Category Archives: Sustainability

Thames Deckway Indiegogo Campaign Goes Live

thames_deckway_infographic_2015_10_29-07_1024As promised in the previous post, here is the link to the now live Indiegogo campaign for the next phase of the Thames Deckway concept.

It is already stirring the urban transport debate whilst connecting diverse stakeholder communities. It is big, bold, sustainability focused and could create significant value for London or further afield.

Many answers still lie ahead for the project but visionary leaders like Thames Deckway’s Anna Hill should be given every opportunity to push for safer, cleaner more sustainable transport infrastructure.

Head over, read the latest FAQ’s, pick your favourite support ‘Perk’ and share with friends and colleagues. I’ll be going for the cycling cap I think. I’m just waiting for the temperatures to dip on those long brisk rides.






Float Across London By Bike

Thames Deckway cycle pedestrian pathway London sustainability

What would you pay to ride across London in 30 minutes traffic free?

Our small but significant island here in the UK is getting more crowded every day. Strangely though only 1 – 2% of all journeys are made by bike. I could understand maybe if that statistic was for the US where everything is designed around the car gods, and therefore miles apart, but here? Really? That figure hits 25% in other not-so-different parts of the world such as the Netherlands.

What do major metropolitan areas such as London, New York, Berlin, Paris, Moscow, Shanghai, Tokyo, Washington, Karachi, Rome, Sidney and Liverpool (well, I am biased) to name but a few, all have in common? Rivers. Many mostly empty or underused, save a few tourist laden barges.

Apart from often being a direct corridor through the automotive traffic chaos, can any route be more serene?

The Thames Deckway is one such potential solution to present itself whether that be London or elsewhere. As cycling continues to grow in parallel to environmental considerations how long will it be before significant infrastructure investments flow into such opportunities?

A floating, sustainable cycle and pedestrian route could be a reality in a very near future should political will and public support prevail. Maybe London will get there first.

I’m helping the folks at Thames Deckway go up through the gears as they approach a crowdfunding campaign rapidly approaching. I hope you’ll take the time to explore the concept, follow the story and show your support if you believe in the need for radically new solutions to transport infrastructure.

I’ll update this page with the link to the crowdfunding campaign for the launch when available, but follow the story so far and into the future via @Thames_Deckway on Twitter or ThamesDeckway on Facebook

Superstakeholders Change The World

shutterstock_95792620We seldom realise how far we have come until we stop, breathe and look back. Ever tried learning to play a musical instrument, run a big race, or even watched a child grow? The daily changes are imperceptible, despite any volume of effort expended, until one day something just clicks, a goal is reached, or we make the time to review from a distance.

A trip back a mere half century to the 1960’s takes you to a world before ‘CSR’, of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring hitting the bookshelves and whole theatre of corporate based exploitation, greed and naivety.

“If you don’t like what is being said, change the conversation.” Continue reading

FIFA – ‘Show Me the Money’

The ‘beautiful game’ is free-falling through the ugly tree and hitting every branch.

Ugly football FIFA

Global football is witnessing another slow painful eruption, but this could yet be an big extinction level event for many that has been developing, and well overdue, for decades. Football is by no means isolated as Continue reading

Act 1, Scene 1: Incremental Is Not Enough

StretchAgendaAnything that looks like an erupting spiral galaxy in a pressure cooker looks good to me.

As I’m exploring pastures and projects new I’m determined to better share the projects, ideas, people and successes that inspire and challenge me, so here’s a perfect start…

If to the cosmic cooking imagery you then add a thoughtfully written dramatisation to creatively engage a wider audience (you know the mainstream one we excitedly think we already do – but don’t) to promote a new take on capitalism, you’ve got my attention, and quite probably a few others who need to step up for the first time too.

Behind the image is the ethos of the Breakthrough Capitalism model of John Elkington and colleagues at Volans. This week saw the launch of the #StretchAgenda, the play to change the board room world, and maybe it will.

Incremental isn’t enough, we have to take what progress we can eke each day but somebody needs to push at the top with the big ideas. Check out the definitions quoted to whet your appetites…

Capitalism is … the future, but needs a reboot. Whether privately or state owned, capitalism must be constrained by political, regulatory and institutional factors to create the consistent social value required to ensure its long term license to operate and innovate. The focus is expanding to embrace financial, physical, human, intellectual, natural and social forms of capital.

Breakthrough Capitalism is … an emerging pathway to a world that works well for all people and all species. Our focus is on new forms of capitalism with potential to drive both financial and non-financial value, value that is increasingly Clean, Conscious, Inclusive, Responsible, Regenerative and Sustainable.

Will it change the game?

Click here to go straight to the #StretchAgenda play.

breakthrough-challengeI’d also heartily recommended checking out John’s book with Jochen Zeitz, The Breakthrough Challenge (2014)

Invest In Community Solar Energy

Liverpool Community RenewablesWhere to start?? There is so much happening right now, and this is me prioritising as I type. Sometimes you just have to do the doing before the planning! There is much more to share and explore soon but first off the mark there is this…

The short version:

I’m looking for anybody wanting invest £100 (or more, much more, they can cope with bigger!) into a Liverpool based community renewables social enterprise that is about to cause a few solar waves.

Click here for more information and the Pioneering Share Offer prospectus.

The slightly longer version:

Liverpool Community Renewables Ltd is edging closer to reaching it’s initial funding target of £80,000 and I’ve offered to help them reach that goal, raise awareness of the project, recruit an army of supporters, advise on navigating future waters and generally shouting about a great non-profit targeting an tapped opportunity.

LCR aims to push solar installations across the north west of England, beginning in Liverpool – the birth place of many world renowned social projects, to accelerate a more sustainable future for all whilst alleviating energy poverty where it is needed most.

Next on the shopping list after the share offer are businesses with a big roof or anybody with spare land to house as many PV panels as we can muster.

Entirely comprehensive version: (including business plan) and prospectus:

Ok, I’ll save the detailed details for those genuinely interested, but there are plenty of those over at

Please share this post with your friends, enemies, neighbours, networks and taxi drivers to find the financial support to help this worthy cause make its impact felt.

You should also Follow LCR via Twitter @LcrCoop and Like them over on Facebook too!


And the winners of the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2015 are…


Not all awards are created equal.

To some they are great opportunity to shine a spotlight on success, whilst others see only over indulgent attempts at PR and spin. I’ve always been a supporter of those receiving the credit they deserve for often swimming against the mainstream tide and pushing CSR and sustainability, and awards can be an effectively vehicle for spreading the word.

There is also an ever-growing number of awards of countless variations on criteria and the knack is rapidly becoming finding the most relevant awards to your project. It’s worth taking the time to do thorough research. Some awards have more credibility than others, and the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards are up there near the top.

This week I had the honour of joining Solitaire Townsend, Sally Uren, John Elkington and David Doughty to share our insight as judges for this year’s Guardian Sustainable Business Awards. It was our job to combine notes on the entries into the Consultancy of the Year and Communicating Sustainability categories.

I obviously can’t give anything away until the big announcements on the 29th April. What I am probably allowed to let you in on is that The Crystal is an amazing place to visit, John enjoyed the fish for lunch, David D may (or may not) have been a fan of The Archers, Solitaire enjoys chairing hyper-efficient groups, thus Sally was able to leave ahead of schedule, and I really enjoyed the return trip across the Thames on the Emirates Cable Car with my extra time. Thanks Solitaire!

Today (Friday 13th March) is also the final day to cast your votes for the Sustainable Business Leader and Unsung Hero. Click here to nominate your choice for recognition.

I’ve judged many awards and thought I’d offer a few probably obvious suggestions for those wanting to get a better bang for their awards application buck.

1. Be in it to win it.

If you’re proud of your innovation / success / idea, shout it from every rooftop you can find. Don’t allow potential naysayers to stop you. It is a great reward for those involved and hopefully exploited to help scale impact. There is evidence stating even critics see you in a better light, regardless of their voiced concerns.

2. Read and then answer the bloody question!

Don’t just use a box to elaborate eloquently on your wonderous initiative. Answer the question as specifically as possible. Assume the judges know nothing about your project and give details and data, not politician-like overly narrative responses to fill the word count and answer the bloody question. Rant done. Apologies offered if required. Judges really appreciate brevity!

3. Read the rules

It’s not rocket science people. Do your homework. Hit deadlines. Don’t go over maximum word counts. Don’t include extra attachments or links if not allowed. At best they’ll be ignored. At worst you’ll be disqualified.

4. Be honest with yourself.

Not every project is worthy of winning an award. Entering awards does require a certain amount of time to enter successfully. If your project doesn’t really tick the boxes asked save your time until you do have something special to compete with.

5. Ask for help

Build relationships with those conducting the award. It’s not against the rules to ask questions about the process or maybe even what has worked in the past. If you’re really stuck or enthusiastic, you can always ask me too.

6. Don’t ask for help

External advice is a double-edged sword. Outsiders maybe an option for writing award applications but they won’t know (or be as passionate about) your project as much as you do. Often naivety will be overlooked if the main details are there, and passion does win favour.

7. Plan beyond winning

Your amazing project has won? Yay! So what? That lovely new ornament needs to be more than a dust trap. Communicate through all your own channels, including sales, customer service, marketing, HR, everybody, just make sure you leverage all added value to justify the allocation of resources consumed through applying.

8. Learn from the ride

Your amazing project hasn’t won? Boo! Don’t cry. Just because you didn’t get to take home the dust trap doesn’t mean you came away with nothing. What did you learn from the process or the winners? Who did you met on this journey? How will you win next time?

Don’t forget to keep an eye on #GSBA2015 via Twitter and the Guardian Sustainable Business pages for awards updates.