Since 2016, the RSA Fellow-led Sustainability Network has grown from an idea into a strong and successful group with more than 800 members, running numerous events around the country and linking between countless sustainability initiatives. Hear from the new Network Lead, Phillip Ward FRSA, about his vision for the network’s next steps.
Although the news is dominated by Brexit, there is more than enough reporting to remind us of the more significant events and developments: on climate change, the threat of mass extinctions, and pollution of air, land and seas. It would be easy to give up in despair, to deny the problem or angrily demand that somebody does something about it. Given the nature of the problem, none of those seems particularly helpful.
Clearly there are big systemic issues to be addressed, but much of the problem we are facing is the accumulation of millions of bad decisions by individuals and businesses and much can be done by identifying and promoting better decisions instead.
There is, of course a thriving community of “Green” organisations outside the RSA researching and campaigning across the whole subject of sustainability. But my belief is that our network can add value by drawing on their knowledge and our broader membership to support each other as we try to develop our own solutions and take them into businesses and communities.
We shall shortly be having a meeting of our Steering Group to review where we are and to set some priorities. I would genuinely like to hear from you with any thoughts about what you would like to see the network working on and how it could help you. I have set up a dedicated email address email@example.com – feel free to contact me at any time with thoughts and suggestions. You can also reach me via MyRSA.
A little about my background: I “caught” sustainability at 1992 Earth Summit after a spell on UK Delegation to the IPCC (climate change). Later, I was Director for energy efficiency, waste and sustainable consumption and production in government; Director at Waste and Resources Action programme (WRAP), Chair of Resource Futures and a Director of OPRL. I have been a Fellow of the RSA for donkeys’ years.
Finally, a big thank you to Susan Harris FRSA, who founded the network, for getting it established and for agreeing to stay on the steering group to share her knowledge and experience.