I guess the big picture is that if these last 12 months have taught us anything, it’s surely the importance of the natural world to our own wellbeing. It’s been a stark reminder of our hitherto dysfunctional relationship with nature. Right now, many of us are understandably wondering when life will get ‘back to normal’, but I don’t think we will ever really return to the old ‘normal’. We’re at the dawn of a new era, and I genuinely believe a more sustainable one.
This winter I have had the opportunity to speak to a number of business owners and leaders from several different industries. Many of these people are now asking me about what they can do to help restore nature – restoring all kinds of habitats, not just seagrass! They are taking this time to reinvent their business models, to push their organisations towards ‘Net Zero’, and in some cases they are taking a genuinely long, hard look at those unsustainable, albeit profitable systems which have been in place for a very long time. I’m not naïve enough to believe that for many organisations this has been an enforced change; however, regardless of the driver, we should be glad that for many organisations, leaders are taking a conscious decision to ‘build back better’.
I guess for me though the most exciting collaboration to come out of Lockdown 2.0 has been my connecting (or reconnecting really) with an old friend and Orkney fisherman ‘Aitor’. He is unmistakeable: a Catalan born Scallop Diver and recreational drone pilot, with a smile as wide as the Atlantic. He’s also a man who speaks with more than a hint of a Glaswegian accent! With much of the hospitality sector in the UK now closed, and with seafood exports now facing several hurdles, the demand for Orkney’s scallops has taken a sharp decline, and so Aitor has taken this time to start capturing Orkney’s majestic coastlines from above.