Ben Trollope is Plan A’s new, shiny and pretty tall data analyst. From the positiveness to the political culture to creating a South African Jazz playlist, he is not your classic data dude. Ben comes from the faraway land of South Africa, coming pretty close to our Head of Research and Development‘s record of 15,000 km of Berlin.

Please give a warm round of applause to Mister Ben Trollope, the Fundi of climate data analysis!

What is climate change to you? How does it affect you? How to stop it?

Personally, I see a diversity of thought as a sign of a healthy debate. Unfortunately for Climate Change, it is one of the many current conversations that are not easy to talk about. It is a heated, over-the-dinner-table, debate with all the undertones of political affiliation, economic agendas and guilt. It may seem arbitrary, but if we have to take a moment to imagine all the desktops in the world, how many backgrounds are one of a natural vista? Through the stress of our emails and work deadlines, there is something about these natural wonders of Earth that instils calm. Climate change, for me, is the humanistic understanding that every person appreciates an unspoilt landscape. The unsustainable production from our consumerism threatens this shared appreciation. This crisis, or perhaps opportunity, could be one of the first cross-national, ethnic and continental unifiers in our species history. 

Where do you get your environmental fibre from? How did it all begin?

My concerns with the environment started in school when my teacher told us not to litter. Ironically, right after that, my friend and I decided to casually throw every piece of plastic from our lunchboxes on the school playground. It even became a little game to see how relaxed we could finesse our insubordination. After this particular lunch break, the playground was strewn with the empty carcasses of chip packets and soft-drink cans. Sadly, our friendly competition contributed a negligible amount to this. With that, a wider issue became clear: our actions paled in comparison to the learned unintentional habits of our classmates. It may seem insignificant, but this moment marked the choice we all understand as either being part of a problem or part of a solution. Some choices, no matter how small, add up.

Early data scientist

Mr. Trollope always had an appetite for life (Credit: Ben Trollope)

What is your totem animal? Why?

I would self-identify as a zebra. First off, it is pronounced “Zehbruh” not “Zeebra” for the unnamed tourists to my homeland of South Africa. It is a cousin of the horse which is undomesticated. I consider a pretty reminder to Man how nature is not always at her whims and command. It’s also fairly chatty. By this, I mean that it makes these “Oi Oi” sounds that could perhaps reflect my conversationalist attitude. Lastly, they are more of a collection of individuals than a singular herd. Sometimes herd mentality does bad things to the planet.