Cat Akana is Managing Director of Blue Planet Multicultural and teaches at a university affiliated to the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Prior to founding Blue Planet Multicultural in 2005, Cat lived in Japan for seven years and also travelled widely, working in management, sales and marketing, logistics, publishing, education, teacher training and translation. She has a degree in modern languages from Salford University and is currently studying for a Masters in Education for Sustainability. On Saturday 16th May, Cat will be speaking about how major global challenges affect translators and interpreters.
Check out the rest of the ITI Conference programme here.
1. In two sentences, please describe what you’ll be talking about at the conference, and what translation and interpreting (T&I) professionals will gain from hearing it.
I’ll be highlighting what many consider to be the two major global challenges facing humanity today, climate change and peak oil, and talking about how they affect us all in the world of translation/interpreting. In fact, each and every sector will be affected and that is not necessarily bad news for translators and interpreters.
2. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing to make your workplace more sustainable, what would you do?
I’d put an end to the incredibly wasteful barrage of printed mail that arrives in my office on a daily basis. Much of it goes straight into the recycling bin, and the rest could be avoided, for example, bills and bank statements, which are totally unnecessary when I can, and do, access the same information via the internet.
3. Which business leader, politician or public figure do you most respect?
Noam Chomsky ranks very high on my list for his intellectual ability to clarify complex political issues and especially for standing up for his beliefs in an incredibly hostile environment. That in addition to revolutionising linguistics! And I respect Al Gore for having the courage to stick his neck out on climate change and then weather the storm (no pun intended!) of cynicism and abuse that followed.
4. To what degree do you feel involved in and supported by your professional community, and why?
I believe in karma: I think the more you get involved and the more you put in, the more support you receive back. My translation company is still very young and as I continue to build relationships within the industry, I am really starting to feel the warmth and support from lots of good people out there.
5. Freeform – here’s where you are free to riff on anyone or anything, good or bad, or just share a pearl of wisdom.
I’d just like to share some good news with anyone who is feeling worried, helpless and fearful for the future. If you haven’t already heard of it, it’s called the Transition Movement (and no, it’s not a new religion!) This fast growing movement offers an extremely positive – and feasible – vision for the future, and a blueprint, already being piloted in communities around the world, for individuals like you and me to get involved and play a meaningful role in making the vision a reality. I’ll be referring to this in my talk and you can find out more from www.transitionculture.org
Thanks for your time, Cat.