Inspired by nownownow.com, this page describes what I’m doing, now. I will update it, especially linking to explanations of what I’m exploring, periodically.
My purpose*: be part of a generation that puts global society on a sustainable footing.
My diagnosis*: our global natural and social systems are overwhelmed, and we need to be a global ‘innovation function’ so those systems are coping, and people have access to what they need to choose their own lives.
My role*: contributing to that global innovation function through supporting institutional efforts to shift the macro patterns and dynamics of our lives.
* as I understand them at the moment
If you have any suggestions for me, do get in touch!
- Executive (working for an organisation, not always paid);
- Advisor / affiliate (providing insight from outside an organisation); Policy (working on policy analysis);
- Social entrepreneur (setting something up from scratch);
- Field-building (making connections and general percolating).
- Best case: 5 years time, many more people able to choose how they live their lives and the UK has an on-going source of adaptation
- Worst case: my enthusiasm and/or civil service naivety means it all crashes and burns.
The EIRIS Foundation set up the UK’s first ESG ratings firm 30 odd years ago, as the main way of delivering its charitable objects (around promoting sustainable and responsible investment). Now that EIRIS company has merged with Vigeo, EIRIS Foundation is looking for other ways to deliver its mission. Last year, as a Trustee, I worked with the board to create a strategy which used its unique capabilities for what is needed now.
One of those strands was ‘reallocating capital’, within companies (from the unsustainable to the sustainable products and services), within sectors (from the worst to the best sustainability performers) and between sectors (from those with limited future to those who will form a sustainable future). There’s a wide agreement that there is financial capital to deliver the SDGs, it’s tied up in the ‘wrong’t things at the moment. I’m going to work with the Foundation CEO to diagnose what, if anything, EIRIS Foundation can do on that topic going forward.
- Best case: exciting initiatives from ERISI Foundation that reallocate capital
- Worst case: find out nothing can be done (but build a better understanding of the finance system along the way)
There are two other roles where my hat is in the ring. One is part time, and again around the finance system. The other would be full time and about shifting business.
- Best case: keep up to date with best practice, make connections useful for all concerned.
- Worst case: annoy people
- Best case: help this consultancy spark a shift in Sri Lankan business
- Worst case: have fascinating Skype chats which help me keep a emerging market perspective.
- Best case: bring peak emissions forward, and accelerate the reduction of emissions afterwards.
- Worst case: find out more about what’s holding back key players for the urgent climate action that is needed.
- Best case: a set of useful insights that are applied in new Zealand and beyond.
- Worst case: have to think through what I think is needed for the sustainability transition.
- Best case: Duane’s business rocks the world.
- Worst case: some in-situ insights on social media and political campaigning
- Chair, edie Sustainability Leaders’ Forum 2017. I had 2 days chairing edie’s flagship conference, with cutting-edge corporate sustainability (my write up for edie here).
- Way of Nature: Open Evolution. The tremendous Adrian and Andres have put out “a call out to connect with us and build on the momentum we have already achieved towards our vision of inspiring a culture of nature connection”. I’ve just been a hanger on so far, but getting a lot of ‘field-building’ insights.
- Quadrangle Trust. I was privileged last year to be invited to an enquiry weekend – ‘is nature alive?’ at the Quadrangle Trust. You can read about it here. This year we’re looking to extend this community in ways that keeps the qualities I described (I’m very much in a minor role).
- RISE Transition think-do tank. The irrepressible Dennis Pamlin is creating a new think-do tank within the Research Institutes of Swedish. I’m one of many offering a few suggestions and connections.
- Visiting ‘random’ co-working spaces. Over the last few months I’ve been a couple of WeWorks across London (the views from Southbank are probably the best, but each has their strengths). I also spent a day in the new Rain Clouds Victoria, in close proximity to #civtech and #govtech entrepreneurs.
- I’m also carrying some wider questions in all my conversations:
- How could we identify the systemic shifts needed to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals as a way to discover where there are opportunities for significant action?
- How could we support and connect efforts at the leading-edge of the sustainability wavefront to accelerate to a living system paradigm? How could that act as an innovation function for global society?
- How could an ‘Anthropocene Art Prize’ help society engage with the environmental crisis?
- How could we establish a digital currency that rewarded behaviours for sustainable innovation?
Across all these domains I am holding a few questions (jargon alert: first person action inquiry questions) , to guide my development:
- How can I combine compassion and insight? (Inspired by the Shambala Warrior.)
- How can I maintain a clear sense of long-term objectives but acknowledge the limits on my day-to-day actions? (Inspired by the Stockdale Paradox.)
I’m living in Honor Oak Park, South East London, with my wife and two children.