Posted at 05:42 PM in #wecarehealth, AboutWorkEcology, ArtKleiner.com, Compensation, Culture of Change, Current Affairs, Ecological Economics, Economy, Health, Healthy Community, Science, WECare, WorkEcology Insight Note, WorkEcology.com | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Art Kleiner, Beyond the GDP, Charlie Rose, Culture of Change, Economy, Education, Jobs, John Sexton, WeCare Health, Well Being, Work Force, WorkEcology
This post is a comment in response to Bill Shireman's editorial on Huffington Post. The Trackback URL is connected to this post.
I convened a leadership dialogue in the Bay Area in 1993 and since then I have participated in similar types of discussions. The conclusion of these conversations is always the same. We have outgrown our system of government. I see that now more than every. How can we expect one person, e.g. Obama to save the day.
There is much work to do and miles to go that should insure that people like you and me are funded and consistently doing our share of work to address the issue you have summarized here of most importance. We simply have to find resources and funding for the hard work needed. Thank you for your excellent work. I have just announced to my community on Linkedin.com that we are now focused on doing our work our work re: health from a global perspective.
To limit the work we have ahead of us within the US will not move us forward.
The US now ranks No. 7 of the western countries examining their health care systems - cost twice as much and provides the poorest quality ranked with Germany, UK, AU, New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada.
Massachusetts was the first state to introduce health care reform. This has resulted in increased emergency room visits and expense. Will US health care chose to support our program, participate or move into the category of "a place of no return?" Time will tell.
My Neural Network of Inspiration
Through Joan Borysenko, I learned about Peggy La Cerra's work on neural networks and the impact of neural networks on positive consciousness. As a result, I started digging more into Peggy's work on consciousness. After reading her most recent editorial in Spirtuality and Health, it did not take me long to remember a book that I read a few years back by Ervin's Laszlo on the Akashic Field that describes where spirituality meets science. By late Sunday night, I was rereading everything I enjoy and value about Multiple Intelligence and the work of Howard Gardner that have sparked new horizons in the disciplines of leadership, education and health.
All this synthezing spurred my imagination and creative process to begin to think thro ugh a new approach for developing a new scheme of thought leadership material my forthcoming book, The Tale of Meaningful Use. I have refocused to examine how to tell the story of where the intersection of science meets spirituality and healing. This is challenging subject matter to conceive and frame, and to embed in a culture of positive intention and healing.
Right now it seems very timely to convene people from science, investments and health to create a neural network of condition that inspires a change in scientific practice that builds sustainable practices for health, environment and economy.
The inspiration for this new line was a result of some wandering around I did this week attending events and investigating some stories and work of other people.
1. First, I attended a meeting of the Epilepsy Advocates hosted and funded by UCB Pharma. UCB has funded a unique program that I saw need for in the mid-90's after advocating for a family with a son, who had tonic seizure disorder. There was no easy way to synthesize the knowledge about seizures at this time, even with my exceptional skill of research and ability to contact and interview the intelligence that surrounded epilepsy at that time. The activity I sustained for Epilepsy, I found had relevance for numerous other communities of people suffering with or learning to construct a quality of life after a chronic or life threatening diagnosis.
My inquiring mind, assessed and synthesized what I knew about health, scientific research, medication, clinical trials and alternative medicine: how anyone who was chronically ill could claim a quality of life in the United States that assured them the capacity to function in the best way possible even when there was no cure.
There is an increase of people and families afflicted with this challenging diagnosis. There are now 68K elderly and a total of 200K people diagnosed annually with some form of seizure disorder. Seizure disorder usually accompanies another form of chronic or life threatening illness and results in a challenging pathway the patient and caregivers similar to what was depicted in the movie Lorenzo's Oil relative to Aleuko Dystrophy (ALD). Lorenzo's Oil is part of the AboutWorkEcology Film Roster.
While neither UCB or the Epilepsy Foundation are directly addressing issues of the cost of medications and access to the quality brand medication that works for all patients, this program was an exquisite representation of what kind of progress can be achieved through education that is patient centric.
2. In talking with Peggy LaCerra @ Joan's FB page in the company of some other good people, I was reminded how limiting I often see the new age movement in the US for all its glory. The focus seems to be so deeply on empowering an individual to act and claim a power of consciousness to take control over his/her life without regard for the complexity of circumstance that surrounds this person, e.g. economy, health and environment.
This raised a red flag for me in thinking about the people and communities harmed by the BP Oil Spill.
I see the region and people afflicted by the harm of this spill as individuals, families and communities of people faced with responding and learning through a crisis of change which most individuals cannot survive on their own. A case in point simply is the impact we know already on human health re: Benzene and how it can implode a rise in lymphoma and leukemia.
Bottom line, people have been inflicted and exposed to a form of harm that requires a response that is far greater than any one individual can muster.
This left me with 2 questions
a. How do we construct a health system to surround these people in the context of a new format of consciousness that assures everyone the resources they need to live and sustain?
b. How do we move beyond the boundaries of the economic system and mess that surrounds the US Federal Government and BP --- which empowers the world of blame and devastation? instead of empowering the opportunity for growth in our consciousness to work with others to create a neural network of conversation that gives rise to a quality transformation based on consciousness and quality science?
3. Everyone needs some good entertainment and work in front of them when the influx of media and news is depressing. In fact,
Paul Krugman's New York Times' editorial on Where did the Economists Go Wrong? inspired me, opposite what one would think in reading about how Paul views that the global recession has become a depression and why that is so.
The basis for Paul's editorial gives me a foundation from which to frame and present my own work as a positive opportunity and response. Paul believes that those who have money to spend have stopped spending it and therefore the response to the downturn in inhibiting innovation and creativity for much needed change. Paul also asserted that one significant symptom of the problem is that our system of government globally as reflected in conversations that surround the G-20, are out of date and not responsive to the change that is needed on a societal and global scale.
The real grappling for me at this time, comes with trying to gain an understanding of what conditions can give rise to a more rapid method of meaningful discovery of science that impacts the growing array of diseases that have resulted in 1 our of every 2 American's living with a chronic or life threatening illness and the recent news that 41% of Americans have cancer.
Is it solely about praying for miracles or can we stand behind people like the Crowley Family,
who organized themselves to care for two kids in need of treatment for Pompe Disease, where there was no scientific evidence that a treatment was possible. Dad John Crowley out of the inspiration he saw in his daughters will to live after a week of 3 near death experiences went out and raised the $100M required to assure the research that resulted in the clinical trial that saved her and her brother's life. While Crowly a BioTech Executive supported himself in the discovery process, he did not stop short of resigning to assure the ethic required (no conflict of interest) so his kids could be eligible for a sibling clinical trial.
You have to wonder why in this culture where there is money to fund activities like this, emotions and anger have to be part of the path of consciousness on the path to discovery which is a less than satisfying positive experience.
The research that was the real icing on the cake for me this week, came out of reading Ingredients for Sustainability: Sustainability report 2010/2009 for Danisco. I saw the announcement that the report was available on the website from @jeffreyhogue,
VP of Corporate Sustainability on my hootesuite dashboard for @workecology.
Danisco is a top 10 global leader in biotechnology. Danisco has a workforce of 6800 people who have formed a stakeholder engagement based on a a possibilistic risk assessment and future scenario. Danisco has chosen the top 4 most challenging areas of sustainability relative to its company and network of outreach business to business that include:
1. Food - reduce excessive waste, inefficiencies in production and challenges presented by a degrading environment:
2. Health - identify and act on the implications of an aging population of people who are obese and malnourished;
3. Energy - move from use of oil based energy to renewables;
4. Chemicals - find biobased alternatives with which to replace petrol based chemicals:
Danisco's claim and key driver to taking such a complex agenda few leaders would be willing to tackle. Of its 6800 person workforce, 80% of Danisco employees are inspired by an agenda of sustainability and view this kind of agenda an opportunity to use innovation as a key driver of influence to draw on imagination and creativity to create a "new reality."
While many people and companies use the excuse that sustainability is to complex, to costly and too difficult to innovate, within the Danisco report is a story and organization of achievements and metrics that assure innovation, progress and change.
Last Thursday when I received a link to this report, I was captured by its layout, presentation, journalism quality and much more. I replied to Jeffrey's twitter, "@JeffreyHogue, Extracting from how you map out the ingredient of your report.
I learned all of this from my initial skim of the report. By Sunday night, I learned that Danisco has "embedded a format of education," into its culture. The report left me with an impression that where While the report scored an A+ from GRI and achieved Deloitte stamp of approval, I found this report distinct from all other reports I have read in story, format, graphics and journalism.
This report conveyed to me that Danisco leaders have brought to life a company culture of change based on the key driver of innovation. This innovation practice had embedded a new format of education that I so frequently write about as a possibility. Danisco has made this culture real.
I am now organizing questions and a more detailed review of the report to deepen my understanding of this report. I want to learn how the authors, contributors and team that worked on this report brought to life so effectively through graphics, technology and journalism a description of a company at work that has actualizes sustainability through stakeholder engagement.
I want to capture a story fundamental to Danisco's mission, purpose and vision that conveys a story of why challenging opportunity is a qualification for the next wave of Sustainable Investing and a forum in which some of the most challenging issues relative to health, chemicals, foods and supply chains can be addressed for the common good.
Whether Danisco can or chooses to cooperate with me, I most appreciate this report for the possibility it represents for my documenting proof of concept regarding a thought leadership I have been midwifing for many years. Thanks you Danisco.
Good week to all,
Posted at 06:51 PM in #griconference, #safechem, #sustainnow, #wecarehealth, AboutWorkEcology, Culture of Change, Ecological Economics, Ecological Footprint for Health, Economy, Healing Stories, Health, WECare, WECareMetricsofHealth Newsnotes | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: #griconference, #sustainnow, #unglobalcompact, Crowley Family, Culture of Change, Danisco, embedding education, Ervin Laszlo, Howard Gardner, Jeffrey Hogue, Joan Borysenko, Peggy La Cerra, Pompe, WeCareHealth
This morning a comment on FaceBook arrived at my door,
"Benzene EPA allowable 0-4 parts/billion. Gulftest=3,400 parts/ billion"
My heart immediately sank deep into an experience of sorrow. When I get that way, I let my fingers walk through Google to clarify what I am feeling with facts. I found a few websites of facts on the implications of this health hazard.
1. I found this entry from US Government - Department of Labor dated 01/12/2010. When I read this page, I found it difficult to make sense of the harm.
2. I then found this page date - December 22, 1997 from the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, easy to read, educational and for any consumer it provides a clear understanding of how Benzine which is contained in petroleum can impact human health.
3. Then I read this information on the Impact of Benzene on Leukemia and Lymphoma provided by a law firm, BarronBudd.com. This research summarized in this site on how Benzene as a hazard and exposure can lead to Leukemia and Lymphoma.
After reading this, my mother's voice went off in my head; the message she use to give me when she was angry and had to "tell me I told you so."
I found this cartoon from Huffington Post that contained a picture that replaces the thousands of words communicated in media every day that could force me to forget and bury my head in the sand re: this hazard that is going to impact the health of people living by the #BP #Oil Spill.
It has gotten very simple for me. At present, there is a lot of attention on legislation for chemicals to make sure we assure safety for people and exercise precaution related to the 80,000 chemicals now used in products on the market. The legislation often implies we have to make priority the chemicals based on their volume of use.
Science now tells us that the amount of chemicals (volume used) does not dictate the impact of a chemical even in a small amount. Therefore substitution of chemicals of immediate concern has to have a new approach of examining the chemical, the amount of chemical and hazard potential.
ChemSec.org is an educational center in Europe that exists as a non profit for the purpose of creating a "toxic free world."
At their website, ChemSec describes the focus of their work as
"CHEMSEC - for a toxic free world
" Our focus is to highlight the risks of hazardous substances and influence and speed up legislative processes. We act as a catalyst for open dialogue between authorities, business and NGOs and collaborate with companies committed to taking the lead. All of our work is geared to stimulating public debate and action on the necessary steps towards a toxic free world. "
This week, I have had to deepen my empathy for the millions of people who have lives challenged by chemical exposure.
There are currently two reports in my collection that can open anyone's eyes to the opportunity represented by the BP Oil Spill Catastrophe.
1. A US Report by the President's Panel on Cancer recently released a report Reducing Environmental Risk on Cancer.
2. A European Union Report, Late Lessons from Early Warnings, the Precautionary Principle 1896-2000
"...I have often feared that it would take an environmental disaster for capital markets and society in general to start taking the environmental impacts of companies seriously."
So as I deepen my capacity to have empathy for all human beings effected by this disaster, I am now asking, "is it time to do something and do it right?" and "what does that mean."
to the ordinary person and the system of health and care that serves them to live out their lives in the best sustainable way possible?
Posted at 03:00 PM in #ceres10, #griconference, Brundtland Commission, ESG, Health, Healthy Community, Precautionary Principle, REACH, Science, WECareMetricsofHealth Newsnotes | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Benzene, BP, ChemSec., Exercising Precaution, OIlSpill, REACH, Reach, SafeChem
Today, I sought some quiet to begin to imagine the world without BP. In my life-time and through my work, I have had opportunity to think in this way. The last time was when I began to imagine life without Digital Equipment Corporation.
Since the BP Oil Spill occurred, I have been reading and listening to news reports portraying the views of reporters, leaders and analysts that I respect. One such leader and analyst is Simon Thomas,
founder of Trucost.com. Simon has turned his personal mission to build sustainable investment analytics and metrics by building a highly skilled and innovative network of people he has by founding Trucost.com. Simon's blog post this week provided context and relevance to what I have been synthesizing in my own mind since the beginning of the BP Oil spill.
"Since I founded
over a decade ago I have often feared that it would take an environmental disaster for capital markets and society in general to start taking the environmental impacts of companies seriously.
In the same way that the Enron and Parmalat crises catapulted corporate governance into the mainstream investment agenda, so the BP oil spill is likely to change investment behaviour forever.
The Deepwater Horizon crisis is of course the result of a terrible accident and terrible accidents are impossible to predict reliably. Research providers struggle as much as anyone else in predicting such events; they are not clairvoyants.
Clearly the extent of the environmental impacts that are associated with the oil industry are well known, despite the concerted attempts of oil company public relations executives to paint an entirely more benign."
I recommend reading Thomas's post in its entirety.
Before Thomas's post, members of the #griconference live reporting group sent a link to Marc Gunther's report sharing Gunther's view that the next debt crisis will be ecological.
blogged live from Amsterdam:
that the event was generating in his opinion" a lot of words to describe an event that is, at heart, about ... living within our means, understanding that we are interdependent and getting the accounting right."
I began to take note of a swarm that has grown around me over past few weeks in various leaving me an ache inside my gut that is loudly shouting that "we can no longer afford more of the same." This voice has echoed loudly numerous times through my life.
To get to the point of thinking about life after BP, I remembered a number of devastating catastrophe's that I have experienced or witnessed. I was born and currently live in Boston. People from Boston are very stoic. The experience of catastrophe or devastation to the New England economy is not new to most born here. There are very reminders of my numerous experiences with catastrophes with polio epidemics, hurricanes, recessions, fuel shortages and wide spread shut down due to a domino effect of lost industry. New England has a rich history in its experience of economic harm suffered from lost manufacturing, challenges to the fishing industry, lost defense contracts and the Harvard Community's HMO put into state receivership.
I remember in 1986, the explosion of the Space Shuttle, Challenger explosion took the lives of 7 astronauts
Americans had to own that their perfect space program could make mistakes and the magnitude of a mistake could take the lives of people.
Shortly after that experience, I found myself working and living in a community of people employed directly by Digital Equipment Corporation or within DEC's supply chain. Ken Olsen as CEO could not see that the personal computing revolution was going to overtake his obstinate view that DEC mini computers would dominate the market. This resulted in a loss of business that reduced a global workforce from 160,000 workers globally to approximately 35,000 workers who were absorbed into a Compaq acquisition followed by the 1990's HP acquisition of Compaq.
I lived in the Bay Area during the next two recessions and watched more Fortune 2000 companies disappear, e.g. Amdhal. By the end of 1993, I had seen the impact of pervasive downsizing of 800,000 workers in California destroy communities, make families homeless and strip children of any hope for a future.
Around 1994, while living in Cupertino, CA, (home of Apple.com) during one of my numerous episodes of layoff, I participated as a volunteer in a meeting of a community group with the Superintendent of the Cupertino School System). As a member of this group, I was privy to the results of a school based study to diagnose why children in the Cupertino School System were malnourished.
The findings of this study challenged a very "thick denial" in the room by the wealthy people in the room, who were not personally derailed by the recession. These people were shocked to learn their neighbors who were laid off could not feed their children. Most of these children were going through a school day with no food, because their parents had lost their jobs. Parallel to this study in San Jose, CA diagnosed the source of a growing homeless problem in San Jose. The problem was accelerating as a result of economic challenged families; the homeless population no longer could simply be seen described as the drug addicted, alcoholic or depressed PTSD diagnosed Veterans.
This past week, John Sculley, former CEO of Apple 35 years ago, spoke with Daily Beast's Thomas Weber about his regrets and rift with now Apple CEO, Steve Jobs in 1986. Do you think it has occurred to Sculley to examine the harm that he followed by Michael Spindler, CEO of Apple in the early 90's? These layoffs and a phase of decline grew out of the rift with Jobs that Sculley sparked and spiraled into a recession that left children malnourished and causing families to lose their homes.
Through May and into early June, as the BP Oil Spill continued and I did my best to absorb the implications of the message from the Global Reporting Conference 2010 and the overwhelming value of reports from the Ceres 2010 Conference, the week prior to GRI, I found myself at a meeting in Washington DC with a safe chemical community partnership that has been formed to help lobby and advocate for to revise update US Chemical legislation and policy.
Hard working people from around the country attended this meeting. They represented Ngo's, corporations and government agencies, Everyone participated with a sincerity and intent to have impact. The meeting was well designed, informative and presented an opportunity for quality networking.
Along with my experience of research re: REACH and Non-ionizing radiation, I left the meeting knowing intuitively all the quality legislation in the world in any country will not prevent the equivalent of a chemical BP Oil Spill. All the legislation passed cannot protect people from disasters as they occur if business perpetuates a culture of harm, government invests and writes laws of fear that create expensive bureaucracies and non profits continue a focus of raising philanthropic investment for media campaigns and protests that create confusion and do not empower learning to lead change and repair harm.
This week, the volume of my intuitive message increased in decibels. This voice was shouting in my head as loudly as it did during other occassions when
What is MIssing?
That question has been burning in side of me since I returned to Boston from WDC last week from the meeting related to TSCA and Safe Chemicals.
Nothing is going to escape what I know is the only way to construct an economy of change through lots of people to bring about a new form of complex work that breathes life into the global and local economies to become a living ecosystem of sustainability. Within companies, government entities and non profits that oversee the payrolls of workers , who want to carry out their jobs with the intent to live stable lives there is now absolutely no escape from doing the hard work that it means to assure and build a sustainable economy.
You see it would have taken hard work to synchronize the medical record system at Harvard Pilgrim with the financial system; and more hard work to get the information organized and feeding in synch with the hospitals that billed Harvard Pilgrim insurance. This was know years ago even before my resignation in the early 1980's when I made the decision to leave while I could still be viewed a success. For some reason my voice among many other hard workers was not heard.
Many at Digital Equipment Corporation knew that Ken Olsen's view of mini computing was not responsive to the new frontier of personal computing. The people could not counter act Ken Olsen's stubbornness and the harm that followed.
I recall at one point in grad school seeing a film simulating the engineering conversation about the Challenger where one male engineer's voice expressing concern about something faulty was overlooked and what he said diminished. I recalled a conference call I attended with a major petroleum company (not BP), earlier in this decade with a team was working with an $800K investment in software for an oil and drill knowledge management system. Again those of us who were hard working, questioned how a corporation could invest $800k in a system that was not put into wide use, could not get heard.
Many say they are confused by the term sustainability and don't know what it means. Let me offer you a simple definition I provided to Aman Singh, Vault.com's CSR correspondent, in a review of Kathrin Winkler's role at EMC as Chief Sustainability Officer,
" sustainability is based on a simple premise: 'corporate sustainability is really about business survival: Take the long view, or your business won't survive in a failing global society or environment. Long-term sustainability affects customers, employees, suppliers, neighbors, partners, governmental bodies, and civil society. If we make our business choices based on how we interact with those stakeholders, then we are promoting sustainability."
Let me in this moment return the chemical agenda I have been researching that has grown out of Europe's REACH legislation and the movement of other countries to adopt this regulation or build new legislative platforms e.g. the US revision of TSCA.
Again somewhere in the crowd is a chemist who understands that one of the 80,000+ chemicals in use in a small amount may be showing signs of doing wide spread harm and at present this chemist cannot prove it. This hard working individual has an idea that needs research and support and encouragement but from a financial view and from the perspective of shareholder investment pushing on the perception of this voice who understands it is necessary that a large volume of this chemical is in use.
REACH regulation contains a 1 ton qualifier. It does not apply to a potential chemical in use where the proportion is much smaller than the potential harm. There are now 350+ chemicals that have been identified that are worthy of research and further investigation that are not based on this 1 Ton in use qualifier. The 1 Ton qualifier diminishes the voice of a hard working chemist or health professional, who loves his/her job or has a feeling in his/her gut that a chemical they recognize should be of concern. This is one point of vulnerability of many that investors and economic decision makers or company leaders never gain insight into potential harm.
In following the rapid change over the past few years at General Electric and Walmart, I have been slowly grasping what it means when a major global corporation views itself as an economy rather than a company and a player that influences the natural ebb and ecological flow of an economy. Neither GE or Walmart have perfected their science and they are demonstrating methods of continuous learning that convene the small voices of natural leadership to do the hard work that assures a viable scientific agenda and resources to assure no harm.
This week, Elaine Cohen, found a hidden jewel in Warren Buffet's complex of business. She found one company Shaw Floors wrote a CSR report., I wondered if this could be a door of possibility through which Berkshire Industries might follow Walmart and General Electric and begin to lead itself as a sustainable economy? I am holding similar thoughts for HP to do the same. Last week, I learned that HP's material purchases from its supply chain over 179 countries totals $79B. I bet HP could benefit from sitting at the table with GE and Walmart it may find a formula to invest in the research of numerous chemist within its supply chain to exercise precaution based on the Earth Charter Principle to do no harm.
This week after a sinus infection, I discovered a love for mixing Trader Joes' rasberry and lemon sorbet to lighten that sour feeling in my mouth from learning to be patient as people in reaction from all sectors learn to stop the BP oil gush and sort out a system by which to repair harm and prevent further harm. Hopefully the press and community voices and groups will move into a format of reporting on the emerging resources and activities that are surfacing to repair the trauma, harm and fee of unproductive chaos of reaction.
Posted at 11:17 AM in #ceres10, #csruptheante, #griconference, #sustainnow, AboutWorkEcology, Ecological Economics, Ecological Footprint for Health, Economy, Precautionary Principle, REACH, Science, Social Networking, Trust | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: #ceres10, #griconference, Berkshire Industries, Chemicals, DEC, Exercising Precaution, GE, HP, REACH, Walmart
I have been paying attention to live reports from #griconference. Last week a few good people introduced me via Twitter to Kumi Naido, the new International Leader of Greenpeace. These tweets quoted Kumi as pointing out in his presentation, "It's not business as usual anymore."
Welcome aboard, Kumi. I hope you can take a few minutes to think about what you said at GRI last week, as a leader of one of the largest global advocacy organizations in the world. For me, "acting on a recognition that it is not business as usual," needs followup from all sectors so global citizens can see an end to over 3 decades of advocacy, protest and debate that is not empowering a fast enough response for the problems we face today.
The mass media, at a cost of billions of dollars, continues to overwhelm the flow of information that re-enforces people and the institutions they represent to continuously look to see who is to blame and draw lines between sectors and institutions offering opinion about "who should do what?"
Many people in scientific circles from industry and government assert that resources to assure quality scientific research have been significantly reduced; scientists and media argue about conflicting findings rather than seize the opportunity to learn and build a research agenda of action to respond to current needs for people, planet and profit. The ongoing debate slows down investing in a consumer/patient centric science that can lead to combining resources for research and impacting a more systemic approach that the harm, as it is identified, is a result of environment and chemical toxins.
Some global citizens believe the only way to create the sustainable change is to author legislation. US citizens and politicians now lead this movement asking for more regulation in response to the Bush-Cheney years of de-regulation. This belief dominates the minds of activists, creating another belief that there will be no change unless we regulate.
This week, I have extracted from events, meetings and presentations around the world some insights and key fractal points. These points are potential tipping points of change that may lead to refocusing the #sustainnow agenda.
The United Nations Global Compact has convened 7700 companies globally as its learning community. During the #griconference, the UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative announced its new partnership. This partnership is all voluntary and through an application process that includes requirements for qualificaiton. I know we can aniticipate that as learning communities from within the Global Compact form and adopt that the GRI Reporting Framewokr, f this will facilitate a growing adoption of integrated Environment, Society and Governance Reporting (ESG indicators) built on a foundation value for exercising precaution.
The Global GeoStrategy of today is shaping a new ecological economy that focuses its response on catastrophes. This response began to build momentum with 9/11 and then increased its pace with the natural disasters that occurred with the Tsunami, Katrina and Haitian Earthquake. This response has resulted in having to think about how to respond and rebuild entire geographical regions. In Louisiana, the momentum of economic and environmental recovery from Katrina was brought to a halt by the BP Oil Spill now growing into a 45+ day disaster of harm that has shut down an entire eco-system of people, environment and economy.
Like everyone else, I took lots of deep breaths this week and some time out to find ground, humor and connection with people I respect to keep me motivated in my research and work. Amidst preparation for a trip to Washington DC to examine legislation for Safe Chemicals. The experience of the week reshaped for this trip.
The American Council for Sustainable Busines has convened a meeting, which will have international representation to focus on a Safer Chemicals Agenda. I am hoping that presence and contribution for European Union's ChemSec.org will offer some emotional intelligence to this community drawn from non profits, government and business to share a story of empowerment that moves this group beyond advocacy, lobbying and promotion. It's my hope to learn is a US based group of reputable people can build an agenda of strategy and action that moves the participants in Washington DC beyond business as usual.
As I prepared for my trip, I followed these reports with as much attention as I could find and give:
These events to me represented opportunities for the creation of "tipping points. Reading these reports as they were produced sat in the background of my reflection on #ceres10 and now #griconference. Both these communities focused on conversations that emphasized the need for integrative ESG reporting - GRI then announced its partnership with the the UN Global Compact, with a goal in mind to make the UN Global Compact 10 Principles concrete and understood. This reponse for me shaped into a question:
"If it is not business as usual," as stated by Kumi Nado, could that imply it is only business or does it imply it is not only business, government, education, non-government organizations and/or industry; does it imply within every institutions of people, these institutions have to build and participate in a society to exercise precaution and do no harm. I then shaped another question:
Within the last 6 months, I have shaped this blog into an activity of action research and networked connection. I am now inviting participation into a focused on a conversation called #sustainnow. I have begun annotating and archiving some of the conversations, research reviews, annotations on a group board called AboutWorkEcology and located at Linkedin.com . Membership into this community is by application.
The first qualification for participation in this community implies that you have a sincere passion to empower and lead change that goes beyond information sharing, reflective dialogue and advocacy. The members of this community are people learning to apply the thought leadership of AboutWorkEcology into a practice of change, one person at a time; cross sector, industry and culture.
The WorkEcology #sustainnow conversation and news is has convened some of the best people globally who do far more than advocate. We will be joining our network through a shared social media platform, into a network that builds through inquiry a new interactive format of education focused on learning and application for thought and practice leaders.
Today one critical question began to gnaw at me: "Why is it taking so long to get the right response to change the pattern of culture and how we live for the majority of people?"
What does the BP Oil Spill Imply?
From #griconference, I found a report that Marc Gunther had announced the new debt crisis is ecological. This post is a must read. Marc points out we all have to learn to live within our means. That statement in my opinion also has to imply that having a means to live is critical for those who have lost jobs or are derailed from the monetary system in some way through illness or family caregiving needs. Marc goes on to point out something that challenges Darwin's "survival of the fittest." He says we are all interdependent and accounting matters. Isn't that a new layer of learning we are being pushed to learn from the BP Oil Spill?
Does the BP Oil Spill imply a collapsed ecology for the good people of Louisiana, as a result of the double whammy - Katrina and Oil Spill.? Is Louisiana the new Haiti? Will this trickle like "dominoes" throughout the United States and other parts of the world? Embedded in what was once the leading economic power in the world? Are we finally learning that a global corporation, a government or a geography can get lost trying to find who or what is to blame and that everyone and all institutions and all stakeholders have to engage and rebuild a healthy eco-system of interdependence?
After reading Marc's analysis, I put myself on reflective pause for a day. I started to think about how to create an international line Up of award winning artists from film. Isn't film a rapid way to influence change? I asked myself if I could lead a production of a film ready for Cannes and Sundance by 2011. Does it not take a movie ("fictitious scenario) to show the majority of people a new way? After all hasn't the world become "anything Hollywood?"
Can we admit that "international film distribution" is potentially the most influential and entertaining form of education for economic decision makers? Could a film of this kind be a quality mechanism that is more cost effective than the advocacy fo NGO's our most powerful source for influencing change?The AboutWorkEcology Film Roster of Who's Who
It was Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell and Cher in 1982, who woke me up to the issue of TOXINS. After meeting Danny Sheehan, the Silkwood Family attorney, I got curious about what it would take for women to work in a scientific industry and for all sector interests to shift into a CSR - Sustainable agenda.
Silkwood - the movie was released in 1983 about the time Gro Harlem Brundtland convened the Brundtland Commission .
My adventure with my father's 7 years in palliative taught me that the focus on health care in the US was driven by industry and teaching hospitals and not a patient centric agenda. I kept my sanity in check in the early stage of my "sandwich decades" with anything "Susan Sarandon."
Susan Sarandon's portrayal of Mihaela Odone in Lorenzo's Oil taught a new form of health consciousness by teaching us about "imperfect science" and "imperfect research." The movie angered Hugo Moser, the chief researcher at NIH. Hugo was the actual NIH physician researcher, who fought Michaela Odone with harsh agression. In the movie, Moser was portrayed as a fictious character, Professor Nikolais (Peter Ustinov). After the movie, Moser refocused his energy, pushing to learn what was possible about ALD up to days beforehis death. Lorenzo, now in his late 20's lives with his father in Fairfax, Va. He is without a cure and unable to speak, Michaela died of exhaustion in 2008. Gustav Odone, now well into his 80's, created the Myelin Project, which is fostering the new inquiry into science for the practice of medicine that is helping many with a full menu of neuro-related diseases that includes MS, Epilepsy and ALD.
Through the years, I found my inspiration from film to keep moving ahead on my life learning path. Last week, I chose to deal with the stress of the world as the news became more chaotic related to the BP Oil Spill. I chose to dream about writing a movie script to revive my energy and spirit.
As I began to work on character development for my all "star line-up", Cary Krosinsky
offered something that caught my attention on Facebook. I must confess, I know Cary personally and he has won my respect and generously advised me on my ideas and work. Cary posted his version of a fictitious script to create a new path for BP's long view.
"BP - you have hereby been declared incapable of operating within the boundaries of acceptable safety as established by executive order on the basis of national security - your US assets are hereby impounded for collateral to be sold to the highest qualified bidder - proceeds to the cleanup and alt energy incentives -... too bad for the top 10 holders of BP who are all based in London.."
A sudden spark of creative energy made me realize, I would have to get Kate Winslet, Dane Judith Dench, Hugh Bonneville and Jim Broadbent to play consumer advocates and represent families affected by the spill. Could these stellar actors portray a meaningful message to all the people, who are now visibly losing their health and sometimes life around the world to complications one encounters from chemical exposures, e.g. an oil spill?
Moving along, I thought, here we go again. The news this week seemed to be filled with heroic attempts to stop "the spill," and all failed. Maybe Nelson Mandela, Halle Berry, Oprah and others might add powerfully to my script. Will the response morph into a reality of possibility for people around the world and impact the ecology for an interdependent citizenship?
Like the producers of Primary Colors,
I may opt to create a fictitious world of characters modeled after royalty, government, corporate and NGO leadership. I may also alter the personality of real time leaders. I am carrying around in my imagination right now a question:
Then something exceptional happened at my screen to influence my thinking. I got a copy of the report from the GRI Reporting Initiative on Embedding Gender. I skimmed it and realized research task for my character development was to synthesize the message of this report with the AAUW - Why So Few? (women in science).
It then occurred to me that Erin Brokovich could simply play herself. The best way to get a female voice to be heard is to bring on a woman who speaks up even when people don't listen. I hope that I can develop a script that assures that "women-speak" can be heard in science, politics, law and medicine to impact change, not just talk about it. GRI has mandated embedding women in sustainable change initiatives. Maybe we can finally have impact on economic decision makers from any sector.
It is all about the way the deal is cut and who you cut the deal with!
Years ago, when I negotiated my first contract for quality cost-effective medical services for women for one of the top 10 HMO's; I learned very quickly through a six month cycle of negotiation that the picture changes daily. The picture includes facts, data and the independent responses of the players. The daily show effects negotiations and how you cut the deal as much as analysis of the past. What is also just as important is that you have a handle on the potential future risks from which you can build a worst case scenario response that assures you begin today to take steps to prevent this hazardous scenario.
So I began to study from my Hoote Suite Dashboard for Twitter, what members of #sustainnow were thinking and reading about the week and how I could draw on that value for my movie script and think about the future.
John Friedman offered the first relevant tweet:
Fabian Pattberg was the first to summarize live at the end of each day, a summary of the GRI conference. Fabian's reports help me think about how to start talking about a future that is not yet seen by most.
The article by Han Han portrayed Foxconn CEO Terry Gou with the belief that the remedy for this situation simple. Gou asked every employee to sign an agreement they won't commit suicide at work location with an incentive of 20% pay increase. What great material for my script. This provides me the opportunity to show how money does not solve everything and authoring an alternative. Actually, I visited the alternative in Mexico in 1998, when I was invited to visit Roberto Vargas Marciel's organic farm research center.
Forbes Columnist, Gordon Chang reported his analysis of what is believed to be a low suicide rate in China with a quality analysis of the growing impact of the social ecology on the people of China in this rapid economic post communism stage of growth. From Brigette's first tweet, I read Han Han's analysis from the Carter Center blog on Chinese Governance.
Chang's powerful socio-economic analysis provides an analysis of the past 25 years of change in China that is impacting the health, environment and educational influences on the current generation. To me this editorial tells the story of what occurs in a culture transforming from an agrarian way of life and rapidly adopting technology and increasing economic freedom where their pace of change builds into a form of consumption without exercising precaution.
It is no wonder the health, education and welfare of Chinese citizens is facing so much challenge now. Somehow the harm encountered in the west over the last 100 years has not become a lesson learned for China.
It will be interesting to factor all this into my movie script.
Elaine Cohen returned home from Amsterdam and promptly summarized her report from GRI and offered her perspective:
Here is my concise Elaine Cohen 101
Here is some of data as food for thought on the result and future opportunity for monitoring.
For the past 13 years the community of people building on this framework have attracted growing participation. Like everything else, this activity will face more challenge as adoption distributes more widely. The growing demand for transparency is going to push the adoption of this framework. beyond Bloomberg analytics on the carbon foot print.
Today, I am left with one final question:
I have created my hashtag for my live reports from #safechem and signed on twitter;
Signing off now for a quiet train ride from Boston to WDC. Will take advantage of the time to read more of value, before I shift gears in WDC to learn more about chemicals toxins.
Human beings want to know that their work makes a difference and in a very simple way. Work is equated with what you do to earn and the business associated with that (in any sector). The Swedish word for business is Narings Liv. Narings Liv defines business as that which nourishes you for life. To me this is the core value for how I have made sense of a community for myself over the past few years.
This strong community that surrounds me all are able to contribute to making the vision for a WorkEcology Portal real. This community includes the good people I have mentioned in this blog here over the past six months.
My blog posts are a living history that tells the story of what I have learned with these people. Our conversations have shaped into an equation of what brings a sustainable strategy to life through stakeholder engagement and supports collaboration among people who work wisely to live well in their local communities.
Last night, at my screen, my former neighbor and friend, Dave Wann
reached out to me and asked me to scan his new book,
The New Normal. Dave's life and his work are about documenting how people are creating their lives in the era of Sustainability. What is unusual about that is that Dave in fact is doing it personally from his home and garden in Harmony Village, in Golden Co.
Dave sent me his manuscript to skim and read and asked me to think about how WorkEcology fits in the frame of this book. This manuscript now sits on my desk with another new transformational report from, The President's Panel for Cancer at NIH. Alison Rose Levy summarizes her consumer view of the report in her editorial, Making the World Safe for Cancer at Citizen's for Health. I am now preparing my own analysis son the implications of this to sustainability, health and environment.
I have been talking with Dave for quite some time about his forthcoming book because it comes out of our shared interest and dialogue that focused on the question, "How do you live your life to sustain your health, work and economic stability?" The Presidents Panel on Cancer is resource for examining this question from a view of, "How do you today's citizens work and live their lives in away that protects health?" And how do we create a sustainable system of health that permits every citizen to live in a world that "exercises precaution?"
Can stakeholders in a system of health whether commercial business (insurance and products), health service and advocacy groups influence a change in systems of health care delivery where the consumer can regain financial control and eliminate the stress so many now experience that is bankrupting people and families every day who face a life with a chronic or life threatening illness?"
So the tension of all this thinking has been simmering in me to do some interesting writing as I review the #ceres10 meeting results. I feel a bit this week like a simmering stock pot pot on the stove that is ready to overflow as I pull together all the new ingredients I have found for my writing, analysis and thought leadership.
This week, I noticed that within my advice network, numerous people I learn with have been asking some really tough questions as they think about matters representing their own inquiry into some really tough questions:
This detailed read of the people I look to most closely is supportive method and practice key to building a grass roots driven Sustainable Strategy from which economic decision makers can learn from. 3BLMedia Interviews with Leadership from Ford and Ebay provide solid case examples:
Sustainable Strategy is not an either or in action. Bringing sustainability to life through people by actively engaging all stakeholders does not change a CEO's job responsibility job responsibility of governance and monitoring by managing the bottom line. However, a CEO who leads from a point of view of learning and possibilistic risk management will not turn focus monitoring as a compliance activity to engender fear.
A CEO who leads monitoring as a continuous improvement program of learning will do his job and lead a company that guides all stakeholders to contribute through learning and experience from that type of culture an experience of accomplishment and a work environment that invites discipline, rigor and creative contribution. and creating an obstacle to the activity. CEO's who lead to promote learning to put sustainable strategy in action, will guide a company or organization culture that values integration of branding, risk management, corporate governance employee relations as a means to carry out a sustainable strategy in any sector (commercial, non profit, government or academic).
Whether a company chooses to include a CSO in their organization chart or not, there is no "how to manual," to carry out a sustainable strategy in any structure of business or institutional sector today. A company cannot come to life and be sustainable as Mindy Lubber described in her strong message about integration. No matter what way, you cut it - Sustainable Strategy is about integrating a workforce and assuring a revenue model where the income, expense and profit are designed out of conversation that brings a sustainable strategy to life from the hard work of people who work to wisely to live well and learn "a new normal."
"Sustainability has to be integrated to what we do.. our earnestness and starting on solutions is more rapid than before...the goal of our conference is about taking it up a new notch and setting up a series of new best practices...working with companies to integrate sustainability into everything they do... products, facilities, holding supply chain accountability and tying that to CEO compensation and all they do."
Mindy went on to quantify what she means by a new and higher standard,"Setting new standards, higher standards and acting more quickly and comprehensively. It is no longer about one off deals, e.g. carbon footprint or energy efficiency, ....every part of a strategic plan ,--- climate change, water shortages, human rights, worker safety...hence results at every level of the firm."
Finally, Mindy pointed to the greatest challenge America faces now of societal scale. "Paralysis in our nation's capital has to stop relative to climate, water and more. Are we continuing to build a society around fossil fuels and have more oil spills or build an economy around Clean Tech so that the US does not become a player left behind in the dust?"
You can view the full interview of Mindy Lubber by Bill Baue here on 3BLMedia TV .
A "Why so Few?" released by The American Association of University Women, provides a very powerful "strong" hidden message. The report is a summary of research conducted by AAUW to examine why so few women work in STEM careers. This report provides a complete summary of the obstacles that stand in the way of women succeeding in careers as scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
In reading this report, I discovered a hidden jewel that in my opinion is stronger than the research outcome. It is the implications of the research on what this implies to the US culture of education and its preparation of people for professions based on STEM studies. These implications go beyond the study of diversity and gender. They leadership issues faced by institutional leaders and economic decisions makers that are obstructing US Society to accelerate in the direction of need described by Mindy Lubber.
This report underscores the realities that our economy is faced with today as follows:
1. The future of our world relies on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We have structured our research and commercial centers that generate products and services based on these disciplines with a push for rapid forms of production that derail the quality of learning for the people who carry out this work and therefore has production cycle of knowledge and product generation that is not productive for society today.
2. The culture of these institutions is critical, negative and competitive and does not create healthy environments in which people can learn through hard work to succeed.
3. The culture of pedagogical learning is out of date. US Education needs to embrace a form of learning that recognizes difficulty and the frustration of learning that does not come easy.
This is the most useful learning for today. Risk does not include encouraging and building learning environments where the heightened potential for risk is equated with is a potential for failure that is truly part of any path of success to discover complex answers and applications of knowledge.
The implications of this report to Mindy Lubber's strong message is basic to encouraging new formats of learning and building new economic models for government, research, academic institutions and commercial interests. I coach my clients on the necessity of strong
messages and why.
The why is simple: organization culture has to embrace the creation of value for encouragement and accomplishment as critical keys to her success. I advise all my clients to ignore personal reactions to negativity, criticism and competitive aspects of the culture and build a matrix of activity that can define a new format of success by monitoring and measuring accomplishment as a focus which in turn will result in sales.
When designing a culture of change I can develop a program that catalyzes sustainable sales and income to this company because the emerging sustainable culture looks to this as part of any company brand.What Mindy Lubber delivered in her strong message can only be built by leading a culture that embraces this format of learning and education. It implies a culture of change, ethic and consciousness of practice that is what I know many men and women now include in their work.
Mindy Lubber's powerful message catalyzes for any leader today their role in leading a strategy of action and operations agenda that gets down to business as needed and not business as usual for health, environment and people. This is the mandate now for all CSR and sustainability leaders to learn in good company of others through the frustration of learning that embraces the "failure of learning" as part of the reward of success.
Watch for my next post on "governance" versus leaning to form brand." drawn from conversation between Jeffrey Hollender, Chairman of Seventh Generation and Aman Singh, CSR Editor for Vault.com.
A few activities in recent weeks have me focused on the idea of appreciating a new standard in social media and journalism for #sustainnow. #SUSTAINNOW is a new hashtag list I have created at @workecology.There are few people in my advice network that really got me thinking on this, that include Chris Laszlo, Aman Singh, Elaine Cohen, Christine Arena, Mario Velandi, Chris Jarvis and Bill Baue. #sustainnow follows most of these folks live as they write and think.
This set me thinking about my experience in health care early in my career where I was a participated as a team member in the deployment of the first automated medical record system. From this experience and how my career has formed to date, I have been able to shape my thought leadership to a degree of strategy that I am now implementing with my partner, Bernie Kelly in Australia. Over the past year, I have discovered a formation of inquiry that I have shaped to translate into practice with Bernie and his community in Australia.
A recent announcement from Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia plan to refocus the Australian Health Care System from a point of view of coaching, learning and education is aligned with the value proposition for the program we have shaped.
The WeCare Design Plan for Health that I have designed for Bernie's network program implies a thought leadership and form of engagement that is a Road Map to Sustainable Health very aligned with the thinking and practice reported out of the recent CERES 2010 Conference that took place in Boston this week. Through out the week, many of the colleagues, I feature at #sustainnow have provided coverage of this conference that has been recorded and archived at 3blmedia through a partnership with Ceres (pronounced "series).
Late Friday afternoon, I spoke briefly with Greg Schneider,
co-founder and CEO of 3BLMedia. I informed Greg that I was shaping a series of posts I would describe as #sustainnow based in part on the CERES archive at 3BLMedia.com . These posts will integrate with some of my other recent research, conversations and recent articles authored by In Good Company with @VaultCSR's, Aman Singh.I indicated to Greg, I had been tracking and formulating a view and perspective drawn from many of the people, thoughts, ideas and quality analysis on #sustainnow for the past six months. I now feel that this community has set a new standard for journalism on the subject of sustainability that many claim is hard to define.
This community, I believe is defining sustainability well beyond the vision articulated by many of the heroes at the frontier, who have influenced my work e.g. Hazel Henderson, John Elkington, Art Kleiner and Muhammad Yunus. Please watch this blog for more thoughts as I am able to write on this new standard of thought in journalism that inspires learning to know and act.Follow the development of this thinking as I shape it on Twitter @workecology and subscribe to announcements of my posts or learn more from the community I have formed at #sustainnow