resolve is to get as much of it done as possible between now and c. April 15th. My hope is that the book will appear in the world towards the end of 2017, and will do all that I can to make that happen.

As a small Christmas present, I offer you all an interview with the brilliant and gutsy Mike Barry, who has been responsible over the past 16 years for making Marks & Spencer one of the most committed and thoughtful of companies on the sustainability front.  Mike tells the story with panache, vigour and humility in a half hour interview at his office last week; I hope you enjoy it.  The link to the recording can be found here:

Mike Barry (Head of Sustainability, M&S):

For any of you who are keen to catch up on any of the other interviews I've done over the past few months, you can find the links here.  (I am sure you will all have much better things to do over Christmas, but just in case...).

Tony Juniper (environmentalist and author):

Christiana Figueres (former head of the UNFCCC):

Michael McCarthy (environmental writer):

John Sauven (Head of Greenpeace UK):

Lord Nicholas Stern (President of the British Academy):

Achim Steiner (Head of the Oxford Martin School):

Martin von Hildebrand (Colombian anthropologist):

There are a few more, already recorded, to follow in the new year; with thanks to Georgia & Phil for their kind support in uploading the recordings to the Unbound website each time, a time-consuming task.  These include Owen Barder, the head of the Center for Global Development; Sir Jonathon Porritt, distinguished environmentalist; Sir Gordon Conway, an agricultural ecologist and Professor of International Development at Imperial College; and Peter Wadhams, author of an eloquent, elegiac book about the Arctic, 'Farewell to Ice'.  

I recognise that there are many more men in this list than women at present, and hope to put the balance right in 2017.

Thank you so much again for all your support, and every good wish for a Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2017 to you all,


p.s. a glorious piece of Bach for Christmas!



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