I was delighted to be asked to speak at TEDxEHL last month at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. I used my 15 minutes to argue that we are currently going through an Exploration Revolution, but that we’re not making the most of it… especially in schools. The talk takes place during the 125th anniversary of National Geographic, a year in which many people have been asking the society “what’s left to explore?“. This short video answers that question and more.
I’m very excited to be heading to the Hay Festival this weekend. Our guerrilla geography Mission:Explore school workshops are booked out on the Friday and then we’ve an open space over this Saturday and Sunday. In The Sun last week we were listed as the ‘leading lights in guerrilla geography’… a quote that made me very happy for several hours.
This is going to be the first Geography Collective expedition in our new spaceship/time machine/HQ van. We’ve done a good bunch of the outside decoration and will have the inside ready for the launch of our next book, Mission:Explore Food, at the end of June. Thanks to Helen Steer for getting all the stickers printed, Tom Morgan-Jones for the illustrations and a day together unprofessionally fitting them, Seb (who is modelling the van) for his consultancy and Menah Raven-Ellison for her sticking skills.
We’re very proud of this new member of the Mission:Explore & Geography Collective family. Later in the summer we’ll be taking it on a little tour of the UK.
I’m currently spending a good chunk of my time doing the final writing for Mission:Explore Food, the next in the series of Mission:Explore books. Working with Helen Steer from City Farmers and Tom Morgan-Jones, our artist, it’s important to us that children who read the book understand where their food comes from. This is one of a series of challenging illustrations that feature in the Harvest chapter of the book. Alongside missions that investigate how animals are treated, transported and butchered, the mission for this illustration asks readers to consider the best way for animals to be slaughtered by speaking to a professional butcher.
Most of the book is not so intense, but we think it’s important to present the realities of where animal products come from… and the answer is not ‘the fridge’.
I’m looking forward to the next week. After months of work Mission:Explore 2.0 is going to be set free on the world. It’s something I’ve been working on with The Geography Collective and The Workshop. On Tuesday we will be showcasing www.missionexplore.net at the royal opening of the new Ordnance Survey building in Southampton. We’ve been invited because of our long term links with GeoVation, Ordnance Surveys innovation programme, who have helped us ever since we took Mission:Explore digital.
When it launches the new site will have less challenges on it than the current site, but loads more features and functionality. We’ll then be adding missions each day and bringing new partners into the site on a regular basis too.
Watch www.missionexplore.net this week for the gentle switch-on.
After a very long journey I’ve woken up in Portland, Oregon. The mountains on landing were stunning and I’m excited to get out and start exploring the city. I’m here to help National Geographic Education train a number of Geography Awareness Week coordinators in how to use the new Mission:Explore website which is coming out this September.
Tomorrow we’re going to be walking 22km across Portland from west to east. In the style of URBAN EARTH, we’ll be taking photo’s every 8 steps and putting together a short film.
On Friday and Saturday over two sessions I’ll be explaining the history of guerrilla geography, Mission:Explore and how this approach to geography education can help to engage young people differently.
I’ll let you know how it goes.