My 60th birthday poster in 2009, from Volans, designed by The Value Web. Thanks to Sam and Alfredo Carlo.
Those who know me—or observe me from a safe distance—often note that my life seems to be inseparable from my work. True. Too often, I regretfully admit, my privilege has been their pain or inconvenience. I thank them—particularly my family and close colleagues—for their ongoing tolerance and support.
People often observe that I am mission-driven. True, again. Having woken up to the natural world in places like England, Northern Ireland and Cyprus in the 1950s, and then having raised money for the fledgling WWF when away at prep school in 1961, I have been lucky enough to be involved in the environmental and sustainability movements more or less since their inception.
Along the way, a vast array of people have influenced me, some of whom I spotlighted in the first edition of this website under the headings ‘Family,’ ‘Education’ and ‘Other People’. They ranged from early teachers, through writers like Frank Herbert, to a still-expanding spectrum of colleagues and friends in the field.
The range of influences reflects the range of my interests, extending from stained glass to ultra-high technology—a spectrum neatly captured in the image below of part of the Large Hadron Collider, the round element of which looks like today’s version of a medieval rose window.
An image of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, from an exhibition at the Science Museum
Rather than update that original listing, I have chosen simply to archive here the original versions of the ‘Influences’ section. But I would be remiss if I didn’t include here at least some mention of some of the people who have had a significant impact on my subsequent thinking, work and peace of mind.
In addition to those spotlighted in the original list, these would include—one way or another—Jamie Arbib, Amy Birchall, Maggie Brenneke, Rob Cameron, Kelly Clark, Pamela Hartigan, Kelli Christiansen, Amanda Feldman, Elliot Jackson, John Jefferis, Geoff Kendall, Sam Lakha, Colin le Duc, Jacqueline Lim, Alejandro Litovsky, Charmian Love, Mark Lee, John Maas, Doris Michaels, Doug Miller, Karen Murphy, Sally Osberg, Kirsten Sandberg, Astrid Sandoval, Klaus Schwab, Jeff Skoll, Sophia Tickell, Chris Wash, Patrin Watanatada, and Jochen Zeitz.
Thank you all.
As for personal interests, my Who’s Who entry has the following to say about my recreations: “playing with ideas, thinking around corners, conversations with unreasonable people, reading an Alpine range of books (history to science fiction) and US business and science magazines, risking life and limb as a London cyclist, catch-it-as-you-can photography, art and design, writing all hours, pre-1944 aircraft, New World wines, 20th century popular music–and Johann Strauss II.”
And now for a brief review of five different—but often interlinked—sources of learning, inspiration and support:
- Family – A bonsai version of our family tree
- Education – Some lessons learned along the way
- Other People – Some of those who had an impact, intentionally or not
- Photography – Pictures that speak a thousand words
- Music – Just in case the call ever comes, here is my desert island selection …