#31: A World in Crisis (and what to do about it) – with Jared Diamond
What can we learn from the tribes in the rainforest of New Guinea? What are the greatest dangers facing humanity and the earth today, and how can they be overcome? These are some of the many questions we address in this conversation with a leading scientist that has been voted one of the world's top ten intellectuals by various British and American magazines and who researches and writes on just about everything that makes up human existence – think "universal genius": Jared Diamond.He studied physiology at Harvard and Cambridge and became a leading expert on the gallbladder. He is also an ornithologist, anthropologist, sociologist, evolutionary biologist, ecologist, and environmental historian with expertise in archaeology, genetics, and human disease epidemiology. He is also a professor of geography in Los Angeles.And then he is also one of the most successful authors of popular science nonfiction. His works have been translated into some forty languages, and for the world bestseller "Guns, Germs, and Steel. The Fates of Human Societies" he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. His other books include "Collapse. How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed", "The World until Yesterday" and his most recent work "Upheaval – How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change".For all that, Jared Diamond is not only a master of lab work and literature research, but he is and has been on the road himself all over the world (over thirty times in New Guinea alone), he is fluent in over a dozen languages ... So: more than enough material for a wide-ranging conversation about a unique scientific career – and about the world we live in.
#30: The Power of the Wild – with Bear Grylls
In this very special episode, we welcome a real survival icon: Bear Grylls has become known worldwide as one of the most recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure.Trained from a young age in martial arts, Bear went on to spend three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, as part of the 21 SAS Regiment. It was here that he perfected many of the survival skills that his fans all over the world enjoy, as he pits himself against the worst of Mother Nature.Bear originally starred in Discovery's hit TV series “Man vs. Wild” across seven seasons, before hosting the NBC & National Geographic Channel series “Running Wild with Bear Grylls”. This show has seen him take global stars such as Julia Roberts, Ben Stiller, President Obama & Prime Minister Modi of India on adventures into the wild.Bear has also hosted over six seasons of the BAFTA award-winning Channel 4 series “The Island with Bear Grylls”, as well as the Emmy Award-nominated series Hostile Planet for National Geographic and "You Vs Wild" for Netflix.He has authored 20 books, including the #1 best-selling autobiography “Mud, Sweat & Tears” and the current sequel, “Never give up”.In this episode, Bear and Erik talk about Bear’s very first adventures, the ups and downs of being famous and what being out in the wild can teach us.
#29: Shots of Adventure or the joy of surfing in ice cold water – with Chris Burkard
Chris Burkard, born in 1986, is many things: he is an adventurer, photographer, creative director, speaker, author, father, husband, surfer, certified yoga instructor ... and first and foremost, a storyteller. He travels much of the year to explore the most remote places on earth, capturing stories there to inspire people to rethink their relationship with nature. In this way, he seeks to advocate for the preservation of wild places all over the world. Initially, he was one of the most sought-after surf photographers in the world: his assignments took him to tropical paradises from the Caribbean to the South Pacific. Later, he specialised particularly in photographing cold places. Today, he is one of the most successful and popular adventure and outdoor photographers – he has 3.7 million followers on Instagram alone. In this Episode, he talks about how his career unfolded, what draws him to cold and rather inhospitable places, how we can travel “well” – and much more!
#28: Euphoria and Terror – Crossing Antarctica with Felicity Aston MBE
“I just think back to that first time I got a proper look at Antarctica: There was something about the simplicity and the beauty and the perfectness of it all that made me want to scoop it all up and somehow contain it in me.” That's a quote from our guest, Polar explorer, Antarctic scientist, author, speaker and expedition leader Felicity Aston MBE. And that is exactly what she did: She preserved Antarctica (and the polar regions) within herself. She spent a continuous period of two and a half years (including two consecutive winters) at Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula. These first experiences in Antarctica then led to numerous expeditions to remote places around the world (but particularly to the Polar Regions): She led record-breaking international teams to the North and South Poles, worked on a nuclear-powered icebreaker at the North Pole, led the first British Women’s crossing of Greenland, skied along a frozen river in Siberia, traversed the winter ice of Lake Baikal, raced in the Canadian Arctic, drove 35,000km across Eurasia to the coldest inhabited place in the world … and in 2012 she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica. It was a journey of 1744 km that took her 59 days to complete. With this, she set a world record. And she was not only the first woman to master this tour, but also the first person – male or female – to do so alone and with her own muscle power. Felicity reports on her experiences in four books and regularly produces articles for various publications in the UK and abroad. She has been elected Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society in London and The Explorers Club in New York, and received many more awards.In this episode, she talks about the challenges she had to face during her Antarctic crossing – and the beauty of it all!
#27: Extreme Adventures, extreme Life – with Mike Horn
"One of the most amazing things about Mike Horn's life is that it still hasn't come to an end." This sentence sums up the life of this episode’s guest quite well: Mike Horn is introduced again and again as one of the world's most important explorers and adventurers of our time. What he has achieved and demonstrated in terms of endurance, determination and courage is pretty much unparalleled. He was the first person to swim solo and unsupported across the Amazon River from its source to its river mouth – six and a half thousand kilometers that he covered on a hydrospeed. He circumnavigated the globe at the equator without any motorized assistance. He was the first person ever to cross Antarctica at its widest point and undertook the very first winter trek to the North Pole – weeks in the eternal ice, in permanent darkness. He also sailed around the world more than a dozen times and climbed some of the highest peaks on Earth without artificial oxygen. Since 2015, Mike has taken on the role of survival expert for three French TV channels, where he shares his knowledge of survival with the participants of the shows. A single interview is not nearly enough to do justice to even a fraction of his world-renowned endeavors. Nor do we attempt to do so. Instead, we dig into some of the lessons he's learned from his expeditions, discussing, for example, what he sees as the power of inspiration and where he finds the value in failure.
#26: Travel and what we can learn from it – with Erik Lorenz
In this episode the tables are turned. Instead of asking them, Erik answers questions – such as: What can we learn from travel? How can storytelling change the world? How do we experience adventures and what does that do to us? How can we travel in times of climate change? And what opportunities do we see within the challenges of the current pandemic? A few weeks ago, photographer and filmmaker Bastian Fischer asked Erik such and similar questions for his podcast "Yellow Van Stories". They talked about Erik’s experiences in writing, podcasting, traveling … and much more! Thank you very much for the invitation, Bastian! Find out more about Yellow Van Stories:https://www.yellowvanstories.com/https://www.instagram.com/yellowvanstories/https://www.facebook.com/yellowvanstories
#25: A Journey to the Edge of Europe - with Kapka Kassabova
A childhood in the shadow of a Cold War border - this is how Kapka Kassabova grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria.After studying in Sofia and emigrating with her family to New Zealand, Kapka Kassabova, now a writer, poet and journalist, lives in the Scottish Highlands. From 2013 until 2015 she returned to the Balkans and embarked on a special journey into the (and her) past to finally explore the "forbidden borderland" of her childhood. Along the way, she met soldiers, (former) spies, fugitives, and the people living there – "ordinary people" on the ground, many of whom have an extraordinary story to tell due to the complex history of the area.Her book “Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe” reveals a fascinating look at the boundaries that exist between countries, between cultures, between people, and within each of us.In this episode of Unfolding Maps, Kapka tells us what she learned from this journey – and what we can learn from it.
#24: Hope for our Planet – with Dr. Jane Goodall
60 years of research on social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees. And decades of commitment to animal welfare and environmental protection. This episode’s guest is the world-famous British ethologist and environmental activist, Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE. Originally, she has been best known for her long-term study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania in the 1960s. During that study she discovered that chimpanzees make and use tools – a discovery that transformed the way we understand primates and wildlife, and that redefined the relationship between animals and humans. Today, her legacy goes far beyond that. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, an international animal and environmental protection organization that is widely recognized for its conservation and development programs. She is also a United Nations Messenger of Peace and an honorary member of the World Future Council. And she does not show any signs of slowing down, despite being 87 years old now. If there is no pandemic preventing her from doing so, she travels an average of 300 days per year to advocate for the causes that she believes in, meeting with people from children and youth groups to powerful politicians, striving to promote a new kind of relationship with nature. Time magazine named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In this episode, Dr. Goodall talks about her research in Tanzania and the beginnings of her involvement as an activist. She explains why she is not afraid to work even with supposed opponents, and reveals why she has never lost hope despite the many challenges we face around the world. More information on Dr. Jane Goodall and the work of the Jane Goodall Institute: https://www.janegoodall.org/https://www.instagram.com/janegoodallinst/https://www.facebook.com/janegoodallinst
#23: A Walk in the Woods – with Eric Adams (Manowar)
A winter walk in the woods with an icon of heavy metal: Eric Adams is world-famous as the singer of the American band Manowar. In episode 16 of Unfolding Maps, he has already talked about another passion that shapes his life besides music - his love of nature, wildlife and hunting.In this second interview, he now delves deeper into these topics. During a hike in the US state of New York, he not only shares anecdotes from his musical career, but above all shows Erik his hunting grounds, thinks back to entertaining misadventures in the wilderness and magical animal encounters, and explains what he understands by ethical and responsible hunting.