Philippa Young – The Futures Interview

camel milk in Kazakh tent

Philippa Young

Philippa Young is the writer and producer for What Took You So Long, a guerrilla film making organisation. With WTYSL Philippa has travelled to and worked in more than 20 countries on a mix of passion-driven projects and film projects for NGOs in the developing world. The latest project from the organisation is a documentary about the emergence of camel milk around the world, which has been screened in London, Stockholm and Nairobi, and continues to develop into what the team hope will be a feature-length film. The team’s involvement in the fascinating world of camel milk has led to speaking at TED events and conferences, the writing of the first camel milk Wikipedia page, and work towards the setting up of a camel milk dairy.  

Now based in London after dropping out of her Oxford Masters, Philippa remains involved with and excited by innovative education initiatives like The University Project and Knowmads.  Philippa was also part of the team that launched the Sandbox Network‘s first African hub in Nairobi; now a vibrant community of the best and brightest leaders in their field. Interested in the creation of new and credible education spaces, collaborations with networks like Sandbox are an example of peer education that can transform futures.While in one place for more than a few months, Philippa is launching a new social business start-up in London that brings yoga into new spaces and promotes health and well-being in the workplace. 

?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?

PY: I choose a future where creative thought and action is truly respected, and where schooling releases individual potential. I choose a future of silver linings and more varied methods of structuring society rising up to challenge the norm.

?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?

PY: My ‘think’ has been informed by a way of living and working that I have been practicing since June 2010. Working with The What Took You So Long Foundation (a guerrilla film making organisation) I have experienced life in a kind of nomadic commune, working on intensely creative and thought-provoking projects, sharing and collaborating in every way possible, working in incredibly challenging environments – and by that I do actually mean deserts. It’s less of a “job” than it is a thought experiment combined with a do/action tank. The perspective that this method of living and working has given me has shaped the rest of my life and what I know is possible to achieve.

?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?

PY: My ‘act’ is, paradoxically, thinking. I would be so happy if people started thinking of and dreaming about real solutions to every problem that made them unhappy. An awareness about what a single person can achieve is definitely on the rise, but with a small change in thought process I believe everyone can dramatically alter the way their world looks. You can get some inspiration from people who have done great things through solution-based thinking on the websites: GOOD.is and Revolution.is. These sites fly into my inbox as a form of news – giving me a broad view of what’s going on in the world, but with an action-centric, positive spin that can make the wrong-side-of-bed I got out of flip right over to it’s-a-beautiful-day.

?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?

PY: I believe that schools need to be far more varied, with thousands of options to suit the thousands of methods of learning. So I would place every vote I had in anyone who was willing to do the inconvenient and make massive change in the school system, and then keep it in a state of dynamic flux, and not attempt to revolutionise only to fix it in another form. So my vote goes to Studio Schools and to Montessori schools and anyone reinventing education.

?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future? 

PY: I’m going to suggest a movie, not a song – the incredible documentary PressPausePlay. But ok, as you have a higher purpose of putting together a playlist, I choose: Ólafur Arnalds – Hægt, kemur ljósið

?!X: Can you share with us up to 5 weblinks that you find interesting and inspiring?

PY:

Follow Phillipa on Twitter @_philippayoung_

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