Updated: Mar 13
What if school was completely reimagined to put curiosity and fun first? Matt’s journey to reshape the education system and inspire environmental action.
What made you interested in the environment?
I was really lucky in that I grew up in an old farm house (a lot of my family are farmers).
It was great growing up in the countryside because it helped me to understand the importance of nature. At the same time, it really gave me the illusion that things were much more okay in the world than they are because my mum and my dad were both really obsessed with creating wilderness on the bit of land we had around the house. It wasn’t until I was a little older that I looked out beyond the few trees my parents had planted and thought ‘hang on a minute, this is all monoculture fields, with just grass and cows, and this isn't really how it should be.’ And actually, this little wilderness they've created… is just a little island.
I wanted to plant a lot of trees from a young age. I think there are many kids who think this because it's intuitive to children that trees are important. The reason there are so many kids marching in the street representing the climate movement is because many climate problems and solutions are really simple, intuitive and easy to understand... which is why it's so baffling that they're being sorted out so slowly.
As I grew up, I spent a lot of time worrying about the destruction of nature, hoping I could one day be a part of the solution.
So how did you think you might be able to make a positive difference?
For me, the big thing I thought I would be able to offer was really good science communication.
I’m very interested in many different areas of science, from relativity to microbiology. But I’ve been particularly focused on climate and nature because we're in the midst of such a big emergency.
I think it's hard to communicate about these things... people don't like being preached at, and people don't like to feel like they're being told what to do, especially if they already kind of understand everything, or think they do. This is why our climate and nature course is a story, and is very human. It delivers all of the science, but most of all, it's empowering.