When we put our trash on the curbside, where do we imagine it goes? It is making its way to the north and south poles. Are we ok with this? I am a global and earth health activist and researcher. I can’t help but see of parallels in health challenges in the global North as in some low and middle-income countries in the global south such as access to health care, impact of climate change, remote medicine and decentralized and adapted community health responses. I have a love for polar regions, led a small civilian clean up expedition to the Antarctic in collaboration with The Russian Antarctic Expedition and spent years reading and writing about the Antarctic as a social scientist. The book I co-uthored, The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning, is a record of that stewardship expedition.
Now I’m looking North and have started learning about circumpolar health and wellbeing for four million people living in the Arctic. I was a fellow of Arctic Summer College and presented on their behalf at the Arctic Circle Forum in Iceland in October 2016. I participated in a clean up in Svalbard, Norway above the Arctic Circle and brought home a survey marine debris from that trip which is now collected by the Canada Science and Technology Museum and is photographed in an exhibit she photographed, Aquamess: Portraits of Garbage at the top of the World. Aquamess has exhibited in a group show at The New York Hall of Science and is in an upcoming exhibit Photograph As Response, at The Centre for Fine Art Photography, Colorado. Previous I have also worked with The Museum of AIDS in Africa (Program Manager and Strategic Advisor), The Stephen Lewis Foundation (researcher, rapporteur and co-facilitator) and with Dignitas International (Policy Advisor). I have an MSc degree in The Politics of Rights, Faculty of Economics (London University) and an undergraduate degree in from McGill University. Currently I am Humanitarian Affairs Advisor with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF) Canada. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx