As we wrap up another eventful year, I look back at 12 months of product development and working with the Futur/io team and faculty to help us launch a new leadership programme for Sustainable Innovation.
Covid-19 became known in different flavors and while we see towards the end of the year – the pandemic is far from over. Unfortunately it kept most of us in remote work situations, for me it was mostly glued to my desk and connecting to the world via Zoom. As we inch out of our cocoons through this metamorphosis I am looking for signs of beauty and kindness to help guide our way forward.
I was super excited (and a bit scared, but mostly super cautious) to go out and meet real people again in international conference settings:
It started with a few beautiful days of connected serenity during the wonderful House of Beautiful Business in Lisbon – a warm-hearted community of friends, futurist and
COP26 this October was a powerful experience connecting voices of the streets, marching with the youths, inside the blue zone with innovators, policymakers, and voices from the corporate world.
At Futur/io we had our special edition Wake-Up Call with four brilliant speakers, Dianne Dain, Youssef Nassef, Marc Buckley and Tia Kansara. We launched our ‘Before This Decade is Out’ Whitepaper during the event – developed co-curators Cristian Citu and Pascal Morgan, and contributors Alan Moore, Marc Buckley, Jennifer Schenker and Dr. Carsten Linz.
What made it more powerful were the side events. Secret invite-only dinners (they still exist), the clubby Goals House, Ice Hub and receptions by our friends at Leaders on Purpose, Wood or a pictorest fire-side chat with John Kerry in a beautifully, site-specifically designed forest in the New York Times Climate Hub. It is the people – the passion of the street and the hustle of the innovators that keeps me on the edge but optimistic for the future … if we collaborate & push continuously towards a better tomorrow.
In November, I had the honour of being part of the Sustainable Brands conference in Madrid, organized by our friends at Quiero.
I’m still in awe of the stage presence and message of these leaders from Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, North America Camper, X – the Google moonshot factory and more… but the prize of the most inspiring impactivist goes to Olivia Mandle from Barcelona, who shared her insights on activism for a world without dolphins in aquariums & for more animal rights.
Finally, in December, we shared our plans for 2022 at the NOAH Conference in Zurich with 300+ investors and a band of sustainable innovation startups and impact experts (1.350 attending in total for this hybrid format). The Circle venue was super lofty and had space for security measures in these challenging times. … it was a great reality-check for Davos 2022 for which we are in the middle of planning our activation.
As we take these reflections from the past and enter into the new year, I’m excited about what’s to come. The Cop26 journey continues to Egypt next year, but we can’t wait for that!
I’m hopeful that corporations and startups speed up even faster than the political framework. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance is essential for any successful business – and the need to report on the ESG will speed up the sustainable roadmap.
But there is still a lot of work to be done before we see real change.
The EU will boom through the Green New Deal worth €500 billion going into funding for innovation initiatives. ESG reporting will be inevitable and emission certificates will become a must. This video from Ecovadis offers a great overview of reporting requirements for sustainable & regenerative economic advancements.
I foresee big money going into SDG-driven projects—not just due to the ESG reporting necessity, but from conviction and recognition of opportunities where investments can be financially and planetary beneficial. The Green New Deal will be a Trillion-Dollar opportunity for investors long-term, and an encouragement for young start-ups to spend their talent towards a better climate today – and not 5 min faster pizza-delivery … I hope!
As part of a massive revamp of the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), 49.000 companies will have to publish audited sustainability data for the first time from 2022 — that’s every organisation in the EU with more than 250 employees and a corresponding revenue threshold. There will be a huge need for upskilling to navigate those steps, and a “war for new talents” to help drive sustainable success.
PWC, for example announced their plan to invest $12 billion over five years to create 100,000 new jobs in a major ESG push aimed at supporting its clients with climate and diversity reporting. Deloitte is rolling out a new climate learning programme for all 330,000 employees worldwide – and Volkswagen wants to out-do Tesla in their new e-mobility initiatives – finally!
This is why we do what we do…
Our goal at Futur/io is to provide executives with the training and skillsets needed to navigate towards a regenerative economy, and successfully plan, develop and execute innovative solutions within sustainable business models.
Going into 2022 we will continue to develop our current courses; the Moonshot Thinking Masterclass for those looking to tackle uncertainty with future literacy, think big and inspire toward action. Our Leader in Sustainable Innovation & Execution online course for those wanting to develop innovative ideas for sustainable solutions and lead in a regenerative economy. And our short courses for quicker, more affordable online certification.
We’re also excited for new courses planned to cover topics like ESGs, Venture Capital, Impact Startups and more.
Lastly, we’re confident that the spring of 2022 will once again open the doors for us to meet in person at our CxO and Executive Programmes.
In these times of resilience and uncertainty it is down to each an every one of us to shine a light towards desirable futures – for in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Happy Holidays & a fantastic start into the New Year!