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Access to Inspiration

  • Launching our Impact Report 2024

    17 JUN 2024 · In this bonus episode of the Access to Inspiration podcast, host Sue Stockdale announces the release of the 2024 Impact Report, highlighting the podcast's achievements and how it creates a social impact.  Listeners share their love for the inspiring conversations and the hidden gems found in each episode. Notable key points from the report are: - Guest Inspiration: 81% of guests felt inspired to participate in another podcast after their experience with Access to Inspiration​​. - Positive Feedback: Guests have praised the professional and empathetic approach of the hosts, highlighting how well-researched questions and organic conversations have made them feel valued and encouraged to share their stories. - Diverse Guest Representation: Guests represented 33 countries, with a 50:50 gender split, and 40% of guests were first-time podcasters​​. - Listener Engagement and Impact: Listeners reported being inspired to take bold steps in their careers and personal lives, reflecting the podcast's mission to foster personal and professional growth​​. Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | If you are enjoying this podcast and would like to support us then Producer: Sue Stockdale  Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra
    Played 6m 36s
  • 127. Monique Maissan: Recycling plastic waste into textiles

    12 JUN 2024 · Sue Stockdale talks to Monique Maissan, CEO of Waste2Wear about her entrepreneurial journey to manufacture textiles from recycled plastic bottles. Monique saw an opportunity to make a positive impact in the textile industry, one of the most polluting industries in the world, and pivoted her business to focus on this. Monique emphasises the importance of seeing waste as a valuable source and viewing it not as a problem to be disposed of, but as a resource that can be repurposed and reused, so that we can shift towards a more sustainable and circular economy.   About Monique Maissan Dutch entrepreneur, Monique Maissan specialises in sustainable solutions for the textile industry.  As CEO of Waste2Wear she is a pioneer in creating products from recycled plastics. This includes fabrics and finished products from recycled plastic bottles (RPET) and bags from recycled polypropylene (RPP) from discarded domestic appliances and single use food containers. Through Monique’s leadership, Waste2Wear has won several industry awards for their unique products; blockchain transparency and RPET testing method (RA-3) that identifies recycled plastic bottle content in fabrics. Find out more via | | Time Stamps [02:17] Textile industry pollution concerns. [09:51] The impact of marketing on recycling. [14:07] Transparency in recycling industry. [15:54] Ensuring authenticity in supply chains. [22:59] Sustainability and changing demands. [25:16] The importance of innovation. [32:18] A sustainable legacy. [35:24] Viewing waste as valuable resource. Key Quotes - “I hope that I actually could close the business because there's no more plastic to recycle. That is my goal." - “The textile industry is a very polluting industry” - “We calculate with every step what is the reduction in water, in energy and in carbon footprint compared to the virgin equivalent”. - “To date we have recycled about 100 million plastic bottles”. - “Post consumer recycled polypropylene is only being recycled 1% in the world”. - “The millennials, when they are sitting with a Gen Z it's going to be a comparison of how sustainable are you, not if you are sustainable”. - “The key to any business is you need to keep innovating”. - “I am inspired by young people who actively want to make a difference.” - “It's not always good to keep on doing things. It's also good to stop things”. Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | If you are enjoying this podcast and would like to support us then Producer: Sue Stockdale  Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra
    Played 34m 24s
  • 126. Sofia Heinonen: Rewilding Argentina and beyond

    5 JUN 2024 · Sue Stockdale talks to Sofia Heinonen, Executive Director of Rewilding Argentina. Sofia shares her journey from a young girl fascinated by the natural world to leading significant conservation efforts in Argentina and beyond. She discusses her initial work in national parks and how her encounter with conservationists Doug and Kris Tompkins profoundly influenced her perspective, shifting her focus from merely protecting land to actively restoring and rewilding ecosystems. About Sofia Heinonen Sofía Heinonen was born and raised in Buenos Aires where she trained as a biologist. An activist by nature, she has spent more than thirty years designing large-scale and long-term projects to create protected areas and restore natural ecosystems. Sofía was part of Fundación Vida Silvestre and the National Parks Administration before joining the Iberá Project in 2005, led by Doug and Kris Tompkins (CLT Argentina), which Rewilding Argentina would later continue.  She is currently Executive Director where she leads four projects that cover more than one million hectares and a team of more than 200 people. In 2022, the BBC recognised her as one of the Find out more about Rewilding Argentina at | | | to give us your feedback about the podcast Time Stamps 02:34 - Rewilding Argentina's Mission 04:01 - Achievements in Iberá Wetland 06:30 - Economic and Legal Challenges 08:28 - Personal Challenges and Growth 10:25 - The Impact of Rewilding on Iberá 14:37 - Cultural and Mindset Changes 18:15 - Vision for Expanding Conservation Efforts 22:08 - Leadership and Inspiration 28:17 - The Importance of Perspective 34:27 - Passing the Baton  Key Quotes - "Doug Tompkins said it will take time, but eventually we will win because the law is on our side, and in 20 years nobody will remember the conflicts." - "It was like a big war in the sense of changing of land use and changing of paradigm and change the economy." - "Changing culture is really the big issue with climate change." - “We need to change the context that get the jaguars to become extinct. And that is economy, the culture and the way we perceive the territory." - “We are facing now this big challenge of trying to reconnect South America through the rivers. And that is our vision for the next 20 years." - "I'm 100% passionate about what I do. It's not work, it's life." - "We work for nature and to restore nature, but nature is basically the way we restore ourselves. In a way, it's like rewilding our own spirit." - "I think to be more conscious that we can make a change is a good thing". Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | If you are enjoying this podcast and would like to support us then Producer: Sue Stockdale  Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra
    Played 35m 40s
  • 125. Jeremy Fish and Lucy Constable Fernandez: The Enduring Impact of Raleigh International

    29 MAY 2024 · Sue Stockdale explores the transformative power of Raleigh International expeditions with Lucy Constable Fernandez and Jeremy Fish. Since the organisation was launched in 1978 by Colonel John Blashford-Snell, more than 50,000 individuals have participated in expeditions around the world. Sue discovers the impact that it has had, and how the organisation has adapted to continue offering life-enhancing journeys for young people today.  About Jeremy Fish and Lucy Constable Fernandez  Jeremy participated as a venturer to Indonesia in 1987; and to Guyana in 1988 as a volunteer manager. He was a Raleigh Board member for seven years including three as Vice Chair. In 2018 Jeremy was founder of Raleigh UK Alumni society and is currently Co-chair. He has also been a businessman for 30+ years and is a passionate believer in providing young people with opportunities to develop their leadership skills.  Connect with Jeremy via and the or via Lucy is Managing Director of Raleigh International. Her career spans over ten years in marketing and communications in the not-for-profit sector. As a proud mother to a 12-year-old boy, Lucy understands the importance of nurturing the next generation of leaders. Lucy steers the strategic direction and leads the marketing, recruitment, and pre-departure teams. She also collaborates closely with Country Directors and Expedition Delivery teams to fulfil Raleigh's mission of empowering young individuals worldwide. Connect with Lucy via and Raleigh International via : : to give us your feedback about the podcast. (3 questions it takes less than 1 minute) Key Quotes - Raleigh really changed my life back in the late 1980s and gave me a bigger perspective on the world." - "If somebody has Raleigh on their CV, I think they're eminently more employable. It shows that they've got some get up and go. They're a self-starter. They've got some initiative." - "Raleigh is generally recognised as being a fantastic way of accelerating people's development" - "You realise that you can do it. You never thought you could, but you get to the end of the day, it’s one foot in front of the other." - “That's how you learn, develop and grow from listening to other viewpoints." - "If they're missing home, actually sometimes having that constant contact makes it a lot worse and just getting stuck in is something that helps." - "It encourages business leaders to think about their impact on the environment and also how they're developing their young people”. - “Today's young people are tomorrow's managers and leaders of the future." - "Raleigh is an experience that lives with you for your entire life. It's something you draw upon as a resource in moments of weakness. It's something you draw upon in times of celebration. And it's something you reflect on and it will change your life.” Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | If you are enjoying this podcast and would like to support us then Producer: Sue Stockdale Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra
    Played 36m 28s
  • 124. Neil Wightwick: Transforming lives through nature's classroom

    22 MAY 2024 · In episode 124 we delve into the world of outdoor education with Neil Wightwick, a leading figure in driving national policy in Scotland to make outdoor education accessible to all. Discover how outdoor environments can become powerful classrooms and how physical challenges can foster growth and curiosity in students. Neil shares his passion for varied outdoor activities and recounts his own experiences, such as rowing across the Atlantic, which taught him the importance of resilience and the power of nature. Neil also discusses with host, Sue Stockdale his work in enabling young people to engage with the outdoors, particularly those from marginalised communities.  About Neil Wightwick  Neil Wightwick is a modern-day explorer and tireless advocate for adventurous education, whose remarkable adventures have taken him to the farthest reaches of the globe. With a resume that includes rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, scaling unclimbed peaks in Patagonia, and crossing the vast expanse of the Kalahari Desert on foot, Neil's thirst for adventure knows no bounds. Throughout his career, Neil has been driven by a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of outdoor experiences, particularly for young people. He is currently serving as the CEO of the Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education and Head of Glasgow City Council's Outdoor Education Services. Through his leadership roles, he is shaping the landscape of outdoor education, ensuring that future generations have the chance to explore, learn, and grow through adventurous experiences in the great outdoors. Connect with Neil Wightwick via to give us your feedback about the podcast. (3 questions it takes less than 1 minute) Key Quotes  - "I like to have variety, and I like to learn from all of those different experiences." - "The solutions and the challenges of today and tomorrow aren't going to be solved by students who have learned how to regurgitate information in a test." - “If I don't get outside and I don't have some kind of physical activity, it does start to affect my mental well-being." - “There are a number of ways that outdoor learning and adventurous education can interact in really positive ways with the digital world." - “We're always coming full circle to appreciating the value of silence and conversation and experience in present time rather than looking at technology at the same time." Time Stamps [02:15] Adventure in everyday life. [06:03] Adventurous education and experiential learning. [09:24] Outdoors as a mental tonic. [13:55] Impact of adventurous learning. [17:13] Outdoor education impact on society. [25:35] Digital detox in expeditions. [29:23] Small steps lead to adventures. [30:52] Adventure and environmental impact. Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | If you are enjoying this podcast and would like to support us then Producer: Sue Stockdale Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra
    Played 27m 40s
  • 123. Danielle McDonough: The power of mindset on athletic performance

    15 MAY 2024 · In episode 123 we explore the world of sports and mindset mastery with Danielle McDonough, a former professional ice hockey player turned mindset coach. Danielle shares her journey from the ice rink to coaching, emphasising the importance of overcoming self-doubt to achieve peak performance. Host Sue Stockdale talks to Danielle about athlete psychology, imposter syndrome, and practical strategies for reshaping our thinking in challenging situations. About Danielle McDonough Danielle McDonough started skating at age 4 and playing hockey at age 5, and later received a BA in Sociology from Providence College while on full athletic scholarship for ice hockey. She played in the National Women's Hockey League (WNHL) for 2 years and professionally in Lugano, Switzerland for 2 years. After retiring from professional sport Danielle gained a MA in Sport & Exercise Psychology and is now CEO of Peak Performance Training LLC working with athletes, coaches, and parents on the mental side of performance. She is the official Mental Skills Coach for the USA Hockey National Development Camp and author of Connect with Danielle McDonough: | | | | get to give us your feedback about the podcast. (3 questions it takes less than 1 minute) Key Quotes  - "As soon as I step on the ice, I'm just free in a way. I really love that about it." - "I like the full contact aspect. I like the hitting piece." - "Your mind can sabotage everything. It doesn't matter how physically fit or capable you are. If your mind isn't right, you can talk yourself out of everything" - "I thought I was the only person on the entire face of this earth who was experiencing these things." - "Diaphragmatic breathing is so powerful and so important and can change your state of mind and the way that you're feeling in your body in as little as three deep breaths." - "If we're not making mistakes, if we're not failing, then ultimately we're not really growing because we learn in making these mistakes." Time Stamps 04:40 - The Only Girl in an All-Boys Team 05:11 - Forming a Girls Team and Being Recruited 07:57 - Mental Challenges and Imposter Syndrome 08:17 - Psyching Out and Overcoming Mental Hurdles 12:41 - Transitioning to Professional Sports and Pressure 15:20 - Identifying with Imposter Syndrome 16:40 - From Professional Athlete to Mindset Coach 20:02 - Breathing as a Fundamental Tool 21:59 - Visualising Success and Overcoming Fear of Failure 29:10 - Using Mental Skills in Personal Life 31:12 - Top Tips for Mindset Management in Sports and Business Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | If you are enjoying this and would like to support us then Producer: Sue Stockdale Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra
    Played 35m 21s
  • 122. Roderick Aitken: Sourcing sustainable timber

    8 MAY 2024 · In episode 122, host Sue Stockdale explores the delicate balance between commerce and conservation in the world of forestry with guest Roderick Aitken. As a fifth-generation family business in Scotland importing tropical wood, Roddy shares insights on sustainable practices and the collective responsibility we have towards the planet, discusses the importance of protecting precious ecosystems while meeting the demand for exotic woods. About Roderick Aitken Roderick has a degree in forest management from The University of Aberdeen. He has spent one year working in Malaysia’s forest and sawmilling sectors, then two years with BSW timber in Scotland.   He joined Gilmour & Aitken in 2005 and is now Operations Director. Roderick is the principal buyer of tropical timbers for Gilmour & Aitken. He has carried out responsible purchasing audit work within West Africa, Far East and Guyana, traveling to these areas regularly. Roderick is a sailor and kayaker in summer, climber and skier in winter and enjoys being outdoors. The more remote and wilder the terrain, the better. Find out more about Roderick Aitken at and watch the video about to give us your feedback about the podcast. Time Stamps [01:53] Sustainability in tropical timber industry. [09:35] Long-term sustainability and traceability. [14:14] Sustainable tropical logging practices. [16:03] Hardwood for marine industry. [22:05] Positive impacts of sustainable forestry. [27:39] Maintaining supplier relationships. [34:43] Materials for sustainable construction. Key Quotes - “It isn't just always profit maximisation. It's a long-term sustainability goal as well.” - "I get quite frustrated when people think that they're two different things, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability." - “In the size of a football field, you're only taking two or three trees. So it's very light touch logging." - "For every cubic metre of Greenheart arrived in the UK and used on a job, 1.24 tonne of carbon is being stored in the Guyanese forests as it's regrowing." - “I think that relationship is really important. Supplier and buyer, you both have to be successful for it to work.” - "Without trust, a lot of the tropical timber operation will fall apart." Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | If you are enjoying this and would like to support us then Producer: Sue Stockdale Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra
    Played 32m 5s
  • 121. Arild Nydegger Øvre-Eide and Gyrid Dahl: Embracing Change and Tradition in Norwegian Farming

    1 MAY 2024 · In this episode host Sue Stockdale talks to Arild Nydegger Øvre-Eide and Gyrid Dahl, from Øvre-Eide farm in Bergen, Norway. Arild, the fifth-generation owner of a small farm, discusses his decision to become a farmer and how his father's support played a role in his journey. Gyrid who works at the farm explains what motivated her to change career from being a hairdresser to learning how to run a farm. The episode also explores Arild's surprising role as a teacher in a local prison and why tradition is important in communities. Find out more about and on and Key Quotes - "We have this possibility to keep up the farming absolutely everywhere in Norway." - "If we want to live off of the farm, we have to diversify." - "In Norway, we spend a lot of money in our prison system and especially in education." - "We have some school classes with special need kids that come here once a week to get a break from the classroom." - "I am very happy when we can share our farm with other people." - "I have a big hope for the future for the Norwegian farming, but you must try to do something else. You cannot continue on the same track as, for example, your father and grandfather has done." - "You have to get out of your comfort zone. to achieve bigger things." Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | If you are enjoying this and would like to support us then Producer: Sue Stockdale Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra
    Played 28m 2s
  • 120. Robert Thirsk: From medicine to Mars - Insights from over 200 days in space

    20 MAR 2024 · In this guest-hosted episode talks to engineer, physician, and former astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk about the preparation and training needed for astronauts to operate effectively on space missions, and how these skills are also relevant for leadership more generally. Robert reflects on training for astronauts, non-technical skills in space missions, adapting back to life on Earth, providing healthcare on deep space missions, AI-enabled technologies for space exploration, and the benefits of the space programme for society. About Dr. Robert Thirsk Dr. Robert Thirsk was born and raised in western Canada. He received degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Bob also holds a Doctorate of Medicine from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Bob has flown on two space missions as a member of the Canadian Space Agency’s astronaut corps. He first flew aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1996 with six international crewmates as part of the Life and Microgravity Spacelab Mission. His second flight in 2009 was a six-month expedition aboard the International Space Station. Bob and his five Station crew mates performed multidisciplinary research, robotic operations and maintenance of spacecraft systems and payloads. Following his astronaut career, Bob served as a vice-president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and then as Chancellor of the University of Calgary. He remains in close contact with the Canadian Space Agency, his former employer, to pursue a leadership role for Canada in the delivery of remote health care to astronauts who will someday venture to deep space on daring missions of exploration.  Find out more about Dr Robert Thirsk via | |  Key Quotes - "I grew up in a magical time. I grew up in the 1960s." - "Training is our currency of trade." - “The difference between a good astronaut and a great astronaut is mastery of those non-technical skills." - "Failure is not something to be hidden or backed away from. Astronauts embrace failure." - “As the space age opens up and we have the opportunity to fly a more diverse group of people in space, we need to start flying communicators and artists." - "I hope that my legacy will be that I brought great benefit to the world. I helped make the world a better place." Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | | Producer: Sue Stockdale Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra
    Played 30m 55s
  • 119. Reanne Olivier: Empowering African Youth

    13 MAR 2024 · In podcast episode 119, Reanne Olivier, co-founder of Africa Matters Initiative talks to Sue Stockdale about how her first journey to South Africa was sparked by her parents' curiosity and exploration of the continent. This led her to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about Africa, and ultimately shape her passion for making a difference. By immersing herself in the diverse cultures and communities of Africa, Reanne gained a deeper understanding of the continent and its people, allowing her to build relationships, learn from others, and collaborate to create an initiative that is empowering African youth.  About Reanne Olivier Reanne is the co-founder and CEO of Africa Matters Initiative, a youth-led organisation dedicated to empowering and upskilling African youth. As the CEO, she has led successful youth programs promoting transformative leadership and community advancement across 22 African countries. With over a decade of experience in nonprofit program management across Africa, she specialises in designing and developing highly effective learning materials for young people. Reanne previously served as a Program Manager for Princeton in Africa and as the USA Director for Stellenbosch University’s Development & Alumni Relations Office.    Key Quotes - "Africa is more than what the Western media was portraying." - "There's a welcoming nature of the African continent, of African people, that allows you to feel at home, regardless of your race, your gender, your background.” - "Human beings are literally the same. They're just in different locations. They just speak different languages and they have different colours." - “We have been able to impact over 6, 000 young people across the continent.” - “Community for me is really, really important. Again, that's what has moulded me to be the person that I am today.” Find out more about Africa Matters Inititiave at | | | Connect with Access to Inspiration: | | | | Producer: Sue Stockdale Sound Editor: Matias De Ezcurra Become a supporter of this podcast: Become a supporter of this podcast:
    Played 26m 19s

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Access to Inspiration is a not-for-profit podcast dedicated to uplifting and motivating listeners through compelling conversations with extraordinary individuals. The show features guests from more than 30 countries who have...

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Access to Inspiration is a not-for-profit podcast dedicated to uplifting and motivating listeners through compelling conversations with extraordinary individuals.

The show features guests from more than 30 countries who have pushed boundaries, explored the unknown, and made significant impacts in their respective areas. 

Topics range from business and adventure, to the arts and social change.

Each episode delves into the personal journeys, challenges, and triumphs of these inspiring figures, offering valuable insights and actionable advice.

The Access to Inspiration podcast is more than just a series of interviews; it is a catalyst to inspire change within people across the globe.

Through the powerful stories it shares, the podcast encourages listeners to step into the unknown, embrace challenges, and make meaningful contributions to their own lives and the broader world. 

Find out more at our website 
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