Sunday April 20 , 2014

Learning the Future Now

 Education for Sustainability: igniting the debate


For the last 150 or so years people across the world have been building systems powered by abundant supplies of oil and gas. We know these life-support systems by such names as commodity supply, transport, the national grid, health, housing, food production and the economy, and they have woven themselves together to become our web of life. Our cultural expressions, our politics and even our ways of educating function through a world view that is fuelled by cheap, available energy.

We are now at a pivotal moment when big business, governments and people across the world are waking up to the fact that fossil fuels are finite, their emissions drive climate chaos, and huge systemic shifts are inevitable as we wean ourselves off our high-carbon lifestyles. Even projecting just 20 years into the future, when fuel prices are much higher and we are meeting strict carbon emission reduction targets, we can envision impacts on all our life-support systems. Yet, for the most part, we are educating our children and young people as if no such changes were happening.

David Orr, the leading U.S. educator for sustainability, writes in his book “Earth in Mind”:

“Those now being educated will have to do what we, the present generation, have been unable or unwilling to do: stabilise world population; stabilise and then reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, which threaten to change the climate, perhaps disastrously; protect biological diversity; reverse the destruction of forests everywhere; and conserve soils. They must learn how to use energy and materials with great efficiency. They must learn how to utilise solar energy in all of its forms. They must rebuild the economy in order to eliminate waste and pollution. They must learn how to manage renewable resources for the long run. They must begin the great work of repairing, as much as possible, the damage done to the earth in the past 200 years of industrialisation. And they must do all this while they reduce worsening social and racial inequities. No generation has ever faced a more daunting agenda.”

What skills, knowledge and abilities do this rising generation need to flourish at a time when systems are being forced to change and even break down so that a new world view can emerge? A world view that supports life in all its forms so that life itself can be sustained, and not just human life but the whole web of life. In this context, what is education really for? It is both hugely exciting and daunting to engage in this debate. It takes us from the broadest sweep of life, the universe and everything down to such questions as “How do we wake people up and empower them to be agents of change?”; “What does it mean to teach from a place of authenticity and not knowing?”; “What are the really good approaches that already exist in education and that can be reconfigured with sustainability at their core?”; “What does it really mean to be human on this planet now?”.

These are not just questions for educators. How we prepare young people now to create sustainable futures is of concern to all of us. We invite you to contribute and take this conversation out there into your families, schools, places of work and wider afield.

Isabel Carlisle

To contribute conversations here add the correct category i.e. "Learning the Future Now" from the editor's "Selected Category" list.

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Gwyn Jones

Gwyn Jones

After many years establishing and running consulting practices in Information Technology across continental Europe, Asia, the Middle East I decided that I needed to focus on the more important aspects of my life: family and community.

For several years I have been exploring other ways to live, and earn a living, that are based more on relationships, values and a (more) responsible relationship with the planet.  

This lead me to explore the importance of "purpose" and personal core values, and to finding ways to connect people, to create spaces in which we can explore together the fundamental questions that are at the heart of any transition.

Our lives, and our futures, are defined by the choices we make - especially when we don't consciously make a choice - and our choices are guided by our values.  So if we want to move to a more sustainable existence then it seems to me that we need to start by raising our awareness and consciousness of our values and fundamentally address our relationship with nature and the communities in which we live.  I feel strongly that moving away from a consumer-centric life and a model of success that is based on "what we have" rather than what we contribute to our communities is essential.

Many people have inspired, provoked and challenged me to be more authentic and to think and live in abundance.

In 2006 I met Mike Zeidler and came across ASP for the first time.  Since then ASP has been a major influence and a unique space in which I have forged some valuable relationships and developed many project collaborations.

Joining the local Transition Movement in Poole has been very significant.  Making a difference in my own backyard is very rewarding as well as meeting many other like-minded and inspiring locals.

I'm interested in all things related to food - bread baking particularly. 

And self-awareness and empowerment:  Landmark Education kick-started this process for me and Tai Chi is  proving to be a fascinating melding of body, mind and spirit, requiring a different level of discipline than I've experienced before.

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Watch the webcast - Sustainable Living: Making Progress, Driving Change

On 28 April 2014, we will be hosting a webcast to share and discuss our progress made against the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, and what more we can do to help make sustainable living commonplace.

As it's now three years since we launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, we've carried out a detailed review of where we've got to and what more we can do to help make sustainable living commonplace. While we've made good progress in some areas, we've also looked at how we can drive more change not only within our own business but also in areas where we can influence systemic change. This has led us to broaden and deepen our plan in ways which we look forward to sharing with you during the webcast on 28 April 2014 at 9.00am BST.

You can join the webcast by registering for it here to follow the discussion and submit your own questions. You can also join the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #sustliving.

We hope you can join us.

Date: Monday 28 April 2014
Time: 09.00-10.30am BST for the presentation and Q&A
Register: Click here to register for the webcast

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 15:39

The Forest Floor - one year on

Last year, a group of us ASP folk gathered in Minstead under the heading “the business school of the future.”   The idea was to re-imagine business education, and more broadly organisational learning as a whole, from the ground up. 

We have moved on since then, we have a name “The Forest Floor”  and have drawn up a manifesto (copy attached).  A learning event was held at the Eden Project and several initiatives are emerging from under this umbrella. 

It feels like time to regather at Minstead again, and we have reserved the study centre there (a beautiful place in the heart of the New Forest National Park) for a day from 5 pm on Friday 25th April until 4pm on Saturday 26th April.  Would you like to join us? 

We invite you to come with an open heart and an open mind.  We offer no rigid agenda,  no predetermined outcome but rather a very lightly facilitated dialogue that will be  designed to allow whatever needs to emerge to do so in a playful, engaging and lively manner. 
Approximate cost - £50-£60 (dependent on numbers) which pays for food and accommodation.  You will be expected to pitch in with cooking, washing up and cleaning and to bring a contribution to the food. If money is an issue please ask - we may be able to arrange sponsorship, particularly those who have significant travel costs too. 

Hope you can make it.

...and feel free to invite someone who would want to be there.

Please let us know, preferably by registering here...

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 15:12

Discover the power of brand values

Explore the powerful impact of unearthing the values at the heart of your organisation, and putting them at the heart of your brand.

8 May 2014, 14:30 to 17:30

The Strategy Lab
Hub Westminster
80 Haymarket
1st floor

Lead facilitator:

Martin Roach, Creative Director epitype



Watch >> Our Design Process << Video


    Understand values, their importance in organisational culture and the opportunities facing brands that harness them.
    Experiment with the process of unearthing, evaluating and establishing the values of an organisation
    Understand the relationship between values and brand
    Experiment with the process of codifying the values of an organisation with an engaging call to action
    Explore the process of communicating brand values.

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in:

  • brand values and their impact on culture and communications, whether in private, public or third sector.

Anyone involved in:

  • Marketing and communications
  • Brand management
  • Community and stakeholder engagement
  • Human resources


Join us, reserve your place: REGISTER  ( )

The Rubbish Diet is Recruiting for a Project Manager in West London

Can you talk rubbish?  Make slim bins the social norm in West London!  Social enterprise The Rubbish Diet is looking for a Project Manager in West London to create a new community conversation about waste reduction.  Need proven track record in community engagement work.  3 days per week, competitive salary;  dynamic, supportive work environment.   For more details see




Katy Anderson

Cwm Harry Tel:  01686 626234  Mobile:  07876 703583


The Proudly for Purpose Telesummit: Demystifying the Purpose Economy

24 – 28 March 2014

Join 12 thought leaders as we explore the purpose economy.

There is growing global awareness that the existing business model is ‘self-serving’ and outdated, and that growth and wealth need to be defined by a holistic mix of ethical, natural, financial, manufactured, intellectual, human and social capital. Our economy is entering a new period where purpose arises as the ultimate capital and the cornerstone of making a difference to the kind of lives future generations have the right to expect.

You are invited to share in the insights of the thought leaders and action heroes driving the purpose economy!

Register here FREE to discover how our economy is shifting from profit-driven to purpose-driven, and what it means to you and your company – #purposetelesummit


The Heart of Leadership: an evening in London with Tim 'Mac' Macartney


Lend Lease

20 Triton Street, Regents Place

London, NW1 3BF

20th March 2014

7.00pm – 9.00pm


"The extraordinary gift of business: to make things happen for the greater good"

Tim 'Mac' Macartney.

Imagine the society we could create if we chose to serve the wellbeing of people and nature first, and the generation of profits second. The first would be the purpose, the second would be the means. Businesses would still thrive and compete, and shareholders would receive their rewards, yet now business becomes the engine that transforms our world. Join Mac Macartney as he talks about his vision for business and explains why he has designed the The Heart of Leadership programme for those in business who dream of becoming the leaders the world is waiting for.

Learn more about Heart of Leadership


Tim "Mac" Macartney draws upon his extensive work with large corporations such as Procter & Gamble, UnileverPepsiCo, Lafarge, and Lend Lease.

Mac is a people and organisation development consultant writer, speaker and the founder of a unique social enterprise called Embercombe.  For twenty years he was mentored by a group of Native American "Metis".

This prolonged and challenging training has profoundly influenced Mac’s worldview and continues to inform all aspects of his work with organisations, children, families, and youth.

An inspiring fusion of heart, mind and action.

Monday, 21 October 2013 14:03

A new step forward for ASP

A new step forward for ASP

In September 2012 we took a step into the gift economy, not wanting ‘money’ to act as a barrier to diverse, creative relationship potential, we scrapped the annual membership fee of £100 and invited donations to cover basic running costs.  We moved to an interactive website where the ASP community could connect with each other, post conversations and display a profile of their interests and work.  This replaced the networking role that had previously existed, part gifted and part paid.

A year on and these are our reflections:

  • ASP is an incredible treasure trove of sustainable practitioners with immense and diverse knowledge and connections
  • The potential of ASP is mainly dormant but is highly responsive when prompted
  • There is a need for catalytic agency by a human connector

We want this incredibly rich network of people to achieve its potential and at the same time ensure money doesn’t become a barrier which prevents you from accessing the Association to exchange contributions of skills, experience and resources.

For the next month, Lucy Fleetwood will be playing the role of catalyst, working to get all that latent energy moving. Lucy has negotiated a free space for ASP in shared offices in Bristol from where she’ll be able to set the catalytic process described below in motion.

ASP Catalyst Role:

  •     mentor new ”Sustainable Practitioner Internees” to support the Catalyst and learn directly from experts in the ASP network
  •     skype-call those wanting to discover ways this role can support them
  •     prompt sharing of practitioners’ updates about their current work and interests
  •     help with shared needs and interests to forge connections in sustainable practices
  •     develop the Association’s profile and capacity through Linked-in and WiserEarthUK
  •     support the development of regional groups and alliances (including some new ASP events)

Your Support

Over the past 8.5 years, we’ve had a great deal of glowing appreciation from people who’ve engaged with ASP. We think the Association is becoming ever more relevant and important, and we’re excited about the prospects for working together with more encouragement and support. 

For this reason we’re inviting you to donate £10 as an annual investment in your Association which would cover our basic running costs, and support the role of catalyst to build the connections within the community.

ASP is yours - please value it with a financial contribution, whether it’s more or less than £10.

To make your donation, please pay either on-line at:

Or via your bank to:

Triodos Bank,
A/c: 20041969
Sort Code 16-58-10

For international payments:

IBAN:         GB11RBOS16003410000856   
Reference:     20041969, 16-58-10, ASP, 10 Earlham Drive, Poole, BH14 0HH, UK

Our mission to connect, challenge and support people with visions of a more sustainable society is based in the spirit of learning together, so if you’ve any thoughts, comments, suggestions or offers to make, please do send them back by return.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for being a Sustainability Practitioner. We salute you!

With Best Wishes,

Gwyn Jones, Mike King, Mike Zeidler, Lucy Fleetwood

Directors, ASP

Tuesday, 08 October 2013 16:10



Wednesday 30 October 2013, 7pm
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London

Our global food system is under increasing strain. We need to produce and supply enough safe and nutritious food in a sustainable way to a population which is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050. How are we meeting this challenge with new technology and new thinking?


Participants include:


Jay Rayner (Chair), Food critic, presenter and author

Tim Wheeler, Professor of Crop Science, University of Reading and Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, DFID

Peter Smithers, Entomologist, Plymouth University

Edd Colbert, Feeding the 5000, The Pig Idea


Watch again
Catch up with all the 21st Century Challenge events online, along with interviews, news, guides and more.


Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

1 Kensington Gore


Exhibition Road entrance South Kensington tube

Visit us


Tickets: £10 (£7 RGS-IBG Fellows and members)  Book online or contact the events office:

T +44 (0)20 7591 3100

Twitter @21CC

Doing more with less - join the debate

Brought to you by:

8th October at 13:00 BST

( Studio talk TV )

Business success should be built on questioning what is possible, and in the current climate, that question is more critical than ever before.

With tomorrow’s success dependent on our ability to find intelligent solutions to the everyday sustainability challenges that we face, what role can and should business play?

In the wake of Ban Ki-moon’s address and with just two years to go until the world is set to come together under the UNFCCC (the branch of the UN responsible for coordinating climate action), to arrange a globally binding deal, we’ve assembled industry experts to share their thoughts and explain what can be achieved at a corporate level.

Join our live webTV show with Dax Lovegrove from WWF, Martin Chilcott from 2degrees and AkzoNobel’s Director of Sustainability, André Veneman. They will be debating sustainability and whether it is possible to deliver more value from ever diminishing resources.

Do you have a question on sustainability that you’d like to put to the panel?

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