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Susan Harris FRSA, the Sustainability Network Lead, reflects on the lively Future-Facing Leaders event at the RSA House on Monday 29 October.

On 29th October, the RSA Sustainability Network held our seminal sustainability leadership event. Speakers included Sue Riddlestone, CEO of Bioregional; Stuart McLachlan, CEO and co-founder of Europe’s fastest growing sustainability consultancy, Anthesis; Cyndi Rhoades, CEO of the fibre-to-fibre recycling Greentech WornAgain; Louise Ellison, Head of Sustainability at property developer Hammerson; and Christa Gyori, CEO of the leadership organisation Leaders on Purpose. Chaired by RSA Sustainability Network Steering Group member and Director of the Harvard Sustainability Leadership and Innovation Programme, Professor Wendy Purcell, the event examined the importance and different modes of sustainability leadership.

Good leadership is vital if the world is to address many of the significant sustainability challenges we face, and sustainability leaders need to be able to hold their own in dialogue with business, politics, finance and other sectors if they are to lead and influence.

The event heard from a range of successful sustainability leaders with different leadership styles on how they see sustainability’s role in this process. The panel discussed what makes for good leadership on sustainability, and the challenges and opportunities we face. In addition, a round-table “world café” format provided an opportunity for all attendees to share their experiences and insights.

It was exciting to see the broad range and depth of experience our members can add to the sustainability agenda. In the round-table sessions, members highlighted the need for collaboration, the challenges presented by our current economic systems, and the importance of visionaries as well as pragmatists.

We also asked participants for their thoughts on how we can help the RSA take leadership on key sustainability issues. The feedback collected will form the basis of a short paper that the Sustainability Network will put forward to the RSA to help further the great work that is being done in this area.

 

Catch up on the event here on the @RSAinLondon Twitter Moment.

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