I hosted a conversation on the Voices Rising Stage at Global Green entitled Surfing the Waves of Change. Along with Co-founder of The Village / Global Green Coordinator Davie Phillip the panel included former Pro Surfer Fergal Smith, Fergal gave up the life of being paid to fly around the world to exotic places and warm seas to start Moy Hill Community Garden in North County Clare here in Ireland. He is passionate about saving our soils and the value of food and those that grow it and rightly so, isn’t there something wrong when you can buy a chicken for less than the price of a pint ? There’s a Friday Cook Up At the Community Garden which is a great way to get people involved they also have a healthy waiting list for their veg box scheme but won’t take new customers unless they come to the Cook Up. Last year he and his brother Kevin made a fantastic series of short movies called Growing Surf which you can see on his web site here. The 4th member of our panel was another Pro Surfer and a Pro Sailor Matt Smith (no relation), Matt told me his story which is also inspiring Matt grew up in Cornwall where his love of the sea began, he has surfed and sailed his way around the planet for years and hid dream was to sail around the world in his own boat. He visited his mate Fergal at the Garden last year and then went back to the Pro Surf circuit, then he carried our a yacht delivery trip from San Francisco across the Pacific to New Zealand in doing so he had finally earnt enough money to buy his dream yacht and et off on his adventure. He had the yacht selected back in San Francisco and should have taken a flight there but instead he got on a flight to Dublin back to Fergal and friends to grow food and surf the legendary waves off the North Clare coast. Matt had come to the realsation that sailing around the world was not going to do anything to help the planet and wanted to get involved in a really worthwhile project.
I find it inspiring and re-assuring that Fergal and Matt who are almost a generation younger than me care so much about the plight of the planet and are such fantastic examples for their generation. I have met many others around the same age who are trying to do something positive to bring about change in the realisation that my generation and those before me have take the wrong path.