Last night a big company had asked me (pro-bono) to chair a gathering to look at what they should be doing above and beyond their own core line of business.

The twenty-five people present came from an eclectic range of International organisations and businesses; there was the odd professor too.

This was an event I would never have expected to find “blogworthy”. Yet it very soon became clear to me that this was to prove a seminal experience. The participants were both worldly, wise, and articulate.

Very quickly a common theme emerged, a consensus even, that we are in a kind of last chance saloon.

That we have perhaps fifteen years to “get it right”. Get what right? To get saving the planet and humanity’s survival.

There was surprisng consensus that we are living amid unprecedented global warming – perhaps four per cent by the end of the century; perhaps six per cent soon after that.

There was consensus that from London to Lagos, the “city” per se is in crisis. Urban living cannot continue as it is.
Another common theme was that lifestyle has to change.

Obesity is ever-growing

Agreement too that obesity and diabetes are on a massive march (I was shocked to find in Qatar two weeks ago that 60 per cent of this tiny Gulf state are obese and 20 per cent already suffer from Type 2 diabetes.

Dementia stalks the western world and we have no idea how to tackle it; junk food is now consuming not only the developed world but increasingly the developing world with it.
In short, the evening became a debate about sustainability and the inability of the political classes to tackle it.
There was widespread recognition that this fight for survival could not rest on the state.
I don’t know what this company will do to adapt to this fight – there were a myriad of ideas in play.

Fighting for humankind’s survival?

But there was agreement round the table that the corporate sector had to learn that the very ingredients they had contributed to this crisis must now be turned around and deployed to resolve it.
I went to that meeting last night thinking that fighting for humankind’s survival, and our planet with it, is an intoxicating battle fought by the minority. 

I’m increasingly discovering that it is rapidly becoming more mainstream.
I used to ride a bike because it was the quickest way to and from work. Am I already now am now riding it as an adjunct to saving the planet!

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