Episode 58 Exploration and Adventure with Former Patagonia CEO Kris Tompkins
Kristine Tompkins is the former CEO of Patagonia and the co-founder and president of Tompkins Conservation. Recently profiled by the prolific Academy-award winning duo Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Versalyi in the National Geographic documentary Wild Life, Kris’s daring, adventurous, bold endeavors with her husband Doug Tompkins continue to create ripples of lasting change. After serving as the CEO of Patagonia for 20 years, she uprooted her life and moved to Chile for her love of Doug and the wild landscape of Patagonia. They set out on a journey of creating and expanding 15 national parks and two marine parks in Argentina and Chile, and are celebrated as two of the most successful national park philanthropists today. After Doug tragically passed away in 2015, Kris has carried on his legacy through entrepreneurial, heart-driven activism.
On today’s episode, Kris details the daunting undertaking of creating and expanding national parks in Chile and Argentina, explains her remarkable rewilding efforts, and gives a glimpse of what it was like to have a film made about her life. She reveals how she became the CEO of Patagonia, and paints a moving picture of life in Chile. Kris and Melissa also explore the concept of nature-based tourism, the power of traveling to national parks for both the individual and the world, and the motivations for moving forward during harsh times. In this raw, informative and inspiring interview, Kris reminds us all of why we have an underlying longing for something wild. Tune in to learn the national parks she recommends visiting, discover her favorite outdoor activities, and listen to her advice for leading an extraordinary life. Melissa also shares a round-up of the top hotels Indagare members are booking in 2023.
Lighting Round with Kris Tompkins:
- Favorite book? Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change by William Catton. Leaders of today’s youth movement say that my generation will die of old age while theirs will die of the climate crisis. It’s time for us to share that burden. Though Catton wrote Overshoot almost forty years ago, it remains the most insightful work I know about the cliff we are steering this planet toward.
- Three words to describe Patagonia? Extraordinary. Fragile. Home.
- Favorite local food? Empanadas. I don’t eat them often, but who can resist a locally-made meal you can hold in one hand?
- Favorite “wild” places in the world? I’m drawn to the polar regions for their harshness and beauty, but really, whenever I’m visiting one of the rewilding projects of our offspring organizations in Argentina or Chile, watching jaguars, giant otters and pumas and knowing they’re returning to a wild life, my heart is there.
- One piece of advice for anyone hoping to create positive change? Don’t wait. Every one of us can make a difference. Just start the process and you’ll see how addictive it is to be part of something larger.
- A motto you live by? Take action, because we have nothing to lose by trying, and everything to lose by standing on the sideline.
Tune in live: October 26, 2023 at 12 p.m. ET