Our heroes

Futurescapes logo

Sony – FutureScapes

FutureScapes is an exciting new project, which imagines how the world might look in 2025. It’s not about predicting one future, but exploring the opportunities and challenges that life in 2025 might hold and the potential role technology could play in shaping our world for the better.

Who’s involved?

The FutureScapes programme is a collaboration involving Sony, Forum for the Future, The Economist’s Intelligence Unit as well as technology magazine Wired. FutureScapes is designed to be as open and collaborative as possible, bringing together a range of ‘futures’ experts and an eclectic mix of thinkers, writers, designers. As well as involving the public to help gather a range of real perspectives on what life could be like in 2025.

What is Sony’s role?

Sony believes that technology can make a positive contribution to some of the social and environmental issues that might lie ahead in 2025. Just as it’s difficult to imagine how different the future might be, it’s also difficult to imagine what technologies we might need or encounter in the future.

What’s coming up?

Launced in October 2011, FutureScapes consists of a diverse programme of activity. From workshops to experiential events, crowd sourcing initiatives to thought pieces, storytelling to gaming, the project will incorporate a range of different practices and methods to help bring the potential different FutureScapes stories to life. We want FutureScapes to be as collaborative as possible. You can follow the project here – at the dedicated FutureScape online hub.


Hodmedod sources produce from British farms to supply sustainable, nutritious and delicious food, and is particularly interested in searching out less well-known foods, like the fava bean, which we still grow and export but haven’t eaten in Britain for centuries. The Fava bean is the only British dried bean produced in significant volumes and a very rich source of vegetable protein.

Hodmedod is a new business, founded by Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson in 2012 and based on the Norfolk-Suffolk border. www.hodmedods.co.uk


The DoNation is on a mission to make sustainable living mainstream, by helping people to form healthy and environmentally friendly habits. We have developed an online tool to do this on scale, showing people that together, their small actions add up to make a big difference.

It can be used in two ways:
1. Do Good for Business: uses friendly team competition and measurable, personal pledges to help companies engage employees in sustainability, saving money and reducing environmental impacts whilst improving employee productivity and retention.
2. Donate by Doing: is sponsorship that replaces cash with action, helping people to inspire their friends to join the movement for real change. This is our non-profit arm designed for individuals.


  • Action for Happiness – A movement of people committed to building a happier society for everyone.
  • Founded by Professor Lord Richard Layard, Geoff Mulgan and Anthony Seldon.
  • Launched in April 2011.Over 23,000 members from over 127 countries to date
  • Draws on the latest scientific research and is backed by leading experts from fields including psychology, education, economics and social innovation.
  • Provides evidence-based materials to enable members to take practical action at home, at work or in the community.
  • Developing initiatives to drive action in three priority areas schools, local community groups and workplaces.
  • Pushing for a much greater focus on happiness and well-being in public policy and closely involved with the UK and OECD work to measure well-being and the new World Economic Forum Council on well-being.


Cafédirect. Made the Small Way.

Small philosophy – At Cafédirect we do things differently.  For over 20 years we’ve built real relationships with smallholder growers, because the big thing that smallholders have is pride and passion – and that’s what makes our award-winning coffee taste so good.

Big difference- In return we pay growers what they deserve, instead of paying middlemen. And by working in true partnership we do more, investing over 50% of our profits in growers to create a more sustainable future.


BlaBlaCar is a trusted community marketplace that connects drivers with empty seats to passengers looking for a ride. BlaBlaCar transports over 400, 000 people every month creating an entirely new, people powered, transport network. With a dedicated customer service, a state of the art web and mobile platform, and a fast-growing community of users, BlaBlaCar is making travel social, money-saving and more efficient for millions of members across Europe.

For more information, check out our super infographics here: www.blablacar.com/people-powered-travel 

Oxfam works on vital issues to tackle the root causes of poverty, from life’s basics – food, water, health and education – to complex questions around aid, climate change and human rights.


Rubies in the Rubble is a Social Enterprise, founded in 2011. It makes handmade chutneys and preserves from surplus, unsold produce that would otherwise go to waste, as a means of providing employment to low income women. The founder, 27 year old Jenny Dawson, shares her story:

I always knew I wanted a job that I felt contributed positively to the environment and people around me, but it wasn’t till my first early morning visit to New Covent Garden Market on my bike one frosty morning in November 2010 that the potential idea for Rubies in the Rubble was born! Going to the market was incredible: such a diverse range of people living by night and sleeping by day, trading anything from durians to brussel sprouts. Just along from the bustle of the traders, however, were the piles of unwanted fruit and veg- mangoes from the Philippines, tomatoes from Turkey – all of which bypassed the flurry of shoppers and headed straight for the bin.

How can we be this wasteful when so many in the UK struggle to afford to feed their families healthy meals? Approximately 4 million are affected by food poverty in the UK, with malnutrition costing the NHS £13billion a year. What could I do with all this food?

       Mum had always made chutney and jams from any excess in the garden, and I had been faithfully following her recipes for years. It made sense to view this urban problem simply as a large scale food glut from the farm. At the time, I was volunteering with vulnerable women, and just put two and two together: tackling the shortage in jobs, with our surplus in food.

The brand has been going from strength to strength, and Rubies in the Rubble is now available in numerous retailers across London, including Jeroboams and Fortnum & Mason, and can be found on Saturday market stalls from Borough to Duke of York square. We’ve set up a commercial kitchen onsite at New Spitalfields wholesale market, where we can source our ingredients fresh from the market before they’re discarded. The more chutneys sold, the more food saved from unnecessary waste, and the more opportunities provided for those who need it: fingers crossed, we’ll keep on spreading! 


Global Action Plan is an award-winning environmental charity providing the UK’s only environmental behaviour change projects endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Since 1993, we’ve helped over 750,000 people make practical changes that create environmental savings in businesses of all sizes, as well as communities, schools and with young people.  www.globalactionplan.org.uk/ 

Set up by Roz Davies in 2002 Sew Much Fun was one of the first to offer classes to adults and children using contemporary fabrics and attractive sewing projects to entice a new generation to the joy of creative sewing. Locally we now have many sewers making original gifts for friends and family and our tried and tested project range expands on a weekly basis. We use the shop to inspire and encourage everyone that you can sew anything! re-cycle, up-cycle, or create from new whilst having ‘Sew Much Fun’ !

Our website is on its way so we can service our International customers better and also share our skills and knowledge. Our handmade commission service offers an opportunity for those without the time to learn these new skills to order original and personalised gifts.


Decarbonice produces products and attaches Gold standard and Social carbon credits to them, in order to offset periods of time for the people that buy them. Christmas cards are our first product. When bought, they offset a weeks worth of Christmas carbon for a friend or family member. These are currently the only greeting cards available that can offset carbon and also aim to spread awareness surrounding climate change in a friendly way. The cards are made from 100% recycled FSC card and have biodegradable cello wraps. https://www.facebook.com/decarbonice

The Wonderbag is fabric bag insulated with recycled polystyrene, which finishes cooking a dish that has been brought to the boil on a stove, without using any additional energy. A chicken, for example, could be cooked on the stove for 15 minutes. The pot is then simply placed  in the bag,  the insulated textile lid secured  and “hey presto”, three hours later , the dish is ready. Just like magic!  Significantly, it can address fuel shortages  (and associated deforestation) and assist in reducing the incidence of respiratory diseases associated with polluting cooking stoves. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves was created precisely to address this issue, recently highlighted by Hollywood actress Julia Roberts’Guardian Environment blog. The Wonderbag also reduces time spent tending to cooking, prevents food from burning, reduces CO2 emissions and saves water. This low-carbon cooking bag is already being used in 150,000 South African households, and used 3-4 times a week, each bag is estimated to save 0.5 tonnes of carbon per year. A further 5 million bags are on order from consumer goods giant Unilever.


Exploring Senses and CommuniToy Logo

Exploring Senses is a non-profit creative think tank. We“embrace optimism through creativity”, believe “happy people make positive actions”, and work in partnerships to empower positive social change.
Whilst working in partnership with ex-homeless charity Emmaus UK we have been researching the value and benefits of swapping our skills for resources, as an sustainable project enabler and alternative form of currency.
Skills and resource exchange has enabled us to build relationships and sustain several projects including CommuniToy (toy reuse workshops), which are on the verge of becoming a national phenomenon!
CommuniToy is a engaging vessel for communication, providing a playful introduction to core values;
  • Sharing
  • Collaboration
  • Social interaction
  • Reuse of materials
  • Skills and resource exchange
  • Playful and creative learning


logo DLR

Decision Integrity Limited is a research enterprise working on holistic approaches that benefit sustainable systems, projects, communities, organisations and societies.

Its founder, Anthony Hodgson, has developed a world system model upon which he has based the IFF World Game. The World Game is a fun way for groups of people to increase their awareness and under-standing of the issues of sustainability as a whole pattern of interconnected factors. It provides a comprehensive basis for collaborative projects in sustainability and resilience. Without an understanding of the whole pattern of interconnections we easily overlook the consequences of how one thing affects another so that often a solution in one area can create problems in another. It is an enjoyable education in whole systems thinking that does not need any technical background.




Mary’s Living & Giving Shops for Save the Children were established in 2009 from a philosophy created for Save the Children by retail expert, Mary Portas. But they go much deeper than just shopping.

Run by local people for local people, Mary’s Living & Giving Shops for Save the Children are a collaboration of people’s ideas, values and beliefs. They are community hubs. They are where you can come to find inspiration, share a bit of local news, a skill, the time of day.

Every item donated or sold through our shops is used to fund the vital work we do at Save the Children. At a time when global brands, shopping centres and the internet play an ever-increasing role in our lives, we offer a revolutionary antidote – a human and ethical shopping experience.

What could be more ethical than saving children’s lives as you shop?

We are shopping with heart and soul. We are living and giving.

Adventure walks logo

Becky Jones and Clare Lewis set up Adventure Walks Books in 2012 after writing the Adventure Walks for Families guidebooks, published by Frances Lincoln.

Adventure Walks books were created out of a desire to inspire families to get back to the simple things in life and do something together that’s good for everyone: getting the family out for a good walk. Children enjoy exploring the great outdoors and, once you get them out there, they love nothing better than a family ramble in the woods. It’s the getting them out of the house that’s the tricky bit. That’s where Adventure Walks for Families fit in: they are walks with a twist. Family friendly walks (not too long; good place to eat etc) are woven into adventures and given different themes to entice and inspire: children’s classic stories; characters from history; stories of myths and legends. Each walk is turned into an adventure. The books dip into nostalgic childhoods to find fun and diverting things to do that so many urban kids seem to have forgotten: climbing trees, getting muddy, building shelters, foraging for food, going on a scavenger hunt, tracking and trailfinding, making paper boats, naming wild flowers and identifying trees, reading stories and singing songs. London Adventure Walks applies the same formula to the city: interweaving the stories and history of London in ways that appeal to children. Illustrated by children, enjoyed by children and tried and tested by children, Adventure Walks will give families a great, mostly free day out.

Energise Barnet is a ‘pilot’ community energy services project and if successful, will be replicated across London and elsewhere. Established in March 2011 as a social enterprise (CIC), it aims to deliver £50 million of social, economical and environmental benefit in the London Borough of Barnet over the next five years.

Pepal designs and delivers life-changing executive development programmes which partner the private sector with NGOs to make a sustainable social impact in developing countries.

 A fascinating board game which simulates the complex social, political and economic dynamics of sustainability issues. Perspectivity has worked with LSE, Shell, Manchester Business School, Schumacher Institute, Monmouthshire Council, Global Action plan and others to support efforts to move people into a more ready mindset for sustainability and working with complexity.

Persepectivity Foundationo U.K. is currently working on developing collaborations using the Persepectivity Game to seed courses, our first will be a one day ‘Systems Thinking Primer’.
The commercial arm Perspectivity Enterprise can work in U.K. and abroad to develop and deliver various Organisational Development and whole system interventions.

For enquiries in the U.K. tom.hitchman@perspectivity.org 07976 371 983

 Mobilising Brixton’s wasted resources and hidden skills. The Remakery is a platform for local reuse and enterprise development in Brixton, south London. The project was developed under the working title of Brixton Reuse Centre until September 2011 and has recently been re-named.

Change agents for sustainable development. E3G is an independent not-for-profit organisation, established in 2004, that works in the public interest to accelerate the global transition to sustainable development.

Through Mindful Maps, Emily offers Graphic Harvesting, Visual Facilitation and Social Art to groups and individuals. Using a variety of tools she draws out empathy with information and helps people learn creatively in order to visualise process and positive change. By documenting processes and journeys through creating physical artifacts, Mindful Maps helps navigate and design pathways to more creative and sustainable realities.

Based in London and Singapore, Volans is a future-focused business working at the intersection of the sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship movements. They apply their thought leadership and global networks across these areas to develop solutions for entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and leaders. www.volans.com


2 responses to “Our heroes

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