Drawing on the challenges and trials gained from her sailing career she spoke of how she was inspired to become involved in the cause to build a sustainable future.

Such challenges and the determination to succeed were a good footing for her work in setting up the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The Foundation is an independent charity aiming to inspire, educate and engage young people in sustainability issues.

The Foundation promotes the idea of a ‘circular economy’. The world’s resources are finite and to create a sustainable future we need to prevent waste, extend product life and recondition and re-use.

She said: “Do more of something positive instead of doing less bad”.

She called for a different way of thinking about how we produce and consume. Her passion and optimism was infectious, and if the Foundation’s educational aspirations succeed, the future is bright indeed.

She ended with a quote by Antoine de Saint Exupery, appropriate to her sailing background: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

If you would like to know more about the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, visit their site here.

Alison Brown

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