how to start a movement for sustainability

how to start a movement for sustainability

The beginning of a new year offers an opportunity for a fresh start full of good intentions.

2010 marked the beginning of a new decade with great hopes for sustainable development including biodiversity – BUT it  was not a good year for global sustainable development. It was marked  and marred by an entirely preventable, highly publicised, major environmental disaster and, in the main, a “business as usual” approach.

It was also marked by increased calls for true sustainability versus the rhetoric of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its various incarnations. So what kind of year will 2011 become and be remembered for? Will it become known as the year where we galavanise into  positive action? Will it be remembered for a substantial swing towards long term planning? 2012 will mark the 25th anniversary of the 1987 Brundtland Commission report, Our Common Future – what do we have to show after 25 years of mainstreaming sustainable development ? Not much I am afraid.

BUT, there is hope yet.

There are many excellent initiatives aiming to  deliver a sustainable lifestyle for all. What can we do to accellerate positive change?  Among many other things we need to highlight and promote the work of  entrepreneurs who drive worldchanging intiatives, small and large, wherever they may be. It has long been a passion of mine to build on existing achievements and I adore Derek Siver’s simple but compelling TED video below on how to start a movement which brings home the importance of courage to go against the tide, team work and puts a smile on ones’ face!

Check out these articles and intiatives for further stimulation and I look forward to your comments!

‘Splashing around in the citizenship shallows‘ by John Elkington

The Transition Decade for a safe climate future 2010 – 2020

from social investment to social return on investment

a social enterprise????

I recently attended the inaugural ”Social Return Forum” put together by a colleague of mine, Oliver Wagg  of New Climate for the 3 Pillars Network.

Concepts like social investment, social return on investment and a social investment market are much talked about lately by social investors, social entrepreneurs, those generating social profits and intermediaries alike and seem to have gone mainstream – and for good reasons:

  • We all want and need to know if our efforts are making a difference to the issues we are trying to address.
  • This evidence base to inform further investment has been missing in large parts of the social sector.
  • Evidence of social returns is instrumental for those investing funds in social issues and who are convincing others of the merit of these investment.

To state the obvious and track back a little – we are hungry for alternative approaches to welfare funding and need evidence about whether approaches work or not. [Read more…]