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10 steps to change

I ran a session for a government client on sustainability last week, and the asked me to summarise they key points from my session. Here goes:


Top ten from me:

1. Look up. We need to acknowledge the scale of the challenge ahead of us open-eyed and open-hearted, and know that no matter how tough things look, doing the best we can go is still the best thing to do.

2. Change starts with us, not others. We must step beyond our fears and frailties to champion the ideas and actions that precede transformation 

3. Step beyond boundaries. Delivering on the Acts, the Principles, and the action that’s needed depends on aiming for outcomes that are bigger than any one organisation can deliver alone.

4. Wild goals count.Setting R.10 outcomes creates the breakthrough thinking that helps teams and organisations step beyond the limits of incremental improvement. 

5. Less bad is not good. Aim for the outcomes that nature would ask for as a client: zero pollution, full recycling, replenishment of ecosystems

6. Be varied. Nature’s ecosystems thrive on diversity, and our own approaches must too; we must re-learn to bring people with different skill and knowledge sets from different sectors and places into the room with us when set out to solve wicked and complex challenges.

7. Business learns faster. Work with the best of business to create place-based programmes with scale and ambition.

8. Let go of failure. We can find ways to banish failure from our language and replace it with courage, experimentation and learning. As Edison knew, finding the things that don’t work is progress providing we learn and do things differently next time.

9. Learn our way to change. Weave 300 hours of impact learning into every Welsh child’s learning so that before they enter the world of work, they already have the confidence and skills on how to make change happen.

10. Work differently. Walk in the park when your meeting is one on one. Develop the weak connections that make new links possible.



Your teams get this more than you might think. Leadership is essential, and this means that leaders and managers must be the first to step beyond their comfort zones.



It's been a while

For the last 18 months, my focus for blogging has been through Facebook and Twitter, and I'm about to return to Ecosapiens with some fresh thoughts. Hope you enjoy. 


Moving onto renewables

I contributed to a BBC Radio Wales interview on 6 November on the closure of the Murco oil refinery in Pembrokeshire. The research sources that I used are listed below:

The IPCC’s synthesis report suggests renewables will have to grow from their current 30% share to 80% of the power sector by 2050.

Matt McGrath, BBC, 2 November 2014


Growth of Tesla electric cars, and River Simple hydrogen electric at Llandrindod Wells are indicative of emerging markets in non-petrol based cars. River Simple also break the commercial model, with leasing, rather than ownership, being key to development.


More than 800 global investors – including foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers, religious groups, healthcare organisations, cities and universities – have pledged to withdraw a total of $50bn from fossil fuel investments over the next five years.

Guardian, 22 September 2014


According to reports, [Mark] Carney [Governor of the Bank of England] told a World Bank seminar on integrated reporting on Friday that the “vast majority of reserves are unburnable” if global temperature rises are to be limited to below 2C. Carney issued a stark warning over the lack of long-term thinking by governments and businesses, warning that a so-called “tragedy of horizons” could lead to market failure.

Guardian, 13 October


Scotland’s wind power sector delivered 126% of domestic energy demand in October. In Edinburgh, homes with solar heating and / or PV also produced over 40% of their own energy needs for hot water / electricity

Business Green, 4 November 2014


The price of a solar panel has dropped by more than 90% over the last 25 years, and continues to plummet. In the few places they have actually been deployed at scale, the results are astonishing: there were days this summer when Germany generated 75% of its power from the wind and the sun. 

Bill McKibben, Guardian, 2 November

The new overview (PDF in German) explains that there were 371,400 people employed in the renewables sector in 2013, and we know that this figure is down from 377,800 in 2012 and 381,600 in 2013.

Renewables International, 2014 


Wind, wave and tidal energy directly employ 18,465 people full time. The sector also supports 15,908 indirect jobs, making a total of over 34,300 employees. The number of employees in offshore wind has doubled since 2010. More than 70,000 jobs could be created over the next decade.

Renewables UK, November 2014


This means that there are 10x more jobs in renewables in Germany than UK, 


A call to action:

Naomi Klein: the radical plan that proves there’s a better way will not be an academic exercise but invaluable ammunition in the most critical battle of our time.


Article for University of Wales

The University of Wales are pushing the boundaries, integrating sustainability into all of their teaching, so it was a privilege to be interviewed for the magazine that goes out to their 23000 students. Here it is.