What The Experts Say

Expert talks and interviews – watch the videos below to see what the experts say about why we travel, our transport behaviours and how we can travel better. These videos are updated regularly, keeping up-to-date with expert thinking around the world (please note that the views expressed are not necessarily those of the ITC).


The Silk Road: Connecting the ancient world through trade

In this TedEd video, Shannon Harris Castelo describes the development and global impact of “The Silk Road: History’s first world wide web.”

Also see: Toward the new Silk Road blogpost


Far and Away: Andrew Solomon on the importance of travel

“The basis of our having any feeling of security is interacting with the world.” Discussing his recent book, Far and Away, in which he chronicles some of his travels in 87 countries around the world, author Andrew Solomon explains the importance of travel in promoting understanding and lessening fear between peoples of different nations and cultures.

Also see:

Man ‘travels around the world’ in just 12 hours (blogpost)

Philosophy (topic page)


Last Chance Tourism: Michael Luck

Michael Luck, Associate Professor at Auckland University of Technology School of Hospitality and Tourism, explains how polar tourism is impacting vulnerable polar ecosystems. He explains the concept of Last Chance Tourism – the desire to see places before they disappear or change irrevocably – and asks whether the negative impacts of such tourism outweigh the benefits.

Also see:

The Ethical Paradox of Last Chance Tourism (blogpost)
Restricting visitor numbers: does tourism need saving from itself? (blogpost)
Ecology (topic page)


ITC Annual Lecture: Technology and the Future of Transport

UK Secretary of State for Transport, The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, discusses technological change and the future of transport. He argues that, as has been the case throughout the history of human transport, new technologies will sit alongside the old and it is how the two interact – and how we interact with these technologies – that are the key factors in using technology to improve our quality of life.


Sarah Sharples, Professor of Human Factors and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham, gives a fascinating lecture on the complex and often surprising interactions between technology, human behavior, and society.


John Miles, Professor in Transitional Energy Strategies at the University of Cambridge, discusses technologies currently under development which have the potential to revolutionise transport, including driverless pods, underground bullet buses and national hyperloop systems.

Also see: ITC Annual Lecture 2016 blogpost


Judith Fein on connection and ‘deep travel’

In this TEDx talk, travel writer and videographer Judith Fein speaks about ‘deep travel’: connecting with people when you travel ‘on the road and in life’. Fein believes that travel can and should be ‘a two-way street’.  Why we travel may therefore be a question not only about the traveller but about the host people, about exchange and communication and about both sides having the possibility of transformation.


New Urban Mobility in Lyon: Gilles Vesco

Interview with Gilles Vesco, Vice President of Greater Lyon, who is responsible for new urban mobility in Lyon, where they have been introducing measures to decrease car-use and increase sustainable transportation both public and private. This includes bike and car-sharing schemes and making spaces for cycling and walking.


How to fix travel: Doug Lansky

Travel writer Doug Lansky discusses some of the problems with modern mass tourist travel – and how to fix them. Lansky explains how authenticity and uniqueness can be returned to the travel experience, describing how travellers can make a difference to their own experiences as well as changes the tourist industry can make to ‘fix travel’.


Walking and slow travel: Nick Hunt

‘Travelling quickly is a waste of time’ says writer Nick Hunt in this TEDx talk. Describing his walk from Holland to Istanbul in the footsteps of famous travel writer Patrick Leigh-Fermor, Hunt praises the benefits of travel by walking.  This slower, fundamental mode of travelling, he says, allows for and encourages spontaneity and trust. For Hunt, walking is a process which makes the walker vulnerable and exposed – to the elements, traffic, topography, wildlife and people – but through this vulnerability the walker is liberated and empowered.


Alain de Botton on airports

In this short video, philosopher and writer Alain de Botton describes his experience as ‘writer-in-residence’ at Heathrow airport, where he spent a week wandering the airport, speaking with staff and travellers. de Botton describes airports as fascinating spaces that combine both private emotional moments for individuals with the infrastructure of globalisation and consumerism, and all – de Botton feels – in the psychological shadow of possible death “in a fiery thunderball.”


Explorer Benedict Allen on motivation

In this interview at Appledore Book Festival, explorer and writer Benedict Allen discusses what drives and motivates him.  Allen describes a need to push himself and, as he gets older, to learn from and record the people he encounters during his travels.


Alan Baxter on ‘Why Travel?’ and policy formation

Alan Baxter CBE, Founder of Alan Baxter and Associates and a Trustee of the ITC, explains why an understanding of why we travel is important for policy formation. Alan argues that movement is as important a human function as eating or sleeping, and that it deserves a similar depth of study.


Evolution of human bipedalism: Professor Charles Pasternak

Professor Charles Pasternak, Founder and President of the Oxford International Biomedical Centre, explains how the evolution of bipedalism, the precision grip and the larynx have enabled humans to develop a curiosity which has driven much of human travel throughout the ages.


Stephen Bayley on motivations for travel

Stephen Bayley, the renowed author, broadcaster, and founder of the Design Museum, suggests that motivations to travel are led by desire and a sense of freedom but that as the experience of modern travel loses its enchantment, he predicts a decline in the popularity of travel.


Mobility needs of disabled and older people: Ann Frye

Ann Frye discusses the effects of limited access to transport and how to better meet the mobility needs of disabled and older people.


Transport Psychology: Ian Walker

Dr Ian Walker discusses transport psychology at the University of Bath.


Changes in car use: Phil Goodwin

Professor Phil Goodwin discusses changes in car use at the International Transport Forum