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Future Shapers sustainability hero
Graphics: Time Out

Future Shapers: Sustainability

Meet the eight visionary eco-warriors fighting for a more sustainable future in Sydney

By Maxim Boon
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Time Out's Future Shapers is a celebration of the best and brightest innovators, trailblazers and community builders in Sydney across five key fields: the arts; civics; sustainability; food and drink; and community and culture. These remarkable individuals and organisations were nominated by a panel of experts including editor of Time Out Sydney Maxim Boon, celebrity chef and restaurateur Kylie Kwong, head of talks and ideas at the Sydney Opera House Edwina Throsby, NSW 24-hour economy commissioner Michael Rodrigues, CEO of IndigiLab Luke Briscoe and NIDA resident director David Berthold.

Meet our expert panel.

Fact: climate change is real. And yet, despite this irrefutable truth, it can feel as if very little is happening to avert our very bleak fate. The good news is, there are people helping our environment fight back against the climate emergency and the power structures that fuel it. Through cutting-edge tech, acts of great generosity, precocious determination, dynamic leadership, and ancient knowledge, these remarkable individuals and organisations are lighting a path that all of us can follow, towards a healthier, more ecologically responsible future in Sydney.

Time Out's Sustainability Future Shapers

Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Jean Hinchliffe
Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Jean Hinchliffe
Graphics: Time Out

Jean Hinchliffe

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For eco-activist and leader of Australia’s School Strike 4 Climate movement, Jean Hinchliffe, the tragedy of the fires that incinerated millions of hectares of bush in late 2019 were not unexpected, but they could be the wakeup call our political leaders needed to finally enact the change that she, and many like her, had been campaigning for. But then in 2020, another crisis of the viral variety drew the public’s gaze from the charred outback and burned koalas. Had we missed our moment to act? Hinchliffe thinks not. While protesting in person has been all but impossible during the pandemic, she has continued to empower and inspire young activists via her new book Lead the Way. Her how-to manual for young climate crusaders shares the tools, challenges and triumphs of her own activist journey, and aged just 17, it’s a career in environmental justice that's just getting started.

Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Nik Robinson
Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Nik Robinson
Graphics: Time Out

Nik Robinson from Good Citizens

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Robinson wanted to do something to bring about a positive change in the world that they would eventually inherit as adults. But where to start on addressing a pollution crisis so colossally, globally huge? For Robinson, the first step was creating a philosophy for the endeavour – four simple principles that would guide all the decision making. The solution should only use 100 per cent recycled materials; what they choose to make should be durable enough to last; nothing they do should exploit either the planet or people; and finding the solution shouldn’t take away time with the kids. The eventual expression of these four key values would be just as elegant in its simplicity. Through a process of research and development that lasted more than two years (to be exact, 752 days and more than 2,500 failed attempts), Robinson perfected a technique to take a single 600ml PET drinks bottle and from it create a single piece of eyewear. Not only does this 1:1 ratio of repurposed material ensure the product meets the 100 per cent recycled target, but the process refined by Robinson for Good Citizens is also currently one of the only ways this ubiquitous type of plastic waste can be recycled. 

Follow Good Citizens here: @goodcitizens_official

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Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Groundswell
Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Groundswell
Graphics: Time Out

Anna Rose, Clare Ainsworth Herschell and Arielle Gamble from Groundswell Giving

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Eco activism is an essential tool in persuading and lobbying our often apathetic power structures to take action, but strategic solutions to such a complex social and ecological emergency can be an expensive business. Recognising that the significant action required equally significant funding, Anna Rose, Clare Ainsworth Herschell and Arielle Gamble founded Groundswell Giving, a philanthropic giving circle with the sole mission of accelerating climate action in Australia by raising money for high-impact climate advocacy. Since first launching in February of 2020, the trio has already raised $650,000 in new funds for climate action, which has supported projects led by 13 diverse advocacy groups, from doctors to farmers to First Nations leaders. Reassuringly, demand for Groundswell’s grants is highly competitive, with more than 40 promising applications under consideration to date. It’s proof positive that Australia has both the will and skill to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced.

You can support the work of Groundswell Giving here.

Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Clarence Slockee
Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Clarence Slockee
Graphics: Time Out

Clarence Slockee

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Based on Gadigal land, proud Mindjingbal-Bundjalung man and landscape architect Clarence Slockee has spent a lifetime advancing his knowledge of native bush food and Indigenous agricultural practices. Since establishing Jiwah, a First Nations owned and operated company specialising in Cultural landscape design, he's been using his deep understanding of native plant life to green urban environments in sustainable and culturally informed ways. Through Jiwah, Slockee aims to disrupt the way green spaces in the urban environment are devised by shifting the focus to more sustainable practices that are both groundbreaking and rooted in ancient cultural practices. His vision champions principles of Indigenous knowledge, collaborative design, permaculture and biodiveristy that create and maintain green spaces that aren’t merely decorative, but that contribute to a more sustainable, environmentally conscious and responsible society, that gives more to Country than it takes.

Follow Jiwah here: @jiwah.au

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Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Jones
Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Jones
Graphics: Time Out

Jones from Sydney Vegan Market

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As businesses and events search for ideas on doing things greener, there is a diverse community that they can turn to for inspiration – that is, the vegan community. Locally, the Sydney Vegan Market is the beating heart of the movement. The event, held monthly under more usual circumstances, brings together more than 100 stallholders that are all 100 per cent plant-powered. Single-use plastic is banned, and all waste is composted. Sydney Vegan Market is part of Vegan NSW and is managed by perhaps Sydney’s keenest vegan, known simply as Jones. In the decade before Jones joined Sydney Vegan Market in 2017, they started and co-founded businesses including the Vegan Teahouse (a market stall and wholesale business producing and distributing vegan and gluten-free products), the Vegan Collective (a quarterly vegan night market), and MAKER (a shared vegan kitchen, café and education space in Petersham). Outside of events, Jones and the Sydney Vegan Market board and volunteers cultivate a thriving vegan community where businesses and consumers can find each other and support a kinder and more sustainable lifestyle, even throughout lockdowns.

You can follow Sydney Vegan Market on Instagram (@sydneyveganmarket) and Facebook.

Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Jess Miller
Future Shapers Sustainability superlist Jess Miller
Graphics: Time Out

Jess Miller

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Councillor Jess Miller was elected to the City of Sydney Council as part of the Clover Moore Independent team in 2016.

Miller’s key areas of expertise are in environmental systems, specifically urban ecology and urban forestry, and local food systems. She is an advocate for a slow city with lots of active and public transport, character, community, sport, colour, creativity and diverse culture. She’s also been instrumental in ensuring the views of younger people are represented on Council and that the city continues to set a global example of how to deal with the changing climate.

Follow Jess Miller here: @jessmillersydney

 

Meet the Future Shapers

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