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The Eden Project transformed a sterile pit into a fabulous enclosed garden with rainforest and Mediterranean environments. In this episode, I talk to Alison Ward. Alison is the chief executive of Cotton Connect, a social enterprise with a mission to transform the cotton industry for good, and former head of sustainability with Cadbury.

And it also is about the right time to talk about where this podcast goes next, and what you can do to help. In this episode, I talk to Mike Clasper. Mike is the chairman of Coats Group plc. In this episode, I talk to Stephanie Davies-Arai. She was shortlisted for the John Maddox prize, which recognises individuals who have promoted sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, with an emphasis on those who have faced difficulty or hostility in doing so. In this episode, I talk to Caroline Casey.

Caroline is a social entrepreneur, international speaker and leading authority on diversity and inclusion. Jonathon has been one of the most respected faces of the environmental movement for nearly forty years. She has also created a powerful partnership with the charity Scope focused on getting people with disabilities into the workplace. To keep up to date with new episodes, please subscribe to the podcast. John was responsible for what the government rated as the largest mobilisation of volunteering since world war 2.

He was a founder of the Mosaic network, and numerous other charitable and entrepreneurial ventures. In this interview, we talk about how he got to where he is, and what he learned along the way. We talk about what made some of those campaigns particularly successful, and what we can learn from them in relation to some of the burning issues of the day.

John is a thoughtful and highly engaging interviewee and we cover a lot of ground. In this episode, I talk to Ron Bailey. This is a special one for me. Ron is a campaigning genius who has been possibly the most effective parliamentary campaigner of our time. In his early years, Ron was one of the founding forces of the family squatting movement in response to truly awful slum landlords that blighted the lives of thousands of people at the time.

He went on to focus his attention on getting bills through Parliament — including getting a freedom of information bill through a hostile Thatcher government that had a massive majority. Jennie is also Vice Chair and one of the founding forces behind the Institute for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, the recently formed professional body. We went to Asia, Australia, Mexico and America. Those were adventures of a typical year-old. I had saved up for some time to be able to go scuba diving, but again, someone with my eyesight was not permitted to do that. So I had to settle for snorkelling instead.

I drove a truck for a few kilometres across the 'no board plane,' in Australia. It is a very straight road so I couldn't knock anything down. With her thirst for adventure temporarily fulfilled, it was time to decide on a vocation. So I became a landscape gardener.

Then I qualified as a masseuse because being a blind landscape gardener wasn't ideal. I began getting impatient so I decided to go back to college and study business. My father was an entrepreneur and I'd always been fascinated by business. In business school I was honest with my lecturers.

Liberating the Citizen Trickster in You with Caroline Casey | The Shift Network

I told them I needed to get extra slides. I got enlarged exam papers. By the time the masters exams came around, my vision loss was quite extreme so I answered them orally. After business school I interviewed at Accenture and got the job. Caroline says that when she started at Accenture, she was quite a hippie and it was an interesting transition going from that into a suited, booted businesswoman.


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But it was a work hard and play hard kind of environment and she loved it. But her vision kept getting weaker and she could not continue working at the cut-throat standard she held herself to. It's been sixteen years now, but I can still go back to that moment and tell you exactly how I felt then. I had to tell the HR at Accenture about my disability because my vision was getting weaker. They sent me to an eye specialist to find out how they could support me. Until that appointment a part of me had held on to the belief that this vision thing was just in my head.

But in the appointment I found out that my vision loss was here to stay. The only thing I could control was the way I looked at things excuse the pun and that I had to take responsibility for myself. I had to learn to live completely as myself, not just as bits of myself. I went for a run to process the news. This particular run that I go on, I had never fallen.

ISBN 13: 9781478199946

That day I fell. I was heartbroken and angry and I didn't know how to get up from this rock that I had fallen on. I had hit rock bottom, literally. There were a lot of things shifting in my life and I didn't know what to do anymore.

Caroline Casey: Looking past limits

And then I started remembering all the things I loved to do because the doctor had asked me what I had wanted to be as a child and what my dreams were. He basically said there is nothing stopping me from doing what I want except myself. So it was on that rock on that awful day that I thought about doing what I wanted- which was to become Mowgli from The Jungle Book. That day I got up from my rock, as I've come to call it, ran home and took that book off my bookshelf.

I made a decision that day that I too would go to India, become a mahout and travel across the country on elephant back. Once she committed to it, everything else began to fall in place,. Caroline dedicated her journey to raise money for charity and ultimately was able to raise enough to pay for cataract operations in a hospital in Coimbatore. They did and were the very first to give me money for the charity. I arrived in India on January 13, The first time my feet touched the soil on Calicut I remember thinking, 'This is the best moment of my life.

I wasn't watching it in a film. I wasn't reading it in a book.

What You’ll Discover in These 8 Months

Caroline remembers the moment she met Kanchi as if it was yesterday. She is not the easiest or the most loving. She is complex and complicated. I remember when I was walking towards her, she was swinging her trunk backwards and forward.


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Elephants have a habit of sucking up dust and putting it on their backs to keep them cool. As I started to walk towards her, she went dead still.

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The entire village had come out to watch this strange spectacle of a blonde girl approaching this massive elephant with all these cameras trailing her. As I walked up to her, we were both silent and looking at each other. I started crying because this was everything I had ever dreamed of. I touched my forehead to her trunk. I smelled bananas and muck and poo. The heat of her skin seeped into mine and I gave her my heart immediately.