2011 – The Year in Blogs…Posted by ed in blog December 18, 2011
Following a tradition of the last couple of years (see round-ups of ‘2010‘ and ‘2009‘) here’s a quick thrash through some of the highlights from Futerra’s blog in 2011. With almost 100 blogs to choose from this is my personal selection of the most punchy, provocative polemics and practical, insights tips and advice from our ever-clever growing tribe of fantastic Futerrans.
Always musing we’ve had some intriguing pieces on topics as varied as ‘Sustainable Inebriation – why talking to people about sustainability is like talking to very drunk people’, to who might be the ‘Gods of climate change’. We’ve speculated on quantum epiphanies like ‘The Overview Effect’, counted our lucky stars that ‘Thank God we’re alone…’ in the universe (as far as we know) given the embarassing state of humanity’s planetary stewardship. And we’ve questioned our own ‘Faustian Pact’ with unsustainability and pondered the attractive simplicity of ‘If only blowing things up saved the world’.
Ever fascinated by the psychology of behaviour change and the role of communications in achieving it we’ve celebrated ‘Positive Deviance’, explored the idea of ‘Super Nudges for sustainable living’, investigated the ‘Psychology of altruism’, the potential perils and ‘backdraft’ of the ‘Rebound Effect’ in the context of cutting carbon and how ‘Brands and behaviour change’ might just help us change the way we live and the world. We were also very excited by ‘CrapMan and the “Wiping for Wildlife”‘ campaign down under.
We’ve published our own thought leadership too this year, ‘Reporting Change’ challenging the CSR and Sustainability reporting world to communicate better, lessons that BP could do well to heed if their ‘Worst Sustainability Report of all time’ is anything to go by. Maybe they should take a leaf out of ‘Santa’s Naughty or Nice Sustainability Report’?! Plus with the Olympics bearing down on us we launched ‘Game Theory’ about the potential to use major international events to lever sustainable behaviour change.
Various Futerrans have also been pontificating on Guardian Sustainable Business. My blog about the ‘Death of champagne environmentalism’ certainly stirred up a debate, compelling me to clarify a few of my subtler points here. And Soli’s challenging ‘Letters to Leaders’ series aimed at transformative business models for CEOs from Google to Gucci were also well received. We offered advice on ’5 Steps to Authenticity’, and defended the potential of advertising as a force for good in inspiring change.
Harriet has led the charge in sharing insights and experience around creative employee engagement on sustainability with lively blogs asking ‘Do consultants dream of electric sheep?’, ‘Motivation beyond money’ and the wildly popular ‘Sex, Lies and gamification’ (In fact gamification was probably one of the themes of the year).
Never backwards in coming forwards we’ve also been throwing a few contentious and slightly controversial ideas out into the ether. Is the UK coal industry’s efforts at sustainability like ‘Darth Vader describing the Death Star construction as a job creation scheme’? Can Google+ connect ‘billions of people to sustainable lifestyles’? What ’10 ways might kickstart a Green Tech revolution’, what are the ten best ‘Real Reasons for being green’, and is ‘Latitudinal Dining’ the future of social and sustainable food?
It’s also been a year of celebration with our tenth birthday in September. It’s been quite a journey, packed full of learning but also laughter as this video clip from our big, pink wedding-like party suggests. We celebrated further with the ‘Earthly Sins Confessional Booth’ at Glastonbury and Futerra’s own ‘Team Human’ rocked the debating tent at Shambala Festival persuasively defeating the motion ‘This House believes that humans are not fit for purpose’.
Of course we wouldn’t be Futerra if we didn’t also rant and rave a bit about the language of sustainability, the bizarre ‘Buzzword Bingo’ we play on ourselves and how best to tell a sustainability story inspired by a Halloween Ghost Tour near Futerra HQ. In addition we’ve been focusing on walking our own talk too, with CEO Lucy committing to only swish for a year and great progress being made on our green refurbishment of our home at Number 4 Charterhouse Square.
So there you have it…a succinct and sizzling summary of another momentous year. I’ll leave you with a link to what is still one of my all-time favourite pieces of communication, NASA’s Sagan Series – ‘The Frontier is Everywhere’ (brilliantly blogged by Dave here). I could watch this everyday and I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the script. Happy New Year and here’s to more desirable sustainability in 2012!
“Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds through the solar system and beyond will be unified
By their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet
And by the knowledge that whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the universe come from Earth
They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies
They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was
How perilous our infancy
How humble our beginnings
How many rivers we had to cross before we found our way.”