Beyond Your World: Director’s Blog


Storytelling will be a vital component if we are to radically transform into a low carbon economy. Science can give you an easel but it cannot paint the picture. The effect of visual content, whether Bob Hunter’s ‘Mindbomb’, Agnes Denes’ wheatfield, or my own Life Without Limbs viral video for BBC Studios – watched 91 million times – can achieve as much impact than any policy change or corporate initiative. Timely, emotional and visually compelling stories punch through.

All too often though, we see glib narratives filling the travel space. The biggest travelogue on Earth is Amazon Prime’s The Grand Tour – three middle-aged provocateurs driving gas-guzzlers with no aim or higher purpose. The Green Weekend seeks to change that. To innovate the mainstream. Using journalism to offer solutions-based narratives that transport you to a world where sustainable travel is neither expensive nor a compromise. Storytelling has a huge role to play in changing travel for the better. Telling stories as a vehicle to achieve change in this space and beyond is our mission.

In January 2019 I read David Wallace-Wells’ Uninhabitable Earth. It became clear to me that I needed to take more responsibility for my travel habits and the impact that I was having. At the time I was immersed in the production of a travel series, Into Russia, and whilst this felt important it was clear that the need for more sustainable travel was pushing my focus in a new direction. I wanted to use my knowledge and experience to turn the focus onto eco-friendly travel, and build a platform to begin to explore and travel in different ways.

The process began back at home with a data-led series of public interviews on the streets of London. The mood and understanding towards climate change was shifting dramatically, and I wanted to be part of that evolution to promote a more responsible form of tourism. Key to spreading the message was UNESCO. Ubiquitous in the travel space and universally recognised, having established a relationship with UNESCO in Russia, I wanted to double down on efforts to promote UNESCO in the UK. Green Weekends are the result of collaborative efforts with the UK National Commission for UNESCO to use travel journalism in impactful and meaningful ways in the age of sustainability.