Infrequently asked questions
What is your vision for the future?
My life’s goal is to reframe our human relationship with nature. I’d like to dispel outdated myths around human superiority, and take people on a journey to see themselves in other animals. At heart, I’m a storyteller, treating subjects both human and otherwise indiscriminately in my works. Throughout, I’m providing compelling, authentic, and most importantly optimistic proof that a shift in perspective will restore the world. I call it ‘Human Nature.’
The Human Nature worldview is both impactful and inspiring. Conservation’s 4 C’s guide us as the key intangibles required to reimagine the field: connection, curiosity, creativity and collaboration. The Durrell Effect bears witness to how immersing people young and old in nature revives our desire to protect it. And of course, mass individualism speaks to the unspoken potential of activating each person’s skillsets as part of a larger collective, growing grassroots impact globally. Combined, these learnings have powered me through an incredible life story that’s still rapidly unfolding. So my vision is merely their eventual ubiquity.
What is it that motivates you in your work?
Day to day, I’m speaking with a dozen passionate individuals from as many countries. Being immersed in this culture is the lifeblood of environmentalism, so my drive for community-building ultimately stems from the joyous experience I’ve found this to be. Few other spaces attract more dedicated volunteers, more diverse voices or difficult challenges they’re met with. So my motivation also comes from the astounding spirit and resilience I’m surrounded with.
And finally, there’s the animal themselves. I’m a wildlife rescuer, caring for a small menagerie of animals that passes through my doors each week. Few experiences compare to the bond formed with another living being, and seeing remarkable recoveries made only restores my faith in Human Nature. Nature needs us, and we need nature. It’s as simple as that.
How did your passion for nature start?
We all start life fascinated by the natural world. It’s evolutionary programming that once helped us to survive- learning and exploring from an early age. All I’ve done is retained that sense of wonder, thanks to some truly fortunate experiences I’ve had. In January 2019, I spent a month volunteering at a raptor and hedgehog rehabilitation centre in Southern France. Whilst there, I had the privilege of taking part in the release of a griffon vulture in the nearby Alps. Seeing it soar out across the cliff edge to join the other vultures, wingtips flashing in the golden light, all I could think was: “What if everyone could experience this magic?” That thought has stayed with me ever since.
As a young child, I travelled to Southern Africa several times with my family, and each time I was blown away by the charismatic megafauna of the continent. Aged ten, I was stalked by a leopard in Botswana. The incident was reported to authorities, leading to the offending animal’s relocation or more probable shooting. That too has endured in my memories, a mixture of relief and guilt that has shaped who I am today.
If you could choose one animal to be, which would you choose?
Well, having asked this question of many people and on every episode of my Human Nature podcast, I’ve heard some fine answers over the years. Still, I must say that for me, an elephant would be the only choice. Their superficial differences from great apes such as ourselves have seen them escape serious study until relatively recently. Yet, increasingly, we are coming to realize that they boast an intelligence comparable to our own, social dynamics of stunning complexity, and modes of sensory perception we cannot imagine. ‘Umwelt’ is the term used for how a lifeform perceives the world around it, and I can say without a shadow of doubt that an elephant’s umwelt would be more captivating than most.
See Elliot's TEDx talk in Sydney, recorded 29th February 2020.
I was immediately taken with his ability to speak with such sincerity and conviction.
Elliot is an articulate and visionary young leader.
Watch the trailer for Elliot's charity, Human Nature Projects.
Human Nature Projects allowed me to switch on and live my dream.
Human Nature can redefine the conservation market.
Listen to a recent creative project. Visit the Media tab for more.
Unfailingly versatile and thrifty in his approach.
A real asset... I believe that Elliot has tremendous potential.