At the beginning of the lunch keynote, we were introduced to eco-tourism pioneer and Storyfest sponsor Sven Lindblad by video.
“I have always believed that tourism and conservation go hand-in-hand," he said in the video. “I wanted to connect people with wild places — and I wanted them to understand the importance of these places.”
Frank Sesno then welcomed Lindblad to the stage and they began with Lindblad sharing some insight into what Storyfest winners will be experiencing on the expedition to Alaska with Lindblad Expeditions.
We’re constantly looking for ways through storytelling to broaden the exposure of these experiences — the beauty, wonder, and relevance, Lindblad said.
Sesno also asked whether he had witnessed any evidence of climate change himself.
Lindblad shared that he'd just returned from the Norwegian Arctic — after not visiting since about 1976. On his original trip he said they wouldn't have dreamed of going prior to late July because the sea ice would have been so thick. This March he traveled to see what it was like in the spring — so this was four months earlier in the year than his previous journey, 42 years ago. What did they find?
"Just very thin sea ice, formed very recently. We were totally able to move freely," he said. "And it’s been that way for years — though this was a particularly extreme year. And this is happening all over the Arctic."