Under The Spotlight: Dr Nick Askew

Dr Nick Askew, Director of Conservation Careers tells us how he believes social enterprise could be the future for conservation

Nick Askew
Founder & Director
Conservation Careers

In this weeks edition of Under the spotlight we talk with Dr Nick Askew, Founder and Director of the awesome careers advice centre, Conservation Careers.

" All my life I’ve had a deep connection with nature, and a wish to share it with others and to help it thrive. I feel one the best ways to conserve the environment is to get great people into conservation and ecology, and let them rip. I also think it’s a great tragedy that people wishing to dedicate their lives to helping conserve nature have poor access to open, accurate and honest careers advice. What I do is help people to help nature."

Lets see what else Nick had to say as he went, Under the spotlight...🔦

What inspired you to get involved in conservation and the environment?

I spent my childhood being obsessed by fishing. This meant I spent thousands of (often fish-less) hours sat by rivers and lakes immersed in nature - watching the birds, insects and flowers around me.

If you could change one thing to make a huge impact on the planet, what would it be?

Reduce the birthrates around the globe, to ensure the human population reduces to more sustainable levels.

In absence of this ... I want to help as many people as possible to undertake actions, large and small, to help wildlife. This might mean providing a much needed career path for someone wanting to become a professional conservationist (which is what we do at Conservation Careers) or inspiring someone to use less plastic. Anyone can be a conservationist.

Photo by Conservation Careers

What needs to be improved in the conservation industry?

I believe that we need more social enterprises in conservation. Charities do an amazing job, and we should all support them as much as we can. However, being reliant solely upon donations puts a cap on our impact levels, which is probably way too low to curb biodiversity declines globally. Finding ways to create ethical businesses which can deliver biodiversity conservation provides huge opportunity for impact at scale. It raises the ceiling for what's achievable. We need more ecoprenuers in the world, and charities need to find innovative ways to create profitable products and services to support their causes.

Do you have a memorable encounter with nature/animal?

All the time. I don't believe that rare species are the best, and take pleasure from watching common species. Yesterday I was on a beach in Devon with my son, and we found a crab in a rockpool. It was awesome.

Conservation role model?

Chris Yates. He's a traditional fisherman with an amazing way of communicating the wonders of the natural world.


Conservation Careers

Nick Askew

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