Profiles in Regeneration: Hermione, 21, UK
Localisation of everything from food to transport, because supporting local businesses and community projects means creating better connected communities, which would increase wellbeing as well as creating local economies.
Young people all around the world are working to build a regenerative future. At 21, Hermione Beckitt is one of those people. She wants to create an app that connects local farmers’ produce to the people, so people are access to fresh local food — which is better for the world’s carbon footprint. This app will help us become as familiar with our local farmers as we are with our local convenience stores!
Regenerative Futures: How are you feeling right now?
Hermione Beckitt: A mixture of despair for the state of our planet and optimism for the future.
RF: What’s a secret your search history can tell us about you?
HB: I’m endlessly looking up people I hear about that are doing cool things (people who are creating positive change), majorly stalking them on the internet for an insight into how they got to where they are and to learn from them. I’m always learning!
RF: What are you reading/learning about at the moment?
HB: Documentary filmmaking for creating impact.
RF: Who is your favorite human and why?
HB: My sister because she is a wise old owl in a young body, intelligent and kind. She knows me the best out of everyone and is always there for me.
RF: Which key moment inspired you to start your project?
HB: I was listening to a talk by Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of Local Futures, about localisation and she said ‘it is crazy that we know our doctor or our accountant but not the farmers who produce the food on our plate’. This got me thinking; how can we connect farmers and consumers, and in doing so reconnect people with where their food comes from so that they understand why it’s important to buy local and seasonal produce.
RF: In two years’ time, what would success with your project look like?
HB: Farms all over the country logged onto the app and successfully connecting and selling their produce to locals, whether that be their main way of distribution, surplus or ‘wonky’ veg not wanted by the supermarkets. I hope it will be playing a part in making the food system more sustainable by reducing food waste and carbon emissions from transport, while helping farmers economically.
RF: If you could focus a large percentage of government funding on one industry or project for the next five to ten years, which you choose and why?
HB: Localisation of everything from food to transport, because supporting local businesses and community projects means creating better connected communities, which would increase wellbeing as well as creating local economies. It leads to better health as people can access everything they need on their doorstep rather than travelling everywhere by car, which in turn would produce less emissions and give people more time to do the things they enjoy. This would lead to a shift in the transport system as less new roads and trains would be needed, which would be damaging for the environment and costly. So a shift to focusing on localisation of every industry would have a huge impact on local economies as well as benefitting people’s wellbeing. Alternatively, funding for protection of the environment and creating more green spaces, as connection with nature is fundamental to human health and wellbeing. In turn, if more people have access to nature they are more likely to want to protect it, so it’s a positive feedback loop.
RF: What is the best and worst thing about the education system in your country?
HB: The best thing is everyone in the UK has access to school and boys and girls are treated equally. The worst thing is the focus on grades and exams to prove people’s intelligence, with no recognition or space for alternative activities and experiences which will actually provide life skills. Also the lack of education on the UK’s colonial history; it’s scandalous to ignore the fact that our wealth was created from exploiting other countries and we should all be educated on this topic, so that people understand why the world is the way it is.
RF: Do you have a message for anyone your age living in the year 2060?
HB: Don’t give up. Use your voice and take action. Together we are powerful. Great changes happen when people come together and work in unity rather than against one another.
RF: What inspires or frightens you most about the future?
HB: I’m inspired by the new generation of young people rising up that care passionately about issues such as climate change and racial justice. We are standing up against the powers and not standing for their incompetence. However, I’m frightened that we won’t be able to limit the 1.5 degree increase by 2030, because at the current rate it’s not going to happen. I’m scared that the people in power show no sign of treating the climate crisis as a crisis.
Hermione Beckitt is a Regenerative List Finalist.