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One year on from an extraordinary voyage across the Pacific Ocean, Emily Penn will share her insights into how remote island communities are adapting to change, including their transition to a money-based society and the opportunities and challenges this brings.

Emily sailed to the Line Islands of Kiribati by the only means possible: a sailing cargo ship trading western supplies for coconuts. She set out with the aim of creating a zero waste community, but found that the issue could only be solved by facing up to much bigger questions.

In the wake of an inspirational opening lecture at the Society’s famous Explore weekend, Emily is visiting Southampton, Brecon, Darlington, Stamford, Keswick and King’s Lynn in the coming months.

Emily says: “We're facing challenges at every level of our society, and there's a great deal we can learn from traditional communities who are only just beginning to wrestle with the very issues that have overcome the western world. Tackling these problems on an island scale can help us see solutions to bring about a more resilient society.”

“It's a privilege to speak at venues throughout the UK and I'm hugely excited to be given the opportunity to share my story and interact with audiences nationwide.”


Notes to Editors

1. For further details about the Society’s activities contact Ben Parfitt, RGS-IBG Communications and Media Officer on +44 (0)20 7591 3019 or email For event details contact the relevant venue.

2. The Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is for 'the advancement of geographical science'. Today, we deliver this objective by developing, supporting and promoting geography through research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, and public engagement, while also providing geographical input to policy. We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer'

3. Emily Penn is an oceans advocate, skipper and artist; a graduate of Cambridge University with a degree in Sustainable Architecture; and Director of global organisation Pangaea Explorations. Prior to ‘Sailing the Line’ she rounded the planet on the biofuelled Earthrace boat; spent six months living on a tiny Tongan island organising the largest ever community led clean-up; and discovered previously unknown oceanic gyres – huge areas of plastic pollution accumulation.

Further information at

Dates and venues

Thursday 24 April at 8.00pm (Turner Sims)
Regional Theatres Programme (Southampton)
Venue: Turner Sims, University of Southampton, Highfield Road, Southampton, SO17 1BJ.
Tickets: £7 - £14 T 023 8059 5151 W

Friday 2 May at 7.45pm (Theatr Brycheiniog)
Regional Theatres Programme (Brecon)
Venue: Theatr Brycheiniog, Canal Wharf, Brecon, LD3 7EW.
Tickets: £8.50 - £10.50 T 01874 611622 W

Tuesday 27 May at 7.30pm (Civic at Central Hall)
Regional Theatres Programme (Darlington)
Venue: Civic at Central Hall, The Dolphin Centre, Horsemarket, Darlington, DL1 5RP.
Tickets: £9 - £11 T 01325 486555 W

Wednesday 28 May at 8.00pm (Stamford Arts Centre)
Regional Theatres Programme (Stamford)
Venue: Stamford Arts Centre, 27 St Mary’s Street, Stamford, PE9 2DL.
Tickets: £9 - £12 T 01780 763203 W

Sunday 22 June at 7.30pm (Theatre by the Lake)
Regional Theatres Programme (Keswick)
Venue: Theatre by the Lake, Lakeside, Keswick, CA12 5DJ.
Tickets: £9.50 - £14 T 01768 774411 W

Tuesday 21 October at 7.30pm (King's Lynn Arts Centre (as part of the King’s Lynn Festival))
Regional Theatres Programme (King’s Lynn)
Venue: King's Lynn Arts Centre (as part of the King’s Lynn Festival), 27-29 King Street, King's Lynn, PE30 1HA.
Tickets: Prices TBC. T 01553 764864 W