Sacha Dench, famously known as “the human swan,” is the founder and CEO of Conservation Without Borders, a charity focused on solving problems related to migratory species and sharing it with the world through compelling stories. Today, she shares her advice on how to take action and raise awareness on climate change through storytelling.
Her career initially began as a marine turtle geneticist, but she found herself drawn to issues of waste management and fish deaths, which eventually led to her interest in conservation.
Sacha is known for flying 7,000 kilometers with the Bewick’s swans across 11 countries on a paramotor from the Russian Arctic to the UK in 2016.
Sacha’s next adventure is the Round Britain Climate Challenge, wherein she will travel 5,000 kilometers along the coast of Britain on a battery-powered paramotor fueled by renewable energy.
Sacha’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:
● “I had the attitude from the start that if there were problems, fix them, as opposed to going, "Oh my God, there's a problem. Isn't this awful?"” (07:23)
● “There was only so far you could go with the science. When it came to then trying to fix the problem, you quite often needed to find ways of convincing people.” (8:55)
● “There's a lot of power in the stories.” (9:14)
● "Where are the compelling stories that can cause change?" (11:06)
● “From the air, you see the world in a different way.” (16:31)
● “Climate is the overriding factor in all of this, and if I can help us to get onto a different track on that front, then that should definitely be my mission." (23:18)
● “You could look at a situation like that and it could break you, or you could look at it and go, "I still don't think it's too late”." (25:51)
● “Looking at the world through the eyes of migratory species is a really powerful tool. It gives a story that people want to engage with, but the overview effect of looking at the world from above, I think, is really important for people.” (33:48)
● “Each of these expeditions, we can make them something that people from around the world, not just those along the route, will follow and will be inspired by.” (36:03)
In this episode, we also talked about:
● Meaningful storytelling (9:32)
● Marine life issues in Australia (9:49)
● Combining science and storytelling (11:12)
● Resilience and overcoming one’s fears (11:48)
● Benefits of paramotors (18:53)
● Effects on climate change in the Arctic region (21:35)
● Impact of climate change and weather conditions on migratory species and how they have to constantly adapt to different environments and habitats (22:29)
● Seeing the bigger picture (literally from above) (34:17)
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