The dog ate my homework


Little Miss Busy

I have been a very bad blogger of late.  My only excuse is I have been quite busy.

So in lieu of the past four months worth of cracking blog posts that I had good intentions of writing, here instead is a run down of what I have been up to.

It is a diverse portfolio of work, with the common thread of contributing towards advancing understanding of the kinds of institutions and business practices that are needed to enable a world in which 9 billion people can live well:

  • ICT and low carbon development in China. Working with the Digital Energy Solutions Campaign on a study of the potential for smart ICT applications in China and how they can help to advance China’s ambitious goals for decoupling growth from environmental impact. It has been estimated that globally ICT enabled innovations such as smart cities, smart motors and ‘dematerialisation’ (swapping bits for stuff) could cut carbon emissions by 15% by 2020.  The question is which are the most promising areas in China, and what are the steps that public policy makers, and leading businesses need to take to make them happen?

  • The Amazon Fund: lessons for national climate initiatives. Working with the Avina Foundation and the Amazon Fund in Brazil to understand how this innovative initiative is working. The Amazon Fund secures international climate funding and invests it to prevent deforestation. The question is how well is it working, how does it need to evolve, and what lessons can be transferred to other national climate and forest institutions that are needed to put any global climate agreement into practice?

  • People Matter. Working with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development to support their People Matter network, looking at the role of people, skills and leadership in implementing strategies for sustainability in business. The question is how can companies align their human resources and talent strategies towards sustainable development?

  • Corporate Citizenship in Practice. Working to support General Electric’s extension of its citizenship strategy into the heartland of its business strategy and practices. The question is how can they continually develop their public reporting, stakeholder engagement, and citizenship strategy to respond to issues material to the business and to its stakeholders?

  • The South African Renewables Initiative. Supporting the Government of South Africa’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and Department of Public Enterprises and in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa, in developing a strategy for accelerating the development of renewable energy in South Africa. The question is how can national priorities for competitiveness and growth be aligned with the global imperative to cut carbon emissions, into an implementable program that enables industrial development as well as climate benefits?

  • CSR and Natural Resource Governance in Africa. Supporting the Chinese Academy of Sciences in establishing a dialogue in China on the role of Chinese businesses in advancing effective natural resource governance in Africa. The question is how can businesses, new players and old practice meaningful corporate responsibility that enables the dividends from Africa’s natural resource wealth to be invested to produce stronger economies and healthier communities?

Of course I am not working on my own, but with some great people: Simon Zadek (all over the world), Fernanda Polacow (in Brazil), Kelly Yu (in China), Jon Kornik (in the US and South Africa), Saliem Fakir (at WWF South Africa), Katherine Madden (at the WBCSD) and many more.

So there you go, quite busy. Still I know that busier people than me manage to blog, bake cakes and run marathons so watch this space…..

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