INSPIRATION

A smorgasbord of the people and thoughts recently providing some ongoing inspiration in my work. Whether or not I agree with all the thoughts offered, they all provide a different angle on how I approach things.

 

PEOPLE

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Jeffrey Sachs

The Prince of Sustainable Development, former Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University where he holds the highest ranking title of University Professor - he is one of the world's leading experts on economic development and fighting poverty. Respect to him for being hugely outspoken against public figures and demanding change.

John Elkington

The Godfather of Sustainability, creator of the "Triple Bottom Line" and all round visionary and nice guy. Too many books written to mention, and regular articles for Harvard Business Review. Check out Volans, SustainAbilty, and his podcast with The Sustainability Agenda

 

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Naval Ravikant

Founder of AngelList, and one of the finest thinkers from the technology world consistently covers a range of topics: reading, habits, meaning of life, happiness. The way he views life is unique and his aphorisms on Twitter are hugely thought provoking. On his appearance on the Farnham Street podcast he discusses an interesting opposing view around halfway through around a shift from macro to micro attempts for change. No clear acknowledgement of shared value and sustainable or regenerative thinking, but nonetheless, thought provoking to draw in for thoughts around human nature and the future of the world.

David Bowie

Having absorbed the excellent "David Bowie Is" exhibition on its stop in Barcelona, four key elements came to the forefront for me: his ability to imagine way beyond existing paradigms, his continuous evolution, drawing from a hugely diverse range of influences, and his open minded approach to collaboration.

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Derek Sivers

Founded CD Baby, became a circus clown to counteract being introverted. The best example of an optimistic contrarian I have found. He also writes excellent book reviews that he publishes on his website, which is excellent for discovering new books, and not having to read them if you just want a overview (the magic is in fact on his his take on them via his notes).

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Christopher Nolan

Interweaving multiple concepts about the human mind, emotions, life, the future of the world into one wicked art piece.

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Ben Horowitz / Marc Andreessen aka a16z

Take some of the best thinking in Silicon Valley, apply it to growing enterprises tackling the grand sustainability / regeneration challenge. Banks and banks of content at their website that could probably take you years to sift through.

 

Marcus Aurelius

Leading Stoic thinker, a few classics from the Roman Emperor:

"The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it."

"Meditate often on the interconnectedness and mutual interdependence of all things in the universe"
 

"Constantly regard the universe as one living being, having one substance and one soul; and observe how all things have reference to one perception, the perception of this one living being; and how all things act with one movement; and how all things are the cooperating causes of all things which exist; observe too the continuous spinning of the thread and the contexture of the web."

 

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Roald Dahl

I requested a collection of Roald Dahl books for my 30th birthday, as a reminder of my childhood and stay youthful in thought, as I like to think Roald did. Dark stories, ostensibly for children, that can still be enjoyed by any adult. A good reminder of staying youthful and open in thought into your later years.

Salvador Dali / Joan Miró

Two Catalan artists who pushed the limits and bent reality. In a similar way to channeling David Bowie - asking: how can you see a different angle on things, how can you think in completely different terms to the existing paradigm or reality?

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MEDIA

 
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Doughnut Economics

Mind-blowing book rethinking economics: breaking down 20th century thinking and rebuilding it from the ground up. Whilst it may sadly lack realism and application in the face of masses who think differently, and all may not agree with some of the philosophy underpinning the book, a necessary shock to challenge your thinking.

Drawdown

Want to attack climate change and global warming? Paul Hawken gives 100 solutions in a frightening level of detail. Since presented at COP23, while a Drawdown Research Institute with a major university and a documentary are in the works. Worth checking Paul Hawken at the Carbon Productivity Basecamp event here.

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Sapiens

Incredible take on the history of humankind, that tests the assumptions you don't even know you've made around how life works and how we operate as a species. A brilliant foundation that I found particularly potent when combining with Jeff Sach's "The Age of Sustainable Development" online course (and I am sure the book too).

Exponential Organisations

If Doughnuts Economics is a blueprint for a 21st century economic system, Exponential Organisations is a blueprint for 21st century enterprises. Taking a Massive Transformational Purpose and taking it to the world.

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Volans & Business & Sustainable Development Commission – ‘Project Breakthrough’

Brilliant report and multimedia website covering exponential solutions to the SDGs, utilising disruptive technologies and breakthrough business models

Generation Investment Management: Sustainability Trends Report / Transformation of Growth

Eye opening reports on the future trends shaping the world through a lens of sustainability: Mobility, Built Environment, Energy, Food and Well-Being all covered in the trends report - Read here - full opportunity for future growth in Transformation of Growth paper

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UN Global Compact - Better Business, Better World

What are the 60 biggest market opportunities around the SDGs? Find out.

Harvard Business Review - Future Economy project

HBR pull in some hugely influential names to discuss sustainability:

Global Managing Partner at McKinsey; Chairman and CEO of Salesforce; Founder of Virgin Group; Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company; CEO and President of Walmart; Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo; CEO of Unilever and Executive Chair of Alphabet.

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12 Angry Men

Pretty much one scene throughout the entire  film, a brilliant exercise in the unbundling of all the inherent biases we all hold. A good reminder as we look to redesign a more distributive global system. Brilliance from back in 1957.

SDG Academy

The UN’s MOOC portal. Great resource for a holistic view of where we are now, how we get here, and where we need to go.

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