Nicola Peel is an environmentalist, film-maker and self-described solutionologist, based in the Amazon. She’s spent her career finding solutions to questions like: how do we get clean water when all the local water is untreatable? How do we deal with plastic rubbish, and how do we turn it into a resource?
What I love about Nicola’s work is how she starts at the grass-roots level, but always with a bigger vision. We talk about how it regularly brings her into conflict with collaborators who want to make quick local progress, and how she insists on prioritising long-term sustainability.
Nicola Peel chooses to work by herself, but far from alone. She’s become a very active and powerful hub to bring together experts and local people, ideas and solutions from around the world. She shares how a chance trip to an unusually tidy village in Guatemala became the start of an eco-brick movement that’s now having an impact around the world. In turn, that has led to an even more powerful project which turns plastic rubbish into a source of income for the poorest communities.
Nicola is deeply practical and resilient problem-solver, even when the problems seem never-ending. She shares her journey creating rainwater filtration systems, and how each stage just seemed to open up another layer of challenge.
We also talk about how to deal mentally with problems that could seem overwhelming, and where Nicola gets the inspiration and motivation that keeps her going.
This is an essential listen if you’ve got far bigger ideas than you’re currently able to make happen.
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