We need businesses, communities and individuals to be driven to change
Our overall objective needs to be to build in a requirement for businesses to change how they operate. How is this going to happen? Education. Building know-how. How to shorten supply chains. How to put pressure on other businesses to provide products that have been grown sustainably and humanely. Building understanding in communities so they know what it means to buy and support products and services that are sustainably produced. Consider workshops and talks, podcasts and broadcasts that ensure this is the message: we are in an ecological emergency and businesses need the impetus to respond. It’s no longer enough to play a zero sum game where the product is destroying the fabric on which the consumer depends. No excuses. Educate. Debate and discuss. Legislate.
Sharing information, learning together, moving from knowledge to wisdom where that’s appropriate: Knowledge isn’t neutral. There’s always an agenda, even if it’s to increase the stock of information (which is always good). No one community has the answer to all the issues, and every single community and individual will have to tailor their actions to the circumstances they face, but there are templates. So let’s gather and share across communities and businesses and among individuals. How to reduce plastic use and what to do with waste, how to decrease costs sustainably so we’re not on an inflation spiral. Great minds have thought about this and more. We can share. We must.
Reaching out to those individuals and communities that are marginalised, isolated or impoverished: This is a difficult one because often impoverished or marginalised communities are vulnerable to ideologies that are most destructive. Hitler didn’t get much support from happy people – just from the most unhappy. The unhappier people are the more they’re likely to be influenced by extremism and fundamentalism. We need to get in and offer mental health projects, and microfinancing, and protection against gangs and criminals, and opportunities to escape the poverty trap.
SMART goals: This is just good sense. Make sure we know what we want to get from a project. How can it be measured? When will we have reached a point we can say, job done?
Sustainable means long-term: There’s no point in a project that relies on external energy to generate its progress. We need projects that generate their own energy. We need to give people a sense of power and hope. We need this to be a butterfly to hurricane effect. We need to be the butterflies.