When lucky enough to be in conversation with Samuel Wines, you will feel incredibly disappointed that he wasn’t your school science teacher. Or life coach, for that matter. There will be words to jot down for googling later and a few ‘wait...what?’s when he casually drops into the conversation his involvement with a kelp IVF clinic (yep, that’s seaweed procreating).
He has a poetic way of describing life occurrences with somewhat scientific references. Co Labs, the laboratory he runs with his business partner, Andrew, for example, he describes as a semi-permeable membrane, aiming to function as a keystone species - the glue that holds a habitat together. Talking about his Amsterdam 8 Speed brings out his more sensual side, describing it as very sexy and aesthetically pleasing, with thoughtful design providing an inflated sense of self.
Samuel’s incentive to partner with LEKKER is to support sustainable innovation. He remembers his first experience with the brand vividly, having noticed these ‘sexy’ bikes zipping around Melbourne. The reports are unconfirmed whether he actively stalked the company after that. Still, he describes it as a ‘beautiful coincidence’ bumping into the masterminds behind LEKKER randomly, and a partnership formed. Sam is now the proud owner of the sexy Amsterdam 8 Speed, a lightweight commuter bike with a sleek, concrete blue powder finish, twice as thick as liquid paint and heat cured to protect against scratches.
Sam’s resume is as impressive as it is broad. He calls his work ‘serious play’ and credits his curiosity to his parents, who created an environment where he was supported to explore his interests, make mistakes and encouraged to play and build. He grew up watching Gardening Australia, a show on which his grandmother appeared, so the fact he was so innately connected to nature in his early years, it was no surprise that he studied biology. Business was more left field, but curiosity led him down this path. How do we integrate biology and business? The semi-permeable membrane, Co Labs, is a co-working space for biotech businesses, independent researchers and life science startups to explore just this. An environment for innovation to flourish and grow.
Then there is The Phoenix School Program, Samuel’s not-for-profit that extracts used scientific equipment from landfill and donates it to schools in need—hoping to encourage and inspire the next generation of STEM students to create a future worth inhabiting.
Wherever Sam puts his mind, it is to create a better future. His Amsterdam 8-speed ensures that his everyday carbon footprint is minimal. He uses his car only to transport science equipment for The Phoenix School Program or groceries, but he is looking to change the latter. Currently sporting a fluorescent water holder and a LEKKER lock that easily integrates onto the bike’s frame, the next accessory will be a LEKKER waterproof Pannier, minimising car usage even more.
When asked what the one change any individual can make to collaborate in a better future, Sam’s answer was quick and certain. Start with the inner work, become more reflective and in tune with how we fit into our environment and how we might show up. We are experiencing a collective disconnect from the world, which sees a rise in depression, anxiety and consumption. Still, the beauty of this is that it’s a cultural problem, not a biological one, so that change can happen quickly. Start with personal development and let that ripple out to those around you, then beyond.
Sam spends a lot of time in nature, meditating, reflecting and reading. He believes that to be a functional human being is to have a strong connection to our natural environment.
Does he ever cut loose? ‘Of course, I love to party!’
But then brings it back to nature, noting that we learned to dance well before we learned to speak, so it’s a part of human ritual. Dance and play with others. Party hard! Just in moderation.
Sam is a scientist, a model, an innovator, and a forward-thinker. He is many things. But most importantly, he is an incredible human being trying to make the world a better place, and we at LEKKER are proud to be a part of his mission. He is also a man of his word: ‘If you want to walk the walk, you have to ride the bike.’