The Spindrifter Series :: Sara Rickards
↠ T H E S P I N D R I F T E R S E R I E S ↠
To say I’m excited to introduce our next Spindrifter is an understatement! She is one incredible and inspiring women who we have been following with awe for a little while now and were so excited that she agreed to be interviewed as part of our Spindrifter Series….
Meet Sara Rickards AKA the Sustainability Ninja, Fuckgiver and Purpose Hacker – she is both a Biomedical Scientist & Environmental Engineer. However, you won’t find her in a lab or at a desk working on a spreadsheet – you will only find her out in the wild co-designing epic experiences and solutions to increase the wellbeing of people and the planet. Co-Founder of FuckGiving – A contagious movement to unlock human potential!
This cheeky potty mouth has disrupted the higher education system, construction industry and now she has her eyes set on the economy (she’s a full-time bad-ass creating change wherever her part-time mermaid adventures take her ). Sara is a peer reviewed author in transformative education, sustainability, systems change and eco-footprinting. She has worked with everyone from The Government to Google, to the purpose driven start-up that you haven’t heard of yet, but is probably about to disrupt the shit out of an entire industry.
In a previous life she was the Education For Sustainability Manager at Macquarie University, TEDx speaker, Co-host for the Un-School of Disruptive Design, Program Manager for The Centre of Sustainability Leadership and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Wow…. lets jump in and ask her some questions….
↠ How did you come to be a full time Fuckgiver?
It was kind of an accident. Firstly I thought we needed a new language for sustainability and climate change. And I started asking myself “how do we get more people to give a fuck?” After having an existential crisis about our impact on the planet, especially on birthdays, I decided to use my 30th birthday as an experiment – and asked all of my friends to give a fuck for me instead of buying me things. When I woke up on my birthday, 30 different countries were giving fucks, and we had an impact on about 10,000 people. I promised to give a fuck right back for all the fucks given, so it made sense to become a full-time fuckgiver (and part-time mermaid) to keep good on my promise. You can find out more about what I have been up to on the Fuckgiving website.
↠ What’s your big vision // dream for the next few years?
To unlock human potential – I want to help lots of people find the thing they give a fuck about and help them live their purpose. I also want to regenerate places – increase our connection to ourselves, each other and the planet. And finally, I want to keep adventuring in wild places and be as playful as possible.
↠ Tell us what typical day for you looks like?
It’s random to be honest – I like to think of myself as a “Wild Worker” – doing the work that needs to be done, and aligns to my purpose. However, I have been trying to really consciously design my life. I don’t put “work” at the core of all that I do, I put all the things that are actually important to me first (like time in nature, learning and spending time with people I give a fuck about) and then work fits in between all of those things. I also spend a lot of time thinking about why I do what I do, and with who – I love collaborating with legends and working with like minded game changers. Most of the time you can find me in my PJs or silly costumes, in my garden, in the ocean, by a fire or talking to strangers or on crazy adventures. I also sometimes do silly talks on stages and host fuckfests to co-create solutions for the world. And I would like to add – when I say that “work” fits in around all the other things, I’m also always “working” – people often ask me if I ever turn off – but when you’re living your purpose, that is the work, you’re doing your bit in this huge ecology on the planet, and everything is in alignment with what you’re meant to be doing here.
↠ When you’re not busy creating positive change through Fuckgiving.co, where can we find you?
In wild places – in the forest, by a fire, in the ocean ( although, i like to combine “work” and play, so if I’m out in the wilderness, it’s likely I’m also giving fucks!).
↠ What has been your most important & defining moment so far?
Committing corporate suicide by starting a thing called “Fuckgiving!” and living life by my own rules (even though, sometimes it scares the shit out of me).
↠ Tell us about your personal connection to our wild and beautiful natural landscapes + what do you do to minimise your impact on them?
Ah, this is a big question. I feel so connected to certain places – especially mountains and the ocean.
I was a bit of a mess the other day after leaving the mountains – feeling so disconnected from something that makes me feel so connected. It was almost like a blip of an understanding of what it might feel like to be a traditional custodian of this land (although I will never understand this fully, it gave me a slice of empathy and a charge of energy to take into the work that I’m so humbled to do with some of traditional custodians of this land). I’m always trying to minimise my negative impact (and increase my positive impact). I used to be an eco-footprint analyst, so I look at my high impact areas like diet and travel try to be really conscious about those things. Perhaps more importantly, I don’t just travel for the sake of a holiday, I think alot about what I can do to contribute to that place, instead of just taking. For example our recent trip to the Tarkine where we had a “Fuckfest” – to help get the Tarkine on the radar on the mainland of Australia. If you don’t know about the Tarkine – watch this 37minute video!
↠ What two key things have you learnt in your path which continue to push you forward?
Everyone is changing the world. Every choice we make, everything we do creates change – so we better start being conscious of that power and use it to co-create an epic future.
Also, I believe we have no idea of what we are capable of – and I’m excited to unlock that day after day in myself and others through the work that I do, which is basically a huge lifetime experiment I have made myself the guinea pig of.
↠ We heard that you recently you ran a ‘Mer-School’ co-creating solutions to the waste crisis to heal our seas! Sounds totally incredible! Tell us more about how it went?
Mer-School was one of the most magical things I have ever been a part of. I don’t really know what to say about it just yet. But here is a testimonial that sums it up pretty perfectly by @_gwall:
“So I’ve tried to sit down and write a summary of our little trip to K’gari about 10 times tonight, and it’s honestly been a bloody nightmare 😂 How are you supposed to put into words an experience that feels like it has changed your DNA? That has lit the biggest mother fucking flame in your guts that you feel like bursting? 🔥
Barefoot hikes, beach runs, washing each others hair, food infused with love, climbing trees, skinny-dipping, learning about giving a fuck, twerking 🍑, cuddle puddles ✨, deep DEEP SCARY TERRIFYING honesty, SO MUCH LAUGHTER, SoOOoOOo many tears, singing and dancing and making music, poo chats 💩, yoges, SWIMMING WITH FUCKING WHALES?!? 🐋
Waking up on the water every day to the sunrise and going to bed after watching the sunset with a full belly, a sore face from laughing and a heart overflowing with deep, authentic, honest, raw, overwhelming love. I feel more myself than I’ve ever felt. How the fuck is this real life?! How. The fuck. Was that real? I’ve asked myself this about 500 times since getting home. It most definitely wasn’t always smooth sailing ⛵️(pun intended). There were a lot of tears, a lot of confronting fears, a lot of overcoming the shit circling around in my little head, plus on top of all that then running out of water and food 🥦 (hilarious when you’re on a trip to learn about environmental conservation). But fuck. It couldn’t have been more perfect. The words that keeps coming back when I try to think of the experience as a whole is “deep connection”- to others (soul sisters, soul brothers, soul mates 🧜🏽♀️🧜🏽♂️), to the ocean, to Mother Nature, to my inner flame, to my heart, to food, to music, to the planet, and to the creatures that wander on it and swim within it. I truly hope everyone has at least one experience in their life similar to what we experienced. We all deserve to feel what life is really meant to be like 🌻🌻🌻
“What is the next step to bring ourselves closer to our highest and best selves”.
↠ Who/what do you look to for inspiration? // Who/what makes your heart light up?
Everyone I hang out with – I consciously choose who I spend time with based on a few cheeky criteria – “does this person bring good vibes, challenge, motivate and inspire me?”
Also, who we choose to spend time with has such a huge impact on how and where our time is spent – and I believe time as a more important currency than money, so this is super important to me. I also really value the quality of the conversations about real shit, infused with vulnerability and rawness.
Overall – I’m so grateful to have with so many legends that I get to share space with.
↠ What is your favourite quote and why does it particularly resonate with you?
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better “ Albert Einstein
Because sometimes being human is hard and a bit scary – and I can always find solace in being reminded that we are nature, and I think there is a lot of beauty in that.
↠ What’s next on your horizon? // What can we expect to see?
I don’t know – life is emergent if you had of asked me this a year ago, I would never have been able to predict all the random shit that went down – from starting a pop-up school on a boat, to being invited to a palace in the UK to talk about world changing ideas.
But what I can say is, you can expect rouge, fearless, cheeky and playful things that align to my purpose to be at the core of whatever it is that you will see 🙂
↠ What advice would you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t follow in my footsteps – find your own authentic path, be you, get to know yourself and what sets your soul on fire and just do that, don’t make excuses and don’t worry about fucking it up – we all fuck up – and in retrospect that’s usually the fun part or the bit that teaches us the most about ourselves and the world.
Thank you so much Sara for taking the time to chat to us, I’m feeling pretty inspired to get out there and do more!
If you want to reach out to Sara to find out more about Fuckgiving, you can join the Fuckgiving Facebook Group or reach out for a free 15 minute chat with Sara…
Strawkle Photo Credit : Drift.Woody