Greenpeace Head of Oceans Will McCallum: Activism & Campaining

21 Jan 2019


"In the same way the forests are known as the lungs of the planet (...) the oceans play a much greater roll in providing us with oxigen — we relay on the oceans for every second breath"



Will McCallum is the Head of Oceans at Greenpeace UK, he joined the NGO six years ago as a political advisor and has now become the leader of the plastics campaign in Britain. His job is to ensure that the issues threatening our oceans are tackled. I met him at the Greenpeace offices in London, a building that used to be an animal testing facility before GP took it and transformed it into their headquarters. Will was very busy, carrying his laptop with him and discuissing with other members of the NGO what their next moves were going to be regarding their ongoing campaign. And still, he put aside an hour of his time to chat with me for The Cheeky Revolution. We even 'survived' a fire drill, it's on tape, you'll hear it...




McCallum studied Persian and Islamic arts at University and started to go to local environmtal groups to learn about the threats we're facing and also about what we could be doing, by the time he came out of Uni he was 'completely dedicated to campaigning'. He says 'to anyone trying to work somewhere like Greenpeace or another NGO... I just say there isn't really one route. We've got people who came from advertising, politics, straight out of University (...) What's important is that you're always developing your skills.' Then he adds 'Your next job might just be a step to the one you want to get to in the end'.




"We should be working together to tackle inequality, to tackle environmental issues"




He is the author of 'How to Give Up Plastic', a book in which he talks about how the plastic movement started, he interviews environmental activists and also gives his best advice on how to campaign. This is just a fragment of our interview for The Cheeky Revolution Podcast:



"You can guarantee you won't change someone's mind if you just present them with a big banner saying 'you're wrong'. Ultimately, we start from a point of thinking anyone could be our ally. You start from giving them a chance. That first approach (...) will set the tone for your relationship with that company, or that individual, or politician, maybe for many years. And you wanna get it right." 







You can listen to this and way more on the podcast player below or wherever you like to get your podcast!  


In this episode we chat about:

  • How to get a job at an NGO like Greenpeace

  • How to lead a successful activism campaign

  • The (often unknown) importance of a healthy ocean in our lives

  • Plastic polution

  • Why should we care about the animals

  • Can Nature regenerate and heal itself?

  • Tips on how to reduce plastic at home


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