Better Ways with Sam Furness

People all over the world come to a creative practice like Street Wisdom because they are looking for better ways to live and work. Large and small. We love ‘em – the inspiration seekers;  the people who are always looking – and who share what they’ve discovered with others.  People like Sam Furness, founder of Channel Twelve. We spoke to Sam about finding better ways:

I am currently looking for a better way to… strike the balance of being the founder of a young creative business and being an artist! Being both of those things is important to me – and I see them as a help to each other, not a hinderance – but finding the time and headspace to be both is a work in progress 🙂

I just discovered a better way to….enjoy running. I now see my runs as equal parts thinking time and physical exercise. A lot of my good thinking and breakthroughs happen in movement. It’s like my body finally catches up with the speed of my brain…and somehow things just feel more in sync and clearer. The running is still tough – but it’s certainly easier if you set a thinking intention for your run. For me any way!

Sam is on a lifelong Quest to expand the edges of his creativity. On any given day you’ll find him searching for extraordinary creative ideas in ordinary places and bringing them to life in adventurous and collaborative ways. Since 2016, he has been exploring the world around him through new themes each month. What started as an experiment in finding new ways to express himself has turned into an ongoing learning journey into seeing the world differently. In 2020 he turned his artist blog Channel Twelve, into a business which runs monthly, themed Creative Quests; guiding people through the same perception shifting explorations he began himself in 2016.

If you’d like to join Sam and Channel Twelve on their next Quest kicking off on 4th May, they’ve offered Street Wisdom followers a 20% off code. Find out more here and book by 1st May using code QUESTER20.

Re-Wilding Special with Paul Bulencea & Valeria Roselli: The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl

“The wolves represent ‘wildness’ and if you ever have the occasion to see them and walk in the same place where they live and share the same territory as them, it’s a privilege.”

Paul Bulencea is an award-winning author, educator, entrepreneur and speaker inspiring forward-thinking Fortune 500 companies and governments to foster innovation and drive sustainable growth by shifting business models from services to co-creative transformational experiences.

Following his vision to help organisations migrate to the Experience Economy, he co-founded The College of Extraordinary Experiences in 2016, which serves as a worldwide community and think tank for experience designers. The College is described by creative thought leaders a must for pioneers in experience design. 

Since she was a child Valeria Roselli walked along the paths through the forest of the mountains where she was born. Her curiosity led her to explore and get to know the territory. While listening to stories from older people in the area, Valeria learnt the importance of the local traditions and how necessary it was to preserve traditions and value the past.

Her love of nature and for the Abruzzo mountain’s became her passion, which in turn became her profession. She is now a nature guide, environmental interpreter and Nordic walking instructor and an expert guide in the Italian Apennines.



00.00 – 00.44 Intro Theme

00.45 – 06.54 David introduces the re-wilding special

06.55 – 11.59 What is the fascination with ‘tracking’ wildlife?

12.00 – 12.48 Combining tracking with trailing

12.50 – 13.53 The benefits of sitting and observing

13.56 – 17.15 The story of the Red Deer

17.30 – 26.55 The Eye of the Wild Bison

26.57 – 29.54 What we can learn from the Wolves?

29.56 – 32.00 David’s ‘Sit Spot’ exercise – observing nature

32.22 – 36.08 Epilogue: The story of the fox

36.09 – Bonus Feature: David descends the mountain (field recording)



“What I like about tracking is that it shows you how everything is inter-connected. (Therefore), it’s much easier to become self-aware and to understand how inter-twined everything is by observing and seeing and noticing.” (Paul)

“Trailing is where you follow the tracks until you find and discover the animal.” (Paul)

“The moments spent in nature are special. Every day is a new day for a new moment and a new emotion.” (Valeria)

“One of the Bison came very close, he was very curious… about 7 metres and was just looking at us. I made eye-contact and in that gaze with a wild animal… it felt like finding ‘home’. It’s very hard to describe because it’s an experience we rarely have nowadays.” (Paul)

“When you’re calm and not tense, then you start seeing things all around you.” (Paul)

“The wolves represent ‘wildness’ and if you ever have the occasion to see them and walk in the same place where they live and share the same territory as them, it’s a privilege.” (Valeria)




Paul Bulencea

Valeria Roselli

David Pearl (Host)

Twitter @DavidPearlHere

Instagram @davidpearl_here


Andrew Paine (Producer & Audio Engineer)

Twitter @ItPainesMe

The Green Room at COP26 – What (On Earth’s) The Story?

Full film:


Johanna Gibbons: The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl

“Despite all our best endeavours… we rely on six inches of soil and the fact that it rains.”

Discover more stories of hope with Johanna and other climate innovators on the newly released ‘The Green Room – What (On Earth’s) The Story’ film on You Tube.

Full film:


Johanna Gibbons is a Landscape Architect and Fellow of the Landscape Institute. Jo was named a Royal Designer for Industry for her ‘pioneering and influential work combining design with activism, education and professional practice’. She is founding Partner of J & L Gibbons practice, Director of social enterprise Landscape Learn and a core research partner with Kings College London of Urban Mind. Jo is a panel advisor to Historic England and the Forestry Commission. She is a Trustee of Open City and publishes and lectures widely.

Time Line

00.00 – 00.45 Opening credits

00.46 – 05.37 Introducing Johanna Gibbons

05.40 – 08.19 Johnanna’s Origin Story

08.54 – 12.47 The untold story of the soil

13.07 – 16.10 How we can connect with the soil: re-wilding, composting, digging holes

16.55 – 19.15 Community effort and grass-roots

19.17 – 21.12 Day-lighting water and understanding natural processes

21.15 – 26.50 Johanna’s Four Steps

26.51 – 31.18 The Wanderful Exercise: Naming objects – Someone’s Something

31.36 – 35.05 Epilogue – Post Exercise

35.06 – 35.52 Closing Credits


“ Landscape connects our family. It’s my work but it’s also all my passions – soil diversity, urban forestry, rain water management and the connection with the natural cycles and connection with everything that feeds the soul and gives you a joy of life.” (Johanna)

“To me, a city is a landscape.” (Johanna)

“It’s not muck-away, this is one of the most important, critical infrastructures of the planet and we talk about muck-away. It comes from ignorance, it comes from a mis-understanding or nobody pointed it out in the first place.” (Johanna)

“There is a disconnect with nature and the most fundamental aspect of terrestrial life on earth… is soil.” (Johanna)

“A handful of soil has more microbes than there are people on this earth.” (Johanna)

“We do like digging holes. Because when you dig a hole you reveal all sorts of secret horizons, a layer cake of human endeavour, of natural cycles, it depends if it’s urban, brownfield, greenfield… and therein lies the story.” (Johanna)

“The whole re-cycling energy is to do with the soil and not touching it… letting it repair itself.” (Johanna)

“Nature is resilient if we would let it be.” (Johanna)

“Composting… because it is (soil) like black gold. You take your good quality waste, you put it into a hot rotter (?) and it comes back as soil. It is quite a magical thing.” (Johanna)

“Despite all our best endeavours… we rely on six inches of soil and the fact that it rains.” (Johanna)

Social Media

Johanna Gibbons


Instagram: @jlg_london

David Pearl (Host)

Twitter @DavidPearlHere

Instagram @davidpearl_here


Andrew Paine (Producer & Audio Engineer)

Twitter @ItPainesMe

Ben Morison: The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl

“In 2018 we built the world’s first sailing boat, made from already used plastic.”

Discover more stories of hope with Eliane and other climate innovators on the newly released ‘The Green Room – What (On Earth’s) The Story’ film on You Tube.

Full film:


Ben Morison is CEO of Far & Wide Travel, and has worked in the Africa travel industry all his life. He started the Flipflopi Project after witnessing the dramatic impact that plastics are having on the continent that has given so much to him.  He became convinced that plastic was far too valuable, versatile and often beautiful to be used just once and thrown away.  His mission; ‘a world without single-use plastics’.


00.00 – 04.38: Introducing Ben Morison

04.44 – 07.07: Building a boat out of re-cycled plastic

07.10 – 08.35 : How Ben arrived at Flipflopi

08.36 – 10.54: Positive African Voices & Leadership Roles

10.56 – 14.20: Fast Emerging Consumer Populations and Winning the Plastics Challenge

14.24 – 18.15: Bringing value to re-cycled plastic

18.17 – 21.18: Using creativity to convene

21.20 – 24.11: The Wanderful Exercise: Finding value in ‘rubbish’

24.32 – 29.07: Epilogue: Waste as an act of appreciation

29.08 – 30.02: Closing credits


“In 2018 we built the world’s first sailing boat, made from already used plastic.” (Ben)

“The reality of this challenge we have around plastic pollution and climate change generally, is it needs a holistic global approach. So what’s lacking here is confident, cheerful, positive voices from… African voices, who are taking leadership roles… and if you look around there’s not really many strong leadership roles, positive one’s too, that are coming from our environment. It’s really important for us to have that positive voice.” (Ben)

“The reality is, if I am a young man in Kenya and I am on a date with somebody, I’ll be in a car… I will wind down the window, I will drink my bottle of water and I will throw it out the window in a deliberate ostentatious show of… ‘I’ve arrived, I’m a consumer now.” (Ben)

“We as the developed world have had the starter, main course and dessert of this amazing thing called plastic… it’s developed our economies and now… just as some other parts of the world are just starting to develop consumer economies… we… how dare we go… oh we don’t want you to start with that (plastic). So, there’s some complexity to how we as a global community have this conversation. We have to be nuanced and thoughtful.” (Ben)

“If you give value to anything… stuff will happen. So what we wanted to show by building a boat was, using already used plastic… we can build a boat. That’s got value as a creative art object. It’s got value as something you go fishing in or take tourists in or travel in. It’s not really about the boat, it’s about the fact we were able to re-cycle or re-use and create something of value.” (Ben)

“The boat is a convener. If I arrive up the Clyde in a brightly coloured boat that looks like Elmer the Elephant, I can guarantee that the policy makers will definitely be keen to come and welcome it in and its going to draw lots and lots of crowds of people, because they want to see it. Of course, for the media it’s a very interesting thing to capture, so you now have the three ingredients you want to engage with.” (Ben)

Social Media

Ben Morison


Twitter @theflipflopi

Instagram @theflipflopi

David Pearl

Twitter @DavidPearlHere

Instagram @davidpearl_here


Andrew Paine (Producer & Audio Engineer)

Twitter @ItPainesMe

Eliane Ubalijoro: The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl

“What we need is soils that are resilient… that are sponges”

Discover more stories of hope with Eliane and other climate innovators on the newly released ‘The Green Room – What (On Earth’s) The Story’ film on You Tube.

Full film:


Éliane Ubalijoro, PhD,  is the Executive Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age and the Future Earth Montreal Hub.

She is the founder and Executive Director of C.L.E.A.R. International Development.

Eliane is a Professor of Practice For Public-Private Sector Partnerships at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development, where her research interests focus on innovation, gender and sustainable development for prosperity creation and her teaching over the last decade has focused on facilitating leadership development.

She is also a Research Professor at Concordia University in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. She is a member of Rwanda’s National Science and Technology Council.

Eliane is a member of the Impact Advisory Board of the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet.

She is a member of the Expert Consultation Group on the Post COVID-19 Implications on Collaborative Governance of Genomics Research, Innovation, and Genetic Diversity. Eliane is a member of the African Development Bank’s Expert Global Community of Practice on COVID-19 Response Strategies in Africa.

She is a member of the Capitals Coalition Supervisory Board as well as the Crop Trust Executive Board.

Eliane is a former member of WWF International’s Board of Trustees. She was the principal investigator on a Gates Grand Challenges Phase I grant looking at Innovations in Feedback & Accountability Systems for Agricultural Development. Eliane was the project manager and an investigator on a Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health project led by Professor Timothy Geary, the director of McGill’s Institute of Parasitology from 2009 to 2014.  As a result of this work, she has been a reviewer for the Grand Challenges Canada Stars in Global Health program since 2012.

Eliane is a co-editor of the 2021 book Building Resilient African Food Systems after COVID-19.


00.00 – 00.43 Opening Credits

00.44 – 05.23 Introducing Eliane Ubalijoro

05.26 – 08.40 Sustainability in the Digital Age & Future Earth

08.41 – 10.43 Soils are sponges

11.25 – 12.42 The big stories Eliane is up against

13.30 – 15.04 Bridging the knowledge systems of the West & the knowledge of Eliane’s ancestors

15.06 – 16.00 Technology & sustainability coming together: the collective and planetary intelligence

16.07 – 17.20 The story of the fig tree

17.44 – 19.40 Planetary intelligence (Yesterday & Tomorrow)

19.56 – 21.26 Innovators and early adopters: connecting and supporting communities

22.11 – 24.41 Harnessing the collective intelligence with nature and artificial intelligence

25.28 – 26.16 The big lie: discounting nature’s intelligence

26.20 – 29.11 Leafy greens: healthy diets for the body and the planet: biodiversity thrives

29.21 – 30.31 The power of storytelling: cultivating planetary intelligence

31.00 – 32.39 The connection of the past, present and the future

33.10 – 34.51 Loving nature is not enough: the value of living with nature

35.27 – 37.25 Optimism v Realism

37.30 – 39.07 Dreaming is free

39.10 – 43.15 The Wanderful Exercise – Walking with our past and our future

43.34 – 47.10 Post exercise – epilogue

47.11 – 48.01 Closing credits


What we know is soils are a living space… soils that have worms, that have fungi, that have insects, can hold fifty times more water than soils that have been polluted or have no microbial life in them anymore.” (Eliane)

“What we need are soils which are resilient, which are sponges.” (Eliane)

“Part of my story is the story of an African woman, who was born in a space where I was deeply connected with nature and with the stories of my ancestors, who flew to North America for University, who went on to get her PhD in academia. And so I hold the knowledge systems of the West and the knowledge systems of my ancestors and so my work is about bridging both.” (Eliane)

“In the cosmology of the indigenous people it’s really how we are an element in the universe and so we look at time in different ways. In my native kinyawanda, ‘yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow’ are the same word… it’s ‘ejo’. It’s depending on how I conjugate my verb that you know whether I’m talking about yesterday or tomorrow. And so how we see our selves cosmologically is really critical to how we move forward and I think of living in Canada where indigenous populations always say… how do we govern for seven generations from now?” (Eliane)

“The big lie of today is the discounting of nature’s intelligence because we’ve had over 400 years of exploitation and colonisation of natural resources in order to gain more and more power and so we had to discount nature’s intelligence in order to exploit it in the same way that people of African ancestors or black had to be considered three fifths of a human being to say, ‘we can enslave them, because they’re not really people’ and so it’s how we create narratives that are exploitative and dangerous and allow disempowerment of whole systems.” (Eliane)

“We have the power of the media that need to harness these stories that you and I are cultivating and so part of it is how do I create spaces for more people to gain the needed knowledge, for them to have hope and to have the capacity for action.” (Eliane)

“How can storytelling bring out the beauty and truth of what we need to live our inter-dependence and so I’m excited about the mission of cultivating our inter-dependence and opening more people to cultivating planetary intelligence and respecting all these different knowledge systems, so we can resonate and work at a higher level of power and consciousness for everybody.” (Eliane)

“The more trauma we have, the bigger our dreams have to be, because if not, we can be swallowed up  by the suffering and the pain… and be paralysed. That’s why I remind people… dreaming is free. Give yourself the opportunity to dream so audaciously that people are going to say ‘how dare you’ and that’s why I say, dare to dream beyond anywhere people think you can dream, but only share it with the people who can help you get there.” (Eliane)

Social Media & Links


Twitter @elianeubalijoro

Linked In –

David Pearl (Host)

Twitter @DavidPearlHere

Instagram @davidpearl_here


Andrew Paine (Producer & Audio Engineer)

Twitter @ItPainesMe

Nigel Topping: The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl

Discover more stories of hope with Nigel and other climate innovators on the newly released The Green Room – What (On Earth’s) the Story film on You Tube’

Full film:


‘I’m the murmuration meister… I should put that on my business card’

Nigel Topping is the UN’s High-Level Climate Action Champion, appointed by the UK Prime Minister in January 2020. Nigel works alongside the Chilean High-Level Climate Action Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz. The role of the high-level champions is to strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Nigel was most recently CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, following an 18 year career in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing.

‘Discover more stories of hope with Nigel and other climate innovators on the newly released The Green Room – What (On Earth’s) the Story film on You Tube’

Full film:


Time Line

00.00 – 00.44: Opening Credits

00.46 – 05.08: Introducing Nigel Topping

05.15 – 07.51: The advantage of converging pathways

08.22 – 10.40: The collaborative process at COP26

11.00 – 12.19: Momentum and how to change big systems

12.36 – 13.34: Where Nigel finds his inspiration and energy – moving through despair

13.35 – 16:21: The 4 unhelpful micro stories

16:30 – 21:28: What are the helpful stories to tell ourselves?

20:30 – 24:36: David’s ‘Wanderful’ Exercise: Recognising Patterns

24:59 – 28:42: Epilogue


“Changing big systems is very difficult and for all the clamour on the streets, there’s a lot of people who don’t want change… so… the louder the clamour gets, then the more it becomes a political force and so it opens up, but it’s only in the last few years that we’ve had that… it’s relatively new and it’s still only a minority of people.” (Nigel)

“Plenty of people who won’t allow politicians to move fast. It’s all very well saying you’ve got to move faster but we see CEO’s and politicians who have gone really fast, lose their jobs. The challenge is to take the WHOLE of society with us.” (Nigel)

“It’s not in the small hours, it’s in the middle of the day that I find despair and in Glasgow (COP26) I went through about three cycles of grief and joy per day.” (Nigel)

“The trick is not to fall on the two horns of the dilemma… there’s the ‘we’re so f****d, it’s not worth doing anything’ and ‘we’re so clever, it’s not worth worrying’. Both of those are b******t.” (Nigel)

“I do think you should be scared and sceptical and so you should dip into those stories. For example, the science is a story, which is based on fact, right, but it’s still a narrative that shows you why you should be scared. And the history of in-action shows you why you should be sceptical… but… you shouldn’t get stuck in those stories, because there is very little agency in those stories and there’s a danger of being stuck in despair or anger.” (Nigel)

“Hope is an active choice… and hope and action are intertwined.” (Nigel)

“Choose hope…to try to do something… to make the world a better place… and then think about your skills and your influence.” (Nigel)

“If you’ve got kids, go to their school and see if the school will get involved in the ‘let’s get to zero initiative. If you’ve got access to business leaders, bring them into your work.” (Nigel)

Further Information

Nigel Topping

Twitter @topnigel

Instagram @nigel.topping


David Pearl 

Twitter @DavidPearlHere

Instagram @davidpearl_here


Andrew Paine (Producer & Audio Engineer)

Twitter @ItPainesMe

Gabrielle Walker: The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl

Discover more stories of hope with Gabrielle and other climate innovators on the newly released The Green Room – What (On Earth’s) the Story film on You Tube’

Full film:


Gabrielle Walker, Founder and Director of Valence Solutions, is an expert strategist, speaker and moderator focused on unleashing capitalism on climate change. She works with global companies at boardroom-level, analysing emerging trends, challenging conventional thinking and driving meaningful action. Through its partnership with the UNFCCC High Level Champions for Climate Action, Valence Solutions participated in many COP26 events in Glasgow.

Gabrielle gives keynote addresses to corporate audiences around the world and is an accomplished moderator of high-level debates. She has presented many BBC TV and radio programmes, given a TED Countdown talk, was Climate Change Editor at Nature and Features Editor at New Scientist, has written extensively for many international newspapers and magazines including the FT, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and has authored four books. She earned her PhD at Cambridge University and has taught at both Cambridge and Princeton.


00.00 – 00.48: Theme

00.49 – 05.04: Introducing Gabrielle Walker

05.10 – 06.15: What’s Gabrielle’s story?

06.20 – 09.10: When the ‘stories’ are broken and the thirst for a better story

09.11 – 12.07: The ‘removals’ story

12.09 – 15.23: Saints and Sinners Story (Good Guys v Bad Guys)

15.24 – 17.35: Holding up a mirror to myself

17.40 – 19.32: The Wooly Pigs Story & Bringing Green (Natural) and Chrome (Technology) together

19.35 – 23.40: David’s ‘Green & Chrome’ exercise

23.59 – 27.50: Epilogue

27.51 – 28.35: End Credits


“We cannot now get down to net zero by 2050. We can’t stay below 1.5 degrees, this target we’re trying to get to, with all the means that we’re currently trying. We have left it too late.” (Gabrielle)

“ A much more heartening reason for getting behind carbon removals and taking CO2 back out of the sky (is) we can stop the problem getting worse and we can start to make it better… we can clean up our own mess and give the world a chance to heal.. and that… is a magical story.” (Gabrielle)

“You can store CO2 in the earth, in the trees, in soils, in ocean chemistry… you can store it in buildings, clothes, rocks, geological formations deep underground and probably other places we haven’t even thought of yet. And that means we can take it out of the sky and put it in all these other places and actually fix the problem.” (Gabrielle)

“You can use stories to connect individuals with people who don’t think in the way that you do in a way that they enjoy. Then you can make them feel safe enough to feel comfortable enough, for long enough to maybe go well ‘maybe it could be different’.” (Gabrielle)

“Go to the place inside where you can feel who you are and then go outside to the place to the friends around you… who helped me hold up a mirror to myself. And when I looked into the mirror and could go deeper… it’s a loving mirror, it’s the most wonderful thing anyone can ever give you. If you look into it you find a source of strength and power and energy and love that’s really spectacular.” (Gabrielle)

“I’m a woo-woo scientist” (Gabrielle)

Social Media

Gabrielle Walker

Twitter @GabrielleWalk3r


Vimeo Channel




David Pearl (Host)

Twitter @DavidPearlHere

Instagram @davidpearl_here


Andrew Paine (Producer & Audio Engineer)

Twitter @ItPainesMe

The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl: Season 2 Finale

Wanderful: Inspiration On The Go –

Season 2 Finale

“Hello wanderers… welcome to the finale of our second season of ‘Wanderful’.

If you’ve listened to any of the previous episodes, you will know this is a podcast which has been designed to be walked to, providing you with some ‘inspiration on the go’

Every week we invite an inspiring guest to join us… somebody with a refreshing take on life and its various twists and turns.

What you don’t know is that lots of the wonderful conversations get left on the cutting room floor.

However… David and the team have scooped up some of that interview gold so you can take a wander through the magic we missed out on.

As ever… you can listen to this podcast in your home, but we think you will get the most inspiration if you boot up and join David @davidpearl_here @streetwisdom_ out on the streets.

The Season 2 finale features conversations with the founder of ‘The Eden Project’, Sir Tim Smit KBE, chief listener and volunteer executive director of ‘Sidewalk Talk’, Traci Ruble, the great connector, presenter and co-creator, Oli Barrett, columnist for Psychologies magazine, host of the ‘Happy Hacks’ Podcast and founder of ‘Untold Happiness’, Kia Cannons and multi-grammy award singer / composer, Nmon Ford.

Time Line

00.00 – 00.09


00.10 – 03.29

David introduces the Omnibus edition & Traci Ruble

3.33 – 3.44

Traci Ruble ‘back stage’ and ‘on stage’

03.46 – 07.05

The world’s best cold caller

07.07 – 08.18

David introduces Kia Cannons

08.20 – 11.08

Natural Enthusiasm

11.10 – 14.06

Food intolerance and changing dietary lifestyle

14.10 – 15.28

David introduces Oli Barrett

15.32 – 18.45

The great re-framer

18.47 – 21.45

What gives us restoration?

21.49 – 23.02

David introduces Nmon Ford

23.05 – 29.03

How to promote yourself

29.07 – 30.54

David introduces to Sir Tim Smit

30.58 – 32.44

Things are getting boring at Eden – geo-thermal

32.50 – 40.32

Relations with China

42.28  – 44.57

The magic of improvisation

45.00 – 46.34

David circles back to Traci Ruble

46.38 – 47.56

Really meeting

48.49 – 50.14

End credits


Traci Ruble

(On Sidewalk Talk) Its a practice. Its like meditation, but relational meditation. Can I meet you and can I meet myself in this encounter and cultivate this into a practice which is consciousness raising?”

Kia Cannons

“Something I’m grateful for is that I wake up happy. Life has not been easy on many levels but I do have this natural enthusiasm and attitude to life.”

“I have always known there is the tough stuff and the good stuff and you get to choose what you focus on.”

Oli Barrett

“The things that restore us could be nature, music, the company of the people we love. Finding those chances for restoration, not just rest, is absolutely crucial.”

Nmon Ford

“If somebody else with whom you’ve worked, who knows other people can simply send a text message, an email, pick up a phone and call somebody, with who you’d like to work, that would be avenue one  and avenue number two would be just produce it yourself. Write it, find somebody else to write it, find some place to do it and just go ahead and do it.”

Sir Tim Smit

“From the beginning to the end of the concert… the audience was the concert. It was like the music was being drawn out of us, that they were the bards of our inner souls. Talk about happiness… I don’t think I’ve ever been to a concert wherever I looked, even people you imagined to be the shyest mice you’d ever seen, they were all singing, released by this… thing… and it felt like a joyous act of ensemble, with the conductors being the people who were the band. It was an extraordinary thing.”

Further Information

Traci Ruble


Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

Kia Cannons


Instagram: @kiacannons

Podcast: Happy Hacks

Oli Barrett

Twitter: @olibarrett

Nmon Ford


Twitter: @nmonford

Instagram: @nmonford

Sir Tim Smit KBE


Twitter: @edenproject

LinkedIn: eden-project

Facebook: theedenproject

Instagram: edenprojectcornwall

David Pearl

Twitter: @davidpearlhere

Instagram: @davidpearl_here

Andrew Paine (Producer)

Twitter: @ItPainesMe

Nmon Ford: The Wanderful Podcast with David Pearl

‘I don’t have much patience with what gets in the way‘


With multiple Grammy-winning albums to his credit, Nmon Ford began his musical journey at age three as a piano prodigy, moving quickly to the study of multiple other instruments and, ultimately, singing. He started the season as the composer and librettist (and title-role singer) of Orfeus, A House Music Opera, which was scheduled for its world premiere at London’s Young Vic Theatre (postponed due to Covid19). Nmon has appeared with the major orchestras of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, as well as Mostly Mozart Festival (Lincoln Center), San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, English National Opera, Hamburg State Opera, and Teatro Comunale di Bologna, with conductors including Robert Spano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kent Nagano, John Adams, and Marin Alsop. He has recorded for Universal Decca, Naxos (Songs of Innocence and Experience, winner of 4 Grammy Awards), Telarc (Transmigrations, Grammy Award winner), Concord, and Koch International.

Additionally, Nmon is Managing Director of Branding, Marketing Strategy, and A&R for Lune Rouge Entertainment, a corporation started by Guy Laliberté, the founder and creative force behind Cirque du Soleil. Prior to Lune Rouge, Nmon was Vice President and Head of A&R at Universal Music Group’s Verve Label Group (VLG), where he oversaw U.S. media and creative projects for Verve, Decca Gold, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, Mercury KX and Paragon, in addition to collaborations with artists signed to Republic, Interscope, Capitol, Warner, and Sony. In this role he also directly managed the Decca Gold and Paragon labels, for which he led global initiatives and partnerships. During his tenure at Universal, VLG earned an Oscar, a Golden Globe, 10 Grammys, 18 Grammy nominations, and Billboard #1 rankings on multiple charts.

Nmon joined Universal after having made a name for himself internationally as an artist and consultant. Prior to Universal, he was Co-Founder and Senior Director of Media and Communications at MATSTAT Consulting. In this position he led creative development and integrated marketing strategy for global clients including recording artists signed to Universal, Sony, Warner, and Live Nation; Target’s Community Initiatives; TED Talks; Gujarat Raffia LTD (NGO partnerships with United Nations, UNICEF, and American Red Cross); and Scallywag Productions (Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Awards from Los Angeles Independent, Berlin, Chicago, London, and Serbian Film Festivals).

Nmon is a Voting Member of the Recording Academy, a Contributing Member of the USC Alumni Association, and a Member of ASCAP. He earned his MBA in Marketing Management and Corporate Strategy and Entrepreneurship from California State University San Bernardino, and his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music—both with honors—from the University of Southern California, with additional studies in Journalism and Arts Administration.

Time Line

0.00 – 00.45

Intro Theme

00.46 – 4.49

Introducing Nmon

5.00 – 7.45

Nmon on being an artist

8.08 – 10.10

Detesting inconvenience

10.36 – 11.43

Practicality and evenness

12.48 – 14.30

The multiplicity of working roles

14.36 – 16.50

Self reflection and absence of self consciousness

17.08 – 21.08

Starting life as a performer – performing in church

23.40 – 24.40

Working at Universal Music

24.41 – 28.40

All artists have a twinge of crazy

28.51 – 35.57

Orpheus Production

37.32 – 41.00

The postponement of Orpheus

42.17 – 43.24

Star quality

43.25 – 47.12

Being the star of your own movie

47.30 – 50.28

Reflecting on the ‘exercise’

50.30 – 51.13



“So much of what I do as an artist is a function of practical necessity.” (Nmon)

“Being an artist isn’t really difficult.. .the difficulty comes in trying to make the learning curve for new avenues of creativity as short as possible.” (Nmon)

“If there is a reasonable amount of time to get from one point to another and there’s something in the way, I don’t really have much patience for the thing that gets in the way. If it gets in the way of my structure… then it has to move. (Nmon)

“If the one thing I thought I wanted to do had worked out the way I thought I wanted it to work out, I probably would never have progressed to the other stuff I have done, because  there would have been no need to.” (Nmon)

“I can either stick with this one thing and just keep hammering away at it and trying to force it into something else or I can simply do all of these things, which are presenting themselves as opportunities and see where they go.” (Nmon)

“Have you ever worked with an artist who is marginally sane or are they all a little crazy?” (Nmon)

“Orpheus is so simple; presented so simply; what ended up being archetypes were so clear; there was no misunderstanding… “ (Nmon)

“If I could have flicked the switch and turned off the pandemic for anything it would have been for going back to the communal experience of ‘we’re all connecting on a certain level’ … and I felt blessed that the connective material was this thing… was Orpheus.” (Nmon)



Nmon performs ‘Slow Burn’ from Orfeus

Further information

Nmon Ford

Twitter: @nmonford

Instagram: @nmonford

David Pearl

Twitter: @davidpearlhere

Instagram: @davidpearl_here

Andrew Paine

Twitter: @ItPainesMe