Charity Adventurer Josh Stinton to run through the sky; and how it relates to identity

Delegates at SPACE UK were thrown something of a curve-ball when ‘Charity Adventurer’ Josh Stinton took to the Main Stage to announce he’s to become the “first person to run through the sky”. Here, SPACE+ Co-Founder Rob Marten dives deeper into Josh’s Sky Run, looks at how it might relate to the problematic building of identity in the property industry, and invites you to follow Josh’s progress.

Why not?

For years, Josh Stinton has been taking on the hardest physical challenges around the world in which he has little or no experience, and asks “why not?”. His efforts so far have gained him global attention and the moniker of ‘the charity adventurer’.

In his talk at SPACE UK, which earned rave reviews, Josh focused on the differences between ‘goals and identity’, illustrated by the previous challenges he’s undertaken, and the ongoing design of the Sky Run (which I discuss in detail towards the end).

“We are continually evolving how we identify with ourselves and our world around us,” Josh tells me.

“Goals are not just endpoints to work towards; they are milestones in the continuous development of our identity. It is our responsibility to adapt to changes and help others do so in the process”.

“The Property Industry will prosper when the identity of the industry is that of progression, innovation and diversity. These aren’t goals, this is us.”

The Property Industry and Identity

The property industry has itself, arguably still is, undergoing something of an identity crisis; once maligned by the mainstream media but now often seen – internally, at least – in pursuit of purpose and meaning. The Landlord turned Curator? Developer turned Community Builder? Perhaps even Experience Maker?

In part, this shift in desired perception is to facilitate changing business models; a B2C re-orientation and the embracing of ‘Real Estate as a Service’, but also a largely genuine drive for sustainability, diversity and community engagement.

“The Property Industry will prosper when the identity of the industry is that of progression, innovation and diversity,” Josh Stinton says. “These aren’t goals, this is us.”

If we take diversity as an example, there is a tendency to lean towards goal creation. “We will have X number of non-white employees by 202Y”. As was discussed in the diversity discussion at SPACE UK, although usually well intended, goal creation is often counter-productive.

And of course, discourse about sustainability is dominated by goal, goals, goals.

So, perhaps with Josh’s outlook in mind, we might encourage property companies to ask; Who are we? What do we stand for? How do we help others?

To develop identity, before setting goals.

Josh’s early challenges

It was back in 2016 that Josh began shaping his identity, completing the 90 kilometre ‘Vasaloppet‘ cross country ski race in Sweden despite having never skied once before the start line.

Next, with only four months to learn to unicycle, Josh represented Australia in the worlds largest down-mountain unicycle race (MUNI) in Spain.

Josh then added a wheel to his bike (OK, it was a different bike altogether) and took on ‘Offroad Finnmark 700‘. This beast of a race held in the Arctic is crowned as ‘the hardest mountain bike race in the world’ for a very good reason. “Brutal”, as Josh described it.

He then hand-cycled the length of Japan, having never hand-cycled. Or been to Japan.

Cycling the Atlantic Ocean

In October 2019, Josh’s ambitions scaled and started working with a group of engineers on assembling the world’s first bicycle “gimbal”. This was to allow a bike to swing independently from a sailboat.

And that sailboat was to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

“This was my fifth adventure in my ongoing quest to take on the hardest physical challenges in the world to support charities helping children in need. 100{01478c458fce4bf021c853cc0e4e42fc55e857523dd829bd5f02c15dc08b6a50} of all funds raised always go directly to the charity,” Josh explains.

“My ambition is twofold; one to share models and inspiration to show how people can set incredible goals as milestones in the creation of purpose and personal growth. The second is to help kids in need by telling the stories that the charity is doing and the inspiring lessons that come from the children themselves”.

The bike did not power anything on the boat, Josh explains. Rather, he was connected to a resistance mechanism which was counting the miles he’d cycled and gave real-life road resistance. In case you can’t picture it…


On the journey across the Atlantic he managed to cycle 4,073 land miles in 14 days, averaging 10 hours riding a day. You can read about Josh’s lessons learned here.

The Sky Run

In September 2022, Josh Stinton will take on his most ambitious adventure yet – the Sky Run. The challenge is to cross the marathon-distance length of Lysefjord, Norway, in a way never attempted before: Josh will run across the sky in the world’s first custom-built, run-powered aerostat.

“In 2022, I will become the first person in the world to run through the sky with the goal of helping 10,000 Children go to school with Right to Play.”

Running through the sky in a special hamster-wheel-under-a-blimp-like construction, Josh aims to raise funds to ensure enrollment of 10,000 children in Right To Play programmes.

Follow the project

Follow @joshstinton on Instagram: here

Donate to Right to Play: here

The Aerostat Design

The Sky Run project is being designed and delivered in collaboration with a world-leading balloon and fabric engineering specialist, a major composite manufacturer, and engineers from various institutions, including NASA, who will oversee the safe build of the aerostat.

From concept to completion, safety will be at the core of the design. The device will be tethered to a vessel at water level to ensure the course stays set, mitigating various weather and wind conditions.

The variable elevation of the aerostat, which is controlled by the helium buoyancy and the propellers, will allow safe navigation of obstacles and obstructions in the fjord. The propellers will govern the forward trajectory, and the energy to the propulsion system will come from running within the large wheel (you can see above).

Sky Run Sponsorship

Josh is looking to work with brands that are passionate about helping their audience understand that anything is possible. This adventure, with its global reach and appeal, is sure to create powerful connections that will drive engagement in an ethical and meaningful way.

Talks & Workshops

Josh is an expert in Design Thinking. He uses his experience to design talks and workshops to help businesses overcome their biggest challenges.

Reach out to Josh directly at


About SPACE+

SPACE+ is a global collective of progressive and alternative property leaders. Our members have access to all SPACE+ live real estate events and unique content. Our live property events – both virtual and physical – are enjoyed by those who thrive in creative environments.,

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At SPACE UK Josh Stinton took to the Main Stage to announce he’s going to run through the sky. Read about his adventures…

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