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How an Understanding of Our History Can Shape Our Future Relationship With the Outdoors with David Olusoga OBE


2023 Blue Earth Lecture by David Olusoga OBE

At Blue Earth we believe in the power of the outdoors to make positive change, to unite people, build community and transform business. The outdoors offers us a vision for our reimagined future, a better place to be.

But it is too easy to be future thinking without fully understanding our past and how it has shaped the present experience for diverse communities and individuals across the UK.

The 2023 keynote Blue Earth lecture will be given by BAFTA winning producer/ presenter and best-selling author, David Olusoga OBE, who will tell the story of Britain’s complex history of the outdoors and share lessons for the future.

David is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester and has presented historical documentaries for the BBC, The One Show and The Guardian. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2019 New Year Honours list for services to history and to community integration.

The Bristol-based, British-Nigerian historian will outline how the use, ownership and culture of the countryside today has been directly shaped by the wealth created from empire and slavery, underpinning the UK’s rapid urbanisation and disconnect from land and nature. A culture of land ownership and exclusion based on wealth, race and class has left millions of people excluded from the benefits of the countryside today.

David will speak directly to businesses, individuals and organisations at the event as he sets out a vision for a reimagined future which better reflects the rapidly changing demographics of the UK. He will make the case that we must face our history, to avoid past mistakes and to change its course moving forward.

Our past informs our future and our present day. For our movement to be truly powerful, for it to bring positive change to a wider community, we must face our complex history, the complex history of the outdoors which is rife with exclusion, conquest and false ‘discovery’ which dates back to our history.

We cannot change this history, but as businesses and organisations connected to the outdoors we can acknowledge and understand it and ensure it informs how we reimagine the future.

Click the button below to view our full event programme for further details on the content available at this year’s Blue Earth Summit.


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Blue Earth is the platform that brings individuals together based on a shared set of values, aiming to improve our world collectively. Through our distinct events — Summit, Futures, and Forum — inspired by the great outdoors, we foster meaningful connections and drive positive change.

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