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"We are living at a time when we are going to discover that we are all stardust and it is based on muscular science not hippy shit"

Takeaways from Ed Andrew talking to Sir Tim Smit.

Sir Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project, pioneer and world leading environmentalist, international speaker, entrepreneur and former music producer talks to Ed Andrew about his life, vision for the future and what Eden's international program is developing.  Eden has contributed more than £1 billion to the local Cornish economy and has over 1 million visitors a year, it cost £140 million to build.  In his previous career as a music producer and song writer he achieved 7 platinum and Gold albums and he talks candidly about why he left the industry and the life lessons that he learned from it.


Aside from the strategy for new exhibits at the original site in Cornwall, England Tim now spends his life globe trotting building Eden's international program which includes three new Projects in China, all supported by President Xi, other live and development projects in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and North America.  Very charismatic and a self styled maverick he discusses leadership in fuzzy logic organisational structures, his vision for civilisation, the re-invention for cities, electric cars and technology, organic and biodynamic farming and the overwhelming scientific evidence that all creatures are made of the same matter and how nature aids wellbeing.


  • On his leadership style and organisational culture, when things become systemised they lose the first flush of effectiveness.


  •  He asks new employees to tell the story of their lives to get an idea of who they are - many people do not have a concept of themselves as being very strong.


  • In the past 18 months contracted to build 3 Eden Projects in China, water, productive plants of China, urban education and city agriculture and all supported by Chinese Govt.


  • President Xi “heal the soil” program the next generation in China is about the environment


  • Protecting and educating - 542 acres of ancient Sequoia trees with over 300 trees over 3,000 years old in Sierra Nevada, to "create the greatest classroom in nature every seen”


  • a movement with a spiritual hunger, how Daoism is being adapted again in China


  • South Koreans have planted 31 forests since the end of the Korean war and children have to be spend 1/2 day every 2 weeks in the forest, literal health of breathing in aerosols from pines.

  • On Forest schools in the Europe and the UK.

  • On returning to natural philosophy of pre 1870, almost all of his scientists friends believe this is necessary 


  • Working in New Zealand with the Maori in Christchurch, after the earthquake and with the Squamish in Canada- restoring their ancient medicinal plants and herbs.


  • How Peder Kolind a Danish philanthropist, regenerated an entire rainforest from drought in Costa Rica.


  • How cities of the future will need to reinvent themselves into villages which are linked together, technology, electric cars and car sharing which lead to reclaiming our cities, such as Madrid has done.


  • How Lithuania is leading the pack on environmental issues, the most educated population and the most computer literate and by far the most computer literate government, they have re-built the country from scratch.


  • Discussing China will return to its empire stratus of 400-500 years ago due to the considerable invesmtent it is making in the Silk Road, its heritage and the environment.  


  • On technology, how the issue is not getting data but asking the right question to get the data.


  • On farming, organics mono crops, natural and conventional food, misplaced sense that we need to provide cheap food for the people, the planet has twice as much space as we need.


  • 9.3% of disposable income is spent on food in UK, food is incredibly cheap.


  • The greatest lessons I ever learned was being treated like rubbish in the music industry before having the luck of being successful, he learned that decent people don’t behave like that

  • On his career in music and a cautionary tale of being careful what you wish for, thought he wanted to rich and famous, but felt miserable because everything I dreamed I would feel I never felt, it felt hollow - the thing is no-one really likes you.


  • On the most profound moment of his career at Eden - feeling valued and having a purpose is everything.

Inspiring Books:

Black Swan by Nicholas Taleb

Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken

The Nature Fix by Florence Williams


"People think natural means safe, but permitted pesticides which are natural are probably a lot worse"

"When you employ more people they bring with them the habits of the place they worked before………..and they start to winkle out the ones who are not like them…….you lose the very people you need to make a fuzzy logic organisation, the so called awkward squad start to disappear…"

On people they become “chameleon like when looking at how they look to other people rather than having a solid foundation of themselves on which to build”

“An awful lot of people almost want to define themselves by how other people think about them as opposed to having a very strong sense of this is who I am”

“People who live on edge of forests have the greatest sense of wellbeing, more so than by the sea" - A scientific study from Germany.

"There are some areas that we have so ruined that will be very hard to regenerate" 

“We are living at a time that we are going to discover that we are all stardust and it is based on muscular science not hippy shit”

"You can build an absolute fortune if you are not for sale, and you can be trusted, if you truly love something then there will be millions and millions of other people who love it too so the only issue is marketing"


If you would like to contact Tim you can do so below. 

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