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About this episode

Welcome to another episode of Outrage + Optimism, where we examine issues at the forefront of the climate crisis, interview change-makers, and transform our anger into productive dialogue about building a sustainable future.

With Tom away, Christiana and Paul discuss the extreme and deadly heat waves facing multiple continents, news which is dominating the headlines. They review the details of the recently published Letter to Parties from the incoming COP president, which sets out his vision for what he thinks needs to be accomplished at COP28 later in the year. Also, they talk about the hard won law just passed by the European Parliament to restore degraded natural ecosystems.

Our special guest this week is Fiona Morgan, Chief Purpose Officer of Sail GP, an extraordinary international sailing competition. Hear about the Sail GP Impact League, in which athletes race to win two podiums - one for sporting performance and one for the planet. They bring us a fascinating conversation on how climate, sport, ocean and nature collide.

To close this week's episode, music comes from the Norwegian band Darling West, and their beautiful song ‘How I Wish’.

You still have time to submit your questions to our hosts for next week’s episode, email us at contact@globaloptimism.com or engage on our social media channels. 


Letter to Parties - COP28 UAE

Fiona Morgan, Chief Purpose Officer at SailGP
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Here is a link to the video mentioned by the hosts, Season 4 Calendar Revealed | SailGP
Purpose & Impact Report 

Darling West
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Full Transcript

Paul: [00:00:12] Hello and welcome to Outrage + Optimism. I'm Paul Dickinson.

Christiana: [00:00:16] I'm Christiana Figueres. And we do not have Tom, which is why Paul is going to guide us tonight.

Paul: [00:00:22] Yeah, it's very sad not to have Tom. He's in, back in Plum Village, actually, with his family taking a well-earned break. And so this week, we're going to talk about a few things. We're going to talk about extreme weather unfolding around the globe. We're going to bring you a wonderful interview with Fiona Morgan, the Chief Purpose Officer of SailGP. And we've got recording of a live performance from Darling West with their song How I Wish. Thanks for being here.

Paul: [00:00:54] So Christiana, I know we're going to start off with a slightly serious subject today, which is extreme weather around the world.

Christiana: [00:01:03] Slightly, slightly.

Paul: [00:01:04] Well, I'm using kind of weird self-depreciating humour because it's a kind of way to respond to a bit of a crisis. Yeah, it's kind of extraordinary. Entirely predicted, I think, you know, we might say, but yet so shocking when it arrives. How have you felt with what's been happening, Christiana?

Christiana: [00:01:26] No, these heatwaves are really, you know, they're just totally knocking my mind out of the park. It is, I mean, honestly, it's difficult to conceive that in certain parts of the globe we are having heat temperatures that are higher than anything that has been seen in 100,000 years, it just doesn't sound like humanity can possibly experience that. It doesn't sound like that's, okay well, this is actually 2023. We're having heat temperatures higher than in the last 100,000 years. It sounds I don't know, it sounds sort of like science fiction and it is not fiction. This is exactly what science has been telling us. Yes, of course, you have to shave off some of that because of El Niño effect. But here's the point, which we have been saying over and over and over again. Yes, this is being accelerated or being taken to these extremes because of the overlap this year between climate change and El Niño. But it definitely gives us a very real experience of what it's going to be, not only in El Niño years, but as a constant lived experience if we don't get our act together.

Paul: [00:02:57] Yeah, well look, exactly. Perfectly put. You've worked on climate change longer than me, Christiana, and I've worked on climate change longer than I care to remember. And, you know, my immediate response to this is that it's it's terrifying and it's disturbing. But there's also a part of me that thinks, okay, we it's a very clumsy metaphor I use, but it's almost kind of like extreme weather is like an advertising campaign and the budget just increased. So I think we got another 10 million, another 100 million, another 500 million people, maybe maybe 7 billion people are now focusing more on climate change and the necessary response to climate change than they were a month ago. So although, do you see my point?

Christiana: [00:03:40] Yeah, no, definitely no, definitely. And I also have been reading quite often that we should change this climate change thing. It's like honestly, to call this climate change is irresponsible. So we have to begin to call it as what it is. It is extraordinary, unprecedented global heating. It is heating. It's not just the climate is changing. No, it is global heating. And yes, I totally agree with you that the experiences that so many people are having are going to contribute to raise awareness. About time is my my second point there. Load More
Paul: [00:04:24] Well, absolutely. But it means I think that we can be more ambitious in whatever realm we're in. Anyone who's listening to this who wanted to kind of push something through or get something changed or make an intervention or bring people together or whatever it was, can point to this extraordinary manifestation of the problem we're all working on and then can sort of say, look, you know, if not now, then when? If not us, then who? So I do feel that that that opportunity for a real breakthrough.

Christiana: [00:04:53] Which takes us to COP28. We actually have, good news, good news that the incoming COP President has written a Letter to Parties, the parties to the convention, which are all governments and countries that are parties to the convention. To lay out for the first time, lay out his vision of what he thinks needs to be accomplished at COP28. And I must say he has been taking an extraordinary amount of heat from so many different sides because, well, for the reasons that we've discussed, that we don't have to go back into it. But I must say, I'm actually duly impressed with this letter. I think it is comprehensive, I think it is ambitious, I think it is clear where he's going to put the priorities. It is inclusive. He's very, very clear about wanting to be inclusive and he is very clear about the impact of the GST, of the Global Stocktake, which is, as we have been discussing, the first time that we're doing the Global Stocktake. And so, you know, kudos, kudos to the incoming COP President that I think has spent months, the first time I ever spoke to him was September of last year. And at least from what I have been able to observe and witness, he has been on a huge learning curve, a huge learning curve. And I think this letter really demonstrates that he has been sincerely listening and channelling it into what I would call a strategic plan for COP28. So honestly, kudos to him.

Paul: [00:06:54] Yeah. And I mean, we'll make sure that there's a link to the letter in the show notes. It's called Letter to Parties. It's on the cop28.com website. It's pretty easy to find. And I think just talking to people, it's been received kind of acknowledged and it hasn't necessarily received that barrage of criticism that things sometimes get. I still think perhaps people also haven't been as nuanced as you have Christiana, in kind of welcoming it and thinking, all right, this is maybe an opportunity for us because it does open the door potentially to success for the COP, whatever that means, or however you want to define it. It's an opportunity for us, I think, to try and engage very constructively with the COP President who seems to be starting to fill those very large shoes Christiana, because you explained the President, the COP is an international civil servant supporting every country. And this letter seems to you know, there's a phrase in it phasing down demand for supply of all fossil fuels is inevitable and essential. Phasing down demand for and supply.

Christiana: [00:08:02] And supply.

Paul: [00:08:02] Of all fossil fuels. And I think this is key, right?

Christiana: [00:08:06] Yeah. And I'm so glad that you're picking that sentence up, Paul, because it's, you know, it may sound like just a few words, but there is a lot in those few words, right. So what's the bad news and what's the good news. I think that that sentence is like the heart that most people are going to be looking at. So the bad news is that it says phased down and not phase out, which is what people who are really concerned about runaway temperatures, as we all are this this year would much rather see phased out because phase down we already have as a decision from the past COP. So the next step would be to move from phase down to phase out, which is a much more radical, would be a much more radical international stance. So the the the bad news is that he still uses the term phase down. The good news is that he actually deliberately mentions both supply and demand. And that is really, really important because what he sets out in the letter, he says, actually, we have to do both. And he is right about that. It's not, we know that demand for fossil fuels has actually peaked, plateaued globally. It's actually declining in OCD countries. We know that. But that is demand. We also need to see supply diminishing. So kudos to him for for in his formal letter to parties to refer quite intentionally to both the demand that we know is already falling, but also the supply which is where he can have more influence. 

Paul: [00:09:55] Yeah, look 100%. And the next sentence actually refers to the need for strengthened policies to achieve these outcomes. And I think that's really important as well. You know, we have to remember that the what's so significant about the COP meetings is that all the governments come together. We have to remember that the governments control society, they have the law, they have, you know, the police and the army and the infrastructure to to make citizens behave in different ways. And, you know, if it turns out we've got to, I don't know, tax luxury to provide funding to decarbonize, I think 99.9% of people would say, well, I'll I'll take slightly more expensive luxury goods to protect my grandchildren. So we're starting to see this letter provides a kind of doorway, a way into the solution to the problem. And my real question for you, Christiana, is how?

Christiana: [00:10:48] Sorry Paul, what do you mean we'll take luxury goods? What do you mean by that?

Paul: [00:10:51] Well, I was just giving an example of the fact that it seems very difficult to deal with decarbonising our society because no one seems to be able to pay for it. But if you tax luxury goods, you could use that tax to decarbonise society. And it turns out like.

Christiana: [00:11:03] Oh I see, tax. Okay, okay, okay.

Paul: [00:11:04] Yeah. So thank you for thank you for trying to make that clear. And what I'm just trying to say is that it's opening the door for governments to take the action that the public really want, even though it's a bit like eat your greens. But Christiana, last question on this letter. How do you think the NGO community, how do you think the business community, the investors should respond to this letter? What's the way to take advantage of it?

Christiana: [00:11:22] Still to be seen, right? Because to be honest, it is July. And and I would say this is the first time that we have a very clear strategic plan that is pretty well in line with what ought to happen at the COP. And as we know and have discussed, the president of the COP has taken an enormous amount of heat from, from governments and certainly from NGOs, but even from governments that were very disappointed in his first in his first appearances and in his first actions. So, I think it is going to take a while for people to actually trust that this is the result of his learning curve, that he is very sincere. I actually do believe that he's sincere, but but he's going to have to gain trust. He's going to have to gain the confidence of of parties and of NGOs and of the private sector and of all constituencies that he names very well there. He, I think now he has let's say he has put down the foundation of the COP. You said this is the door to success. I wouldn't say it's the door to success. I think that's a bit much. I would say this this is a good start. Not even, not even. 

Paul: [00:12:46] A window.

Christiana: [00:12:47] I would say this is a good floor upon which to build and I don't think he had a floor before.

Paul: [00:12:53] Okay.

Christiana: [00:12:54] And, and, and, and though from here he really has to build in earning, earning the confidence and the trust of different governments of different constituencies and he has from now until basically November. So this this has got to be an accelerated pace. Usually the COP President is out building trust from from, you know, from January on. But okay, so that's not what we have. Let's just, you know, deal with what we have, I think a very, very good floor upon which to build. But I don't think we're going to see standing ovation to this letter, because of what has happened heretofore. So so as I say, I think a very good floor and now let's build on it.

Paul: [00:13:46] Yeah, well, if you want to build something more, you're going to have to start with a floor. That's pretty clear. Now, one last thing from the EU this week, right?

Christiana: [00:13:53] Yes. Quite exciting. Quite, quite exciting. So the EU parliament passed a law that has been fiercely contested to restore degraded natural ecosystems. I mean, fantastic. And let's remember that at the past Biodiversity COP, there was an international agreement that said that all countries commit to restoring and protecting 30% of the Earth's surface by 2030, it was the 30 by 30 target. And so this is pretty impressive that now the EU is putting this effort into into law. Having said that, it's not 30%, it is 20%. It's one fifth of of the EU. But but still, it is definitely better. And they're including land and sea, which is exactly what they need to do. So they're now going to have to move into the measures that back up that law, measures to restore nature, both land and sea, one fifth of it. So 20% by 2030. Yes, it is definitely not the 30% that is internationally agreed, but it's a very good step.

Paul: [00:15:18] Yeah, well, I mean, I'm sure it's going to be easier and possible to get more legislation like this when that first piece has been passed. So something to really celebrate there, recognizing that nature is as much a part of the climate solution as dealing with emissions. Now, we should move on to our amazing interview this week. We'd like to bring in our guest Fiona Morgan, who's the Chief Purpose Officer of SailGP. And for those who haven't heard about SailGP, she'll explain it. But Fiona joined the global purpose driven entertainment group SailGP in 2020 with a mission to help make sustainability and inclusivity into the fabric of the sport. She's dedicated to engaging audiences beyond the climate bubble, which is super important with climate change and helping shift the narrative beyond the doom and gloom by highlighting clear solutions available to us. Fiona masterminded SailGP's Impact League, and that's a world first in sport, which sees athletes race to win with two podiums, one for sporting performance and one for the planet. So let's bring her on, let's get hold of Fiona Morgan.

Fiona: [00:16:28] Hello.

Christiana: [00:16:29] Hi, Fiona.

Fiona: [00:16:31] Hello. How are you?

Christiana: [00:16:32] We're good. We're good. Today you have Paul and myself, Tom has skipped out on us today.

Fiona: [00:16:39] Oh, he's missing out, right?

Christiana: [00:16:41] He's definitely missing out. For sure. For sure. How are you?

Fiona: [00:16:45] I'm good, I'm good. I'm in the office. This is our London office, and I even got the Impact League trophy in the back, you know. Good backdrop.

Christiana: [00:16:52] There you go.

Fiona: [00:16:53] There we go. I'm excited. I'm excited.

Paul: [00:16:57] I'm in the office of CDP where I work and who've had, like, a long partnership with SailGP. So we love your organisation. So super good to get a chance to talk to you today Fi.

Fiona: [00:17:06] Oh, I know, I met you, remember, at the A-list awards we present, hosted me and one of our athletes, and we're the first sport to disclose with CDP and we're going for our second disclosure. We're going for a higher score this, this summer. And so, yeah, it's a lot of work going into that Paul. So I hope we get a better score.

Christiana: [00:17:23] Wow.

Paul: [00:17:24] Well, just just next rugby, football, cricket. We'll get them all to follow you. That's that's. But you really are pacesetters right?

Fiona: [00:17:31] We're trying to pioneer and I suppose SailGP being a new sport, we're allowed to do that. You know, we've kind of got the authority and not the commercial and I suppose historical frameworks. So that's why we're trying to be a bit pioneering and dynamic and sharing what we do with other sports.

Christiana: [00:17:48] So Fi, just because, you know, we just dove into this because Paul knows your way, your work very well, but, but can we just take a little pause here for our listeners and just give us a background here Fi. Because as we understand it, so SailGP basically is a, two races at the same time. One is obviously for speed and quite interesting, please do tell us about the decision to have one design boat so everybody's races with the same boat, which means that it's really about skill and ability and not the technology. So that's a really interesting aspect of it. And then the other one, the other race, so to speak, is the the race that has to do with environmental sustainability and responsibility. So please do give us a little context of that. How I mean, from sports, we always assume that there's a performance race and in this case, speed and skill. But but how how does it come about that in addition to what is expected, which is the sportsmanship, how did you come up with starting a whole other parallel race or a whole other league?

Fiona: [00:19:06] Yeah, well why not, right? Redefine performance.

Christiana: [00:19:07] Why not? I love it.

Fiona: [00:19:10] Well, I suppose SailGP is the most exciting racing on water. It's a bit like Formula One and Formula E put together. Flying boats, nation versus nation in city. And they're powered by nature. Obviously, they're foiling boats. So we, the oceans a racetrack, I suppose we feel very kind of committed to climate action because of that. And we're only in season four, so we're kind of a baby sport and we're set up with three pillars. So sustainability was a pillar in the DNA from the day one at SailGP from our founder, Larry Ellison. And then you had technology and entertainment. So I suppose we always went into creating the sport differently. So the impact league was, when I came into my role and I'm probably the only, I think Chief Purpose Officer in sport, which is scary but good.

Christiana: [00:19:57] What, did you invent that title? I love the title.

Fiona: [00:20:01] I did, I did because. 

Christiana: [00:20:03] I love it.

Fiona: [00:20:04] Sustainability. You know, Chief Sustainability Officer I'm like, some people don't want to work with you in sport if you're called that, you sound scary and expensive. So I thought it's all about having a new purpose in sport and that purpose is being better, you know, doing sport socially, environmentally better. So I kind of created my role and title here and I'm very proud and hopefully I'll pop up all over the world in sport and help people make better decisions and more informed and commercial decisions. So it's not just about doing the right thing, it's about who you partner with, who you align with, where you race. And I suppose that's where my role maybe is a little bit different than other sustainability roles in sport. So yeah, created this role. I'm very proud of my team and and what we're doing. And three years ago we set our vision to be the most sustainable and purpose driven sport. So then we sat down and said what does that mean? What would actually the tangible example of that? And it was a second podium because we wanted to redefine performance. So athletes can't just be athletes. It's no longer accepted. They need to be sustainable advocates and climate champions. And so we wanted to make it competitive. And it's behavioral science really, isn't it? So it's my past job at Sky, at the media company, we did a lot around campaigning and behaviour change, and so I took that into SailGP and created the Impact League. We didn't know what we were doing, to be honest. It was a new concept and we've just learned the last three seasons what happened.

Christiana: [00:21:28] And how, how how did the athletes take it when you said, and now we're going to create a parallel league, how did they, what was the reaction?

Fiona: [00:21:38] So the first team CEOs of all the national teams, we have ten teams now. I had to sit down and say, right, I introduced the concept. Their faces looked a little bit blank. And actually Ben Ainslie, who's a British skipper, he said to me, this is going to kind of distract me from performance because they're all very, very professional athletes. Like you said, it's one design boat, so they say it's the most, I suppose, technical sailing race in the world because it's one design. You have to be the best athlete to win. So they felt I was going to distract them. But actually, if you ask them now, they see the Impact League is adding value and making them better athletes. And so turned that mindset around in three seasons. So it they didn't say no because they're advocates of the ocean, so they really believe in sustainability. So they said, let's try it. But they were a bit kind of, is this going to be a good idea? And they're incredibly passionate. And I would say it's been an incredible journey that we've gone on together. They challenged me, making something competitive with athletes they challenge and there's protests for the Impact League. When the results come out, my phone is going off the hook. You know, video evidence, you know, it is you got to take this seriously. You know, they definitely take it take it very seriously. But that's the fun of it because who would be.

Christiana: [00:22:54] That's the fun. 

Fiona: [00:22:55] Who would be talking to athletes about sustainable farming and travel and carbon footprints of an economy flight versus business if we didn't have the Impact League, it's opening that mindset and discussion.

Paul: [00:23:05] Yeah.

Christiana: [00:23:06] So so what what what do you look for? Who who wins? What are the conditions that they have to, you know, perform to or what what are the factors for winning in the Impact League?

Fiona: [00:23:18] So we based it on our strategy obviously it was what we were trying to achieve as a global league. And so we looked at ten core criteria, sustainable, social and environmental. So how they travel, what they eat, what their power, what's their fuel in their chase boats. Also, how are they using their voice for good. How are they collaborating? What are they doing for gender equity? So there's a kind of huge criteria and then they have to audit. They submit.

Christiana: [00:23:44] Fi, you're not playing around. This is like serious.

Fiona: [00:23:47] You don't play around with this. And again, with athletes, you have to make sure it's measurable, accountable, and we audit it. We externally audit their, so they submit every every race, they're on the water. And then they're obviously looking at these ten criteria. They submit a form. So it's like an audit. And then we spend eight days auditing that data. They protest, they give us evidence, and then we score it at the end and there's prize money per event and then end of season and they win this beautiful trophy made by a recycled F50 behind me.

Paul: [00:24:16] Okay. So just I've got to first of all, ask Clay to put a link to some film in the show notes because Fi, you briefly said flying boats. And I'm thinking some people are saying to themselves, like, what's a flying boat? Well, let me just explain what a flying boat is. It's a boat that's kind of using I think it's called a hydrofoil. And so as it builds up speed, get this the fastest F50 boat, the fastest of your SailGP boats has gone at 99.94 kilometres an hour, just try and imagine traveling at 99.9km an hour across water. It is absolutely spectacular. When you look at these boats, they're like out of the 25th century, it's pure Star Wars. This is lightsabres. This is completely impossible, absolutely amazing and incredibly cool to watch. But so exciting to hear you talk about those those two podiums because, you know, in a sense, maybe the problem the world has had is it's we live in a one podium world. You know, you'll read an interview with, you know.

Christiana: [00:25:17] Well put, well put Paul Dickinson. I like that.

Fiona: [00:25:19] Yeah, I like that too.

Paul: [00:25:20] You know, the head of the company or something or you've made this massive profit, you know, and we're not going to ask you any other questions because money doesn't smell well. It turns out that there are two podiums. And I also think the key thing is this this idea of enthusiasm, that humans are incredibly competitive. I mean, certainly the experience I've had working in my main job for the last 20 years is if you build a kind of Olympic stadium, you know, people do incredible things. Corporations are incredibly competitive investors, cities and citizens, sports people. So I guess you're kind of trying to redefine sport. So how is that going? Can I ask you what what signals you've picked up from other sports about the kind of very positive influence that you may be having?

Fiona: [00:26:06] I think we're not perfect, but we're trying to be brave. And I loved how you talk about kind of just doing something. Don't be perfect, but just progress, you know, have that momentum going forward. So that's our mindset. You know, we race for the future, we're trailing things and then we're a massive collaborator. So I believe in sharing everything we do. And we were a founding member of the UN Sport for Climate Action Framework and we explained case studies. We've presented the Impact League and we've kind of opened ourselves up saying other sports, we want you to do the Impact League, come and we'll help you have an impact league in your sport and it doesn't need to be the same. It could be one criteria. So we've had great response and I would say 30 different sports have contacted me from your Formula One, through to.

Christiana: [00:26:50] Wow.

Fiona: [00:26:51] To tennis, to golf, to NASCAR, you know, to Scottish football. I've had some very kind of unique approaches about the Impact League. But two schools, you know, so lots of different countries, different schools, organizations and charities have said we want young people to care about this trophy, to have redefined performance for sports schools. So you will see the Impact League in other sports and with young people. And that's part of my job is to to help get outside of sailing. The concept is bigger than SailGP.

Christiana: [00:27:21] I'm, you know.

Paul: [00:27:23] You've got Christiana.

Fiona: [00:27:28] Do you want to be a judge now, Christiana?

Christiana: [00:27:31] Honestly, I think, you know, Paul would say, okay, I'm so happy I'm going to cry, right?

Paul: [00:27:36] There's an emoji, you know, with a smiling face and a tear. It's my favourite emoji alongside the two hands in the air.

Christiana: [00:27:45] No, Fiona. I mean, this is just so, you know, so amazing that, A that you've created this B, that you've turned it inside SailGP from something that was being resisted to something that they're actually competing for and very proud of and that you're having this impact beyond sailing to other other sports, did you imagine that that would happen?

Fiona: [00:28:12] I hoped it would happen. I think coming from Sky, big media company into a start up sport. What was great and what I met the founders, their ambition to do things differently. So I thought, right, we could really show the value of purpose in sport. So that was always my hope, is to really show that we will. We're the new generation of sport and we can be. I always say we're the greatest comeback. We can help, you know, the climate comeback by using our voice differently. So I hoped it would. It's probably faster than I expected. The Impact League, I think, has helped. Having that visible podium has really helped us kind of progress the discussion. So lots more to come.

Christiana: [00:28:48] To so do you literally have two podiums side by side?

Fiona: [00:28:51] So we'll send you an image for the podcast and it's my favourite image of season three we just finished and it has both the champions, so a female and a male athlete from our teams holding the different trophies. So we have this trophy and then the racing trophy. And in the press conferences we have both trophies. Whenever we do events, they both come together because that's who we are. We're not just 1, or 1.

Christiana: [00:29:14] What happens if the same team wins both?

Fiona: [00:29:17] I wish that would happen. That was the New Zealand, New Zealand team. That was their ambition. They won the first Impact League and they wanted this season to win both, but they didn't unfortunately they they were second. So the Danish team won the last Impact League.

Christiana: [00:29:30] Okay. Well, there you go. There's, there's the challenge right out there.

Paul: [00:29:35] What's that line from the poem? As my two eyes make one in sight. So that's where you're trying to get people to go. And I think it's absolutely stunning. Great work at Sky by the way, the The Daily Climate Show is just been a game changer for so many people, really helping to understand. I just wanted to dig in a little bit deeper about your actually your Chief Purpose Officer name. You know, we've got a lot of chief sustainability officers. That's a job title that's growing up in the world. But, you know, hearing you speak at the start of this interview, I became I came to realize how kind of inactive or how bureaucratic or I can think of lots of sort of negative words, how how sort of kind of uninspiring sustainability is to some degree, whereas purpose actually sort of speaks. You can straighten your back and you think, well.

Christiana: [00:30:25] I want to be part of that club. 

Paul: [00:30:27] That is my purpose. You know, my purpose isn't to be sustainable, right? My purpose is something bigger than that. I mean, maybe it's maybe sustainability is, is is the way you deliver your purpose. But how would you describe how would you describe the high level purpose?

Fiona: [00:30:41] I suppose for me, I think it's like you said, I feel sustainability slightly needs to be rebranded and I love how you talk about communicating it, making it emotional. Kind of getting that connection and purpose for me is that higher being it's like, what do you want to achieve beyond winning? And winning could be money, it could be sport. And so it gave us something bigger than sustainability because I think sustainability, my teams felt environmental, but actually some of our teams really care about accessibility in sailing or gender equity. So it gave it more of a kind of higher purpose and a higher kind of ambition for an organization. So that's why we called it purpose and impact, because I don't actually like the word legacy because I feel it's old fashioned, it's backwards. So we say race for the future, it's all about impact and going forward. So that's just the way we, I suppose, spent time on the communications and really thinking through how we will engage people in, I suppose, our mission at SailGP.

Christiana: [00:31:35] So love that. So love that. Fi we are so sorry that we always wish. Not always, but today we definitely wish that we had much longer. So we're going to have to close. We're going to ask you a final question, but before we ask you the final question, could you please send us your the photograph of the two podiums? That would be great, but also your favourite and most exciting video because Clay is going to put that also into the into the show notes. Because like Paul said, I think people really have to see these things. They almost look like, you know, out of I don't know.

Paul: [00:32:14] Spaceships, definitely spaceships.

Christiana: [00:32:15] Yes, spaceships.

Paul: [00:32:16] And by the way, not just spaceships, but, you know, a better future. And you said it a world powered by nature. What a powerful image. I mean, you know, the energy comes from the sun and then the whole natural world is driven by that energy. We are all powered by nature. You know, we have to scratch our heads and remember we are nature ourselves. So thank you for sort of bringing us back to that connection. 

Fiona: [00:32:40] And the boats are powered 3.8 times the wind. You said we're going to hit 100km an hour, but actually their powered 3.8 times the wind. And people don't believe that. Like until you see it, you need to really see kind of that adrenaline racing, powered by the world, like you said, by nature.

Christiana: [00:32:56] By nature. So beautiful. So Fi, as you probably know, we have one last question for all our guests, and that is from from where you are, which is already incredible progress and and achievements in a very short period of time. What makes you still outraged? That has has not been achieved. And what makes you you know what what's the fun? What's the optimism? Both of those.

Fiona: [00:33:25] Oh, gosh. When I told my business I was doing this podcast, they were like, that literally is you in two words. I'm out, I'm outraged a lot. I think in sports. Well, in SailGP, the marine industry is way far behind. And so I'm probably outraged in what we need to do to make our race course sustainable. So our boats are powered by nature. But obviously the other boats, the race marks our helicopter. It's really hard to solve some of those technology challenges. And that's been that outrages me a little bit, thinking why is that so difficult. So we are already looking at that. You know, we are made sustainable race marks. We're looking to we're doing remote broadcast umpiring, remote coaching. So taking boats off the water. We've designed our own chase boat that we're about to go into production with. So we're trying to solve the problems, but that's longer than I would hope. So it's really quite far behind, 15, 20 years behind the automotive industry. So that outrages me a bit. I have two other outrages. Can I say two others?

Christiana: [00:34:23] Yes, go for it.

Fiona: [00:34:25] I think another outrage is really taking responsibility as a sport about who you partner with, where you race and like looking at that holistically of, you know, your supply chain and really part of your ecosystem. You know, really thinking through who you work with in sport is really important. And that's challenging because as a sport, you know, we have historical sponsors and, you know, different locations to race in. So I think we need to head head that on as a as a sector and really kind of look at how we evolve that and collaborate and work with our sponsors to create a better future. So that's another one. And I suppose the third one is sports that have the biggest voice. So I think SailGP is pioneering, but we're still a small sport, so I really want to see, you know, football and these sports that have billions of people listening to them. And we have the FIFA Women's World Cup coming up, which is so exciting. And I'm looking forward to seeing the great work they do to drive inclusivity, but they need to use their voice for good and take more responsibility because they have this platform and, you know, they really do have a tribal platform that will listen. So I think it outrages me that they don't see that opportunity. They're not using it for good, but they can because the optimism is me in me says hopefully we can inspire them. And the optimism is sport can help people engage people, it really can. And people want to be good. And there are so many incredible, inspiring champions for change innovators out there that I meet every day. And I think they give me energy that we got to keep going, just keep focusing and collaborating and working together.

Christiana: [00:35:58] The tribal power.

Christiana: [00:35:59] Totally love that, and I must say. Paul has a much better memory than I do. But I think Paul, please correct me if I'm wrong. I think you are the first person we have ever interviewed who, when we ask what are you outraged about, says, okay, three things.

Paul: [00:36:13] That's definitely a first. That's definitely a first.

Christiana: [00:36:15] That is definitely a first on this podcast, totally love it. 

Paul: [00:36:19] But now, Pandora's negotiation has opened. And we're going to have to extend the podcast which is great.

Fiona: [00:36:22] One's not long enough I needed ten actually. No, you got to be optimistic. That's what I love about your podcast is like you've got to be optimistic and focus on going forward, right, together.

Christiana: [00:36:35] Absolutely. Fi, it's been a total delight to have you on. Congratulations for the idea. Congratulations for the implementation of the idea. Congratulations for the impact and the the the influence that you're already having, not just in your own sport, but across the sport world. How fantastic. So my dream here is to see this actually taken by the Olympics.

Fiona: [00:37:00] Oh, I've been speaking to the IOC and yes, I think I would love to work, you know, their sustainability teams, great. But yeah imagine that a podium for.

Christiana: [00:37:09] Imagine that.

Fiona: [00:37:10] Different countries, that would be phenomenal. 

Paul: [00:37:11] You've got athletes for a long time winning with their their heads and their bodies. Thank you Fi for also getting athletes to win with their hearts.

Fiona: [00:37:18] Their hearts. Hearts and minds.

Paul: [00:37:21] Two podiums. Yes. Bring it on. Another dimension to our world. Thank you Fi.

Christiana: [00:37:27] Hearts and Minds. I love it, thank you Fi.

Fiona: [00:37:27] Thank you so much for having me. It's been a pleasure. Thank you very much.

Paul: [00:37:32] Pleasure is ours.

Fiona: [00:37:33] Take care. Bye. 

Christiana: [00:37:34] Bye.

Paul: [00:37:41] That was a fascinating interview Christiana, what did you do take from the conversations with.

Christiana: [00:37:46] How cool wasn't that cool? I totally love it. I totally love it.

Paul: [00:37:55] Well, no, I mean, she's just like I got to say, you know, you watch these things and you cannot believe these boats travelling so fast, like across the top of the water. It's like a miracle. And then actually putting, you know, purpose at the heart of sport. You know, we in the UK, we had the Olympics here in 2012 in London, and the slogan was Inspire a Generation. And then I was like, dot, dot, dot. That is the most unfinished sentence. Inspire a generation to do what? I think Fi and SailGP have got the answer. Inspire a generation to see two podiums in life, to see sporting achievement alongside and only really given meaning. It's like it's like two dimensions. You've got the sporting achievement and then you've got the context. And maybe, maybe that's the big thing that I'm learning as I rabbit on and on and on, is that we need to have a deeper understanding of the context in which we exist. And the whole thing that humans have failed to do is we've kind of given up any kind of holistic thinking. And that's what I think she brilliantly brings back.

Christiana: [00:38:57] Brilliant, brilliant. And I also totally agree with that, Paul. And I also just totally love the phrase powered by nature.

Paul: [00:39:04] Yeah.

Christiana: [00:39:06] You know, it's just it just. I'm struggling to figure out why did it have that impact on me? I think it's just because we tend to think of nature, A outside of us. B, we tend to think passively about nature. It's out there, or C, we tend to think about the negative extractive attitude that we have been having toward nature. But when you use the term and when you are motivated by the ambition to be powered by nature, I mean that gives back to nature the power that she has to, you know, sorry about the the tautological there, but it's just so fantastic to turn around and go, oh my god, like you said, yes, the sun has all this all this power. The the clearly the wind has this power. The water has this power. And why the heck have we not been using that? Because it is not finite. It is completely renewable. And so why are we using finite sources that are.

Paul: [00:40:23] Well, we found them and they were kind of convenient. But I think, you know, if you think back to 1800 or whatever, there were like zillions of boats going all around the world carrying masses and masses of goods. There were millions of people moving all around countries in, you know, like basically with horses or whatever. I'm not saying we should go back to that, but I'm just saying, you know, we can have massive amounts achieved with nature, with the technologies we've got now, with the with the post-fossil technologies and with the power of nature truly harnessed. Anything is possible and SailGP is truly showing the way. Now, Christiana, we are kind of getting towards the end of the episode, but we're going to be back next week with our final episode of the season and we're going to look forward to answering some of your brilliant questions that you've been busy sending in. And I'm going to quote one that I particularly love this one from Jess Hollinger via Instagram, who simply asked, are we going to be okay?

Christiana: [00:41:14] Yeah, that that that sounds like a simple question. I don't think we have a simple answer, but what a question. Wow.

Paul: [00:41:22] Well, I mean, it's going to be fun to to to to to speak to that question and so many others. I think the thing that came to me without going into it is how we live in a kind of binary world. You know, is this going to happen? Is this not going to happen? And actually, maybe we need to take into account, you know, holistic, holographic, multi dimensional outcomes over kind of centuries. Are we going to be okay? Looking forward to getting to that question. There's still time to submit your questions via our social media platforms. Details will be in the show notes. Now, wait a minute, Christiana. Before we come to the end of the show, there is one enormous announcement that relates specifically to you, Christiana, that I think you have to you have to make this announcement. But it's huge. Huge.

Christiana: [00:42:08] Oh, boy. Okay. Okay. There's a challenge. So here is the confession. Had I been able, as a very young person to choose my profession, I would have chosen to be an opera singer because honestly, I just cannot imagine anything more transcendental than being an amazing opera singer. However, I cannot sing a tune, hit a note, or keep a rhythm. I have recently been inspired by Brother Phap Huu from Plum Village who raps, and I thought, now there's an interesting avenue for my singing frustration because you don't have to sing. All you have to do is speak and hopefully keep the rhythm. So here's my little announcement. I am now a rookie rapper. I have written a rap, I have recorded it, and sometime soon this rap is going to miraculously appear on our social media channels.

Paul: [00:43:17] It's going to drop is the phrase. Christiana F in the house. This rap is outrageous. I have seen it. It will rock your world. It is not true the way you describe yourself, Christiana. You don't just keep the beat, you own it and you beat out. Your heart in in words. That will be unforgettable when you see them. So the sooner the better. We get that into our links, the better. Well, until then, I hope you will. All listeners will be particularly happy to hear some amazing music we have now from Darling West with How I wish a live performance. But from Christiana and Paul without Tom until next week. Wishing you a wonderful week and bye for now.

Christiana: [00:44:00] Bye.

Darling West: [00:44:02] Hi. And hello. This is Darling West, and we wanted to say a few words about our song. How I wish. The song is meant as an encouragement to ourselves and those who listen that it's never too late to start making a difference. And it's a wish for a better world for all. We wanted to convey that we can learn from our mistakes and always try to do better and that we must never give up trying, even though it sometimes might look bleak. To be part of something positive in the world and to wish for good things for others. That's a very powerful thing that we all need to be reminded of as much as possible.

Clay: [00:48:34] Darling West. How cool to have a live tracking of the song to play on our show. I'm Clay producer of this podcast. It's so great to be back with you at the end of our episode where I get a minute of your time to send you on your way out into the world. But first, thank you so much to our musical guest this week, Darling West. I'm a sucker for American traditional songwriting when it's done like this and it's always better live. So what a privilege to have them here on Outrage + Optimism. Darling West has more music available to stream and purchase in the show notes. Always recommend purchasing. It's the way we support artists. And actually speaking of supporting artists, they are playing a handful of shows across Norway in August. So I know we have listeners in Norway and Sweden that tune in every week. So please, if you're listening from those two countries, go check the tour dates and make a little summer train trip of it. Everything's in the show notes. Bring a friend. I'm really inspired by how Darling West as a band started. It was started as a way for a married couple to spend more time together. They were both musicians and it just feels like a natural fit. It reminds me of Ayana Elizabeth Johnson's Climate Action Venn diagram. I don't know if you've seen it before, but but you know, you take what brings you joy, what you're good at.

Clay: [00:50:04] And then third, what work needs doing. And you put kind of those areas together and you find the overlap of those three to find what action you should take. It's less of a new thing and more of a watering, nurturing and growing of the thing that is already there that's at the centre, that's at the heart. So Darling West didn't just create like a new music project between the two of them. They grew what was already there. And six albums later, here they are bringing new creativity and new music into the world. It's a big inspiration to me. So thank you, darling West. I want to go to these shows so someone needs to get me a sail boat so I can go 99km an hour to Norway. Okay, we're back in the saddle. TED Countdown has wrapped. We had an amazing time last week. Thank you for all the feedback and wonderful comments sent in about last week's episode. And speaking of feedback, next week we are doing a mailbag listener question submitted episode and we're still taking questions until probably Monday evening, so please send in your questions to us. There's a link in the description to submit your question, but you can comment on our Instagram or message us on any one of our social media channels or even email us at podcast@globaloptimism.com.

Clay: [00:51:33] And it's our last episode of the season because we're one episode away from our annual break, our annual summer break, I should say. And so I want to mention that if you are not subscribed to our newsletter or this podcast, you know, maybe this is your first episode. Listening. Welcome. Please subscribe here to this show. Check out our newsletter on our website, outrageandoptimism.org. You will not want to miss what we have in store for late summer and fall. More deep dive episodes and more mini series like momentum versus perfection and lifelines versus deadlines. In fact, Christiana actually has this really cool series coming towards the end of the year, and we know you're busy. We want to make sure that these episodes, that these newsletters, all the things that we've got going on, come right to you when they drop. So please hit subscribe. Check out our website newsletter. Sign up for that. It is the best way to know. Well, it's the best way to be in the know and to come along with us. Okay. Short credits this week. Go out, enjoy the sunshine. Please stay hydrated. Check in on your neighbors. It is getting hotter and we need to stay vigilant as temperatures go up. Stay safe. Drink some water. Okay. Submit your questions. Looking forward to answering those next week on the podcast with all three of our hosts. See you next week.


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