It’s been over two years since I packed my belongings into a storage space, picked up my electric car, and set off to meet the Chinese changemakers.
Driving through China, staying in remote places, immersing myself with locals, and sharing countless hours of discussions with industry experts, entrepreneurs, and community leaders has been quite the adventure.
I gained even more trust & confidence in my convictions of this country and the path they are forging for sustainability, the circular economy, climate change, the environment, and the world.
Sharing the story back then felt raw, and I hadn't really processed the meaning of it all. But having traveled back to China early this year made me realize that the time is now. So here we are; I am publishing my journey into a documentary series.
As of January 21st, 2024, I will be sharing weekly episodes of the KAILU journey, a total of 12 episodes entitled:
KAILU, The Open Road.
A cross-country journey to meet the Chinese Changemakers in sustainability.
Watch it here: The KAILU Docu Series
What can you expect?
A documentary about my journey across China, meeting the changemakers who bring positive change to their communities through sustainable practices.
In the first episode, you follow the journey from the very beginning ... In 2020, I had been running my own little company in sustainability in the city of Shanghai for 5 years, and it all came crumbling down by the end of the year. Picking the pieces back up, I ask myself two important questions: Who am I? What do I want to do? Together with my friends, and especially my friend Gaultier Letourneau-Ross, who is an independent producer, consultant, and advisor in the entertainment industry, we slowly built this old dream of mine. And the answers brought me on this journey. In July 2021, I packed my belongings in a storage space, rented an electric car, and left Shanghai to meet the people who inspired me outside of the city walls.
A Sustainability Documentary China
The initial idea of this adventure was to showcase sustainable solutions and business and how to move forward in the future. I will speak of sustainability in this bookregarding but don’t expect a miracle solution or groundbreaking tech solutions that are bound to change the world. No, ,none of that.
What you will find, however, are seeds. Seeds of knowledge, some ancient, some newer. Seeds of truth, eternal and ephemeral. Seeds of hope.
Just like my loyal four-legged friend, Khailou, did on the road, you will journey with me through these pages. Sometimes, you'll be sitting in the passenger seat of my car, trailing behind me in the mountains, or sitting nearby, eavesdropping on conversations with strangers and friends.
You will witness my visions, fears, convictions, and opinions and how they fall as pieces of a puzzle into a whole picture of a new vision.
THE CURVED ROAD OF MY SUSTAINABILITY JOURNEY
My journey in China and sustainability coincided in 2014. Back then, I was researching the circular economy and how this system could save our modern societies from an enormous climate crisis in my lifetime. I have been all over the spectrum regarding my beliefs and convictions on how we should act in the future.
When I started my company called Zero Waste Shanghai, my lifestyle didn’t generate any waste in landfills; simultaneously, my convictions on topics such as solar energy or recycling were very strong.
Throughout the years, specific solutions have been proven wrong, and others have shown more importance than we gave them credit. And the one question that I keep receiving is this:
What is the solution? What is the checklist for a sustainable future?
What I have learned is that the sustainability industry is a very young one, and I (we) need to accept that certain solutions and strategies have yet to be created and that we are in the process of coming to understand what works and what doesn’t.
Therefore, I try to remain curious, skeptical, hopeful, and inquisitive. Everything is a question of perspective. There is no right answer. There are cues. The answer may be within the process.
Each and every single one carries a different point of view on the world we live in. My view of the world comes through my experiences, encounters, and beliefs, and this is what you will find in this book.
The journey is about friendship, passion, strong values, and authenticity.
If the changemakers and I were not friends before I interviewed them, we are today. These are people who have touched me in very particular ways. Maybe it’s through their courage, their creativity, their vulnerability, or their dreams.
My friends are ordinary people like you and me; they are not more or less gifted than anyone else. However, one thing they all have in common is that they have decided to align their actions with the values and live life to that image.
Some of them decided to share their values with others, and people listened. Some call them inspirational, others call them remarkable, but really, they are just being authentic to who they are.
You will see that I tried to keep the interviews as genuine and authentic as I heard them. It is not my intention to interpret the meaning of the words that have been shared during our conversation; it is up to the reader to make the first impression.
This being said, you will find some of my thoughts written out after the interviews, where I have taken some time to make sense of this experience and the words that have been shared.
Finally, I hope this journey inspires you in some way. As always, I am merely sharing with you my own reality, life on earth, through my lens, and I hope it brings you beauty, ease, and joy.
Watch it here: The KAILU Docu-Series