Well Spoke-n: What Are We Talking About?

26 Apr

As we talk about our upcoming journey, we get a lot of questions. How many km is that? What’s your route? How long will it take? Are you taking a tent? Are you out of your mind?

Today I was asked a much more interesting question: How do you get people to start talking to you about sustainability?

This is a most excellent question. If we learn to do this, then we will have, in some measure, succeeded.

On our journey we are going to meet a lot of people. They might be fellow cyclists or fellow campers. They might be campground hosts or couchsurfing hosts. They might be vendors at roadside food stands or cafe staff and owners. They might be bike shop staff. They might be community residents curious about our bikes loaded with a large amount of luggage.

Notably, these people are likely to be ‘regular people’, not necessarily having any particular inclination to think about complex sustainability concepts.

To approach each person we will let conversation happen organically, and if people want to comment on-the-record, we will film it. Perhaps they will ask us about our project, and we will be happy to elaborate. Or perhaps we will start talking about tangible things that the person deals with on a daily basis and bring it to the spotlight in terms of moving towards sustainability.

For instance, we would come across a food stand beside the road. The vendor would be selling local fruits. We would ask him how he got his fruit to be so tasty. He’d tell us how he came up with a recipe for a natural fertilizer that does magic in his orchard. He started doing this because it was good business — to care for his soil and his crops — but his actions made his farming more sustainable. By avoiding synthetic compounds used in generic fertilizers, he also keeps his family, farm animals, and the surrounding ecosystem healthy.

And here is what our conversations will NOT look like:

Do you have a burning question for us? Post a comment!

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