In 2018, I stood on a balcony in Erbil Iraq, watching a flickering light beyond the concrete towers. Evening drew in and more lights appeared. I soon learned the lights were hydrocarbon burning flares from oil refineries. It was August, and temperatures exceeded 50C every day, killing nearly all forms of natural plant life and endangering millions of people. But the fires still burned.
Until then, I had been in an entirely different career. I’d graduated with an area studies MPhil, interned at the Obama White House, and worked in development in Lebanon and Iraq. But my climate concern only grew. I needed to pivot, fast.
A few months later, I was a new Cambridge PhD student studying climate and culture. There I met an extraordinary photographer, Zoe Salt. We agreed that a major barrier to widespread climate action is despair. But the future isn’t written, and the reason climate activists around the world take action is because they believe a better future is possible. Our goal was to help other people envision, and believe, in those better futures too.
Together, we interviewed and photographed climate activists throughout Britain about the futures they’re trying to create. When Zoe’s life circumstances made being a leader in the organisation complicated, Annabel Collinson, our social media director, stepped in as my business partner.
Since then, our team has grown to fifteen highly skilled volunteers. We produce high quality, inspiring content, and our concept is expanding. Now, we are working on making our platform a place where people not only find inspiration, but also immediate opportunities to take action in their own neighbourhood. By inspiring people to act, then frictionlessly connecting volunteers to climate action orgs, Visions of Soon has the potential to 10x climate action throughout the world.