Supermodel, Cambridge graduate, activist – Lily Cole has many strings to her bow. Now she’s written a book that tackles our most urgent challenge
I am tramping through the long grass of a Sussex nature reserve with supermodel-turned-activist Lily Cole. Beyond the gorse and the bracken, a vast open sky stretches before us. It certainly beats a sterile Zoom call. “How amazing is this?” she says. “I’ve been talking about moving to nature for years and then, finally, I decided to do it two years ago. I’ve been very grateful for it in general and particularly, obviously, these last few months.”
Cole, 32, has just rocked up on a big beast of an e-bike. Of course she is on a bike, though she could have as easily been driving her fancy electric Tesla car. The Tesla tech whiz Elon Musk is just one of the so-called “Wizards” she has interviewed for her book, Who Cares Wins: Reasons for Optimism in Our Changing World. The Wizards are the people who are using technology in an attempt to innovate us out of the environmental crisis. In the other camp are the “Prophets” who say we must cut back, travel less, consume less, simplify. Cole examines both approaches in the book.