This is a guest blog written by Alisa Murphy of Life Size Media, first posted on their own blog on 2nd November 2011.
Watching the BBC’s Frozen Planet last week had a particular resonance for me. Of course I was awed by the breath-taking photography, but I spent most of the 60 minutes thinking ‘Is Mark seriously going to try and ski across that? On his own? Can that actually be done?’
Life Size Media came across explorer Mark Wood through our work with The DoNation. Mark is attempting to become the first person in history to solo ski both the North and South Poles consecutively. Part of Mark’s drive is to raise awareness around how climate change is changing the poles, because, as David Attenborough said at the end of the film, ‘what happens here affects every one of us, no matter where we live on the planet’. Mark is doing great work sharing his journey with schools. He’s also raising sponsorship through The DoNation’s unique platform, asking people to pledge environmental action rather than cash.
This morning, we finally met the man himself. And I’m very excited to say that Mark has appointed Life Size Media as the official media partner for his North South Solo Expedition. We’re really excited to be a part of this incredible project, and with Mark’s dedication to climate awareness and education it couldn’t be a better fit for us. As we sat down with Mark and Hermione (Founder of The Donation) to plan a media timeline with calls from the poles, blog posts from the ice and the race to meet the Russian helicopter at the end of the journey, I found myself a little overwhelmed by Mark’s undertaking.
Mark will be entirely on his own, more isolated than perhaps anyone else on the planet, facing some of the most challenging physical and environmental challenges imaginable. It’s pretty impressive to meet someone that dedicated to what they believe in. When I mentioned this to Mark his response was typically down-to-earth – ‘Yeah, people think I’m crazy but then that’s how things happen isn’t it?’ As he said that a giggle of recognition went around the table. Looking around it struck me that each of us there has heard that plenty of times. As the founder of and driving force behind a one-of-a-kind social enterprise, Hermione gets it all the time. Certainly, everyone told Emma and I we were crazy to set up our own business and in the middle of a recession. And I know Suzy had the same response when she chose to leave a large, prestigious agency to work for a start-up.
But as Mark says, that’s how things happen. That’s how you achieve things and make a difference. We set up a business with no funding at a time of economic downturn, Hermione is single-handedly developing an entirely new form of sponsorship, and Mark – well Mark is attempting something that much be pretty close to impossible. But we’re all here, sat round this table, and it’s happening…
And I say, here’s to the crazy ones.
A word from the man himself: