James Wallman

James Wallman is an international bestselling author, entrepreneur, futurist, and experience strategist/designer. He runs the strategy, innovation, and futures consultancy The Future is Here. Clients include KPMG, HSBC, KFC, IDEO, and Facebook. He has written two best-selling books: Time And How To Spend It (Penguin, April 2019) and Stuffocation (self-published 2013; Penguin, 2015; now in 7 languages). Wallman has advised companies from Absolut to Zurich Financial and has given talks from Amsterdam to Las Vegas; at venues including the Googleplex and 10 Downing Street. He advises the British government and is a 'Sector Specialist, Experience Economy' for the Department for International Trade. His opinions have appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Economist, and Wired and has appeared on TV and radio from Australia to Brazil and the US. James lives in London with his wife and two children.

3 words to describe Nature?

Green. Furry. Nice 

3 things Nature taught you?

Just the one: nature is us and everything in us and around us. It's what we call the crazy random experiment our planet is in the middle of. Everyone and everything here is reaching up for energy from the sun, rising from seed to flower, then falling back again. It's a funny, beautiful journey. 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Only 3?? I can’t

First, anywhere with my kids. 

Then the view from any mountain in the Alps; the Mediterranean sea; Big Sur; Rhossili Bay; the jungle around the Tambopata River and Platja Mitjorn.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Like I want to jump in and float on, surf on, sails on, get thrown about on the waves.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Like I want to walk through it, climb its trees, hear its silence, its sounds, and just listen.

 When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Like I wish it would explode, but without killing me. Stromboli is good for this :-)

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Grateful that I had that day or that I'm about to have a day. Aware that time is passing.

 When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Yay! The gods are laughing. 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Alive

 Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean, Mountain & Forest. (But Deserts can be fun too)

 On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

Ha! Trick question. It's essential for all our wellbeing. So much science proves it. Hence 3rd rule of the STORIES checklist - the simple way to remember what you should do to be happy & successful - is Outside & Offline.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

In the late 70s, it used to snow, and way more than it does now. My brother and I got dragged around the garden by our dad on a sled. And then at some nearby hill. Sledding is way too much fun. I miss it.

Also, I remember swimming off Corfu with my mum and my brother in the early 80s. No one was around so we were all swam naked... we were all confident swimmers so we went for a long swim, way out of our depth... the water was so pure and clear, glistening in the sun on the surface but you could see 20-30 feet to the sandy bottom. I get to the Mediterranean most summers... and every time I swim I feel refreshed, young, silly, alive.

 


Chunlei Guo

Chunlei Guo is a professor in Optics and Physics at University of Rochester. He is a Fellow of American Physical Society and Optical Society of America. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for one of the most widely recognized handbooks in lasers and optics, CRC Handbook of Laser Technology and Applications (2nd Edition).

Often inspired by species in nature, from lotus to butterflies to spiders, his research at Rochester led to the discoveries of a range of highly functionalized materials through laser processing, including the black and colored metals, and superhydrophilic and superhydrophobic surfaces. These technologies have a broad range of applications and have been covered extensively by the media, including the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Discovery, The Economist, Popular Science, Time, ABC, and many more (read here). Over the past few years, he has been working closely with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in developing technologies for global sanitation, water conservation, renewable energy, and sustainability. He discussed his work in the TEDx below.

3 words to describe Nature?

Peaceful. Inspiring. Eternal.

3 things Nature taught you?

Humility

Kindness

Knowledge

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Okavango delta (Botswana)

Himalaya mountain range (Tibet)

Cappadocia (Turkey).

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Calm

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Curious

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Energized

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Passionate

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Awakening

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Reflective

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I like them all.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

A hiking trip with a few childhood friends. We were going further and further along a woody road with no end in sight. We were nervous but all wanted to keep going...