Pushing the risk envelope

This month, the subject of risk and how we see risk has become even more apparent as the IPCC, the UN’s panel on Climate Change, releases its latest reports.  Our very way of life is threatened according to how you read the risk estimates. Standing back and taking a cold look at the situation, many would ask themselves; “why are we taking such a risk?” The same question has been asked of Easter Islanders way back; ” how come they chopped down the last tree?”. (According to popular stories, the population collapsed and they cannibalized each other.) Continue reading “Pushing the risk envelope”

Put a price on phosphorus to save our food production and the Baltic

A recent report issued by the Swedish Sustainable Economy Foundation proposes putting a fee on phosphorus and nitrogen imports in order to stimulate the economy to run clean and protect the Baltic Sea. The Foundation calls it the Flexible Pollutant Fee Mechanism (flex fees). Although a fee will make some food more expensive, paradoxically the Foundation claims that the economy will be stimulated. More jobs, green ones at that, will be created as the Foundation proposes that the fees collected are returned to the economy stimulating the demand for green technology and new jobs. Compared to Cap and Trade, the Foundation sees flex fees as being a more effective way to price pollution.

Continue reading “Put a price on phosphorus to save our food production and the Baltic”

The changing of business paradigms

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Most ideas about what business is come from the 1930’s onwards when the idea of corporation, limited liability, first appeared.

But times change. The table above, from our CSR webinar, shows just how much has changed in 50 years. Maybe it is time to review the deep underlying paradigms about what business actually is? Continue reading “The changing of business paradigms”

Reading the trends: business is going social

Where is business going?  At least we can say reviewing the recent editions of Signals of Change Newsletter it seems that a new leadership is emerging. From the Copenhagen-based Water and Food Award’s simple observation that people need food security for the world to have peace and prosperity, to Michael Porter’s declaration that business and society have common shared values. To experts like Johan Rockström’s simple observation that nature is sending a bill, to a myriad of corporations redefining the core of their missions. Continue reading “Reading the trends: business is going social”

Why I am starting consulting again

After leaving Ericsson in 2001 I started exploring alternatives to the Industrial Society. During recent years, volunteering for the Water and Food Award, and helping start an Eco -Village were profound experiences. Among others things I had the opportunity to step back and look at what is happening.

Many businesses in going about their business are actually undermining the conditions needed for people to live well. Albeit inadvertently.

No-one means it to be this way, I am sure, but the planet is becoming crowded, our financial systems are leading to uneven wealth distribution and our energy systems are depleting non-renewable energy and climate systems. Several boundaries have already been breached and more are on their way to being exceeded. We are entering into times when we are living outside the safe zone. Continue reading “Why I am starting consulting again”

Speaking of Sustainability in the Future Perfect

Reflections on  experiences at this year’s Future Perfect festival, designed to bring together sustainability thinkers and doers…

The Future Perfect Festival, held on the Stockholm archipelago Island of Grinda,  wrapped up recently. The event, now in its third year, is designed to provide a space for those engaged emotionally and professionally in sustainability; a space where they can gather, engage in dialogue and co-create.

Future Perfect, the brainchild of John Manoochehri, is a unique kind of festival, and it is badly needed. Even if, like myself, you are engaged in sustainability on an almost daily basis, the topic is far too wide for any one mind to take in. We need to listen to each others perspective. If we as a species are going to successfully transition away from the present counter-sustainable culture we live in we need to do it together. This means talking, listening to each other, sparking ideas off each other, trying ideas out, coming up with ideas together, and developing our perspective by reflecting in the company of those who both agree and disagree with us. Continue reading “Speaking of Sustainability in the Future Perfect”

Evidence mounts that the good workplace is extremely good for business

Writing in Fast Company, journalist  Mark C. Crowley observes that American workplaces are seen in particularly destructive to the human spirit by employees. Has the negativity reached a low point? Mark C Crowley things so. For the last few months he has been looking at companies who actively work to create a good workplace. Pointing to firms like Google and software giant SAS, he says:

If you hold any position in leadership today, you should know this: Companies that authentically value their employees will be (and already are) the big winners in the 21st-century economy.

And he has amassed a truck load of evidence to support his point. Take a look at the article in Fast Company!