The World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Future Leaders have launched a video offering thoughts on what 21stC leadership might need to look like. With many companies like Hitachi, Shell, Lafarge and PriceWaterHouseCoopers now creating senior management team posts like sustainability manager, climate change initiatives manager, and environmental strategist, big business are responding to climate change. Economic and legislative drivers may have created these posts originally, but listening to the holders of these posts another message is portrayed: leaders must look to the medium-long term and not just be short-termist. Leaders must serve, acknowledge grass-roots concerns, community action and initiatives and be ethical in knowledge sharing and collaboration. Many of the leaders point to the need for systems thinking and care in the process as well as end-product in order to be able to tackle the complexity of the challenges of climate change. Some of the most forward looking even talk about sharing the rewards (benefits, profits) with the people rather than just gaining for themselves and their companies!
These are all leadership criteria that my initiative Envirodigital believes are essential for 21st C sustainability, and our work that led to the creation of the medium term vision to carbon neutrality for the creative industries (for The Scottish Government's 2020 Climate Group) certainly highlighted the need for our sector leaders to become knowledge sharers, collaborators, community engaged and focussed on a triple bottom line (which considers socio-cultural and environmental costs and benefits as well as economic).