A guest blog on our recent Unlock the Impossible Event by Nick Roberts
What have we learned in 30 years? 6 heads are better than one.
Tom Burke and John Elkington published the Green Capitalist in 1989. The book was subtitled Industry’s Search for Environmental Excellence, and in many ways industry is still looking. Supported by business innovators, Tom and John reviewed the progress of the environmental movement since the book was released and discussed what progress there is still to be made.
Where is the low carbon economy?
Although a low carbon economy has failed to materialise, the messaging for its need, driven by a greater visual access to environmental damage around the world is now pervasive and commonly understood. Everybody, everywhere is now alert to the problem. The last 30 years has seen a “transformation of human consciousness to the situation”, even if scenes from the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 are still a shocking reminder.
Within the political discourse we are now able to demonstrate a collective agreement of 150 governments in the form of the Paris Agreement. In business, sustainability officers now hold boardroom positions and NGOs, previously seen as disrupters and blockers are now given status as partners working on collaborative projects. Institutions, like Deutsche Bank now have a team focused on driving Sustainable Investment and research shows that 28% of CEOs see climate change as a risk to their company.
When will green living be mainstream?
Green living is still seen as alternative and counter culture, however investment in solar panels, insulation and other technology is now seen as good financial sense. These are the messages which need spreading. Rather than shifting people’s norms, organisations need to focus on making it easier and beneficial to be good.
There are early signals that green behaviours are becoming the norm. This can be seen in one of the challenge area of diets and protein production. Alternative to meats are now being sold on their taste and cost, not on their benefit to the environment. London based lunch-pot producer HiLo are able to price their lunches at below London average, while also promoting a High Vegetable, Low Meat company ethos.
In the battle to change a person’s values, organisations should be inviting the public to join them in a new activity, whether that’s through tangible interactions, such as lunches, investments or social connections. When the benefits of the new activity are realised, individuals will change their own values to support their new behaviours.
Although money makes the world go around, sophisticated gossip and driven conversation makes the money go around.
Change is driven by collaboration, whether at a corporate level, or an individual level. By making small changes, by not following the status quo, you are able to put the marker down which demands an alternative. Being heard as an individual can be difficult, joining a vocal and focused movement has the power to amplify your message.
In the UK 98.5% of people are not members of a political party. It is impossible to drive political change without the power to sway the current political agenda. More United is a cross-political movement which aims to support political candidates who stand for progressive beliefs, while avoiding the tribal politics of the current party situation.
More United garners change through financial support, however Law was highlighted as the stick to the cash carrot. Law is there to stimulate change to good behaviours, but should only be seen as the consequence of not having the right conversations. Through laws politicians and business are being driven to talk about climate change.
Are you future proof?
With the world set to shift rapidly in the next 30 years, it is important to make sure that your skill sets are also sustainable for what the future holds. There is now a need for continued learning, particularly among adults. In the UK the budget for adult learning has been slashed by one third, notes Zahra from Enrol Yourself.
Without personal investment in developing your own skills set, increasing your networking potential and openness to collaboration it is likely that you may be left behind. The previous 30 years may have seen few changes to how businesses are being run, it seemed clear in the room that the next 30 years are set to be radically different.
If you want to be part of the conversation and stay connected, please join us on the evening of Tuesday 23rd of January for a workshop on: How to unlock the impossible in 2018. All details and registration are here: https://unlocktheimpossiblein2018.brownpapertickets.com/