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samuele-tini

It's the Wednesday Interview from the Sustainable Futures Report. 

Most of us are on some sort of sustainability journey and today I'm going to talk to someone who's been asking a lot of people, important people from across the world, about their sustainability journeys. Samuele Tini is Italian but he’s based in Kenya where he works as a sustainability and development expert. He is the Country Head of Associazione Mani Tese, an organisation which fights for social, economic and environmental justice. 

We spoke about COP26, consumer power, the need to act and walk the talk and the political angle. And I thought it was about time someone asked him about his own sustainability journey. (See bio at the end of this article) 

Anthony Day(ACD):

Today, I'd like to introduce another podcaster. Samuele Tini presents The Sustainability Journey, and I'll give you the links so that you can follow that up later on.

Samuele, welcome to The Sustainable Futures Report.

 Podcaster

Samuele Tini  (ST):

Thank you so much, Anthony. It's a pleasure to be here.

 

 (ACD):

The Sustainability Journey. Well, what's your sustainability journey? What led you to creating a podcast?

 

  (ST):

Thank you, Anthony. I usually start with that question to the guests and it's really nice now to be on the other side. I started recently. I'm now less than a year old, and it all came to action when I said, "we need to do something." I was worried about the state of our planet, and I've been working in the not for profit for the past 16 years in Africa.

And then now recently, two years ago, I started my MBA at Warwick in the UK, trying to bridge a bit the gap and the divide upon the profit and not for profit. And I have seen a lot of discussion about sustainability and I say, "how can I keep up? How can I act? How can I solve and really bring news, bring discussions forward." So I said, "let me start." And then from there, the journey started. And now it's growing, and it's been a tremendous learning experience for me. And I hope also for the listener, a good experience for them.

 Recruiting Guests

 (ACD):

You've had a wide range of guests from all over the world. How do you actually recruit them? Or do they come to you?

 

  (ST):

Yes, Anthony, it's another very personal question. When I started, I'm not a native speaker, and I am based on the highlands of Kenya. So by far and large, I felt some type of, "oh, how people will come to me? How will respond to somebody, a guy from Kenya?" And then I said, "okay, let me try." And I get out of the comfort zone. And I started discussing with people.

Of course, I tapped a couple or two from the broad Warwick alumni. And then from there also, I try... Every time I get to read something interesting, a report, a scientific paper, or a discussion, I just now write to them. And then from there I got people from IMF, I got people from INSEAD Business School, and by far and large, a very diverse podcast. I can say people from Iceland, to South Africa, to India, West Indies. So it's been really an incredible journey. And I started going out there, and get out my comfort zone, and try to create a community.

 

 (ACD):

Well, well done for that. It is quite easy to get speakers. There's a lot of speakers who will approach me, at least, because they want to get on the podcast, but they're not necessarily the sort of people that you'd want to have on the podcast.

 

  (ST):

Definitely, I can agree.

 

 (ACD):

You've got to be cautious, and if you want the really good speakers, like you, you've got to go and look for them. So well done on that.

What sort of things have you learned from the guests that you've spoken to? And can I just ask, are you getting from them a general sense of optimism about the future, or are people really concerned and a bit despondent?

 Optimism About the Future

  (ST):

Good question, Anthony. The idea is to share journey and to bring change makers there, to give hope. But to have hope is not enough. You have also to act. I acted doing the podcast and I get people that they do a lot of wonderful things. And I think one thing, key thing I learned from them being very diverse, from all sorts of geographies and sector, is a sense of [partners 00:04:12] that they share among the episodes.

We had several people that they left very high paying jobs. That for me, being in the not for profit and being on the lower side of the paid people, I was like, "why?" But then I understood that people wanted to make a change and really wanted to make an impact. And I've noticed a lot this urge and push towards action to solve the social and environmental problem that there are now in our planet.

So this is a general sense of learning. Optimism is there, to respond to your question. Of course, we are aware of the issues of the problems and the challenges, but as I said, you need to act. And that is already some... The people that I have interviewed, in all their domain, from the enterprise to the startup, to the academia, they really have the focus to really act and do practical things to really change and transform our planet to a better and sustainable planet. As you say, to get the sustainable future, as your name of the podcast, that we need to have.

 COP26

 (ACD):

At the end of last year, we had the United Nations Climate Conference. We had COP26. Do you think that was the turning point, or do you think it was just another talking shop? That is number 26 after all.

 

  (ST):

And we are going to 27 already. Anthony, I had the privilege and pleasure to be there. And I went there with people also from Kenya. And as I say, all these big conferences, what I got... Sometimes, as I say, to act, you need to feel. And I recall when I was in the plenary as an observer, listening to one of the plenaries, I felt that there was at least a momentum of action. I recall one of the representative for one big state that took off a picture of his grandson and saying, "this is my grandson. I am here to make a difference. And I want really this conference to work." And we were the island states discussing... Of course the overall results, it was not what we expected, especially for the people that are very optimistic and they want really change now, but it was a step.

And I feel also discussing with the young activists, the indigenous people that we also brought there, there is momentum now for change. People want now action and change. Of course, the pace, that is what worries us, but it's no longer the time of [negotiation 00:07:15] or people that they were trying to block. Now, the evidence is there. We have this decade, what is called the decade of restoration. The decade for... Seriously, also reverse the tipping point that now we are already even past some of them and really tackle this.

So I would say I'm optimistic, I've seen the momentum is there, but we need now to be thorough implementing and working even more at a faster pace. That is what is worrying me. And of course, expand the compromise that was at COP26.

 1.5 degrees

 (ACD):

Do you therefore think that we will actually be able to keep warming below 1.5 degrees?

 Action

  (ST):

Anthony, this is a great question. I'm trying in my daily work to try to reforest, and plant trees, and working with community to enable... It's really difficult. I hope, and our generation, now the art is in our hands and we will need to give to the future generation. It is our responsibility to do that.

So of course there are powerful interests and a lot of green washings here and there because we really... But we really need now to attention. So I think everybody has a responsibility. As I said before, having hope is not just to have hope per se, but we need to act, at each level of where we are as consumer, as people.

So I recall one thing that was said in one of the podcasts, every day as a consumer we vote, so vote wisely what are you doing. So, there's a lot of things you can do. And also of course, push, especially the people that are called to represent us, to make bold choices, because that is where... People in power, they can make the bold choices that are needed, really, to reverse. And it's possible. It is possible, but we really need to push.

 

 (ACD):

And if there's just one thing that the people listening to us could do tomorrow, what would you recommend?

 Just one thing - ACT

  (ST):

Hmm. Maybe I might repeat myself, act. Act and act. The moment you put yourself aside is the moment you are not acting, you're not doing. So everybody might be worried, overwhelmed, "oh, what we can do? The ocean, the plastic, the problem." You need to act in your neighbourhood, in your circle. You vote as a customer. Buy products that are sustainable. They are there. Product certified. Walk the talk. That is where you can bring up and bring transformation. And of course, be also political in your action. Talk and be engaged. That is the most simple, but then effective piece of advice that I might give.

 

 (ACD):

Samuele, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with The Sustainable Futures Report.

That's  Samuele Tini, and you can find his thoughts in The Sustainability Journey podcast.

Thanks again.

 

  (ST):

Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Anthony. It was a real pleasure.

 Become a Patreon

Thank you to Samuele Tini. Thank you too for listening and there'll be another Sustainable Futures Report on Friday. It's still possible to become a patron at patreon.com/sfr .

You can find Samuele and his organisation on LinkedIn and the Sustainability Journey podcast is at https://sustainabilityjourney.podbean.com

 

I’m Anthony Day

That was the Wednesday Interview from the Sustainable Futures Report.

Until Friday.

Samuele's Bio

Samuele Tini is a sustainability,  development expert and the host of The Sustainability Journey Podcast.
Through his work, he connects a diverse range of experts, changemakers, and innovators working in environmental conservation and developmental efforts to help bring ecosystem restoration and improve the lives of those below the poverty line. He also has a strong record in the creation and mentoring of MSME, with a particular focus on B Corps.

He has worked for over 16 years in grassroots efforts across 5 African countries to craft, fund, and implement projects that impacted thousands of lives, with the creation of SMEs, reforestation, carbon emission reduction at the household level. His work is often made possible with projects funded by several agencies, from EU to National government ones. He has authored several papers on development and sustainability. 


He holds a degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Turin and is an MBA candidate at Warwick Business School. His research is on social enterprises and B Corps. He is a B Leader and member of B Academics. 

Site www.samueletini.com

Linkedin www.linkedin.com/in/samuele-tini 

 

 

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