Globetrender has debuted its new podcast Blue Sky Thinking, which takes listeners on a conversational journey with the innovators and visionaries shaping the future of travel.
Season one of Blue Sky Thinking is sponsored by the world’s leading travel metasearch platform KAYAK, and includes interviews with the likes of Tom Williams, who is the founder of Desert Island Survival and winner of the UK edition of wilderness survival show Alone, which is currently airing on Channel 4.
Hosted by Globetrender editor, founder and CEO Jenny Southan, Blue Sky Thinking is a “celebration of audacious thinking”. Southan says: “Blue Sky Thinking is a podcast that explores the bold ideas that are pushing out boundaries and broadening our horizons.”
Other guests on the eight-episode series include renowned hotelier Bill Bensley, Black Tomato co-founder Tom Marchant, Zina Bencheikh, managing director EMEA for Intrepid Travel, and Michael Henderson, co-founder of Moon World Resorts.
Southan says: “As a travel journalist and trend forecaster I have had the privilege of meeting and interviewing numerous extraordinary entrepreneurs who are not only tearing up the rule book when it comes to creating next-gen travel experiences but setting about solving some of the world’s most profound problems – and in so doing are forming a blueprint for force-for-good tourism.
“In shifting from the written word to audio, I am harnessing an alternative medium for storytelling that is more intimate, immediate and engaging. All the guests on Blue Sky Thinking are people with truly original minds and have so many inspiring ideas that – simply put – need to be heard first-hand. Globetrender believes that this podcast has the power to change the world.” Tom Williams, founder of Desert Island Survival, says: “When I spend time in the wilderness and distill life down to its natural essence, I feel my best self, a clarity overcomes my mind and I do my best thinking – you could say ‘blue sky thinking’. It should not be a surprise that when we align with living how we did for 99% of our existence we feel our best.
“We are Palaeolithic animals living in the captivity of modern society. When I take people to desert islands they experience this same elevated happiness and clarity, and take home with them a new perspective to apply to live and a happier and healthier life.
“I know I am biased but I believe we all need to spend more time reconnecting with nature and our inner primal self. So I want to take this further – we are looking to offer new experiences to allow businesses to galavanise and regenerate their C-level teams through shared adversity and true human connection through disconnection and immersion in nature.
“Finally, I want to work for nature; I want to be part of the solution when it comes to preserving wildernesses. As such, my long-term goal is to create a social movement to preserve wilderness through crowd-funded fractional purchasing. All of the pristine islands we currently maroon people on are for sale and will one day be consumed by tourism. We could work together to preserve them for future generations and maintain them as the important refuges for nature that they still are today.”
Peer Bueller, chief financial officer at KAYAK, says: “At KAYAK we see travel as a force for good, shaping not just our journeys but our lives, connecting people and cultures, and creating unforgettable experiences.
“Therefore, we’re thrilled to be at the forefront of discussions that explore the future of travel through our sponsorship of Blue Sky Thinking. Our investment in the podcast underscores our ongoing commitment to educate and inspire people about the limitless possibilities of exploration, while promoting forward thinking and innovation within the travel industry.”
BLUE SKY THINKING EPISODES:
1. Tom Williams, founder of Desert Island Survival, on the power of embracing your inner Neanderthal
Winner of the UK series of Alone, Tom reveals how he survived solo in the Alaskan wilderness (and what he’s doing with the prize money); why people pay him to be marooned on tropical islands; and how walking to the North Pole gave him the self-confidence to make a major life change.
2. Britnie Turner, founder of Aerial BVI, on creating a utopian private island for personal transformation
A self-made multi-millionaire, Britnie shares her secrets to “whole life success”; why she is training a team of ex-army veterans to save people in disaster zones; and the US$10,000 retreats she hosts in the British Virgin Islands that will help you find your calling.
3. Bill Bensley, founder and creative director of Bensley, on designing hotels that save the world
A radical architect, artist, landscape and interior designer, Bill speaks about building his “most ambitious” (and yet to open) project in the Republic of the Congo; his experience of being a married gay man in Thailand; his vision for building a “human zoo” in China; and employing former poachers to protect the rainforest that surrounds his luxury camp Shinta Mani Wild in Cambodia.
4. Portia Hart, owner of Blue Apple Beach, on taking the Côte d’Azur to Colombia
An entrepreneurial expat from the UK, Portia discusses trading her life in the super yacht industry for building an eco hotel and beach club on an island off the coast of Cartagena; how to turn used beer bottles into a tool for social uplift; and why she doesn’t want to create a franchise (and what she wants to do instead).
5. Michael Henderson, co-founder of Moon World Resorts, on building lunar colonies on Earth
After an evening of Guinness drinking, Michael speaks about how he had a dramatic realisation about what he would spend the next 20 years of his life trying to make a reality; why giant replicas of the moon will offer an affordable alternative to going into space; and why his school teacher said he was either going to be a “billionaire or a failure”.
6. Tom Marchant, co-founder of Black Tomato, on life-changing adventures for the super-rich
A pre-eminent experience designer and travel addict, Tom shares his predictions for the future of luxury journeys; designing movie-inspired James Bond itineraries (costing upwards of £15,000); finding the perfect business partners; and turning an obsessive love of exploration into a multi-million-pound business.
7. Peer Bueller, chief financial officer for Kayak, on why you should never ‘fake it til you make it’
A self-effacing, mountain climbing, business leader, Peer shares why it’s ok to be an introvert (even as a public speaker); how it’s possible to have fun and make money at the same time; and the role of artificial intelligence in travel planning of tomorrow.
8. Zina Bencheikh, managing director EMEA for Intrepid Travel, on travel as a force for good
A former finance specialist turned advocate for women’s rights, Zina discusses Intrepid Travel’s journey to becoming a world-leading sustainable tour company; why it’s imperative to support Indigenous communities; and her vision for creating a global tour guide school.
Produced by Bespoken Media